• British American Conductor Composer Maestro Stephen P Brown Psalm Piece 5 Choir Choral
    Articles

    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 Psalm Piece 5 Choir Choral
    Articles

    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…

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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…