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H. S. Teoh's Discussions

Heat: the melting of an icecube

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mike Hewer Feb 9. 21 Replies

It's kinda late for this, but I've been wanting to do this yet never got around to it until now.  This is my contest entry for last year's Heat contest.  It didn't win any awards, but I'm not exactly…Continue

Noises in Two Voices: a fugue in D

Started this discussion. Last reply by gregorio X Feb 2. 24 Replies

Fugues have a reputation of being "serious" -- "academic" fugues, that is, meaning the rigid, dry grading standard of counterpoint class imposed upon composition students -- so I thought, what about…Continue

A fugue in 1 voice? Ludicrous!

Started this discussion. Last reply by Serenity Laine Jan 15. 47 Replies

Recently I noted that all 3 of my fugue attempts have been in 4 voices, and so I started sketching a 2-voice fugue instead.  While doing that (which will be a separate piece, btw), a crazy idea…Continue

Fugue in C# minor

Started this discussion. Last reply by H. S. Teoh Dec 19, 2016. 60 Replies

Continuing in this quarter's fugue fever, here's another attempt at fugue from l'il ole me.My last fugue elicited a comment that if I was going to break conventions, it should be up front. While I'm…Continue


H. S. Teoh's Page



Latest Activity

H. S. Teoh replied to Tom Jensen's discussion Fugue in B minor Tranquillo
"Roger, actually you do know somebody who routinely listens to fugues, namely, yours truly.  In the past half year or so, my listening repertoire has been mainly 8 of Bach's fugues and an invention that I transcribed, my own pieces, of…"
5 minutes ago
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Fugue in Eb minor
"Listened to this several more times this morning.  I agree with Mike: the ending could be slightly prolonged so that the final chord sounds more inevitable.  What you have now is not bad, but it comes to a close somewhat too…"
23 hours ago
H. S. Teoh replied to Tom Jensen's discussion Fugue in B minor Tranquillo
"Hi Tom, your audio file diverged from the score at around m.14... well, while I usually write under the restriction of playability by 2 hands, it can be liberating, especially in a fugue, to be free of that constraint. :-) I agree with Mike that…"
H. S. Teoh replied to Tom Jensen's discussion Fugue in B minor Tranquillo
"Roger, I compose not because I need to please the crowds so that they will pay me to buy food to feed my family. I compose because I feel the urge to create, and I write what I do because I enjoy listening to it myself, and because I find beauty in…"
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Fugue in Eb minor
"Ah, finally!  I was wondering when your next fugue would be up. :-D  (And this morning I was revisiting your current set of fugues on SoundCloud... loved them all, but especially the C# minor and B minor.)  And Eb minor! One of my…"
H. S. Teoh replied to Tom Jensen's discussion Fugue in B minor Tranquillo
"I'll bite. :-P I am of the (probably unpopular -- so be it) opinion that the classical forms have not yet been fully exhausted, and there remains much to be discovered even just within their confines, not to mention much more to be explored…"
H. S. Teoh replied to Tom Jensen's discussion Fugue in B minor Tranquillo
"I think there is a place for having many ideas... depending on the purpose of the piece and the character it wishes to convey. Of course, one still needs to exercise great discernment in what to include or exclude, and the result still has to be…"
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Nocturne in Fugue in B minor - updated (final version :)
"Just listened to fnl 31 New Arr.  Awesome climax!! I think you really got that measure working this time!"
Jun 12
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Nocturne in Fugue in B minor - updated (final version :)
"Indeed. As you may remember, I had the same struggle with just one measure in my 7/4 fugue some time ago. Fugues have a way of doing that, somehow. :-D On that note, I've been listening to some of your past fugues again today on SoundCloud,…"
Jun 9
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Nocturne in Fugue in B minor - updated (final version :)
"Very nice! I like the prolonged tension in the fast part that eventually bursts into the bridging trills. Very moving, and makes the following slow passage feel more inevitable. The secondary peak in the slower section is also very nice. The only…"
Jun 9
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Nocturne in Fugue in B minor -updated - extended-
"Whichever way you end up choosing, I'll be eager to hear the result!"
Jun 7
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Nocturne in Fugue in B minor -updated - extended-
"I did sense a slight peak toward the end, but it didn't feel strong enough, IMO, to counterbalance the strong climax at 2:05. Maybe even just a slight exaggeration of the dynamics at the end might help? Perhaps the chord at 3:10 could be…"
Jun 7
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Nocturne in Fugue in B minor -updated - extended-
"Listened to the new version a few times.   I like it... but it felt like the climax came a bit too early (2:00-2:06). I think the length of what follows it threw it off balance a little, even though I liked the new ending section. Perhaps…"
Jun 7
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Fugue - "Dark Sky"
"I've actually written some themes that are produced by the application of some procedure, mathematical or otherwise.  However, I always work on them after the initial generation, until they satisfy some level of "musicality" to…"
Jun 7
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Fugue - "Dark Sky"
"Totally agree.  When it comes to overarching organising principles like these, my take has always been to follow the spirit of the idea, but not necessarily the letter. IMO there should always be room for "bending the rules"…"
Jun 7
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Fugue - "Dark Sky"
"No no, this has nothing to do with some grandiose theory that can apply to anything. This has to do with two fugue subjects (Kristofer calls them "elemental subjects") A and B, where each entry of A (suitably transposed / augmented /…"
Jun 6

Profile Information

What have you composed for? Or what medium do you work around?
What is your favorite genre or style of music?
classical / art music / concert music
Is music your main income source?
No - Not at all.
Where do you live?
About Me (Must include biographical information about you as a composer):
I'm a professional software developer by day, and various things by night, including amateur composer. I've been interested in composition since my early teenage years many years ago -- Beethoven being my initial inspiration to pursue composition (specifically, the storm movement of his 6th symphony). My first attempts at composition date from 1990. Sadly, I never pursued music as a career, and ended up doing software instead. My time has also been very limited, and I have not composed as much as I would have liked to. I also lack formal music training, having picked up most of what I know from books, listening to classical music, and piano improvisation. Most of my pieces are written for piano, but my dream has always been to compose for an orchestra. So far, however, that has not yet materialized, though I do have at least two pieces (one skeletal, the other scored for computer but I feel the orchestration needs to be completely reworked) that I hope to flesh out and one day hear performed live.

Comment Wall (3 comments)

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At 12:06am on August 13, 2015, J Joe Townley said…

Hello H.S. and thank you for your very kind message. Actually, I'm just coming off a very serious eye condition triggered, I suppose by an equally serious upper and lower respiratory thing I picked up on a flight back from Berlin in May (I'm in Los Angeles). The eye required surgery to set things right and I'm just now getting my vision back in the one eye (the other was unaffected). Actually I've had problems with this eye in the past so I'm not surprised the respiratory condition reignited it. This is since May 3 when I got back and I'm just kicking the respiratory infection now. It's been a grueling---what--three months? I've never had anything like this before. Had to be some kind of exotic bug from the deepest parts of Asia or Africa or something because I usually bounce back from these things in 4-5-days. This took 3 different courses of antibiotics to finally get under control (coughing up blood and blowing blood out of my nostrils at one point, but no TB) and I was still coughing a month afterwards. Beware flying internationally. Nowadays you take your life into your hands getting exposed to all these potent diseases like Ebola floating around.

Greatly appreciate you letting me know you enjoy the concerto. You're right; I do get discouraged frequently because generally speaking most musicians aren't interested in doing an ultra-Romantic work these days, especially one that requires such large forces (expert pianist plus accomplished orchestra) to pull off properly. I did get word from someone who loves the concerto--psychologist and author Darrel Ray that he had a friend of his try to get it into the hands of David Stern, violinist Isaac Stern's son who is the conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra but I haven't heard anything since. This was about 6 weeks ago. Got my fingers crossed. Maybe someone can pull a miracle off. I hope so. Thanks so much for getting in touch. I will keep you apprised of any developments. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to any news you might want to share about your own career happenings. Take care,

J Joe Townley

At 1:44am on March 10, 2015, J Joe Townley said…

Hi H. S. and thank you for your very kind comments re My Piano Concerto No 2. Not sure if you were able to get to my bio. Thunbnail; started studying piano seriously at 10; wanted to write a piano concerto desperately by 16 but didn't actually do it until 18 when I wrote a horrid 1st mov. to a Piano Concerto in C Minor in 2-piano/4-hand. Injured my RH forefinger severely at 19-20 (don't remember) but continued with BA and injured finger until giving piano up at 25.

I agree. I'd love to hear this live. The screen-capture mutilated the audio. The SoundCloud audio is much better, but still sounds like an electronic rendering. To put on a performance of this concerto would cost roughly 150K for a top-tier orchestra/pianist so that's not in the offing anytime soon. My advice: don't write piano concertos if you're thinking of getting them performed. Stick with smaller works for small ensembles. Much greater chance of getting them performed live. I will check out your music tomorrow. Just getting this message really late (nearing midnight--yawn) So glad you enjoyed the concerto and noticing that it is cyclic. You're the first out of roughly 5000 viewers to comment on that (including earlier versions on YouTube which I have since deleted). J Joe

At 7:31pm on March 7, 2015, Tyler Hughes said…

Welcome to the Composers' Forum

H. S. Teoh's Blog

Did I really write all this crazy hard stuff?!

Posted on January 4, 2017 at 10:05pm 5 Comments

Today I finally got a chance to actually sit down at the piano (well, an electronic one, but still) and try to play my fugue in C# minor myself for the first time. And I was greatly dismayed to discover that I couldn't play it at all... What sounded relatively tame in midi turned out to be extremely difficult for me to play.  That's probably a sign of how lousy my non-existent piano skills are, or perhaps fugues are…


A nice tuba concerto

Posted on November 30, 2015 at 9:55pm 2 Comments

Recently I've been listening to many tuba concertos, to get an idea of the repertoire out there and what's possible on a tuba solo. Today I found this one, which, while it doesn't really feature any particularly unusual solo tricks or virtuoso stunts, is nevertheless a fun-filled romp with many beautifully scored passages:

Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra by Giancarlo Castro D'Addona

Just thought I'd share.

Trouble submitting new discussions

Posted on August 13, 2015 at 9:16pm 4 Comments

This blog entry is really more of a test than anything else... I'm having trouble submitting a new discussion to the analysis and critique section (it keeps ending up in the "we're sorry" page -- this is the 3rd try now), so this is just to see if blog entries will go through.

Some resources on compositional basics

Posted on May 9, 2015 at 10:30am 1 Comment

Here are some resources that I posted in the chatbox, but decided to collect them in a blog post so that they don't get lost easily:


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