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Requiem for 9/11

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About the author:
Dr. Greg Jackson has published several books sold worldwide including Legendary Op. 44 and Congas Full Circle for world percussion, Phenom: The Excellence of Execution for snare drum, Pandora for marimba, and the percussion method book The Synergy Method for Drumming. Jackson also has several recordings, including his debut CD is for solo marimba, Darkest Hour, two instructional percussion DVDs titled Congas Decoded and Elements of Synergy, and two percussion CDs, Osmosis and Conga Fantasy. He is endorsed by Pearl, Remo, and Pro-Mark. He received the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Composition/Theory from Austin Peay State University and the Master of Music degree in Music Theory/Composition from The University of Alabama. Jackson was the first musician to graduate as a recipient of the Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Fellowship with the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance from The University of Alabama in 2008.

Requiem for 9/11

Op. 45

Authored by Dr. Gregory J Jackson

Requiem for 9/11 was composed for the 10th anniversary of September 11th, a day that will always be remembered in U.S. history. It is a peace dedicated to those who lost their lives that day, and in the years after the attack, protecting our country and freedom. This is my 45th composition so I decided to write something about that tragic day. Although the events are quite different, the United States suffered another colossal attack on American soil at Pearl Harbor in 1941. On that day, World War II began for America, although the war was in progress between other countries. In 1945, the war ended, and thus the number connection of Opus 45. Major events happened in 1945 and 2011; justice being served to two major enemies of the United States that were responsible for so many deaths.
There are several times the numbers 9 and 11 are used. The time signatures are obviously in connection with the date of the attack, but there are also instances when the juxtaposition of dynamics and the number of 16th notes are indicative of the 9/11 motive. The piece begins in E minor, before settling in E-flat minor for the majority of the piece. This is done to mirror the cadence: Neapolitan 6, Dominant 7, Tonic 6. E minor acts as the enharmonic version of a N6 tonality, before moving to E-flat minor.
The dies irae appears in the beginning and a few more times in the piece. Although this piece is a Requiem, I did not use other portions of the Mass. The inspiration to write a Requiem comes from Benjamin Britten, while infusing elements of my compositional technique reminiscent of the works from Sergei Rachmaninoff and Frederic Chopin.
I chose to compose this piece for marimba because the instrument captures so many different emotions. The marimba can produce warm, lush sounds while exhibiting aggressive and violent attributes. The piece opens with the dies irae as an impending representation of tolling bells of death. I tried to combine the effects of an ominous tone and tranquility because no one except the terrorists realized the disaster that was to unfold. The chaotic section represents all that happened with the planes and also the battles that have taken place in the past decade. The solemn section is reflecting on the lives lost, which then builds to another climactic point in the piece.
Although the piece was completed May 2nd, I started working on the piece weeks before. On May 1st, the world heard the news that the mastermind of the September 11th attacks had been found. Osama bin Laden was eliminated. The end of the piece represents the conflict that occurred that night, followed by a small portion of "My Country tis of Thee" as a way of giving hope to all Americans and others in the world who have been victims of terrorist acts.
Requiem for 9/11 requires a 4.6 octave marimba, or low E, at the minimum. The performer should use discretion when choosing mallets for this piece; choose a mallet that provides enough articulation for fast passages and can handle roll passages. The sticking indications used for this piece are to serve as a guide for the performer, but the artist has freedom to alter the sticking patterns if necessary. I used the standard ordering of mallets that most composers use: "1" is for the outside mallet in the left hand, "2" is for the inside mallet in the left hand, "3" is for the inside mallet in the right hand, and "4" is for the outside mallet in the right hand.

Publication Date:
1461148944 / 9781461148944
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8" x 10"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Music / Musical Instruments / Percussion

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