Hope and I

June 25, 2022

You can find the music on this page of the IMSLP, and you can listen to a computer-generated recording here.

This is Susan Coolidge's complete poem. You can find out more about her here. It had been sitting on my computer for a year or so, and had been sitting on my desk for several months. It helped me a great deal to make my way emotionally through yesterday and today to work on it. And it helps to be able to share it right away.

Adventures with Alice

[April 11, 2021]

I. How doth the little crocodile
II. Beautiful Soup
III. I sing this song for your delight

You can find the music on this page of the IMSLP.

Advanced Violin Scale Studies

This is the second volume of Scale Tales (seen below). This description comes from the Mel Bay website:
Although the practice of scales is essential to building and maintaining strength, technique, tone, and agility—it is very easy to slip into the habit of playing them automatically, without paying attention to how they sound or even being aware of what scale we are playing. The 29 single-page studies in this book are designed to combat that tendency as they are musically, intellectually, and rhythmically challenging. The first 24 studies proceeded through the circle of fifths and address all minor and relative major keys; the last 5 pieces were individually conceived, i.e., apart from the circle of fifths. Occasional fingerings or position guides are suggested but these are largely left to the student or their teachers. No metronome indications are given so that the etudes can be played at individually comfortable tempos—with or without a metronome, or freely as concert etudes. It is the stepwise motion and octave leaps of the etudes that makes the intervals between pitches easy to hear, even in keys with numerous flats or sharps. Just as in Elaine Fine’s more basic scale etude book, Violin Scale Tales, the names of the etudes herein refer to various animals that have scales, including insects, fish, birds, reptiles, a few species of squirrels with scales on their tails, and the solitary pangolin, the only known mammal whose entire body is covered with scales. Again, the author hopes that in addition to experiencing more enjoyable scale practice, students will be inspired to learn more about these amazing creatures, or even write scale studies of their own.
It is available here, as an e-book as well as a print book.

Violin Scale Tales


From the Mel Bay Website:
The etudes in this book offer students a musically and intellectually satisfying means of practicing scales in all major and minor keys, even while remaining in first position. Although presented in the traditional order of the circle of fifths, this is where similarities to other violin scale-oriented books end. Of course, the etudes can be played using a mixture of positions by more advanced students. The studies also resonate very well on the viola if played at pitch. These are instructive etudes and can be played as appealing solo pieces. The stepwise motion in the etudes makes intervals between pitches easy to hear, even in keys with many flats or sharps. Both the book and etude titles refer to names of animals that have scales, so you will see natural and harmonic minor scales named after various moths, and major scales named for unusual reptiles, birds, and mammals throughout. The author hopes that in addition to experiencing more enjoyable scale practice, students will be inspired to learn more about these amazing animals or even write scale studies of their own.

It is available as an e-book as well as a print book.
You can find both on this page of the Mel Bay website.

Here's a link to a YouTube playlist that has the first ten pieces.

Rock Crystal for Solo Viola


The music is available on this page of the IMSLP, and you can listen to Paul Cortese's excellent recording here.



I am also fond of lonely islands for solo viola




You can listen to Paul Cortese play this piece here (on YouTube). And you can find the music on this page of the IMSLP, and it is streaminig on various formats:

Two Passages from Moby Dick for Two Trumpets


You can find the score and parts here, and listen to a computer-generated recording here. The music will soon be available on this page of the IMSLP.

Three Short Pieces for Trumpet and Piano

January 18, 2022

These are intended as teaching pieces for "entry level" trumpet players, but they can be played by advanced players too.

I also made a transposed version that can be played by "entry level" violinists and violists. You can find the music for both the original and the transcriptions on this page of the IMSLP.

New Year's Greeting for 2022

I like to make these New Year's Greetings modular, so this one has versions for clarinet and viola, two violas, and two violins. I also made an arrangement of it for harpsichord or piano solo (you can see the music below)


Here's a performance by clarinetist Angus Deeth and violist Momoko Nagayama:



You can find the music on this page of the IMSLP as well as a PDF of this transcription I made for harpsichord or piano.

The version for harpsichord or piano will be in the IMSLP soon:

Music for Viola in the IMSLP

I have been keeping most of my music and arrangements in the IMSLP since 2006, and in celebration of this tremendous resource I have made a list of all my solo music and chamber music there that includes viola. You can find everything on this list through this page, as well as through links to other pages in this cataloog on the sidebar.


You can find a larger (or at least zoom-in-able) version of this list here.

Dancing on the Fingerboard

[October 15, 2021]

The first eight pieces in this set use guiding fingers to help shift between first and third position. “Cloud Nine,” introduces harmonics in order to remind the hand and arm of the physical distance from first to fourth position. “Second Hand,” and “What’s on Second” explore second position, and “Who’s on Third?” incorporates third, and re-introduces the harmonic. “Fourth Dimension,” “Can I Have a Little More,” and “Second Chance,” use the first four positions.

“Fifth Business I” and “Fifth Business II,” marked “Serioso” and “Scherzando,” introduce fifth position. The titles refer to the Robertson Davies novel with the same name, and the character (tempo) markings suggest masks of tragedy and comedy. “Sixth Sense” and “Six degrees of Separation” introduce sixth position and a little bit of half position. “At Sixes and Sevens,” is a transposed version of “Six of One,” the first piece in “Half a Dozen of the Other.” It introduces seventh position, and is ironically calm in character.

You can find the music on this page of the IMSLP.

Evolution for high or medium voice with harp or piano

[October 1, 2021]

The music is available on this page of the IMSLP, and the text comes from Alice Duer Miller's 1915 Are Women People?
It is my hope that other composers will set some of the verses in this book (it has the subtitle "A book of rhymes for suffrage times") and will make their songs available in the IMSLP. Then we might have a whole collection.

Half a Dozen of the Other: Six Studies for Solo Viola (or cello)

[September 9, 2021]

The pieces in this set of solo viola studies are in the more "unusual" keys of F-sharp major, G-flat major, B major, F minor, C-sharp minor (and major), and G-sharp minor. You can find the music on this page of the IMSLP.

UPDATE: Now for cello, on the same page of the IMSLP.

Two Places in Illinois

[August 14, 2020]
You can listen here:

Evening in Paris
Coles County August

Here's "Evening in Paris" with images of Paris, Illinois from the 19th and 20th centuries:

And here's "Coles County August" with images of Coles County in August in the 21st century:



You can find the music here, and on this page of the IMSLP.

Quo Vadis for Euphonium and Woodwind Quintet



May 17, 2020

I wrote these pieces for Travis Scott during the first few months of 2020. Each movement is a musical portrait of royal person from history who was either a musician or a patron.

I. Nero
II. Gesualdo
III. Ludwig II of Bavaria (known as "Mad King Ludwig)

You can find the score and parts on this page of the IMSLP

Many thanks to Ben Leddy for the cover art!

"My House, I Say" for Tenor and Piano

My setting of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem "My House, I Say" is included in volume two of the collection of songs for Tenor and Piano in Modern Music for New Singers: 21st Century American Art Songs, a new anthology of music for young singers published by North Star Music.

Transcription: Haydn Fugue Hob. XIX: 16 for String Orchestra


The score and parts are available on this page of the IMSLP.

I'm very pleased with the way that our Charleston Summer Strings orchestra played it.

Arrangements: Elgar Salut d'Amour for Piano Quartet and for Viola and Piano


This is available from the Johnson Music Company. You can find an arrangement of the same piece for piano quintet here.



There is also an International edition of my transcription for viola and piano (they asked me to do all three). You can find it on this page.

Transcription: Florence Price's Adoration for Solo Violin and Orchestra

May 21, 2021

The score and parts are on this page of the IMSLP. You can listen to a computer-generated recording here.

There are so many options for orchestration! My "organ stops" are solo violin, double woodwinds, two horns, and strings.

Weights and Measures for two violas and for two violins (or violin and another melody instrument)

[May 2, 2021]
[May 3, 2021]

These have the same scale-based parts for the upper voice as "Weights and Measures" for solo recorder, but the articulations and dynamics here are more suited to strings.

The second voice in the first (above) version is a dedicated violin part, which could also be played on the viola (as a violin and viola duet, or as a recorder--or flute and violin or viola duet), and the version for two violas is set a fifth lower, with both parts in the alto clef. The second voice in the two-viola version can be paired with the solo alto recorder version of the original. Everything can be mixed and matched.

Single-page (for tablet use) and duplex (for double-sided printing) PDFs are available on this page of the IMSLP.

Transcription: Tchaikovsky November Troika, October Autumn Song, and April Snowdrops (from The Seasons) for Three Violas

March 20, 2021

March 21, 2021

March 23, 2021

You can find the score and parts for November here, the score and parts for April here, and the score and parts for October here. The arrangements are on this page of the IMSLP (individually under the transcription tab).

You can listen to them as a suite (April, October, November) here.

Barter

March 11, 2021

You can find the music on this page of the IMSLP.