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Sparrow

A piece for double bass by Joe Bates


Performance Directions
Duration – c. 9'
Scordatura
This piece uses scordatura, tuning the strings as indicated below. The score is presented in two
parts, both of which use the customary octave transposition. The upper line shows the
sounding pitches; the lower line shows the scordatura transpositions.

  
   
Accidentals
Stein-Zimmerman quartertones and conventional accidentals are used to indicate a
24-tone equal temperament.


These are combined with Extended Helmholtz-Ellis notation:


A syntonic comma lowers the note by 14c, to be in tune with the fifth harmonic.

A septimal comma lowers the note by 32c, to be in tune with the seventh harmonic.
Harmonics
The harmonics are numbered such that the unaltered string is 1, the octave is 2, the compound
fifth is 3, and so on. This system is illustrated in the harmonics chart below, which also serves to
demonstrate the combined accidentals.

Slur and Overslur


All slur lines are intended as phrase marks. They need not indicate precise bowings.
Overslur is indicated with a performance direction and laissez-vibre ties. When overslurred,
notes should overlap using double stops. The approximate duration of overlap is shown in the
Sounding Pitch part. They should never last longer than a crotchet.
Piu vibrato
Dotted crescendo and diminuendo markings indicate changes in the intensity of vibrato. These
changes should swell and recede steadily, effecting both the width and the speed of the vibrato.
Pull-offs and Taps
Some pizzicato techniques are indicated using guitar notation:
P "Pull Off." After an initial pizzicato, further pitches are generated by removing the fingers
of the left hand.
T "Tap." A pitch is created by tapping the left hand at the indicated pitch on the fingerboard.
Caesuras
The caesuras, marked , are of free length. An effort should be made to create continuity
between the sections by letting the final notes before the caesuras ring on.
Tremolos
The tremolos should be treated like classical ornamentation, with their beginnings and endings
shaded off in terms of speed and dynamic to maintain the continuity of the phrase.
Stylistic note
The melodic phrasing ought to be prioritised throughout. The piece should have a strong sense
of linear continuity. Ruptures, such as in the section marked "Wildly, Even Freer" (bars 126-133)
need not be exaggerated.
Programme note
I wrote this piece during the 2020 COVID-19 Crisis. Isolating with my partner and three friends
in a small flat, we often convened on a roof. It overlooks a busy train line, from which a
sprawling buddleia grows, and a row of gardens. Between the high-backed Victorian houses
and the railway line, these form a canyon ruled by small birds. It was funny to me to depict
these tiny birds on such a large instrument. Of course, a sparrow is, to itself, perfectly large, and
its flitting filled with drama.
This piece is dedicated to those friends, in thanks for my time at Maygrove Road.
Sparrow was written for Marianne Schofield, as part of the Riot Ensemble's 2020 Zeitgeist
Commissions, in collaboration with Zeitgeist and the PRS Foundation.

Version 15th July 2020


Sparrow
Joe Bates

      
     

Freely, sorry-glad ( = c. 88)
  
 

 
Sounding Pitch

    
        
3.I

  
4.III 4.II 4.I
pizz. 3.I 4.II 4.III 4.II 3.I 4.II


  

Scordatura

7      
   
 




  


      
  
          
  
4.II 4.I 4.II 4.IV 3.II 3.I 4.IV 4.III 4.II 5.II 4.II 4.III 3.I

 
 

 

15     

   
      




 

          
   
6.I


 
  
5.I

 
3.I 4.III 4.IV 3.IV 3.III 3.II 4.II 4.III 4.I

 
 




21      
       
    

             
 
   
I 4.IV 4.III 4.II 3.I 4.IV 4.II 3.I 3.II 4.III
vib. espressivo
 


 

Sparrow 5

29      


                
 





    3.I3.II
               3.III
4.I

 
4.II

  
4.III 4.II

              
2.IV 3.III 3.II 3.IV 4.III 6.IV
4.III 4.IV 4.III 2.IV 3.III 3.II 3.IV 4.III 3.IV
3.III

  
4.IV



  


        

34  
               
    







  3.II  3.II
  3.III    4.III
   4.IV
3.I 3.I

            
3.II

   
3.IV 2.IV 3.IV 3.III 2.III 3.III 4.III 4.III 7.IV 4.III 4.II

         
3.IV 4.IV







     

39     
          

   




  3.II   2.II
         2.III
2.I

  
7.IV 3.III 2.I

         
6.IV 2.III 2.II 2.I 2.II

  
2.III








6 Sparrow

43             

    
Slightly slower ( = c. 76)

      II I     
    
II II

 
I
III I II
arco II


 piu vib.    

      
 
 
  

         



49



    
 
   II     
I


 
overslur

  
I

  
I II I III


I II I II
II


II I II


  


54        

       





    II   
II    
(overslur)


I II


I II II III

   
I


 



58       
          

 


     I
I
II

 
  
     
I



   
  
Sparrow 7

  
62      
calando poco a poco

      
           

          IV     
  
4.IV

  
III 3.III

  
3.IV

    
4.IV 3.IV 4.IV 3.III 2.III IV

 
III IV


 decresc. al niente

             
67            
  

2.III  
             3.III
 
       IV
5.IV


3.III 4.IV

    
4.IV

  
3.IV 2.IV III
IV


IV
III

72        
         

  2.III
  I 
   
2.II

        
2.III
IV III
IV III IV


8 Sparrow

76    
 
Tempo II ( = c. 76)

         

      
       
I
III

 
I II
IV


   

83  
     
                
 

 
               
overslur
II III
II I II II I
III



    

87


   

      

   
  



II



  
I III

   
vib. espressivo

  
III



II IV

 
  
III II II I III


   

93     
        
       

     IIIII IIIII
  
II I

      
III II

    
III

 
IV


  
Sparrow 9

    
100
        
        

        
II II II

    
III I III

 
III
IV

     
 piu vib.

107          
           
   
 

            
 
II I

  
II III II II

 
I

  
I

  
  

111      
           
      

     
II

    
I

 
I

  
II I II

    
I II II


III

  
 
piu vib.

116              
 
      

  
  

            
  
II I II

 
III II I I
II

  
II

   

 
I


   
  
10 Sparrow

    
121      
 
     
   
   
 

    
      
6.2

  
7.III

 
3.I 4.II 8.3

   
3.II

  
4.II

    
   

  
    
 
 
 
Wildly, even freer

126      

pizz.

         

  

   

    





     3.III
6.I 6.II 6.III

     II  III  IV 
I

 
pizz.

 
II


4.II 3.I 3.II


         
I III

  

2.II P

 
III IV


 
P III

   
IV
IV




  possibile


129     
       




    


  










4.I 4.II 3.III
 3.IV     3.IV
 2.I 2.III

I

   
II

  
4.II 4.IV

   
III 4.III



 
IV



      










131       
          
 
   
        















           
I
II

                
I III

    
P II II
P III IV

             
III III
IV


possibile












Sparrow 11

  
Freely, sorry-glad ( = c. 76)

134

 
    
  


 



3.I 3.II 2.III
      
            

2.IV

 
2.I 2.II 3.III 3.IV



2.IV 3.III 3.II 3.IV 4.III 6.IV

  
I I


T II I


    


138
    
  
    
 

   




 
    2.I 2.II 3.III


      
        
2.I 2.II 3.III 3.IV

 
3.IV


2.IV 3.III 3.II
3.IV 4.III 3.IV


(I) I
III I


T T


 
   

142 
   

      
  


  
    
    
5.II

 
6.II 6.III

 
2.I 2.II 6.IV 6.III


3.III 6.IV


T
arco

 

 sempre

148   
    
 
 

  
  
  
 
7.II 7.III 7.IV

  

6.I


7.III


7.III 6.II



12 Sparrow

    



 
 


152

      

7.III

   
7.II
7.I 7.II

 
9.III 9.II





       


 


156

  
  
10.II

  
8.II 9.II 10.III

    
7.I 7.II

