Music of Our Time, Book 2, Twotone
(Yes, I’m digging through old RCM pieces now that it’s finally over. Do have a listen to Das Artige Kind, another simple study.)
The title of this post is somewhat misleading because Music of Our Time, Book 2 isn’t called ‘Twotone’. Twotone is one of the pieces in the book, but I don’t know which one. Imagine it as ‘Music of Our Time, Book 2, No. ???: Twotone,’ and it doesn’t seem as confusing. Of course, ‘No. ???’ looks appallingly ugly and I wouldn’t write such a travesty if my life depended on it, but…
Music of Our Time was actually a collaboration by renowned Canadian composer Jean Coulthard, and her two students David Duke and Joan Hansen. (I really don’t know how to properly Oxford comma this sentence, so I’ll just leave it as-is.) Twotone was written by Joan Hansen, an enigmatic mortgage sales representative-cum-composer.
…Yeah, that’s not the Joan Hansen we’re talking about. Probably shouldn’t go into so much detail on a composer when we have such a short little piece to talk about.
I really like the polytonality of this. (There’s… not much more to like. What can you like about 11 bars of music?) You can distinctly hear the two different hands, and the dissonances and parallel fifths actually sound alright. The key switch in the middle section seems a bit trivial, since the left hand F-major chord in bar 7 is still natural, and you don’t actually encounter any c-sharps in the right hand there. Actually, you don’t encounter any c-sharps in the entire piece…
If the dynamics aren’t contrasting enough, blame my camera: it automatically makes soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer. I think I did pretty well, though. I fessed up at bar 10 – there’s a two-beat rest, and I only rested for one. I hope nobody uses my recording to help them learn this piece… (which isn’t in the syllabus anymore, lol)
In two words, this piece is pretty cute.