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Three Rậga Melodies for Unaccompanied Violin, Op. 59 (1961)

This work was written in 1961, the same year as Alan Bush started work on his third opera, 'The Sugar Reapers', or to give it its continental title, 'Guyana Johnny'. The Indian and African populations of Guyana are characterised by the use of their respective national idioms.

The Three Raga Melodies were studies which Alan Bush undertook in preparation before writing the opera. The principle of the raga method of development is strictly followed in all three pieces. Each melody is written in a different one of the 72 scales of classical Indian music. In each of the thousands of ragas a particular sequence of notes occurs when the melody is rising, and a different sequence when it is falling. These three melodies all follow the strict rhythmic style of Indian music, the same time-signature being maintained from start to finish. Whereas the first and second are in scales which are identical with West European Aeolian and Dorian modes, the third scale is unknown in Western Europe and requires at times the use of the interval of the augmented third. The melodic principle of the raga is observed throughout, but that of the held bass note, invariable in classical Indian music has been abandoned.

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Index of Works

Major Works
Wat Tyler
Men of Blackmoor
The Sugar Reapers
Joe Hill - The Man Who Never Died
Orchestral Work
Symphony No. 1 in C
Symphony No. 2 'The Nottingham Symphony'
Symphony No. 3 'The Byron Symphony' with Baritone Solo and Mixed Chorus
Symphony No. 4 - Lascaux Symphony
Dorian Passacaglia and Fugue
Piano Concerto
Violin Concerto
Chamber Music
Dialectic for String Quartet
Concert Piece for Cello and Piano
Lyric Interlude for Violin Solo with Piano Accompaniment
Three Concert Studies for Piano, Violin and Cello
Piano Music
Twenty Four Preludes
Choral Music
'The Winter Journey' - A Christmas Cantata for Soprano and Baritone Solo, Mixed Chorus, String Quintet and Harp
Solo Song
'Voices of the Prophets' - Cantata for Tenor and Piano
'The Freight of Harvest' - Song Cycle for Tenor and Piano
'Life's Span' - Song Cycle for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano
'Woman's Life' - Song cycle for Soprano and Piano