Arrangement: (n) the action, process or result of arranging or being arranged.
For a brief season in my life, I composed and also arranged music for a symphonic pops orchestra. It was a rather small operation, but every year there was one large gig, playing in front of about ten thousand people for the July 4th celebration.
I had already written my music for the occasion, and knew there would be a yearning for patriotic tunes to stir the spirit and also add melody and harmony to viewing the fireworks display.
So I sat down and took a look at all the great tunes of America, and rather than focusing on a single one, I tried to find the relationships these songs had with each other which would create a cohesion of thought and emotion, and make way for a delightful medley.
That’s what an arrangement is: it’s having the foresight and willingness to find out what actually does blend together instead of insisting that everything stand alone. (For instance, we are a better country when we look at ourselves as an arrangement rather than three hundred million individual wills clanging into each other.)
But anyway, back to my arrangement of patriotic tunes.
After using some of the more traditional ones, like the Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Star Spangled Banner, I started looking for songs that were a part of our country’s fabric but were maybe not completely in synchronicity with one another.
My mind floated to the Vietnam era. There were two very differing songs that came out of that conflict which represented opposing views. So I included them in my arrangement, and also made them intertwine in a way that was unique. The two songs were Blowin’ in the Wind and The Ballad of the Green Berets. It was astounding how this pair of battling ideologies merged so beautifully in the performance.
It was a glorious arrangement.
It was a reminder to me that the unique aspects of all creation are placed here so that we can find the similarities which determine our value to one another… and develop a supernal arrangement.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix