Four Letters

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Variable: Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Oboe, or Flute
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Program Notes:

This composition is based on the Myers-Briggs® personality test. The test assigns the taker four letters, one from each category of two, based on their responses to various questions. These four letters attempt to define the individual’s personality. A movement was written for each of the eight possible letters. The soloist is to perform the 4 movements in the order that corresponds with their own personal Myers-Briggs® personality type, resulting in 16 possible unique combinations of movements. For example, the premier of the composition by commissioner Chandler Davis (video below), was composed of “E” representing Extrovert, “N” for Intuition, “F” for Feeling, and “P” for Perceiving.

E- Extroverts turn outward, act before reflecting, and actively pursue a breadth of knowledge. This movement covers a breadth of material in an assertive and uninhibited style.

I- Introverts turn inward, reflect before acting, and seek after a depth of knowledge. This movement explores the extreme depth of a single idea that wells into a burst of confident energy before receding again.

N- Intuitive individuals seek a broad context of information, but ultimately trust their instincts when making decisions. This movement features elements of chance and improvisation.

S- These realistic individuals use their Senses to gain information. They focus on details and trust in common sense and experiences. This movement is very tactile and detail oriented.

T- “Thinkers” are logical and consistent, preferring to reason through issues before making decisions. The theme of this movement undergoes constant renovation and logical development.

F- “Feelers” are empathetic and caring, preferring to solve problems using personal emotions and values. The theme of this lyrical movement begins reserved before growing to a passionate outburst.

J- Judging individuals prefer to make a plan and stick to it, to be organized, and to achieve results in a predictable, systematic way. This movement features a ritornello that is firmly seated in a groove.

P- Perceiving individuals prefer to “go with the flow”, and adapt to whatever a situation demands. This movement flows effortlessly though many disturbances and interruptions.