Entry #2-Trom. Concerto – Jennifer Higdon

July 15 (Philadelphia)
It is 3 weeks later (I have returned to the states after 2 months in
Italy) and I have moved from sketches to actually writing notes…

I’ve decided that the opening should be lyrical, slow, but bold
sounding, as the trombone sounds good in bold statements. The first
week of writing goes fairly well. I am writing in short score, which
means a score that has 9 lines…one for the trombone solo and 8 for the
“orchestra”. It’s like a giant piano score, so that if I have random
ideas, I can pile them on, but see them as separate layers. I won’t
start actually putting the music into a full orchestral score (which is
orchestrating) until later. That involves a whole series of separate
decisions.

I still am not sure of the form of the piece…how much should be slow
music and how much fast. This always causes a little bit of
anxiety…it’s like taking a trip, but not knowing exactly how you’re
going to get somewhere…with only the vaguest of ideas as to the final
destination. I’m looking at lots of other scores and listening to tons
of CDs of both trombone concertos and works for just trombone and
another instrument (like piano). Hopefully, things will start to gel
into a more solid form at some point.

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Oct 1