New Original Church Composition - "Just Mercy"
Hello everyone! This week, I continued my endeavor of writing a new piece of music each week for the offertory at my church's traditional service. For those of you who missed it, here is a link to last week's piece called "Holy". All of the other previous pieces will be linked at the bottom for anyone interested. This week's theme was serving a God who is "Justice and Mercy". For those of you who have read the book by Bryan Stevenson (now also a movie), I could not miss referencing its title in this week's composition's title "Just Mercy" since the topic of the week was Justice and Mercy. I will admit that I am much happier with this week's piece than I was with last week's, and I will certainly ramble a lot about the compositional structure of the piece, but first let's hear it!
So this week's form is just as bland as many of the others. It is once again rounded binary. It seems that that is the form I resort to quite frequently. I wonder if it is coincidental that it was also the first form I ever learned? I will say that I just enjoy the repetitive but evolutionary nature of it. I like that it has two distinct sections, but the second section reincorporates the first (or a variated version of it). Besides, it is not like I have months to prepare this piece, or even the time to perform a more complicated form (since 3 minutes is around the max). For this week's piece, I will discus the sections separately
I thought of the Justice section's idea when I once again asked my beautiful girlfriend for a key suggestion (she said A flat major so the piece is in A flat major). Right after she suggested the key, I knew what I intended to do for the Justice section. One thing which I find interesting is the tonicization of IV in measure 3, 4, and 5.
I did this with the purpose of landing on IV (a less stable chord than the tonic meaning that landing on it still sounds somewhat incomplete) and with the intention of foreshadowing the Key of the Mercy section.
You will then notice that when I have this material appear again in measure 11, it leads to a tonicization of V rather than IV.
I did this with the intention of landing on a more prominent chord than IV, the dominant. I feel like it helps present forward motion without landing too soon on the tonic, and, at the same time, it avoids making the section too repetitive.
I then utilized a loose "sequence" that contrasts the other material in order to lead from V to I.
The B section represents mercy, and it is slower than the A section for two reasons. The first of these reasons is that it sweetly contrasts the A section's almost rigid material. The second of these reasons is much more practical: I wanted to consume time. Fun fact, if you're in a jam to write something to take up a certain amount of time, try to incorporate slower music. Think about it, you use more time with less measures. If it is within your constraints (in this case the topic of the week), try to incorporate slower sections to burn time.
In regards to this B section, I am incredibly pleased with how it turned out. It is kind of similar to last week's B section (because of the triplets), but I am more fond with how this one turned out. The B section is in Db, or the IV of A-flat major. The B section contains a variated repeat of the A section within it.
- I [1/26] With God All Things are Possible
- II [2/9] God of Faith
- III [2/16] Holy
- IV [2/23] Just Mercy
Thanks for reading/listening to this! I apologize for not writing more, but I do not know how much more there is to write. I hope you enjoyed this piece! Please remember that feedback is always appreciated! I look forward to seeing what this week's piece brings. Have a nice night!
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