Personality Disorder Suite

Uploaded on Nov 30, 2018

Personality Disorder Suite

This Suite is consisted of 7 movements, arranged in the personality disorders respective clusters. For times sake, I didn’t do the following: Histrionic, Borderline, and Dependent, the first to being in Cluster B and dependent being in Cluster C. This piece is supposed to give you a sense of understanding towards these disorders in that it attempts to display what goes on in the mind of someone with the disorder.

The prelude, or introduction sets the key and scale that will be used throughout the piece


This movement is in A Ukrainian Dorian because of its harmonically versatile ability. The accompaniment is consistent throughout the piece, being and A half-diminished arpeggio in the tenor and baritone voices. The bass voices drone either an A or G, acting as the base of the paranoia. The melody is simply the A Ukrainian Dorian scale descending. Each time the melody is repeated, it is added to a voice an octave higher, representing the increasing thoughts running through someone’s mind. Along with that, every time the melody is repeated, a new harmonic line is added. The driving force of this movement is the bass drum. The bass drum plays 2 sixteenth notes on every down beat, acting as a heart beat. The tempo and dynamics are always increasing, to represent the racing thoughts of a paranoid person. The movement ends with a loud and abrupt chord, while the bass voices play a descending line, ending on D# to create dissonance from the base note “A”. This represents the paranoid person’s breaking point from the intrusive thoughts.

This movement starts directly after Paranoid. It keeps the same accompaniment as the movement before, (but now only in the piano), in 3/4 and has a tritone (A and D#) played in the bass as opposed to just an “A”. The melody played by the “Schizoid”, which is represented by the F Tuba, is the same as the melody in Paranoid. What makes this different is what comes after the melody. The piano and choir have a melody in “A Lydian”, which is a much brighter key. This contrast represents the view of the of the schizoid vs. the “normal” world. Every time the tuba plays the melody, it starts on a lower note that before, continuing until it plays a D# as the first note. The “normal world” voicing has a new harmony added to it every time it is repeated, to reaffirm the “normality”. The movement ends with the tuba playing a descending line in half notes, to represent the Schizoid’s slip into their own world, with no concern for the “normal world”.

This movement is the most unique of the bunch. The melody is just the scale, same as the other movements in this cluster, but the rhythm and general feel is totally different. The scale is played by the Bass, Soprano and Piccolo Oboe, who just play the scale up and down, increasing in speed as it goes on. The piece is in 7/4, which is a very uncommon time signature. The harp and celesta play a 16th note flourish in the soprano register, to give an “odd and mystical” feeling. The oboes eventually stop and a new melody is taken over by the strings. The piece changes between 7/4, 5/4, 3/4 and 11/8, to give the same unstable and “odd” feeling. This is to represent the Schizotypal’s seemingly odd nature.The piece ends very abruptly, with the horns holding a chord, leading to the next movement.


This movement is much more simple than the previous melodies. It is the same chord played by the strings (except cello), harp and bassoons (except bassoon 1). The cello and bassoon 1 play a simple melody, which is then echoed by the clarinet. This idea repeats throughout the piece. There are hidden and not so hidden dissonances which are to represent the Sociopath’s attempt at superficial charm. After the first large cycle of the piece, a brass band which is placed off-stage can be heard playing the theme from the next movement “Narcissism”. This represents the lack of care from the sociopath, and their cynical behavior.

This melody is the same as what the brass band plays in “ASPD”, just a descending “A Ukrainian Dorian” scale in 6/4. This movement is written in 6/4, but feels like it should be in 9/4. Most phrases end in 9/4. This hemiola gives the feeling of stubbornness that is eventually dismissed. The melody is only ever played by brass instruments to give the bombastic, cynical feeling that comes from a narcissist.


Obsessive Compulsive
This piece is a simple fugue between the violin, viola and bass. This piece is just made up of 3 sections of 3 sections of 3 (not a typo).
A melody played in 3 measures of 5/4, followed by 3 measures of 3/4 that repeat the same motif 3 times This same idea is repeated 3 times, and makes up the first section.

This whole idea is repeated 3 times, but is disrupted by a wrong note that most people would not notice. When this happens, a loud dissonant chord is played, followed by the “Knock of death” (3 loud repeated notes).

The second section is all in 3/4 following the same format as the first section

The piece ends with a confusion of time, it is written in 3/4 but feels like a mixed meter
This piece has little depth the represent the baselessness of the OCPD’s repetitive actions. I chose to do things in 3’s and 5’s because I have a cousin who does things in this manner.

This movement is the most distinct movement, as it doesn’t really fit the flow of the whole suite. It is a piano solo, playing a simple and empty sounding nocturne. This emptiness is to represent and Avoidant person’s feeling of inadequacy and want for refuge. This movement marks the end of the suite. There is also a version of this where it is played by a flute ensemble.

What’s Missing
Due to technical problems, I could not finish “Borderline”, which was a just a combination of a few of the other movements played by small instrument ensembles, such as saxophones, trumpets, mallets and electronic & strings.This was to represent a borderline person’s lack of identity and self care.

Histrionic was also not finished. This was a combination of a saxophone septet and string septet. I used the saxophones to represent histrionic because saxophones don’t generally belong in the orchestra, and having saxophones against strings was a classic case of what does and doesn’t fit. The soprano saxophone was “attempting” to be the most grandiose, because it needed to be the center of attention, no matter the cost.

Dependent was similar to Avoidant, in that it doesn’t follow the structure of the suite and was a nocturne. Instead of a solo instrument, it starts with specialty instruments attempting to solo, but failing because they needed support. This movement uses a theremin, glass harmonica, 2 musical saws, celesta and harpsichord.

Pages 12
Duration 18:23
Measures 491
Key signature natural
Parts 59
Part names Piano, Percussion(10), Flute(2), Oboe(3), Guitar(5), Clarinet(2), Soprano Saxophone(3), Alto Saxophone(2), Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone(2), Bass(3), Strings(5), Voice(5), Trombone, Brass Ensemble, Tuba(2), Timpani, Synthesizer(4), Bassoon, English Horn, Other Woodwinds(2), French Horn, Violin
Privacy Everyone can see this score
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