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  • Holly Mead

Composing Music by William Russo: Chapter 1 / Exercise 2

The Cell



​Luckily for you, King Edrevol likes your first performance so much that he decides to spare your life and declares to the revelers at the feast, “we have a new court bard!” The Lorac burst into a communal uproar, hooting and banging their tankards on the long wooden tables. A chant begins from the back of the feast hall and is taken up by the entire congregation – “One more song! One more song!” It seems you have no choice. You take a deep breath, and begin.

You discover that by controlling the amount and speed of your breath, you can vary the octave of the four tones of the Imperial Flute, and you decide to use only the following two rhythms:


A melodic cell is a small group of notes that can be played in any order, in any octave.



When you finish your song, a chorus of throaty cheers and stamping boots erupt from the onlookers. You are shocked to see Edrevol wipe a tear from his hairy cheek. The king brandishes a lace handkerchief and dismisses you with a hardy nose-blow. The audience returns their attention to their vittles, and you are unsure of what to do until one of the king’s guards beckons for you to follow. She leads you away from the smoke and hubbub of the feast and out into the fresh night air.