• British American Conductor Composer Maestro Stephen P Brown Psalm Piece 5 Choir Choral
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    Piece #5: Rescue Me! for choir

    The fifth piece in my composition quest was quite an adventure. Definitely surprising. “Rescue Me, Recover Me” is based on Psalm 130, and the title stems from the term “redeem” which this psalm seems to be all about. It has a simple ABAB structure, so knowing that I wanted to write a choral work I began playing with the translated poem (I don’t read Hebraic) and converting the meaningful words into my own poem with rhyme and meter. Wonderful! Except that it looked a lot like the verses and chorus of a song. Never mind. Onwards. Well, the piece began and I created a simple progression of chords. I had…

  • British American Conductor Composer Maestro Stephen P Brown how to compose classical music
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    How I compose: Step 1

    I am now working on the 6th piece in my composition quest. This is not the first time I’ve composed music but in the past I have approached pieces from a variety of angles: systematically using someone else’s process, systematically using someone else’s process that I adapted slightly, systematically using a process I developed myself (which begs the real question: is there anything brand new, or is everything an adaptation of what we’ve already experienced?) and there were even pieces that I approached system- and process-free; meaning, I just sat and wrote something. However, in order to accomplish my current task it makes sense to stick with a systematic approach,…

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    Composing B: And so it begins…

    Following last week’s post about how to start a composition, well… how I am starting this composition… a few decisions have been made. Whilst looking around for a compositional structure I came across several main elements: Variation Twelve-tone Sonata form Rondo Tone poem and my favorite: Minimalism Each have their own special qualities and after a little thought, I thought it would be nice to try Sonata form. I don’t remember the last time I wrote something in Sonata form (and stuck to it) so here’s an opportunity. At the moment, Sonata form will form the dominating format, although during the creative process unexpected twists and turns can often lead compositions into…