Contemplation was composed as a personal response to the loss of a dear friend. I chose to base the piece on a musical motif that has been around for centuries to represent sadness or grief: the chromatic fourth. This melodic fragment covers a perfect fourth, with all the intervals in the descending line being present from the tonic to the dominant degrees of the scale. (See the up-stem bass clef notes in measures 1-3.) Performance notes: Where notated on three staves, the center staff should dominate. When there are two notes together with an accent in the center staff, the lower note receives the accent while the G5 holds back dynamically a bit. The tempo is indeed Adagio. Pay attention that the piece always remains slow, even when forte in m. 36.