Fantasia on the Dargason PowerPoint

Second Suite in F for Military Band, Fourth Movement
Gustav Holst
Born September 21, 1874; died 25 May 1934
English composer
Most famous composition is orchestral
suites, The Planets
Influenced by Grieg, Wagner, Richard
Strauss and fellow student, Ralph Vaughan
Musical Characteristics: unconventional use
of meter and haunting melodies
Composed almost 200 works,
including operas, ballets, choral hymns and
Second Suite in F
• The Second Suite in F for Military Band is Gustav Holst's
second and last suite for concert band
• 4 movements
Song without Words
Song of the Blacksmith
Fantasia of the Dargason
• His first was First Suite in E-flat, and both a staples to the
realm of band literature.
Second Suite in F
• Written in 1911
• Dedicated to James Causley Windram
• Took interest (like many English composers at the time) in
writing pieces based on folk music
• Ralph Vaughan Williams had based his English Folk Song
Suite on English folk tunes
• Did the same with the Second Suite
– Seven folk tunes in four movements
Themes of the Piece
• A theme
– The Dargason theme is always present
– Even in the last 11 bars, it is broken up, but present
– The rest piece the exact same theme is in at least one instrument
• B theme
– Greensleeves appears twice
– Second time is climax of piece
• Anything else played is rhythmic or sustained harmony
What is a Daragson?
• One of two melodies in the 4th movement
• Based on the folk song "Dargason”
• A 17th century English dance tune from
the first edition of The Dancing Master
• "Dargason", also known by the name of
"Sedanny” and many other names
What is a Daragson?
Dancing Instructions
for Dargason from The
Dancing Master
Lyrics and Dance
Dargason Dance
Lyrics and Dance
• Many melodic variants, as well as other lyrics and other titles
• First Verse:
– When I was at home, I was merry and frisky.
My dad kept a pig, but my mother sold whiskey.
My uncle was rich, but ne’er could be aisey (=easy)
Till I was enlisted by Corporal Casey.
Och, rub-a-dub, row-de-dow, Corporal Casey,
My dear little Shelah I thought would run crazy
When I trudged away with tough Corporal Casey.
Och, rub-a-dub row-de-row, Shelah my love.
• Non-serious tone, light hearted context
Lyrics and Dance
• Very Repetitive
– Dargason theme always present
• Repetitive because it’s a dance
• Need same melodic idea so non-music people can keep track of song and
learn to join in quickly
• 8-bar ‘circular’ melody lending itself easily to combination with others
Competing Themes
• Second Melody; first enters at m. 57 with the euphonium solo
• Greensleeves
– English folk song
– Love Song
• Also may recognize as the Christmas song: What Child is This?
• Lyrics:
Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously.
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.
Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my lady greensleeves.
Competing Themes
• Two Different time signatures:
– Dargason: 6/8 (2 feel)
– Greensleves: 3/4 (1 feel)
• Context of Songs:
– Dargason: Playful courtship
– Greensleeves: Rejection of Love
Musical Purpose
• How do you DANCE to
• 2 ways:
– 1st try some modern beats
behind it: (1:25)
Musical Purpose
• How do you DANCE to this?
• 2 ways:
– 1st try some modern beats behind it:
– 2nd, the song goes from a 2 feel to a 1 feel. It is the same
kind of idea as going from a 4 feel to a 2 feel. For example:
– My First Kiss by B.O.B.
Within the Music
• Three key concepts to apply in this piece:
Within the Music
• Articulation
– Light and Bouncy – Dargason
– Long and Connected – Greensleeves
• Let’s try the two different styles:
Within the Music
• Balance - Continually changing throughout piece
Soloists, Duets
Woodwinds only
Brass only
Full Ensemble
• Same exercise and loop switching between different soloists
and sections
Within the Music
• Phrase
– Shape the line
– Continuous air
• Phrase is broken up at times, so still it direction as its pass to
another section
– One section will play first half of Dargason theme and another section
will finish it – Connect the idea
Within the Music
• Shape the line – Where is are you leading to?
• Continuous air – Across the barline
For Next Time…
• Look up other folks songs in other 3 movements
• For the other folk songs be able to:
– Describe their original purpose
– Describe the style of the song
– Find at least one another form of one of the folk songs

similar documents