Bruce Grant's musical space

Professional Experience




26, rue Jules Mercier

21000 Dijon, France

Telephone +33 380 306 388

Cell phone +33 687 997 853

Musical space has two principal dimensions: time, indicated in our notation from left to right, and pitch, from high to low. If one can also "compose" the positions of musicians or loud speakers in physical space, and if sounds have different timbres and volumes, these last parameters are tied to pitch, which is a fonction of vibration in time.

Fascinated by the organisation of this space, I wanted since adolescence to become a composer, with the desire to share my interests with others: musicians, friends, the public at large. However, during my studies I was astonished to learn that at the end of the twentieth century, a composer was expected to write music of which the structure was of such complexity that not only the public could neither follow or appreciate it; the majority of musicians didn't appreciate it either, unless they had special preparation.

I thought that a part of the problem came from the fact that the majority of contemporary composers earned their living as professors of theory and composition in conservatories, universities and schools of music. This would be quite natural, except for the fact that emulation between colleagues encourages a natural desire to outdo one another in mastering complex material. To avoid this trap, I decided to pursue a conducting career. This has given me direct contact with performers, and their manner of working, as well as their relationship with the public. I have come to understand the limits of complexity that one can achieve under different circumstances of performance. This encouraged me to composer appropriate music, even if it should be less complex than the music of many of my colleagues. At the same time, I believe I have developed techniques to extend the capabilities of musicans and even the public with my graded parameters.

In an octet that I composed for two quartets of strings and winds, I derived a series of graded parameters from a telephone number: 80 56 24 98. There are eight sections. 8 = 4 faster and higher. 0 = 10, 2 x 5. 9 = 3 x 3. there is neither a 1 or a 7. Therefore,I don't utilise the characteristics of therse levels. Sections 5 and 0 utilise quintuple rhythms and chromatic modes . The other sections are rather diatonic.

I am also interested in the improvisation of pieces using different levels of complexity.

Level 3 Afrique

Level 4 Indigo Nocturne N°1

Level 5 Cromatic Major Rag

Level 6 Orange Boogie

Level 7 Indigo Nocturne N°2

Level 7 Indigo Prose

"Primary Chords " is the translation of the first chapter of "Etudes mélodiques", a method to learn how to accompany melodies at the keyboard with traditional chords: triads and tetrads. The other chapters will be translated soon. The left hand part of the exercises can be arranged for any harmonic instrument, the guitar for example. The right hand part can be arranged for melodic instruments like the flute.

I hope these ideas will encourage others to write appropriate and useful music, even if it isn't at a pillar of astonishing complexity!

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