STREETS AND INROADS: FANTASY FOR WINDS AND PERCUSSION for concert band
Streets and Inroads: Fantasy for Winds and Percussion by Timothy Broege. Hear streaming audio on this page. Suitable for middle school bands and free-thinkers everywhere, 5 minutes duration, Grade 2.
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ALL ABOUT STREETS AND INROADS
by TIMOTHY BROEGE
Much of the sound-texture/open-form music composed during the last several decades has been intended for orchestra; Streets and Inroads tries to balance the scales, as it were, by providing materials for this type of music that are designed for bands, i.e., variously sized ensembles of winds and percussion instruments.
Many of the sounds called for in the piece are nontraditional: rattling of woodwind keys, playing of mouthpieces removed from instruments, unpitched glissandi, etc. Most of the sounds in the piece do not require specific pitches to be played; accordingly, the players have a great deal of influence on the various effects which the score contains. The composer has provided an overall shape and general structure, but many of the details of the piece are left to conductor and players. Such textures may be called aleatoric.
There are also aspects of aleatoric (or open) form in the piece: The conductor and players have options with regard to the order in which certain events of the score take place. It is thus likely that no two performances of Streets and Inroads will be the same. However, this is not to say that Streets and Inroads is an aleatoric work, per se, because, to a greater extent it does always have similar content, the same components, and a set (if variable) form. Therefore, although it contains aleatoric elements, it is not overall a "chance" piece.
There are special educational and teaching opportunities. For example, for most players this will be the first time they get to see a full score up close. Their way of thinking about notation will be expanded, since in an open form piece such as this a player can go far afield from the notation. There is no one way that the music sounds best: Consider the notation to be a set of materials for improvisation.
There is also the question of contest use. Judges are accustomed to making determinations according to traditional criteria: intonation, ensemble accuracy, phrasing, and such. These criteria have less importance in a work such as this. How then to judge a performance of Streets and Inroads? I suggest these criteria: is it convincing? is it well done? is it performed with conviction? does it have expressive power? What should be demonstrated in performance more than anything else is versatility.
How is the listener supposed to react to such music as this? In most of the traditional ways of listening I would suggest that the audience concentrates on melody, harmonic change, counterpoint, and structure or form. In Streets and Inroads, melody and harmony are replaced by abstract sound. There are aspects of counterpoint in the piece, and, as mentioned, there is a perceivable form for the composition. So, despite the unusual sounds heard in this piece, the listener does not have to "bring a different set of ears" to a performance of it. It is fun for performers and listeners to travel on some different musical avenues, at least once in a while.
Streets and Inroads was composed in 1975 for the Manasquan Elementary School Concert Band, Manasquan, New Jersey. The score was revised in 1980.
Timothy Broege/Oceanport/July, 1990
1 Conductor's Score and 50 Players' Scores
(Note: All players read directly from score)
Copyright © 1999 Manhattan Beach Music. All Rights Reserved.
Performance by the California State University Fullerton Wind Ensemble, Mitchell Fennell, conductor.
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