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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

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China Blues – Zhang Hai’ou

ZHANG HAI’OU, PIANIST: – Zhang Hai’ou – 2016年7月1日 – July 1, 2016 海鸥不仅能自由地翱翔,他也可以优雅地坐在钢琴前奏响美妙的音乐。Hai’ou, which is seagull in English, can not only fly freely, but can also sit in front of the piano performing elegant music.张海鸥才华横溢,英俊优雅,是偶像实力兼备的青年钢琴家。 Zhang Hai’ou is a young,

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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

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Julie Harris – La Premiere

JULIE HARRIS – LA PREMIERE:   I had never entered a composition competition before in my entire life. I have been composing since I was a little kid.  I “wrote” my first piece at age six, although I didn’t have

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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

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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

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Valentine’s Day Concert 2016

VALENTINE’S DAY CONCERT 2016: There are thousands of “love songs” I could have listened to today in my daily Listening Time.  After all, it’s the weekend of Valentine’s Day, and there is Rachmaninoff and Schubert and Liszt and Wagner and

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Melody Writing for Students

  I usually teach my students that music contains the following elements: melody harmony rhythm timbre dynamics structure Sure this list can be discussed, but I’ve found it working. My simple definition of melody is “a bunch of single tones

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Harmonic Planing and Constant Structure Chords

HARMONIC PLANING ANDCONSTANT 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

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“Musical Words” as a thematic tool

MUSICAL WORDS AS A THEMATIC TOOL: Open the toolbox of a 21st-century composer and you might find a myriad of styles, methods, and musical systems.  We’ve inherited the best of the past while developing exciting new trends.  These days composers

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Composition Competitions – Answers to Quiz

COMPOSITION COMPETITIONS – ANSWERS TO QUIZ: Here are the answers to the little tongue-in-cheek quiz found in the article Compositions Competitions – Humor and Perspective.  Composer:  Maurice Ravel (Monsieur R) – FrenchPiece:  BoleroComments:  Although Ravel himself was not extremely fond

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Composition Competitions – Humor and Perspective

COMPOSITION COMPETITIONS –HUMOR AND PERSPECTIVE:   Composition Competitions are rough.  There’s no doubt about it.  You’re putting your masterpiece out there, hoping that the judges can actually hear it and understand what you were trying to accomplish.  Sometimes they do

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