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Crystal Oscillation

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Josh Trentadue

Josh Trentadue


Subtitle: For Soloist and Concert Band


General Info

Year: 2022
Duration: c. 3:00
Difficulty: V-VI (solo); II+ (ensemble) (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: M.O.T.I.F.
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $60.00 | Score Only (digital) - $35.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Solo Baritone Saxophone
Solo Euphonium
Solo Tuba
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II (optional)
Bassoon (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Euphonium
Tuba
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Brake Drum
  • Chimes
  • Cowbell
  • Drum Set
  • Egg Shaker
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks
  • Whip
  • Vibraphone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

When playing any type of video game, you've probably experienced at some point glitches, crashes, or even the game itself slowing down when a number of events occur instantaneously onscreen. Nowadays, these bugs can typically be fixed with either hardware or firmware updates. Back in the 1990s, however, it wasn't as easy to accomplish for even the most famous video game consoles of the era.

The SEGA Genesis (or Mega Drive, depending on where you live) includes in its hardware a crystal oscillator, a type of electronic circuit that has the ability to create electrical signals that can maintain a constant frequency by relying upon a vibrating crystal's mechanical resonance. What makes the Genesis stand out from its predecessors of the time, however, is that its hardware was intentionally built to be able to run on television sets in both America and Europe.

SEGA's hardware designers for the Genesis (and subsequently video game developers for the console) had the ability to output games from NTSC resolution (used in Japan and the majority of North America, with games running at 60 hz, or 30 frames per second) to full PAL resolution (used in much of Europe, with games running at 50 hz, or 25 frames per second). The Genesis is built with a custom Video Display Processor Chip that can switch between NTSC and PAL resolutions -- the main difference is which crystal oscillator frequency is used, with PAL models using a slightly smaller oscillator frequency than NTSC models.

Unfortunately, Genesis games ported to PAL resolution were purposefully slowed down in order to accommodate these differences and avoid major issues with performance, timing, and coding. This resulted in typically slower game speed (especially if multiple actions and effects instantaneously occurred onscreen), choppy frame rates, and letterbox effects if the screen resolution was left unchanged during the conversion process.

Crystal Oscillation creates an imaginary scenario of a major boss battle during a fast-paced video game suffering from these notoriously frustrating hardware issues, to the exasperation and annoyance of its soloist, who just wants to play the game.

My sincerest gratitude to Jonathan Steltzer and the Wayne County High School band program for commissioning this piece.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Media


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Wayne County (Jesup, Ga.) High School Symphonic Band (Jonathan Steltzer, conductor; Hannah Lantrip, tuba) - 17 May 2022 *Premiere Performance*


Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music


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