• Conductor Composer Maestro Stephen P Brown / Swedish Chamber Orchestra
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    How I compose: Step 2 – Instrumentation

    A couple of weeks ago I shared how I start composing each of the pieces in my composition quest. It seemed to be a popular post! So after I’ve read the psalm, understood its meaning through commentary, and established the structure for my piece, the next step in composing music for me is choosing the instrumentation. Instrumentation. The purpose of this quest is to improve my composing skills. One of my dream goals is to finish the quest by writing a piece of music based on Psalm 33 for large chorus and full orchestra. That’s a lot of people and parts, and like an Olympic Triathlete or Astronaut, there is a…

  • British American Conductor Composer Maestro Stephen P Brown Psalm Piece 5 Choir Choral
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    What kind of choral music do you like?

    So, composition #3 is complete – a piece for solo piano. It is most charming and my wife Melissa loves it. I’ll publish it next week as there are some administrative details to wrap up first. Composition #4 is already underway and called “Wind Quintet 2” (how imaginative is that?), and I was thinking about where composition #5 might take us on our journey: I’d like to do a piece for unaccompanied (“a cappella”) choir but am undecided whether to write for soprano, alto and baritone voices, or the more traditional soprano, alto, tenor and bass. But my biggest quandary is the style. Can you help me? The vocal piece will…

  • Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown
    Articles

    Tried something new recently?

    This new routine is tough! Getting up an hour earlier every morning isn’t like an on/off switch – it is taking lots of discipline but you know what? I’m getting a lot of work and reading done. But that’s just one new outcome of this Psalm Setting Quest. Another one is being adventurous. If you look through my list of compositions they are mostly for percussion (including piano) and wind instruments. There are a handful of string pieces and one or two that include brass instruments. For some reason, ever since writing a tacky piece for brass quintet, percussion and narrator in college, I’ve avoided composing for brass instruments. So,…

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    Exclusive “Schmooze with Stephen”

    Let’s take a break from seeing how a composition is created for a moment, because here’s something really exciting for you. Over the next couple of months I have three pretty important events (amongst many others) taking place around the USA. All three are featuring new pieces of mine, including the Sonata for Chamber Orchestra we’ve been exploring in this blog, a brand new marimba concerto (in which I’ll attempt to play the solo part – should’ve been a bit kinder, methinks!), my string quartet, my wind quintet, and a cute little ditty called Green Painting based on one of three pictures I bought from a legless (literally) street vendor in Lilongwe, the…