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The Nativity

Dave Harris

Ashley-John Long

Dave Harris is currently studying for a degree in composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. He combines the classical, jazz, and folk traditions of many countries and cultures to explore new combinations of styles and genres in his writing, and is especially interested in bringing together distinctive musical identities to investigate how they can compliment each other. As a performer, he works with Funk and Pepper, a jazz funk fusion band; and the Provocation ensemble, an electro-acoustic group.


Dununba ALTOP061

The dununba is a traditional dance from the Maninka ethnic group, originating in the Hamana, in the Kouroussa region of Upper Guinea.

It is essentially a fertility dance, traditionally performed by young men who use it to display to their betrothed and the other important people of the community their vitality and bravery. It is a violent and athletic dance involving risky stunts, although in some areas it is practiced more peacefully. Women participate with their own roles too. There are many different variations of the dununba rhythm; this piece uses two.

The goal of this piece was a cross-cultural fusion; a traditional Guinea dance combined with octatonicism, straight from the harmonic language of twentieth-century Western music. As such, in the music there are moments of pure rhythm to bookend the music, with an extensive section of melodic development in the centre, based on chord clusters and pitches from the octatonic scale (D, E, F, G, Ab, Bb, B, C#).

This music should be played frenetically and aggressively and, especially in the improvisation section, there should be a feeling of barely maintained control.

Player 1 - Claves, 2 Timpani, Guiro, Marimba
Player 2 - 3 Tom-Toms, Xylophone, Vibraphone
Player 3 - Bass Drum, 3 Temple Blocks, Marimba
Player 4 - Tam-Tam, 3 Tom-Toms, Glockenspiel, Congas

Duration: 5 minutes

Full Score and Set of Parts
Price: £14.95