Creating AYICM: A Piano Fugue as Theme Music

In the ongoing effort to create better and better podcasts, I’ve decided to start including some interlude music in-between the different sections of each show.  (My thanks to Stephanie at JM Web Designs for this advice: receive thy props, Stephanie.)  I’ve chosen a three-voice piano fugue I wrote for my composition degree portfolio — you can listen to the attached MP3 file.

Download MP3 Right-click (ctrl-click on a Mac) this link to download the MP3 to your computer. Then open your iTunes program or other media player and import the file.

I’ll just use 8 or 10 bars at a time for the little interludes, but here in the blog you can listen to the whole thing.  Do you like it?  I do, I think it’s some happy music.

That’s why I chose it, in fact.  Of everything I wrote to earn a degree in music composition, this little fugue would seem to have much more of my counterpoint textbook in it than of me!  There’s no more strict compositional form, and much more of the procedure is dictated to the composer by the form than in almost any other kind of composition.  It’s why I’ve been most interested in Modernist and atonal compositional techniques: they leave much more room for me to create something myself, rather than having to look up what I’m supposed to do in textbooks.  But even so, there’s definitely still something of me in this fugue, and the time-honored form allows me to come up with things I would never have thought of on my own.  (It’s why we’ll always keep returning to fugues and sonata forms and all the rest, I suppose.)  It also keeps me away from the esoteric, introspective seriousness of the atonal music I write, all of that making for less than the best kind of theme music for a show that I want everyone to enjoy.

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5 Responses to Creating AYICM: A Piano Fugue as Theme Music

  1. Comment by William Block made on November 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Great idea Brian and we love your classical fugue. It is charming!!!!!!!

  2. Greatly welcoming the idea of having more musical content on each show… however, the best would be actual examples or excerpts from the music you’re discussing, in my opinion.

    Great work on the fugue, and completely agreed on that being a far more accessible choice than perhaps some others.. 🙂


    • Brian Linnell Comment by Brian Linnell made on November 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      I agree, excerpts would be great. But the records labels won’t license podcasters to play copyrighted recordings, and everything I’ve read says not to expect that to change anytime soon. What I’m hoping to do, once I’ve got enough listeners to get their attention, is to partner with Spotify and add a window to the page for each show with a playlist containing all the music for that show.

  3. Comment by Jules DeSalvo made on November 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Nice piece. I assume you would get it recorded on a real piano? NPR has a nice thing going with their interlude music. Same melody, 20 different arrangements.

    • Brian Linnell Comment by Brian Linnell made on November 23, 2011 at 2:32 am

      A real piano performance would be my preference, but putting copyrighted material onto your shows is a minefield for podcasters. I’m afraid that at least for now, everyone will have to suffer these Finale “performances.” I’m thinking of using keyboard works of Bach, Haydn, and Mozart too, as these are more percussive and rhythmically driven piano works that will come off better with computer-generated playing than Chopin or Liszt or Brahms would.

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