A Priori for solo violin

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A Priori is a polyphonic, virtuosic solo for violin in one movement. The composition is approximately eight minutes in duration. Pitch material for the composition is organized using two pitch-class collections, one collection projected linearly, the other vertically. The melodic, linear material is derived from the "mystic chord," respelled and transposed throughout the work. The harmonic, vertical material is achieved through various levels of triadic transformation. The initiating harmony is comprised of pitch-classes {0,4,7}. A broad collection of striking and elaborate rhythmic devices is used to direct the music toward a climactic cadenza in which the performer is afforded some degree of performance freedom, primarily flexibility of tempo. Rhythm does not become spontaneous or improvised. With the permissible alteration of tempo in this section, however, recurring rhythms become temporarily less recognizable. Prior to the end of this section, a sense of regularity gradually returns and impels the melody and harmony to a unified end. This cadenza section requires of the performer resolute technical control. The varied timbres of the different registers of the instrument are exploited. Extended techniques are employed to further clarify the variation of timbres. Additionally, detailed articulation and dynamic assignments are employed throughout the composition.Careful use of and attention to register, articulation, and dynamics is employed to produce a compound line.

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