• Articles

    Highest Chart Position Yet!

    Well, I was going to write another “How I compose” post, but this topic topped the chart – literally. Reverbnation is an online outlet for all unsigned/ independent musicians – any style, any genre, any age, any stage of life. There are currently 2.5m (that’s 2,500,000) performers active on Reverbnation promoting their wares, and guess what… The Charts I’m #1 in the Tampa Bay Classical Music Chart! But, I’m also #3 in the US Classical Music Chart!!! AND I’m #10 in the GLOBAL Classical Music Chart!!!!!!!!!! Yes, that deserves 10 exclamation marks. Because of YOU! This is incredible news, and it’s all down to YOU. Thank you. Thank you for…

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    Dedication.

    This week I came across a fascinating exploration of the history of King Arthur’s England. There is so much myth and legend surrounding our dreamy esteem of this perfect man that I’ve often wondered if he really existed. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the knights in shining armor adventures, and one day hope to rid my inhibitions, dress up as a medieval knight, and accompany my wife to a Renfaire (a common American festival that revives many periods of history and fantasy into an entertaining exhibition complete with audience participation, jousts, mead and glass blowing, etc). But until that day arrives, I’ll just basque in the occasional archaeological documentary and…

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    Do you ‘wing it’?

    Setting up a plan of action really does seem to work, wouldn’t you agree? As the Psalm Setting Quest was formulating, for fun I figured out a way to determine in which order I would use the psalms to compose music to. A few columns, sorts and ranking formulas were added to a spreadsheet and “voilà!” an evenly mixed distribution of each psalm type. There’s actually one psalm type (Prophetic) that has just one psalm in it and I know this ranking system works when that psalm (#50) appears right in the middle of the list, as the 75th piece of music I will write. An added benefit of using…

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    Composing D: Development

    In Sonta Form there are usually two themes (see last week’s post for the Main Theme of our new piece). This past week that theme and the complimentary Secondary Theme were added to the score, twice each, and spread amongst all the instruments. When these two themes are presented for the first time in their entirety, it is usually in a section called the “Exposition” and this is what it sounds like in our “Sonata for Chamber Orchestra”: [ca_audio url=”https://www.stephenpbrown.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Sonata-for-Chamber-Orch-Expo.mp3″ width=”500″ height=”27″ css_class=”codeart-google-mp3-player”]   Now it’s time to move on to the “Development” section. This is usually the longest section of a piece in Sonata Form as the composer can take snippets of both themes…

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    Composing C: The Main Event

    Well, it’s not an event as such, but it makes for a great blog title, right?! Today we develop the Main Theme of our piece. In music, a theme is usually a melody but it could refer to an accompaniment or even just a rhythm, but we’ll stick to something conventional this time. How is a melody created? My first task is to decide how often to have different chords played. Most of my tonal pieces have one chord per bar (or measure). In our piece, that would mean we play a G Major chord for four beats (a G Major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd and 5th…