This is a second tune I wrote for Emily Dickinson’s Hope Is the Thing With Feathers.

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‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul— And sings the tune without the words— And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard— And sore must be the storm— That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land— And on the strangest Sea— Yet, never, in Extremity, It asked a crumb—of Me.


On a technical front, the beginning of the piece is in the Dorian mode, but the flattened sixth is introduced in some places for dramatic effect; the reprise is in the Mixolydian mode.  The bass line here is not really an independent melody but just a simple accompaniment (unlike the interpretation I posted earlier in Renaissance counterpoint).  I rendered it with some vocal percussion: bum, bum, bum, etc.  I’ve been working on the tune for a while and have gone through multiple iterations of smoothing out passages that felt difficult to sing. ■

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