Harmonia, the composition and piano studio of Julie Harris, is a magnet for creativity and talent. Young composers and pianists come to study, share, learn and grow. We enter and win national competitions, but we also give concerts for community outreach, have private piano parties, do special projects for hospitals and schools, and generally have fun while we create musical masterpieces. Come join us!

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing — Listening with the breath is a way to enhance “musical breathing”. Paying close attention to the way we breathe with music can enhance our performances, our compositions, and our ability to be an even more appreciative audience. Breathing in speech and in music: When we speak, we […]

Berg’s Violin Concerto: A fusion of Serialism and Bach

Berg’s Violin Concerto: A fusion of Serialism and Bach

BERG’S VIOLIN CONCERTO:A FUSION OF SERIALISM AND BACH One of my favorite pieces of 20th century music is Alban Berg’s hauntingly beautiful Violin Concerto.  The Violin Concerto is in 4 sections, with no break between them.  We’re only going to look at the last section, where an unusual Bach chorale speaks to us in a […]

Modal Listening Practice

MODAL LISTENING PRACTICE: The picture above demonstrates an interesting grouping of the modes.  We can progress from one mode to another in the order shown above by lowering one note of the scale:  Lydian progresses to Ionian by lowering the fourth note.  Ionian progresses to Mixolydian by lowering the seventh note.  Mixolydian progresses to Dorian […]

Composition Competition Success Stories

COMPOSITION COMPETITION SUCCESS STORIES: Composition Competitions can be daunting, delightful, stressful, playful … it all depends on the competition!   What makes a successful composition competition, and what environments and incentives bring composers back again and again to enter another new piece? In this article, we will explore some of the positive aspects of composition competitions […]

Mike Tauben – Saudade

MIKE TAUBEN – SAUDADE: The requirements of the competition were very clear.  The page posted in January 2014 began with a description that might appeal to any classical music lover: Simply Stunning …  That’s what the audience will say when your piece is premiered and recorded in May 2014.  Future performers will add this exquisite […]

Samantha Strowd – Five Cats, Something Like That

SAMANTHA STROWD – FIVE CATS, SOMETHING LIKE THAT: Everything about the competition sounded like fun! The year was 2011.  The sponsor was a performance group in Hanover, Germany, who was giving their third annual Composers Competition.  The Plathner Eleven chamber group certainly had a sense of humor and creativity.  The rules for the competition were […]

Harmonic Planing and Constant Structure Chords

HARMONIC PLANING AND CONSTANT STRUCTURE CHORDS: Harmonic Planing, also known as Harmonic Parallelism, can be a very valuable tool in the 21st-century composer’s toolbox!   The picture above is tongue in cheek, with its airplane and parallel lines, but it can also get us in the mood for a different way of looking at harmonic progressions. […]

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