Bliss, a Mellifluos Chorale for Band


The starting point of the composition process was the creation of a scale that had all the pitches of the 4 keys represented by the instruments in the band: C, F, Bb and Eb. The resulting scale had all white keys plus Eb, Bb, and Ab, which constitutes the pitch material used in the work. The chief texture of the piece is that of a chorale, which was done in an effort to create an accessible piece for Middle School Band. The difficulty is not in the technical aspect, but in the implicit musicality with which the performers are tasked to create a good performance of the work. This is a piece about quality of tone and color, as well as nuances in dynamics and character given by the instrumentation at different moments. 

The composition is named considering two components. On one hand, the title Bliss illustrates calmness and joy, which are the two main images communicated by the music. On the other hand, each word in the subtitle starts with either the letter name or the solfege syllable that corresponds with the 4 keys represented in the band in the next order: Eb -represented by its solfege syllable me– C, F, and Bb. The subtitle reads: a Mellifluos Chorale for Band

Bliss, a Mellifluos Chorale for Band was commissioned by Jerry Philp for the Skyline Middle School Band in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

– Ivette Herryman Rodríguez