Frigid: Composed by Gary Lloyd

I posted this at least a month ago, but I added a short intro and a couple other small changes.

This is also in “Modes, Modulations and More”, in a medley that is a bit like a playlist.

“Phrygian” is a mode that starts on the 3rd note of a major scale. But to me the sound is cold, icy, somber. Maybe empty. Sad for sure. The main feature is b2, so the notes “E F G A B” carry the sound perfectly.

There is more here than “Phrygian”:

I also modulated, which goes beyond modal music, and there are some eerie open 5ths that move in a tritone relationship. That’s mysterious. In addition, at the climax I used octatonic, which is both more complicated and more complex than any mode.

For me “Phrygian” has a “frigid” sound or feeling, hence the name. The idea here was to write something simple enough that students in their 1st or 2nd year can play it, yet interesting enough to catch the imagination of much more advanced players.

This should be playable for relative beginners:

For the record: the composers, writers and artists who most impress me are those who create simple things. Lately I have been going through some of the easier sonatas of Scarlatti, the tone poems of Walter Carroll, and what strikes me is how few composers are able to write music that is playable by the average person, without demanding years of study and technical exercises. Writing something that people like, and want to play, and can play is the ultimate challenge.

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