For double bass and guitar

Program notes

            PACSOG III is the third of three pieces loosely modeled after the Baroque dance suite, particularly the layout used by J. S. Bach in his six suites for unaccompanied cello.  The word is a mnemonic made up of the first letters of the movement types in order.  Prelude, Allemande, etc.  Generations of music majors have used this to remember the disposition of these movements.

            A Prelude is optional, but when included took many forms.  It is often not dance-like.  Mine is a free fantasia.

The Allemande is a dance in moderate tempo, in duple or quadruple meter.  The opening almost always features a single pickup note, or a group of three pick up notes, before the first downbeat.  Interior phrases often begin with pickup notes as well.  I have followed these conventions.

The Courante is a lively dance in triple meter.  Like the allemande, it frequently begins with a pickup note or notes.

The Sarabande is a slow, stately dance in triple meter, often very expressive.  It frequently features a long note on the second beat of the measure, a feature I have adopted.  It is the only genuinely serious movement of the set.

The “Other” movement (sometimes called “Optional”) was freely chosen from many possibilities extant during the Baroque.  I have used the very unBach-ish jota, a Spanish dance in a sprightly tempo, which displays typically Spanish rhythmic devices.  More typical choices would be a minuet and trio, a bourée, or a gavotte, although there are many possibilities.

The Gigue (the word relates to the English “jig”) is a lively dance in compound meter, in which the beats are divided into three equally spaced notes rather than the two found in simple meter. 

PACSOG III was written in 2022 for my long-standing friends and colleagues, Stephen Mattingly and Sidney King, both of whom have long championed my music.

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