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Cajun Folk Songs Essay, Research Paper

Karl L. King

Karl L. King’s distinguished career as a bandmaster, prolific composer and

musician made him a legend in his own lifetime. All who knew him remember his quick

wit and sense of humor.

Karl joined Robinson’s Famous Circus at the age of 19 as a baritone player. He

joined the circus world at a time when the acts were in great need of a special music

since the standard music did not fit. Karl King was a master at writing music to match the

rhythm of the acts. He quickly rose to leadership positions in some of the most famous

circus bands in the country, including the Buffalo Bill and the Barnum and Bailey. He

contributed more circus marches than any other composer. Aerial waltzes and circus

gallops were his specialty.

Cajun Folk Songs

Title: Cajun Folk Songs Level: Grade 3 1/2

Composer/Arranger: Frank Ticheli

Publisher: Manhatten Beach Music

Classification: Folk Song

Instrumentation: Full

Source: Poppler’s Music Inc.

General Comments: This is a wonderful arrangement of Cajun Folk Songs, by Frank

Ticheli. “La Belle et la Capitaine”, the title of the first song, is a very lyrical and

expressive song, and contains a solo alto saxophone line that is repeated and built upon

by the ensemble. “Belle”, the second song, is upbeat, and contains syncopation. This

movement is more difficult as far as technical passages, and could be considered a grade

4. This piece is also quite expensive, but it is well worth it.

The “Belle” part of the piece is about a man who goes to Texas and hears of his

girlfriend’s illness which makes him return to Louisiana. When he returns he finds her

unconscious, He sells his horse to save her, and it doesn’t help. Some melodies are added

and are not part of the ’story’ of the music and are just added to add more of a variety to

the music.

Frank Ticheli

Frank Ticheli (born 1958 in Monroe, Louisiana) currently lives in Los Angeles

where he is an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Southern

California. From 1991 to 1998 he was Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony

Orchestra in Orange County, California. His works for orchestra, concert band, solo

voice, and chamber ensembles have been performed throughout North America, Europe,

Asia, South America, and Australia.

Ticheli’s awards include the Charles Ives Scholarship and Goddard Lieberson

Fellowship, both from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, First

Prize in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, the Frances

and William Schuman Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, and the Ross Lee Finney

Award. The Pacific Symphony Orchestra’s KOCH label recording featuring Ticheli’s

RADIANT VOICES and POSTCARD received an honorable mention at the 1994

national Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD).

His eleven compositions for wind ensemble and concert band have been

performed widely throughout the world, and have been awarded several prizes including

the 1989 Walter Beeler Price, and First Prize in the eleventh annual “Symposium for New

Music” held in Virginia. He has received commissions and grants from Chamber Music

America, The American Music Center, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Chorale,

Prince George’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Adrian Symphony, City of San Antonio,

Stephen F. Austin State University, University of Michigan, Trinity University, Indiana

Bandmasters Association, Worldwide Concurrent Premieres, Inc., and others.

Frank Ticheli received his doctoral and masters degrees in composition from The

University of Michigan where he studied with William Albright, George Wilson, and

Pulitzer Prize winners Leslie Bassett and William Bolcom. His works are published by

Manhattan Beach Music, Encore Music, and PP Music Publishers, and are recorded on

the labels of Koch International Classics, Klavier, and Mark Records.

How to play this piece of music

Clarity, transparency, and momentum are the important factors in order to

preserve its dance-life effect. In the second piece the range of 160-168 works the best for

the tempo of this piece. In the second piece the melody should be played as if you were

‘dancing.’

-DrSamuels


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