American Kaleidoscope - Sym Orch - Set

CODE: AP-04173 Set


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AMERICAN KALEIDOSCOPE by Carol Barnett is a short survey of American immigration with snippets of tunes from various countries, American composers and Civil War songs. Barnett's ingenious writing delights any audience with this work composed for the Minneapolis Symphony and well suited for patriotic occasions or general use. Many American folk tunes are integrated within the score in clever ways, representing the wide breadth of immigrants to the shores of the USA. Symphony Orchestra. Set of Score and Parts. Grade: 5 Duration: 7:15

Composer's Notes are in the Resources tab.

American Kaleidoscope (score6349.pdf, 4,286 Kb) [Download]

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Composer’s Note:
American Kaleidoscope was commissioned by Jim and Donna Peter in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary and written for the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra’s 2010 Fourth of July concert at the Lake Harriet Bandstand.  At first, I thought of writing varions on Yankee Doodle, the one tune from the Revoluntionary War period that everyone recognizes.  However, the piece became a short survey of American immigration with snippets of tunes from Spain, Britain, France Sweden, Germany, China, Japan, Italy, Russia, the Eastern European Jewish tradition, the Philippines, Korea, Mexico, Vietnam, as well as American’s own William Billings, Stephen Foster, and assorted Civil War songs.  There is even a “Washington’s March” from a book of music hand-copied in 1819 by an ancestor of Jere Lantz, director of the Pops Orchestra.  Everyone will know at least some of these tunes tied together with fragments of Yankee Doodle in various disguises.  Enjoy!
Artistic Statement of Composer Carol Barnett
My work has developed along conventional contemporary - classical lines. I received a good basic education in the 18th-19th century Western classical masterworks, and my music grows out of that tradition. It has been supplemented by explorations of the Jewish liturgical tradition and the folk music of Greece, Italy, Russia, Southeastern Europe, and the Middle East.
I enjoy the challenge of using instruments in unusual combinations: SATB chorus with soprano saxophone or percussion battery, a duet for percussion and bass trombone, music for dance with clarinet, piano and tabla.
When writing, I often use preexisting material—folk melodies, literary influences, and, for vocal or choral music, the texts. I am most interested in communicating with my listeners by using musical language familiar to them, then adding something new—more complex harmonies, elements from a different musical tradition, or departures from the expected formal structure.
Since I am a performer as well as a composer, I understand the occasional need to write within the parameters of limited rehearsal time and modest technical accomplishment without “writing down” to the performers. I work rather slowly, striving for a balance of well-grounded formal structure with effortless flow from one event to the next.
I believe that music is a language based on nostalgia—remembered sounds which evoke other places, times and emotions. While writing accessibly, I try to find something unusual to say, something unique, magic, that bypasses intellect and goes straight to the heart.
—Carol Barnett