Gavel Patter

Score title

Gavel Patter


Libby Larsen

More about the composer



Program note

Gavel Patter, for four-hand piano, results from the investigation I have been making of finding musical form in American language traditions. Finding unusually strong rhythm and flow in American auctioneering patter, it occurred to me to compose music which uses auctioneering patter as its musical material. Gavel Patter uses auctioneers’ styles, pitches, timing, and complex rhythms to propel it. I have also incorporated a ‘run to the close’ in which the auctioneer, with the help of a partner placed out on the auction floor, plays two bidders off against each other at high speed in order to drive the bidding up to the close with the loud rap of the gavel.

— Libby Larsen, March 2007