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Program Note


for flute and electronic sound

by Reginald Bain

Constellation (2015) for flute and electronic sound was inspired by patterns of stars–like the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major–that cultures have singled out as forming a picture on the celestial sphere, but whose individual stars are actually located at very different distances from earth. Analogously, the work is an exploration of pattern perception in the musical domains of pitch, rhythm, timbre and space. Notes are viewed by the composer as points that form associations, groups and clusters.

Constellation was written for flutist Jennifer Parker Harley who gave the world premiere on Friday, January 29, 2016 at the University of South Carolina’s Southern Exposure New Music Series Exposed Wiring V concert.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Music theorists use the term constellation to refer to a set of closed operations on an all-interval series (Morris and Starr 1974). A QI-invariant constellation governs the melodic and harmonic structure of the work.


Morris, Robert and Daniel Starr. 1974. "The Structure of All-Interval Series." Journal of Music Theory, 18/2 (Autumn, 1974): 364-89.

Updated: March 3, 2017