Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: XII. “Genevieve Dances”

It’s been a while since I posted about my story as a “single” guy, and here’s one part of it.

Before I proceed, you should know the lady that has been for the most part the inspiration behind many of my solo piano improvisations from the past few days is NOT Genevieve. Genevieve is a friend of hers who, upon discovering that yours truly is a composer, issued a sort of challenge for me to write some music based on the name “Genevieve”. So, I went about figuring how to do it. I decided to use the name “Genevieve” as a melodic idea by assigning each letter notes or chromatic scale degrees. I made a diatonic and a chromatic version:

Letter Diatonic Chromatic
A 1 0
B 2 1
C 3 2
D 4 3
E 5 4
F 6 5
G 7 6
H 1 7
I 2 8
J 3 9
K 4 10
L 5 11
M 6 0
N 7 1
O 1 2
P 2 3
Q 3 4
R 4 5
S 5 6
T 6 7
U 7 8
V 1 9
W 2 10
X 3 11
Y 4 0
Z 5 1

After coming up with this table, I spelled out “Genevieve” with numbers from both diatonic and chromatic charts to come up with two tone rows:

G E N E V I E V E
7 5 7 5 1 2 5 1 5
6 4 1 4 9 8 4 9 4

The top row of numbers is the diatonic version and the bottom row is the chromatic version. I chose the chromatic row as melodic basis for my improvisation. To make things simpler for me, I used a C chromatic scale as a point of reference, and this led me to devise a melody that is based on both Db Major and Db Lydian, and so the melodic theme for “Genevieve” spells out F-Eb-Db-Eb-Ab-G(natural)-Eb-Ab-Eb. To get the mood of the piece right, I asked “Her” about a general overview of who Genevieve was as a person. She said Genevieve was a pretty girl, the heartthrob among her peers who was a ballet dancer. Genevieve was also described as nice but feisty and energetic. This made me decide how to go about the particular rhythms to form the melody and accompaniment for “Genevieve” as you will see in the video of my performance.

Oh, before I go off track, remember Genevieve’s lady friend? Things between us are going rather well. That’s all I can say for now.

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