Jon Michael Spencer
Score of Hampton Institute Sonata The Hampton Institute Sonata was composed while Jon Michael Spencer was a student at Hampton University. This substantial four-movement work, written for alto saxophone and piano, reflects the ambition and drive of an enthusiastic young composer. The three extant movements, one, two, and four,  are labelled Allegro ma non troppo, Andante, and Rondo-Presto and are in the keys of A major, D major, and A major, respectively. The first movement contains technically challenging and florid writing in the solo part. Among meter shifts and frequent accidentals, the solo line contains many triplet, quintuplet, and sextuplet figures. The lovely melody of the second movement is often supported by jazz-influenced harmonies. This movement is light in texture and mood and contains many meter shifts and intricate rhythmic figures in both parts. The last movement is more subdued than the first, but no less driven by several occurances of ostinati in the base line. A large portion of the movement has its rhythmic basis in the uncommon meter of 7/4. Often considered a more rustic dance meter at faster tempos, its use in this work might be considered equally African- and European-influenced.

Original in the collections of the Hampton University Archives.

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