Pedal Music

2020 (5-movement suite for various instruments)

Performing Forces & Duration

Frame (20min)

Based on the opening theme of Handel’s Water Music – Suite No. 1, 1. Overture

String Quintet and Marimba Score (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola 1, Viola 2, Cello, 4-octave Marimba)
(Alternate arrangement for String Quartet and Marimba also available.)

Rim (20min)

Based on the opening theme of Handel’s Water Music – Suite No. 1, 8. Bourrée

Brass Quintet and Percussion Score (Trumpet 1, Trumpet 2, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Bass & Snare Drum)

Spoke (20min)

Based on the opening theme of Handel’s Water Music – Suite No. 2, 15. Bourrée

Woodwind Quintet and Xylophone Score (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon, Xylophone)

Inner Tube (20min)

Based on the opening theme of Handel’s Water Music – Suite No. 3, 21

Chain (Finale, 13min)

Based on the opening theme of Handel’s Water Music – Suite No. 3, 16

Large Ensemble Score – all instrumentation listed above

[please contact me for the parts]

  1. Pedal Music - Frame (midi demo) Frank Horvat 20:04
  2. Pedal Music - Rim (midi demo) Frank Horvat 20:05
  3. Pedal Music - Spoke (midi demo) Frank Horvat 20:04
  4. Pedal Music - Inner Tube (midi demo) Frank Horvat 20:03
  5. Pedal Music - Chain (Finale) (midi demo) Frank Horvat 12:39


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Programme Notes

Pedal Music is happy music that I composed to be enjoyed outdoors. Each movement takes its theme from Handel’s Water Music (1717) as a jumping-off point. As Handel’s piece was originally conceived as a work where musicians and audience moved as the piece is performed, so is Pedal Music, except instead of being on water, musicians are encouraged to perform the music as they move about on bicycles while the audience follows along on their bikes, by running, skateboarding, or simply by enjoying portions of the music as it passes by.

Unlike Water Music’s aristocratic leanings, Pedal Music’s intent is to be performed in public spaces for people from all walks of life to enjoy. This composition aims to break down the elitist roots of classical music by making a Pedal Music performance accessible to all. This is achieved through choice of transportation and the quotation and variation of Handel’s original thematic musical material.

The idea of musicians moving around on bikes while performing the piece is something intriguing to me. I believe we can propel ourselves forward with the push of a pedal. I believe that if we combine pedal power with music, we can make change for more livable communities and a healthier planet; change such as turning impersonal city streets and public places into a cultural refuge. My hope is that Pedal Music can help us realize how life can be more enjoyable outside our homes, outside our cars, and outside our concert halls, using our own power to enjoy the fresh air around us. This is where I hope the spirit of the music can help people feel the possibilities for themselves and the planet.

– Frank Horvat

Performance Notes

This work was conceived to have four separate chamber groups of bicycles, simultaneously traveling in different directions within one larger area, while performing their specific 20-minute movement. Musicians can be on the back of rickshaws, customized flatbed bike trailers connected to the back of a bike, or in the front of customized freight bicycles. For a 2-hour outdoor event, each group could loop their movement 5 times: 20min movement x 5 performances + 5 minutes of break time = 105 minutes. Then the four groups could congregate at a central location to perform “Chain”, the finale composition that combines all instrumentation from the first four movements.

The above 5 movements appear in the order in which they were composed. Each movement is considered an individual composition. Movements can be reordered or omitted. Musicians also have the option of performing Pedal Music in a conventional indoor or outdoor concert setting/manner.

Re-orchestration of each movement is possible to suit the performing forces available for a particular event/concert. Please email Frank for more information.

Commissioned by InConcerto

(Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, InConcerto’s world premiere performance of Pedal Music at the MúsicaOcupa Festival in Quito was canceled. Join Frank’s email list to receive updates on future performances of this composition.)

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the SOCAN Foundation:

Canada Council for the Arts

Toronto Arts Council  SOCAN Foundation

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