Writing fast notes is a good way of creating energy and excitement. The extracts here give some examples of effective ways of incorporating semiquaver writing into your storm (and of course in other music as well).

Rossini – William Tell Overture

In this reduction from near the beginning of the storm from Rossini’s overture to the opera William Tell you can see some good features to steal! There are loads of cool things in this piece: here is the full score and the track on Youtube (with scrolling score).

Bars 4-7 are nice and easy, staying on an E minor chord which is energised as follows:

  1. first a falling chromatic scale (the basic quaver movement is made more exciting by being turned into pairs of semis) and then a rising chromatic scale in the bass
  2. various energetic accompanying figures are used: in bar 4 just a chord with repeated semis (top of the bass stave) then interjected arpeggios and passing note figures in bars 6 and 7

The first three bars decorate a dominant chord with added 7th, 9th and 11th

Here is the full score of the extract. Note the various doublings that Rossini uses:

Here is a slightly longer extract from the storm:

Borodin Symphony No. 2, finale (end)

In this extract, a descending chromatic chord progression over a dominant pedal is energised by a semiquaver figure that adds passing notes between notes that are a third apart in the chords.

Here is a reduction. Note the chromatic descending lines in the middle stave starting on I6/4 in B major and ending on V:

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