Category: Musings

Cohesion

Earlier in the year I shared some thoughts on structure. Structures still worry me. They’re possibly one of the areas I spend the most time worrying about, although ironically they’re often one of the areas of my compositions that just seem to fall into place. We worry about how we’ll shape ideas, where we place…
Read more

Like? Dislike?

Last week, in his Telegraph blog, Michael White discussed the music that bores us. This month’s BBC Music Magazine asks critics which classical works bore them into submission, and Michael White suggests there are some “surprising” answers. Why are there surprising answers? If someone doesn’t like Vivaldi’s Gloria (one of the cited examples), then someone…
Read more

The short score- help or hindrance?

Apologies for the brief interlude in blogging – I’ve been moving house, acquiring kittens, alongside a hectic teaching schedule! There have been quite a few articles flying around that I want to comment on here, which I will do in the coming days. However, long before we started moving, I started writing an article about…
Read more

Our attachment to old (sacred?) faithfuls

As artists, the world is our oyster. We can do anything, experiment with microtones, polytonality, multiphonics and manipulate sound to any extreme with electronics. The same can be said of structure – recent works of mine have experimented with semi-structured concepts and cycles, and there are countless forms of structure being implemented throughout the musical…
Read more

The problem of artistic style

Any artists emerging in the world today have a bit of an issue to confront. In the past, there were so many taboo areas of art (be it visual, theatre or music), that they had boundaries to break, which is what they did. However, today’s artists aren’t presented with such boundaries. I think this can…
Read more

Summer Rain – a final few notes

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some notes about Summer Rain – a semi-structured piece I had almost finished. True to my word, here are my final notes! Layout One of the first key problems with this score that I picked up on as I was writing the post, was that of layout. My…
Read more

The Javanese influence

Composers are often asked about what in particular influences their work. I find this a particularly troublesome question. So many things have undoubtedly had a huge influence on who and what I am musically, and on my developing compositional voice – from jams in music departments of schools I went to, to school ensembles, to…
Read more

The structuring of a semi-structured piece

When I told my marimba player (the person for whom this piece is written) about the nature of Summer Rain, she said “Ah, that’s what we call composers being lazy!”. Thinking about it, I both agree and disagree with that statement. After all, the semi structured nature of this solo work for marimba emerged for…
Read more

There’s something about D major/minor..

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my survey results about key signatures, sharps and flats. The data drew me to the conclusion that there’s something special about both D major and minor that draws us to them. Armed with this theory, I sought to investigate. For a long time, I’ve suspected that the reason…
Read more

Some structural thoughts

Thank you for the interesting thoughts on my sharps and flats research. I am currently in the midst of the next phase: trying to work out why D major and minor (and D dorian?) are the most popular scales. Hopefully it won’t be too long until I share more of my thoughts and findings with…
Read more

RSS
Facebook
Facebook