Nothing infuriates me more than when a little girl is told that a boy is only bullying her because he likes her. Unfortunately, it’s a sentiment I and too many other women have heard throughout our lifetimes. The ramifications of this seemingly harmless phrase follow us through life, as we are systematically stripped of our sense of bodily autonomy and the ability to say no. It affects our professional relationships, our personal lives, and perhaps most importantly, the gray areas in between the two. When writing He Probably Just Likes You, I drew upon my own experiences as well as others’ to create a timeline that follows a little girl whose story could be anyone’s.

This piece was commissioned by the Nash Composers’ Coalition, a Phoenix-based group of performer-composers. It can be played equally well by a jazz group or a chamber ensemble. He Probably Just Likes You is part of Letters from the Aftermath, a developing body of musical works exploring the myriad effects of sexual assault and rape culture. For more information, click here.

Run time: approx. 5’30”
Perusal score (PDF)

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Performance notes:

-This piece can be performed with or without a drummer. Additionally, if extra personnel are not available, one or many instrumentalists can serve as narrator(s).
-In the narration part, each triangle in a box (similar to the “play” icon on your favorite remote) denotes when the narrator should begin speaking the text above that measure. The thick black beam indicates how many measures are available to complete said text. Pacing and inflection are ultimately left to the performer; dynamic markings in the part should be used as a guide but can be disregarded if necessary for an authentic, personal performance.
-In all parts, “d.b.” indicates a dead beat.

Listen to He Probably Just Likes You, as performed by the Nash Composers’ Coalition, here: