I sat down with Charlie from composerquest.com to look back over the past couple years here at MrWilsonPresents and talk about what’s entailed in composing for the internet in this day and age. If you haven’t already, you really should take a look at some of his past episodes. I frequently take up Charlie’s challenges and this occasion is no different in that respect. Charlie challenged me to write a theme song for this episode of his podcast, so here you have it.
This is a challenge that had me scratching at my head a bit, since there are just so many different directions from which to approach it. Reddit user /u/Quertior writes:
Variously called “The Devil’s Interval” or “The Devil in the Music”, the tritone (or diminished fifth/augmented fourth) is one of the most distinctive intervals in Western music, used to some degree across every genre. (Okay, maybe not Gregorian Chants, but I digress…) Your charge, then, is to write a song that is mindful of the tritone: use it harmonically, melodically, nested inside a C9#11♭13 chord, or all of the above. Have at it!
The chord you mention contains three tritiones, actually.
Managing the tritone is such a ubiquitous part of composition that you may just as well ask me to write some music. Period. Full stop. In the diatonic scale the tritone is comprised of the two tones — the subdominant and the leading tone — with the strongest voice leading tendencies, a characteristic which makes them individually immensely useful in establishing and reinforcing a tonal center. Perhaps it would instead be more interesting and informative to look at ways to write convincing music while conscientiously avoiding the tritone, as you would in pentatonic folk music or plainchant (hmm, maybe some other day, do you think?).
What I’ve done here is I’ve packed more tritones than I normally would into this piece of music, and used them in a variety of ways. Let’s think of it as a tritone Where’s Waldo. Go ahead and see if you can spot them all. Bonus points if you can find the wizard.
Hint: there’s no wizard.
Reddit user /u/Indulice writes:
I’ve written an original piece and I would love to hear your unique interpretation!
In reference to this piano music. Well I don’t play the piano, /u/Indulice, but I do have ample free time today so I wrote an orchestral arrangement. I took a few liberties with the dynamics and added a few measures at the top of the second page to help assert your modulation. There’s an extra trumpet line in the slow section on the third page and I adjusted some of your harmonies. Also, this version no longer ends on the upbeat of the last measure.