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Bump and Grind


 for Concert Band

Composed 1990—2004—February 10 to March 6, 2015
Duration: about 6 minutes 45 seconds            cover photo: Theda Bara and friend

This is the last movement of Popular Music of Planet X. It is offered as a separate piece.

Full Score, PDF        Cover    

Parts (single side)       Piano part (f&b)    Synth MP3  

Allegro burlesque: More Bump: Tempo I: Dolce: More Bump



          In 1990 I wrote several works for my friend Fred Robinson who was the composer/arranger at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. Among these was a work for jazz band, The Popular Music of Planet X in three “Books”. The idea was the rather whimsical one that somewhere among the myriad planets there could be a civilization where the prime incentive for the music industry was not mercenary. Clearly such a planet must be far far away. The Air Force didn’t seem to appreciate the effort, and the score and parts were returned. (When you bomb with the Air Force….you REALLY BOMB!) 

          Come summer of 2004 and I once again was writing music, and turned my attention to the old PMPX. I made many major alterations and had a brand new version. However, this work remained unperformed, difficult to play, and of no interest to jazz bands. Thus in 2015 I decided to try again; the piece is now for concert band, which is much better suited to the idiom. The only surviving movement from the old version is much of Bump and Grind, which is the last part of PMPX.

          I am offering Bump and Grind as a separate work, since the larger PMPX might be too long to fit on many programs, or to submit to composition contests. (This particular work is one of my most ironic, as my personal life has been just about the opposite of hedonistic. But then, Herman Melville didn’t need to be a whale to write Moby Dick.)

          Considering that this is my personal vision of what music intended for mass consumption would be in a more ideal world, I’ve allowed myself to allow the influence of jazz and blues in a rather obvious manner. However, as all of my music, this is strictly in the classical tradition, with no improvisation, and to be treated in the same way as other “serious” art music—even, and perhaps especially, when it’s intended to be for fun. This piece could fit on either classical or pops concerts.


Performance Notes

          The String Bass part is intended for an acoustic bass, as there are bowed passages. An electric bass may not be used in its stead. If an electronic keyboard is used instead of an acoustic piano, it should have a concert grand piano sound. However, the preference is strongly in favor of a real piano. Accidentals hold through the measure and not beyond. This is a C score with the usual transpositions in the parts. If a conductor requires a transposed score, I will provide one, with considerable grumbling.