For solo soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele, with standard high-G tuning
Three classical pieces for the adventurous player
In standard notation and tab
About the Music
In early 2021, I received a kind message from ukulele player Steve Van Allen, who asked me to let him know when I had written a new piece. Naturally, I then became inspired to write a new piece and started thinking about what I might want to write. The answer came to me when I was teaching the “modes” unit to my Music Theory III class at Regis University: I wanted to compose dances based on a creative use of diatonic and synthetic modes.
The first movement, “Lydowaltz,” waltzes in a combination of Lydian and Mixolydian modes in the form of a C scale with a sharp 4 (F#) and a flat 7 (Bb). I love this so-called Lydian Mixolydian mode for its bright yet cool effect.
C Lydian Mixolydian: C D E F# G A Bb
The second movement, the “Doratonic Hop,” is a sprightly piece in the asymmetrical meter of 5/8. It is both Dorian and Pentatonic–I used notes from G minor at first, and then made a contrasting section using the C Pentatonic mode that added to G minor makes G Dorian. I became entranced with the hypnotic repetition of the opening motive.
G Dorian: G A Bb C D E F and C Pentatonic: C D E G A
The third movement, “Hexatango,” has rhythms reminiscent of the world of tango, in 4/4 time. The pitches are drawn from the “hexatonic” mode, which is a mode using all half-steps and minor thirds. I attribute its somewhat mysterious sound to its symmetrical structure.
C Hexatonic: C C# E F G# A
The Three Dances were conceived for the high-G standard tuning of soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles. They require an instrument with at least 17 frets. Many thanks to Steve Van Allen for the inspiration, and to Donald Bousted for trying the dances out and suggesting a few edits.
-LKN March 2021
II. Doratonic Hop
|Printed Score (U.S. only) – $12.00||Temporarily not available due to Covid.|
|Score Sample||Digital Edition – Soprano/Concert/Tenor Ukulele PDF – $10.00|