Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Dear Friends.

Mariza Costa-Cabral, Michael Lofting and I (the "committee") are starting a theme and variations for any of the members who would like to participate. (Credits go to Gregorio X who first came up with this idea in an earlier such project.)

The theme is from J.S. Bach's cantata "wachet auf".

[PDF score]

[mp3 sample of theme]

We will be knitting these variations together and will post the result here. Members can submit as many variations as they please but there are some rules to help us with the knitting.

1. Variations should end back in Eb preferably on the dominant so that the next variation can be added.

2. Piano must be part of the ensemble in addition to any other "common" instruments.
These are piccolo, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, timpani, cymbals, triangle, tuba, violin, viola, 'cello and double bass.

3. Variation length should be in keeping with the original's.

4. The committee have the right not to accept an entry (sad as it would be to reject someone's).

5. As we are to stitch these together, we need to have at least a score pdf in common notation, better would be xml or midi. Pdf score to be non-transposed to help with the knitting.

6. Entries to be in by December 13th 5:00pm US EST. But the sooner we get them the sooner we can get to work. Edit: Entries should be submitted by posting them as replies to this discussion. private message to Michael, Mariza, or myself (if you are not yet a Friend of one of us on this forum, please send a Friend request to one of us, and we will add you). Alternatively, entries can be submitted via email (email address to be announced).

We will endeavour to be flexible but participants who break these rules may be subject to rule 4.

We want this to be a joyous thing, showcasing the talented, creative bunch that we are.

Off you go!

EDIT: Per request by the "committee", discussion has been closed. It will be reopened after we have further updates about the video Bob is making.

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Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion


Of course, Roger, you realize, as Socrates pointed out a while back, everything said about politics, society, economics and so on, is a metaphor for what happens in music, art and culture, in general.


"O,  and let's not pretend that ole Bernie, if elected, would be any more effective in government than throwing a thimble full of water on a 5 alarm house fire could be."


On the contrary, that's like saying Beethoven's Fifth Symphony would be just as effective without the celebratory final movement, as it would be without it.  Clearly, that is not the case.  Bernie's election to the Presidency would be a fit coda to this era, and a highly worthwhile portion of that tapestry which is American history.   Future periods of our history should have a Sixth, Seventh (even an eighth) and Ninth Symphony, to supersede the progress that could be made, as we acquire Health Care for all, Free University Tuition for All, a break-up of the banks, a reversal of the creation of a huge wealth gap, the regulation and break up of large predatory corporations, and an end to ownership of the political process by the "Billionaire Class."  

'Those who bark about and rally behind 'political correctness' are inept cowards and for the most part, phonies.'

Yes, I agree, when we realize that the only real form of political correctness that exists in practice, is what the leaders of society determine to be "correct."  I am speaking of the owners of the large corporations and owners of Big Media, for the most part.  So the "powers that be," in the US, Western Europe and most English speaking countries, say racism, Islamophobia and sexism are all "politically correct."  Especially if you are a "Billionaire."   It's "cowardly and ignorant," to use your words, to rally behind demagogues like Trump.   

"As for 'racism', which you seem so quick to point out in your posts, do you see any difference between a racial slur and a statement of a fact?"

Yes, I do. 

FACT:  Example:  Barack Obama is a descendant of White people of European ancestry and people of African ancestry.  That's a fact.

RACISM:  Trumps statements which are generalizations about the character of people, simply based on whether they are "Mexicans" or "Muslims," or "Women." His statements all to often reflect a bias against a particular class of people, and a misguided desire to advocate discriminatory policies (especially given the fact that more people have been killed in "mass shootings"  carried out by supposed "Christians" or non-Muslims than by "Muslims," during the last 15 years in the US).

 "To use a race term does not necessarily mean that someone is trying to promote fear or race bias , but may actually be using it to promote a cogent observation, based on good common sense and facts."

You give no examples, so your observation seems to fall flat, in light of the current problems in the US and Europe.  There are no "facts" which support racist generalizations, especially those that are used to formulate discriminatory policies.     

Remember, in music you need all the notes, just as in global and national society, you need all the ethnicities, races and religions.  If you do away with F# D, B, and A natural, and say they cannot "enter the country," then you put a big cramp on the music nowadays.  No one writing creatively since 1945 can deny that.   If you only allow one note, such as C natural (like allowing only white people prominence in society), then your music is going to be pretty limited and sound a lot like Donald Trump's rhetoric. 







Ondib, you libs just don't have a clue. Money 'legal money that is' doesn't

grow on trees. Were O were is the end to bigger government and sudsides and

handouts and a want to regulate and control every human action and

taxed interaction??????????????????????

This is a breeding ground for corruption and a means to tyranny. oops, too late!

It's not your goals and platitudes that I question as much as


and please stop with your unsubstanciated assumptions.

If I am not in favor of Bernie, it does not automatically mean

that I am pro Trump.

If Bernie played a musical instrument, I would say it was the Kazoo.

If Hitlary played a musical instrument , it would be broken Hum-drum.

If Donald played a musical instrument, it would be the Bugle.

If Jeb could find his sticks, he would play the 'snare' drum.

What say you???

ps- I'm snowed in with 20 plus inches of snow... so far.

Tell me what instruments you think they would play...... anyone?

1. The proposed order of the variations was presented to this thread with the sound file a long time ago. If anyone had input on the topic of the ordering, they had their opportunity then. Now that Bob is in the process of making the video, it is obviously too late to bring that up.

2. Each composer was asked to specify how they would like their name (and, if desired, their country) to appear on the video. Each composer has already done so. It is obviously too late to be proposing the Greek alphabet for the entire video.

3. I had asked for people to refrain from "derailing" this thread. I will reiterate that request. The latest several posts are in the "derail" category. Please just let Bob work on the video and respond to any questions he may have.

But but Mariza, the thread connection disappeared from the main page.

We was jus keepin' it alive. How does that distract Bob? Is Bob complaining?

and when did the 'carved in stone' element come to be? The finished product

is in the process of being molded and if we want it to be a work of Art,

shouldn't constructive ideas and suggestions be considered relevant?

Since we all, here, seem to operate in English, I think the notion of doing

this in Greek is just playful posturing, the idea of the order of works towards

a fluid, and balanced presentation has merit tho'-IMO

Just like a good meal doesn't start with the dessert.

I personally think that Michaels piece should lead, followed by HS's.     RS


Roger said, "you libs just don't have a clue."


It's not clear to me, really, who you are talking to?  I don't know if anyone here is a "lib" or a liberal.  Hello people!  Is anyone here a "liberal?"  They can speak up now, if they want.


What are supposed "liberals" saying now?  A number of liberals in the Democratic party are asking headquarters, "what do we say when the subject of 'Democratic Socialism," comes up during the next several months?  What should we say about 'The Billionaire Class' and 'capitalism?'


[Remember, this is all a metaphor for what should be done about music, and in connection with the activity of composition].


This is what "liberals" are being told to say: 


If asked whether you are for "Democratic Socialism," say "No."  If asked about capitalism, say, "I am for capitalism and for the small business owner."


I am not sure, Roger, but this seems closer to your view than mine.  It's what liberals have most often said, and what you are saying, fairly often.  Sanders, of course, says something different about "Democratic Socialism," about Capitalism, and the "Billionaire Class."  What do you say about those topics, today?


"Money 'legal money that is' doesn't grow on trees."


Who said it does?  A society has wealth (money being one expression of that wealth).  Democratic Socialism, as already exists in Denmark, Norway, Sweden makes sure that wealth is distributed (and re-distributed) more equally.  They may have less trees in Scandinavia (or more), but what matters is:  the wealth is distributed more evenly, people live longer, health care outcomes are generally better, more vacation time, more productivity, better working hours, lower infant mortality, less corporate control of the economy, more people's control of the economy, more powerful labor unions, less powerful bosses, larger middle class, less income inequality, higher literacy, better educational outcomes.  So what you say about "trees" is not relevant.  Have you read a single book or article, Roger, about the social, political and economic systems in Social Democratic countries, Roger?




" ... [where] is the end to bigger government and sudsides and handouts ..."


The US government subsidizes large corporations, oil companies, banks, and give less in social security, pension benefits, subsidies to the poorer or less affluent sectors.   The US give subsidies to Big Oil, while Norway nationalized its oil, and uses the money to give people health care, more vacation time, and more benefits.  


But you've said before you are for "smaller government," while avoiding the issue of what constitutes good and fair government.  


"and a want to regulate and control every human action and taxed interaction"


The US taxes ordinary people at higher rates than the rich, at a nominal rate of only 15 per cent (in Romney's case it was only 11 per cent—and that was for the years of tax he made public).


The phrase "want to regulate and control every action" is meaningless, since you don't say what actions are being "controlled" by whom?


For the vast majority, who go to work everyday, for 40 – 50 plus hours a week, it's the boss, the CEO and the corporation that controls their lives during those hours, and beyond (controlling the political system as well).


If you really think having less banking regulation, less regulation of the large corporations, less regulation of the real estate moguls, then why not come out and say you are for corporate dictatorship?


"This is a breeding ground for corruption and a means to tyranny. oops, too late!"


If you can prove that Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Switzerland are more corrupt, more tyrannical than the US, have at it.  Existing stats, research and evidence all show the reverse to be true.   Just pharmaceuticals and health care sector alone prove the point.


Of course, I would like to see MORE democracy, and more workers control and worker's democratic management than they have now in the countries I mentioned above.  Many are hoping that will be the next stage in social evolution.   Many are working towards that end.



"It's not your goals and platitudes that I question as much as THE MEANS of ACHIEVING THEM."


State your means.  You haven't yet. You seem to only have one platitude, "smaller government." I think the governments of the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon men were very small.  Is that your model for good governance?   


Roger, you've had a lot of time to do research and read something about this (other than right-wing web sites, and silly Youtube videos.)  Please: At least read Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Jefferson, Montesquieu, Proudhon, Tolstoy, Kropotkin, Marx, Gandhi and few real authors.  What you are getting (and regurgitating) is just Ayn Rand, and little more than that. 


"and please stop with your unsubstanciated assumptions."


I am not putting forward any unsubstantiated statements or assumptions.  I am drawing inferences, based on information I receive.  If any statement I make is, in your view, without substantiation, please specify the assumption and state why.


"If I am not in favor of Bernie, it does not automatically mean that I am pro Trump."


I did not say that "you" were pro-Trump, though I would ask whether you differ with those who say "At least Trump speaks his mind, and fights against those who favor 'political correctness.' "


I notice you do not contest my definition of "political correctness," though I wonder why?


If you think Bernie Sanders plays a simple and straightforward musical instrument that anyone can play, hear and understand, you are probably right.  We may agree.


He plays the instrument and the tune that he thinks people can understand, based on facts, statistics and real evidence.  That's a good thing. He's not a racist, he's not homophobic, or anti-Semitic or Islamophobic.


Roger, I invite you to take a look at this list of political parties in the US.  It has virtually every party that has existed and that exists now, from the far right to the far left, economically, and from the most liberal to the most authoritarian, socially.


Having seen quite a few of your posts, by now, I have not seen one that really differentiates you from the standard "libertarian" view, held now by the "Libertarian Party."  [Third down in the list of "Third Parties," after the Greens and the Constitution Party].  If you read the paragraph summary, and find anything significant that you object to, I would be a bit surprised.  While you object to the concentration of power in government, you don't appear to object to the concentration of power in economic enterprises (banks, corporations, real estate firms), while I object to the concentration of power in both, when there is no accountability to the people, through the ballot, through people's control of the economic enterprise, workers democracy or the democratic control of management and bureaucracies.  This seems to be the case based upon repeated statements you have made.


[Sorry, Mariza, I saw your note about this conversation after I had written this.  It's posted as a necessary response to remarks made by Roger, and I think you will understand that.  The conversation can be taken elsewhere, I suppose.  If you insist.   But I don't see how it interferes with the production process now. 

What's next for the agenda of discussion and the exchange of information on this thread?]











"Sorry, Mariza (...)"

As the say, if you were sorry you wouldn't have done it. No point in writing "sorry," therefore.


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