The Fields of Neier

24 Nov 2005

Opus 1, Composed late 2004 - February 2005. This was my first ever attempt at writing a rag, and resulted in a straightforward AABBCCDD form (no repeat of the A strain). It has its moments, I think, although I'd likely revise some things in the B strain at a minimum were I to revisit this today. I don't think I'd change much in the A, C or D, although the piece lacks a certain cohesiveness throughout. Then again, I have provided (below) a bit of a narrative for the piece, which I suppose allows me to compare it with, say, Joplin's "Wall Street Rag" (in the sense of providing four themes presented as done here). But, I'm not too worried about that, anyway. Regarding said narrative: Neier is an extremely small town in Franklin County, Missouri, about 5 miles southwest of where I grew up. It had fields in which to run around, a cemetery, and a church where they often held dances on summer nights. Those dances are specifically described in the trio, which explains the presence of a little Dr. John-style boogie. The first theme is sort of a simple folk melody in Ab, followed by a habanera section in Db, then the trio in F#, and a F# ending theme. By the way, the footage here in the video is public domain, from an television show called "The Old American Barn Dance" (1953).

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