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"Redo Or Undo Last Action"

Title Redo Or Undo Last Action
ComposerF.G.J. Absil
Instrum.Electric Guitar and String Orchestra
DateSeptember - October 2018
StyleConcert piece
KeyD modal
Meter12/8 and 3/4
TempoAllegro 124 BPM and Andante 72 BPM


A musical score excerpt
  • Electric Guitar;
  • String Orchestra: Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Contrabass.


YouTube thumbnail for Redo Or Undo Last Action composition The exciting (Allegro energico) concert piece 'Redo Or Undo Last Action' features a solo electric guitar, with support from and interacting with a string orchestra. It is a tribute to a foreign friend who passed away recently. The piece was written after an extended period of computer stress, during which not only precious files were lost. The composition has ternary form and is based on sets of triads and hexachords that cover all 12 pitch-classes, and an Euclidean rhythm. Here are some details:

  • The piece has ternary form A-B-A'-Coda (m. 1-63, 64-131, 132-189, 190-214, respectively). The fast outer sections (Allegro energico 124 BPM and 12/8 meter) surround a slower middle section (Andante tranquilo 72 BPM, 3/4 meter). The waltz mood from the middle section briefly returns in the latter B section.
  • The composition has modal character with the outer A sections suggesting the D Lydian mode and the middle B section in the relative minor Bm.
  • The harmony is based on sets of 4 triads that cover all 12 pitch-classes. The piece uses the sets of triads DLydian - B2 - Db4 - C (4 different modal triads) and D - C - G#m - Bbm (2 major/minor triad types), plus the inversion of the first set APhrygian - C4 - Db2 - Bm. Hexachords with different harmony tension level are formed from pairs of these triads.
  • The rhythm is based on the Euclidean patterns E(5,12) = (3 + 2 + 2) + (3 + 2), and E(7,12) = (2 + 2 + 2 + 1) + (2 + 2 + 1), that are mapped on the 12/8 and 3/4 time signature of the A and B sections, respectively. The subdivisions yield an irregular meter feel with dance and world music character.
  • The electric guitar player is free to use plucking vs. picking the strings, amplification, and adding a pedalboard and various sound effects to taste.

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