“In a Summer Garden” by Delius-Analysis (Orchestral)

I will be making a series of posts detailing the form and structure of some Classical/Concert pieces over the next month.  One of my favorite pieces is “In a Summer Garden” by Delius.

The score is below with the harmonic devices marked.













This piece starts in a G minor tonality,  switching between G minor and F(7).  The clarinets catch the 7th.

The opening statement is a four bar phrase played by the woodwinds.  Next the strings answer with the exact same melody.  However this time we see a slight change in the bassline (C instead of F).  This is a C minor chord with a 2 and a 4 (suspensions), however, older rules of resolution are not observed.

So there is the first eight bars of the piece, all in G minor.

The countermelody introduced in measure 6 by the oboe will go on to be the main theme/idea presented throughout much of the piece.

Next up we have a trademark Delius triplet pentatonic sound.  This measure of F major sets up the next section which will hover in F major and change time signatures into 4/4.

Orchestration-Doublings between the split Viola and Cello, Violin 2 and Viola, parallel octaves present in the G to F to G part (No problemo) as it adds to the weight of the sound that the i to bVII to i can often convey so well.

Some thoughts and lessons:

Lessons-This shows how you can take a simple melody and pass it off to the various groups of instruments to give it a different sound.  It also demonstrates the importance of changing harmonies over the top of a single melody.


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Jody Hughes Written by:

I am a full-time banjo and acoustic guitar teacher, performer and composer. I have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry and The Ryman Auditorium. My interests include developing educational materials for the advancing banjoist and composing Original Music mixing my background in Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical and Latin Music.

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