for Violin, Clarinet in Bb, Trumpet in Bb, and Piano

Duration: 7m / Completed 2019

hullabalooa loud, continued noise, or mixture of noises. A commotion, or fuss.

from Mirriam-Webster and Google

Hullabaloo is a fun, upbeat work that features various strains of jazz that are often mixed or jumbled around, like jambalaya—an appropriate metaphor, considering the origin of jazz in the cultural jumble of New Orleans.

My main consideration in composing this piece was that it be a work of art firmly in the classical tradition, yet influenced and informed by jazz... and also, it must be fun. This brought up the question: which jazz? Jazz is hardly monolithic. It easily defies clean categorization. It can't really be defined. There is only its history, and various styles associated with it. And at this point, it has traveled the world and brought back souvenirs from pretty much everywhere.


I decided early on I wouldn't limit myself to just one “strain” of jazz. But neither could I possibly incorporate everything. (I'm not exactly Mahler, putting the entire world into this work. Something monumental would defeat the purpose of creating something light and fun!)


But there was also another issue I struggled with: the tendency of classical musicians and jazz musicians to feel and interpret rhythms differently. Classical musicians usually can't swing to save their life (even if written in 12/8 time)... while some jazz musicians can't play straight if a gun were held to their head!


So obviously, some kind of compromise was in order. Fortunately, there seems to be an indirect relationship between the amount of rhythmic swing and the tempo: as the tempo speeds up, the swing is less pronounced. So an uptempo “cut time” seemed to be the most appropriate solution: fast enough that it could “swing” without necessarily swinging!


That also made it very appropriate for styles such as ragtime, Dixieland, Latin, bossa nova, and even a contemporary-sounding section with quartal voicings. 


Listen to the diversity of sounds and textures and enjoy the rhythmic impetus of the music. A work of art can certainly be both serious and full of joy and humor. Enjoy!

Premiere rights are available for this piece. Please contact me to negotiate terms. 

Printed & Bound Score: $25

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©2019 by J. Aaron Stanley.