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"Gloomy Night In Drizzly Downtown"

Title Gloomy Night In Drizzly Downtown
ComposerF.G.J. Absil
Instrum.Studio Orchestra
StyleGloomy film music cue
Meter4/4 (various)
TempoSlow 62-74 BPM


A musical score excerpt
  • Alto Saxophone 1-2, Tenor Saxophone 1-2, Baritone Saxophone;
  • Horns in F 1-2, Trumpet in Bb 1-2-3, Trombone 1-2-3, Bass Tuba;
  • Acoustic Bass, Drums, Electric Piano;
  • Synthesizer Pad, Synthesizer Effects;
  • Harp, Celesta;
  • String section: Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Contrabass.


The film music cue 'Gloomy Night In Drizzly Downtown' is based on a chord progression in Ab with extended and altered chord structures. The mood is gloomy and sinister.

Here's a breakdown of the composition:

  • (m. 1-15) The piece opens with string section in the low register. A solo horn plays sustained pedal point notes, doubled by high synthesizer sound effects. The celesta plays simple arpeggio patterns.
  • (m. 16-32) In [A] the solo horn plays (chromatically) ascending phrases, over a high pedal point in violins and synthesizer pad, plus support from low brass (2 trombones and bass tuba). Starting in m. 21 there is the first full statement of the source chord progression in low register strings. The harp provides rhythmic (groove) support. In m. 27 the solo horn becomes more prominent, with another block chord setting for low brass.
  • (m. 33-41) Section [B] is a transition, with the first half for strings, horn, harp and celesta. In m. 37 [C] the solo electric piano takes over at slightly faster tempo. This prepares for the orchestral mood change.
  • (m. 42-51) In Section [D] the original chord progression returns, now set at the higher octave for big band. The brass section is doubling parts at the lower octave, saxophones play a unisono countermelody. In the rhythm section there is the acoustic bass and drums (with brushes). Strings (violins and celli) play sustained notes in octaves.
  • (m. 52-56) [E] is a brief Coda, with electric piano fills, strings and synthesizer pad, and a closing chord for mid register and low brass.

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