16th of June 2015

As this piece is one of what will be a collection of works, I have decided to name it Green Afternoon. The works for the other Koener paintings will be similarly named by colour and time of day (eg. Yellow Sunrise etc.) to indicate their place in the collection of works. The overall structure of Green Afternoon is referred to in music as Ternary Form. This means that the music occurs in three sections and the first section is repeated after the second section ends. I have often used this traditional musical structure for my own compositions. When a passage of music is repeated it becomes more familiar and I find this feels highly satisfying. Here is what Daniel Levetin (psychologist of music and emotion) says about repetition in music: 

"Every neuroimaging study that my laboratory has done has shown amygdala activation to music, but not to random collections of sounds or musical tones. Repetition, when done skilfully by a master composer, is emotionally satisfying to our brains, and makes the listening experience as pleasurable as it is.”  [1] 

While in Green Afternoon the third section (A2) of the music is largely a repeat of first section (A1), I made a few minor changes to the accidentals (sharps/flats) that were used and shortened the raindrops motive to add an element of surprise. This was done to provide further variation (greater interest) and to reduce any monotony that may be felt by making A2 an exact copy of A1.

The second section or middle section I originally named the playful animals motive. I have since changed this to playful children. This could be interpreted as the children of animals or children of humans. It refers to children generally and their instinctively happy, explorative and playful nature that I feel is reflected in the mood of the music. This second section of the piece seemed disproportionately smaller than the first and third, so I worked on extending the middle by repeating a number of this section's motives in variation. 


[1] Levetin, Daniel J. This is your brain on music: the science of a human obsession. New York: Dutton, 2006. 163

AuthorKatherine Rawlings