Dorian Blues provides for a wealth of fun, yet educational musical moments for young musicians. Directors will have the opportunity to discuss modes, blues scales, and medieval plainchant. The piece mixes quasi-Dorian and blues scales and is grounded around the pitch concert D; therefore, the piece is largely in d-minor, a highly accessible key for emerging musicians. Students will have the opportunity to perform a variety of articulations, rhythms, accidentals and tempi. In addition, the numerous texture and mood changes will challenge the musicianship skills of the performers. The syncopated rhythms and quarter-note triplets will also provide for excellent teachable moments.
The use of medieval modes in jazz certainly isn't a new concept as artists like Miles Davis utilized Dorian in So What, and John Coltrane as well in Impressions. Traditionally, modes have been found in instrumental music for centuries as seen in Sibelius' 6th Symphony, and more recently employed in wind band examples for students such as Elliot del Borgo's Dorian Rhapsody. Dorian Blues, however, is perhaps the first piece for young band that combines medieval chant on D Dorian with jazz-like rhythms and blue-notes.
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