“On The Fly” presents “Unmeasured Prelude”

July "On The Fly"

July "On The Fly"

Washington, D.C. --

July’s edition of “On The Fly” proves that quite often simplicity yields beautiful results, as Master Sgt. Kathleen Fitzpatrick performs “Unmeasured Preludes,” Op. 27, No. 27, by composer Jacques Francois Gallay.

An unmeasured or non-measured prelude is one in which the duration of each note is left to the performer. “I love this piece because there are no bar lines, no tempo markings or dynamics, simply notes on a page,” Master Sgt. Fitzpatrick remarks. “It is completely up to the musician to interpret, and make an understandable, convincing soliloquy for the listener. In fact, one of my favorite teachers called it a musical puzzle and it is exactly that:  figuring out how to make sense of the grouping of the notes and translating it into a sensible musical piece.”

One of the best-known 19th century horn instructors, Gallay is rumored to have written the “Unmeasured Preludes” for his students at the Paris Conservatory, allowing them to develop their own musical expression as they prepared for their end-of-year assessments. 

“You will never hear this piece performed the same way by any two players,” says Fitzpatrick. “I hope the audience can both enjoy my interpretation and imagine their own.”

Capturing moments of daily life for members of The U.S. Air Force Band, the “On The Fly” video series was created to provide an insider's look at the many talents and capabilities of these Airmen Musicians, and how they inspire American citizens, honor our service men and women, and impact our global community every day. 

Check out Master Sgt. Fitzpatrick’s performance here: