Tag Archives: music

2072. Strum strum

Ronald was a school teacher. He taught little kids (I won’t give the Year because it differs from country to country). He occasionally played the guitar while the kids sang Michael Row Your Boat Ashore and stuff like that. The kids were small enough to pretend to row boats in the classroom and jump up and down like waves and dive about like dolphins.

Ronald liked to play the guitar to relax. When he came home from a long day at school he would sit at the back of his garden and strum away. He wasn’t God’s gift to the musical world, but he was good enough.

The school lacked a music teacher and no other teacher was particularly musically inclined. Could perhaps Ronald spend time going from classroom to classroom to teach the music element of the curriculum? He did that, at first enthusiastically, and then it became a little humdrum like any other job. He also volunteered to be the musical director of the annual production and he took the choir through its paces.

When he went home after a busy day at school, Ronald never went to the back of his garden to play the guitar. The guitar was a job. He had lost all interest in playing it.

Music 368-370: Three Short Serial Piano Pieces

There are three new piano pieces HERE at this link. It will take you to another page with links to my compositions of 2021 – including the new piano pieces. Go there if you dare!

Some people like to know how some things are made, so for them these three pieces are based on the same grid made out of the same 12-tone row. If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, it doesn’t matter. One doesn’t have to have the recipe of my fabulous rhubarb cheesecake to enjoy eating it.

To be even more obtuse, below is the grid from which the pieces are created. It is a composition “devise” created by Arnold Schoenberg and other composers in the mid-20th century. All 12 notes of the keyboard are played in a particular order and all are to be played before any note is repeated. Of course, these three pieces here “cheat” – who among us doesn’t break the rules when it comes to writing 12-tone serial music?

Thanks. Back to stories tomorrow.

Music Compositions 2021

Here are Music Compositions of 2021

  • 11 January – Whimsy 1 – for piano (1’24”) – audio HERE and the pdf HERE.
  • 11 January – Whimsy 2 – for piano (1’24”) – audio HERE and the pdf HERE.
  • 13 February – The annoying kingfisher outside my window – for piano – audio HERE and the pdf HERE.
  • 2 March – Three piano pieces based on the same serial 12-tone row:
    • Piece 1 – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Piece 2 – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Piece 3 – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
  • 26 March – Twelve Preludes in Search of a Key:
    • Prelude 1 (starting on the note C) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 2 (starting on the note Db) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 3 (starting on the note D) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 4 (starting on the note Eb) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 5 (starting on the note E) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 6 (starting on the note F) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 7 (starting on the note Gb) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 8 (starting on the note G) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 9 (starting on the note Ab) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 10 (starting on the note A) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 11 (starting on the note Bb) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.
    • Prelude 12 (starting on the note B) – audio HERE, sheet music HERE.

Music 362: Piano Sonata No. 3 in E minor

Hi Everyone

Here is a sonata (3 movements) for the piano. It will probably be the last bit of music for the year. The computer is playing them as my mic is broken – and besides, bits of the sonata are getting beyond my ability to play them.

I’m not expecting everyone to sit down for quarter of an hour to listen as they’re a bit arty-farty in places, but if you’re interested here it is! (Note: my autocorrect keeps changing “arty-farty” to “arty-party”.) It is called “Piano Sonata in E minor”; it starts in E minor but I quickly got distracted!

Thanks

Click on a title to listen to each of the three Movements:

1st Movement
2nd Movement
3rd Movement

Click on a title to download the written music of each of the three Movements:

1st Movement
2nd Movement
3rd Movement

1887. The Harmonious Blacksmith

It was Grandma Hilda’s 75th birthday coming up. She loved to hear twelve year old granddaughter, Lydia, play the piano. Grandma Hilda liked old-fashioned music. Not that Lydia didn’t, so Lydia thought she would surprise Grandma Hilda by playing a piece specially learnt for the birthday. Lydia thought and thought and thought. In the end, she decided to learn Handel’s The Harmonious Blacksmith. She practised and practised and practised. It was quite hard, even though she was very good at playing the piano.

Grandma Hilda’s birthday arrived. Lydia and her parents went to visit.

“Happy Birthday Grandma!” said Lydia. “I’ve learnt a special piece on the piano for you!”

“That’s lovely dear,” said Grandma Hilda. “As long as it’s not a piece by that awful composer called Handel. His music goes boom, boom, boom, and I can’t stand it.”

“No,” said Lydia. “It’s by Scarlatti.”

Grandma loved it. She didn’t know the difference. In the circumstance it’s possible that Handel wouldn’t have minded.

Music 352: Dancing in wet sand while wearing a mask

Happy 4th of July to my USA friends!

This piece of music today was a lockdown composition. I grew tired of hearing that one could walk on wet sand but not on dry sand, like we were cats looking for the “kitty-litter”.

[For those who like a more academic approach to music listening (and presumably in this case it’s not many of you because these things don’t matter!) this piece of music is not spontaneously played upon a keyboard. I took a 12-tone serial row by Arnold Schoenberg, made a grid out of it, and composed using only the diagonals on the grid. Whatever!]

Anyways – it brightened my day. I hope it brightens yours!

If the above link doesn’t play, then try clicking HERE!

Music 351: Scherzo for Woodwind

Here is a piece of music for four woodwind players: Flute, English Horn, Bb Clarinet, and Bassoon.

Have a nice day!

Thanks
Bruce

Click below to hear the piece:

If the above link doesn’t play, then try clicking HERE!

Click here to download a printable copy of the music

1819. The child prodigy

(Warning: there could be swearing)

Cornelius Dresdomida-Heregofinsopt was the most astonishing child prodigy since Adam was a boy. He was a musician. His two main instruments were piano and piccolo. You wouldn’t believe what he could do with a piccolo! Astonishing!

Since the age of five he had shown a remarkable talent for piano, and he celebrated his tenth birthday by playing Dmitri Smith’s 14th Piano Concerto in A minor accompanied by the Ulaanbaatar Symphony Orchestra.

Reviews were stunning. The fact that he played one of his own compositions as an encore proved that the world was on the cusp of discovering a talent so divine it made Bach look like a headless chicken.

Cornelius went on to become one of the greats of all time. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Dresdomida-Heregofinsopt tripped off everyone’s tongue. Not only that, but he became the richest musician ever to hit the world stage. He was regarded as a phenomenon; a living icon; the incarnation of Michael the Archangel. Then he died, well into his eighties, leaving a body of work so vast that people were in disbelief.

Except none of this happened. Because when he was five years old and asked his parents if he could learn the piano, his father simply said, “No kid of mine is going to grow up a fuckin’ pansy.”

And that was that.

Music 350: Fo(u)r Woodwind

Well, I couldn’t stop myself – so here is a piece of music for four woodwind players: Oboe, Cor Anglais, Clarinet, and Bassoon.

Have a nice day!

Thanks
Bruce

Click below to hear the piece:

If the above link doesn’t play, then try clicking HERE!

Click here to download a printable copy of the music