Paul Burnell

The Time Machine (Excerpts), an Accompanied Reading, for ensemble and narrator

Paul Burnell
H. G. Wells
Paul Burnell
Classical / Contemporary
Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello, Acoustic guitar, Voice, Narrator, Keyboard, Handbells, Percussion
Type of score
1 to 6 from 6
Year of composition

Composed 2017. One of a series of fourteen accompaniments to texts published between the years 1886 and 1899.
Duration 30:00
For narrator and ensemble

Text from the novella by H.G. Wells (1866 - 1946) published in 1895

The subtitles for each of the six movements are:
Part 1 -the Model
Part 2 -the Journey
Part 3 - the Eloi

Part 4 - the Morlocks
Part 5 - the Eclipse
Part 6 - the Ghost

'The Time Machine' is a science fiction novel by Herbert George Wells, published in 1895. H. G. Wells is commonly credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel - using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel intentionally and selectively backwards or forwards in time.

Ensemble instrumentation:
Keyboard(s) - accordion, organ, glass harmonica, vibraphone, piano, toy piano, etc.
Flute or tenor/bass recorder

Violin or viola or violincello.

Wine glass 1 tuned to Bb
Wine glass 2 tuned to C - ideally a minor seventh below wine glass 1

Handbells, three players using bows and beaters:
Voice or guitar (acoustic, electric or bass guitar)

Percussion - Suspended cymbal, low drum(s), whirly tube(s), ‘found’ resonant instruments, plastic bag(s), singing bowl, guiro(s)

There is no overall score. Performers (except percussion) play from a series of graphic scores. The percussion parts are written in more traditional notation.

It is not necessary for the ensemble to contain all the instruments. If all instruments are available then the ensemble may vary the instrumentation, or omit instruments, for each of the movements, or within movements.

The dynamic balance between players should be sympathetic to the forces available. This may mean, for example, that an accordion is muted or sited away from the other players. Effects such as reverberation or distortion may be applied to the instrumental sounds. Variety of expression is encouraged.

The narrator’s text readings must each have a duration of under five minutes.
For each of the six movements the ensemble begins playing one minute after the speaker.
 It is allowed for the movements to be performed as single pieces, and without the narration.

Upload date
31 Aug 2017


Sheet music file
7.95 USD
PDF, 11.11 Mb (89 p.)


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