Piano Sonata

The Kid and the Man
Clever Cheung

The Compositional Scheme

A. The idea of this work came from the scene when I was relaxing in a hotel lobby in a Sunday afternoon. A man sat opposite me on the sofa. While watching the kid who was playing around happily, he sometimes smoked and sometimes meditated, seemingly recalling his childhood and saying in his heart that "He is doing things I used to do and he thinks they are new". The different mentalities of the kid and the man creating the circumstance that inspired me to write this piece of music.

B. The Tonal System (Bela Bartok's System) is based on the Functional Affinities of the 4th and 5th degrees:

(i). The series of 5th -- F - C - G - D - A - E - ... ;

(ii). Suppose taking C as Tonic, the above 5th series will corresponds to the functional series S - T - D - S - T - D..., where:

S = Sub-Dominant;
D = Dominant.

(iii). The circle of 5th gives the Axis System:


(iv). The two contrasting characters (the kid and the man) lie on the opposite poles of the Principle Branch of the Tonic Axis:


(v). All poles are interchangeable with their counterparts without affecting their functions:

* The high-tension chord describes the "smoke" ( a bad or evil thing that is harmful to our health) and it also acts as a common dominant of the two poles because of its "tritone"--


(vi). Therefore the Tonal Area of this sonata is as follows:


C. The music starts with the atmosphere of the hotel lobby - bright and gay - and then the happy theme of the playing kid followed by the one in adagio tempo representing the melancholy man.
----In the development section, the composer assumes that the man was recalling his childhood, so the music there takes the bright tempo as that of the kid - the major seventh chord, CEGB, can give the bright and gay feeling and is the right sound to describe the fresh and active character of the little kid.
----The two different characters reappear in the recapitulation part and then disappear. The music ends with the composer himself sitting there, thinking...


~ The End ~