Line Dancing

Matheson, Iain


6m 30s






ob, trp, trb, vc (or alternatives)


Contact CoMA

About the work

A single melodic line dances – not just between different notes, but between different instruments, which play just one note each. From time to time each player tries to assert their own melodic virtues, but only for three or four notes. They they try another approach, overlapping notes to form clusters; but these too collapse back into the relentless group melody. The rhythm is mostly constant, with a few hiccups.

Technical notes

The piece is easier with a conductor, but quite possible without. For the most part it is an exercise in fitting single notes into a continuous melody between parts, perhaps a bit like bell-ringing. Instrumentation is optional – other instruments with a similar range could be used e.g. flute, clarinet, tenor sax, bassoon, or of course string quartet. The piece can be played with more than one player per part.


Call for Pieces Entry: The State of the Nation 1998