Lydian Invention

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After nearly two decades of writing distinctive audition etudes for middle school, high school, and community college honor bands in Louisiana and Mississippi, MSU Associate Director of Bands Clifton Taylor has a large collection of original melodies that sometimes reappear in other forms.  A fanfare for brass and percussion, Lydian Invention is a contrapuntal treatment of a theme that was lifted directly from the Mississippi Lions All State Sight Reading Etude written for the second round in 2002.  The “Lydian” of the title refers directly to the Lydian mode in which the fourth note of the major scale is raised one half-step.

Presented in an A-B-A form, the piece begins with trumpets quoting the theme as the subject of an episode of imitative counterpoint, answered by the trombones in the submediant key, rather than the traditional dominant.

The theme, and its component motives, provide the inspiration for the remainder of the opening section, culminating in a cadence with an unresolved Lydian fourth suspended in the euphonium.  The tranquil middle section is based on a straightforward presentation of the first four notes of the Lydian mode, eventually incorporating the original theme in counterpoint.  A recapitulation of the opening section leads to a final cadence in which the trumpet directly quotes the closing theme from the original Lions Band etude.