Don’t be so rough

Burnell, Paul

About the work

Sometimes… some of us lack the ability to express tender emotions, well – tenderly. Through passion and excitement the intended emotion comes out as a yelled greeting, a bear hug, a quick hard kiss. The person on the receiving end of this may have to adopt an opposite expressive extreme to demonstrate tenderness more appropriately. Sometimes this works, sometimes…

First Performance: 2001

Technical notes

In 5 parts. Parts 1-3: instruments in different transpositions are directed to play from the same part, but should not transpose. Part 3 is written without a clef – performers imagine their usual treble, alto or bass clef. Part 3 also functions as a percussion part (untuned percussion). Groups of notes in part 4 may be suitable for timpani depending on the drums that are available. It is imagined that part 5 will be allocated to instruments that are easily able to play quietly. Again, part 5 does not contain a clef and players should imagine their usual treble, alto or bass clef. Any voices should hum part 5. There are also combined parts: 1+2, 3+4, 1+2+3+4. There should be an extreme contrast between parts 1-4 and part 5. Parts 1-4 can experiment with playing in different octaves. When part 5 enters it is in a different tempo to the others – but should be able to coordinate their tempo independently. It is not critical that everyone finishes at the same time.


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score & parts


Sample score



3m 38s




Flexible Ensemble
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