Latest Stuff

Any works in progress fit to be heard should appear here.. A current long term project is a four movement string quartet. It is going to be rather lyrical as string quartets go. Movement f this will appear from time to time. Also, I’d like to take a shot at setting someone’s poetry to appropriate…

Rags

I like rags and I like writing rags. Too bad I can’t play them, although I could probably bumble through  “No Worries Rag.” No exercise in rag writing can begin without an extensive study of the master of the genre, Scott Joplin. This man turned them out by the dozens, many with ungrokable complexities like …

Vocal Pieces

I have here a few ballads in AABA song form as well as an SATB choral piece intended as an encore. Finale can’t sing, so the audio is either an instrument or oohs and ahs. Hopefully, I’ll round up some singers and redo these. Or maybe Finale will learn to sing. Thank You for Coming…

Strings

Under Construction, and likely to remain so for a while. I am working on a string quartet, which, when it is done (or maybe I should say “if”), it will appear here. To get some idea for such a project, I have listened to a huge number of string quartets. By far my favorite in…

Easy to Play

Easy to play is easy to say. It really means I can play them. Sort of. It is always good to strive to compose pieces that sound a lot harder than they actually are. Besides those listed below, “No Worries Rag, “Smith’s Reef,” and “Six Children’s Songs” are also pretty easy. New York Nocturne -audio…

Classical Forms

My composition teacher started with ancient Greek music. What is known of it is doesn’t resemble anything we think of as music today. I got little from that. For there we jumped a millennium and change to Gregorian chants, and not much of that stuck either. Then came counterpoint, canons, and things started to click.…

Children’s Pieces

I was assigned Six Children’s pieces. My composition teacher said that what he meant by children’s pieces was that each would fit on one sheet, not that children would play them. So I composed these, but just to keep it childish, all are themes from my childhood in Little Rock.They are also easy to play.…

Impossible

No mortal can play these. Or would anyway. My Halloween Nocturne, scary in more ways than one, involves 23 key changes. The Great Gatsby Rag and Generic Rag are also difficult, though less so. Halloween Nocturne -audio -score in landscape orientation    

Fun with Modes

Here “modes” include anything that has a weird scale. Modes are usually taught as a scale beginning on a white key and using only white keys. This yields C major, A minor, and five modes. The one that starts on B, Locrian, is hostile in the extreme and rarely employed. But there is no need…

UMOs

Unidentified Musical Objects. Sometimes there seems no category available. Many fantasies and rhapsodies would qualify as UMOs. Anytime I begin a new composition, it takes on a life of its own, and I never know where it is going to end up. I may try to provide a nurturing environment and give it a good…