Tag Archives: Piano Music

Music 371-382: Twelve Preludes in Search of a Key

Hi – you don’t have to like these (you already know I have an inferiority complex when it comes to music) but I like them anyway – and you don’t have to. Probably my favourite thing I’ve created – at least for today.

It all began with Prelude 2, which came to me in a dream and I lay awake for the rest of the night scared I would forget how it went!

In my dream I played it on a piano in a pub, and everyone left! Have a listen to see why!

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 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 363: A Hitherto Missing Variation on a Haydn Minuet

Hi Everyone

I posted a piano sonata the other day and said it would probably be the last bit of music for the year. Not so! With this blog winding up in a couple of days (at least this stage of it) I’m having a tidy-up. So this little piano piece should be the last of the music. It really is me just being a bit silly.

The Haydn Minuet is from the second movement of a Haydn Piano Sonata in E minor (I’ve changed the key in this arrangement). And the variation uses a scale by the 20th century German/American composer Arnold Schoenberg. Some enterprising teacher might use it to illustrate some of the differences between music of the Classical era, and music of the mid-20th century.

It is quite short. Thanks.

Click HERE to listen to the music.

Click HERE to download the written music.

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

Music 346: For oboe and piano

Last year (2019) for a New Year resolution I thought I’d write (after a many years’ hiatus) some pieces to play on the piano. It ended up being 181 piano pieces!

This year I thought I’d try to write some pieces for other instruments – but since I don’t play anything other than keyboard the audios are composed on what I have on my computer (which is what came with it when it was purchased over ten years ago – yes I know Windows 7 is obsolete).

Many years back I used to arrange and compose a lot of music for orchestra. I knew the strengths and restraints of most instruments. It’s now almost 40 years since I last wrote for orchestral instruments, so things have become a little rusty. However, the orchestrating tomes are still on the shelf and are coming in handy.

For today’s piece of music, which is for oboe and piano, I hope it is oboe friendly! One of the things about an oboe is that it doesn’t use up much air, so unlike most other instruments you blow into, an allowance has to be made for the player not just to breathe in but to breathe out first! If any of you are oboe players I’ll try to humbly accept criticism of fingering, phrasing, etc. I’m in awe of any oboist’s breath control!

The last thing I composed for orchestra that was performed was for a circus! They wanted an entire circus performance not to be just a series of acts, but to tell a story. It was quite successful. After that, a university lecturer (since deceased) invited me to compose a piece for a youth orchestra. He furnished a list of instrumentalists. I was excited! I handed him the score, and the next day he said that the strings didn’t have phrasing and many articulation markings. (Don’t string players have any nous and pencils?) I added the markings, and the next thing was that he said there were too many double bass parts. I concluded from that he didn’t like the piece. I gave up and have since done other things. But here I am back again!

I am extremely reticent about foistering such compositions as these on the public. I feel some trustworthy readers might feel loyalty-bound to listen. But what else can I do with the jolly things?!

Thanks
Bruce

Click below to hear the piece:

Click here to download a printable copy of the music

Music 338: C.P.E. Bach meets Schoenberg

In this piece of music I have taken the rhythm of a C.P.E. Bach (1714-1788) sonata movement, and applied the type of serial scale that Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) could have used. The result is… interesting! There are snippets of the Bach unchanged. The piece ends with the playing of the Schoenberg-like serial scale employed in the piece and C.P.E. Bach’s scale of C minor which he used.

Click here to download a copy of the piano music

Music 333-336: Four Stolen Basses

Hi Everyone

Here are Four stolen basses – for the piano. These four pieces began by pinching a bass line from compositions by Scarlatti and Chopin and putting a different top to them! They’ve now undergone so many changes that I don’t know who wrote what, and what the original bass lines were from. Incidentally (for the purists out there!) the wrong notes are intended. Also, my microphone has gone wobbly, so I’ve “cheated” and loaded these into the computer to be played by machine. Sorry about that.

Click on a title in the first list to listen, and click on a title in the second list to download the written music.

Thanks

Click on a title to listen
1. A night on the town
2. Water droplets
3. On a blustery day
4. In a maze

Click on a title to download the written music
1. A night on the town
2. Water droplets
3. On a blustery day
4. In a maze

Music 329-332: Four dances for piano

Hi Everyone

Here are Four dances for piano – not for the piano to dance to, Silly, but four dances to be played on the piano.

Click on a title in the first list to listen, and click on a title in the second list to download the written music.

Thanks

Click on a title to listen
Dance 1
Dance 2
Dance 3
Dance 4

Click on a title to download the written music
Dance 1
Dance 2
Dance 3
Dance 4

Music 314-328: An Eleventh Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches

Hi Everyone

This Eleventh Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches – both audio and printable – for the piano, concludes the series of Little Suites begun this year. Note that sketches 2, 3 & 4 of this suite form a Sonata that was posted on this blog earlier this year.

Although each suite is in 15 sketches, the first and last of each suite are the same. So 14 pieces multiplied by 11 comes to 154! I wanted it to be 153 because that is how many pieces there are in Bartok’s Mikrokosmos, however I overran!

The idea of 15 sketches in a “little suite” came from the French composer, Jacques Ibert, who wrote such a collection.

Click on a title in the first list to listen, and click on a title in the second list to download the written music.

Thanks

Click on a title to listen
1. Prelude
2. First Movement Sonata 2
3. Second Movement Sonata 2
4. Third Movement Sonata 2
5. A little toccata
6. Sleeping Beauty
7. White horses
8. Blackbird on the lawn
9. Doe and fawn
10. Little romance
11. A trinket
12. Jurjina
13. Clowns
14. Tarantella
15. Finale

Click on a title to download the written music
1. Prelude
2. First Movement Sonata 2
3. Second Movement Sonata 2
4. Third Movement Sonata 2
5. A little toccata
6. Sleeping Beauty
7. White horses
8. Blackbird on the lawn
9. Doe and fawn
10. Little romance
11. A trinket
12. Jurjina
13. Clowns
14. Tarantella
15. Finale