On an Israeli Melody is a small chamber piece written for children.
This musical score developed from the initiative of Joana Amorim, professor of recorder and my colleague at the School of Music of the National Conservatory. Her proposal was simple: to expand the repertoire for the chamber ensemble composed of the young and talented instrumentalists that are listed below, and to whom the piece is dedicated:
Inês Rodrigues – recorder
Beatriz Bagulho – violin
Camila Robert – guitar
Rebeca Amorim - harp
As the name indicates, this small composition takes an Israeli melody as its point of departure. The original name of this melody is ma na vu.
In the original version this melody is the musical support of a dance. In the version I composed, there is no intention to preserve the metric integrity of the original.
In this version – for chamber ensemble – I wanted to use only the melodic potential of ma na vu, juxtaposing the melody with and superimposing the melody over invented material; material, which, at times, is derived from the original.The original melody is heard in the harp, flute and also in the guitar. The violin does not play the melody, since it has another function in the musical texture of this little piece. The technique of superimposing layers – clear in this sort of writing – attributes the violin with a special role in this context. There is also the intention of associating contrapuntal relationship between the voices with the kind of texture just mentioned. The goal that aided in the choice of this latter technique, and the kind of counterpoint used, was to create a context that would make the listener return to the sonorities of the past. Chords without thirds, dominant harmonies without leading tones, and II –I cadences contributed to this goal.
The absence, or near-absence of notational indications concerning articulation in this score has the objective of leaving various possibilities open on this level.
Since it is a piece for children, the necessity of pedagogic accompaniment during the work of reading and learning the written music is assumed. In my view, this absence of specification can contribute to a productive dialogue between teacher and student in the search for the articulations most appropriate to each moment in the piece. This will offer possibilities in accordance with the capacities of the student (whatever her stage of formation), instead of overly restricting the musical result, which could bring unnecessary difficulty to this little work.
Fernando N. Lobo (2008)