C.10-16, and 23 - The "Melodies" (Book 1)

Composed: ~April to December 2012

     More youthful arrogance saw my attempt at rivalling Bach’s Inventions and Sinfonias, in these little harpsichord pieces I simply entitled "Melody no.[x] in [key]". I wrote these towards the end of my time at secondary school, and in the beginning of my first year at college. It originally started as a single harpsichord piece in G major, but I stretched it out into a “book” and wrote a small piece in each of the sharp major keys and C major. I had intended to do three more “books” to write a small harpsichord piece in each respective key for the flat major, sharp minor and flat minor keys, but as you will soon read about, I did not get very far with these, only getting partially through "Book 2" (again, thankfully so!). Here is the complete chronological order of the book 1 melodies, following the circle of fifths and all played at 100 beats per minute:

  • C.10 - "Melody No.2 - G"

  • C.11 - "Melody No.1 - C"

  • C.12 - "Melody No.3 - D"

  • C.13 - "Melody No.4 - A"

  • C.14 - "Melody No.5 - E"

  • C.15 - "Melody No.6 - B"

  • C.16 - "Melody No.7 - F#"

  • C.23 - "Melody No.8 - C#" - (Written later than the others towards the end of 2012)

     I remember being rather fond of Melodies No.1, 2, and 3 - not coincidentally the earliest "Melodies" I wrote - which I still find whimsical and almost comedic to this day. The latter "Melodies" begin to subside in quality rather quickly, which is probably one of the reasons I decided to stop with this idea. Nonetheless, here they are. Quite ironically, several of the melodies aren't truly in their designated key (No.6 for example seems to draw closer to E than B!) and almost all of them venture into incredibly distant keys.

     I remember showing "Melody No.3 in D" to one of my music teachers as he stumbled past a practice room. I felt so proud of what I had written, I arrogantly compared it to Bach as my youthful self would do!

     "Melody No.7 in F#" was by no means inspired by Bach's Trio-sonata in E-flat major BWV 525/3 (of course I'm kidding). There are a lot of noticeable sequential similarities demonstrating how much of an influence Bach's Trio-sonata was on this "Melody".

     The last of this set, "Melody No.8 in C#", was written much later in the year, for reasons I can’t recall – although probably because I was disheartened by the quality of the other later melodies that I soon lost motivation to continue, but felt obligated to at least finish this set.

Reminiscence written on 6th May 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw