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H. S. Teoh
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H. S. Teoh's Friends

  • Mike Hewer
  • Aaron Armstead
  • gregorio X
  • Dave Dexter
  • Paul Halley
  • Erwin van Delft
  • Alan MacRae
  • Bobby Popolla
  • Thomas Lange
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  • Michael Lofting
  • Pavel Yakovlev
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H. S. Teoh's Discussions

Fugue on a theme by Erwin van Delft

Started this discussion. Last reply by H. S. Teoh on Monday. 7 Replies

Yes, fugue fever continues. :-P  I hereby apologize to anyone who might be allergic to, have a phobia of, or otherwise dislike or disdain fugues.  But since there is so much brouhaha around here…Continue


Started this discussion. Last reply by H. S. Teoh Aug 8. 21 Replies

I'm several months late, but this piece was intended to have been an entry to the past "Emotions" contest by Gav.  It's subtitled "Exuberance" for its boundless optimism.  Hope you enjoy it as much…Continue

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


H. S. Teoh's Page



Latest Activity

H. S. Teoh replied to Bob Porter's discussion Poor harpsichord.
"@Ray: if it's indeed true that the end is near for this forum, then ultimately none of this matters, and we can all go home and relax now. Perhaps that's what I should do right now. :-D"
15 hours ago
H. S. Teoh replied to Bob Porter's discussion Poor harpsichord.
"Yes. I totally don't buy into that "make it big" fantasy that contemporary society is obsessed with. And I especially don't buy into the concept that money, fame, acceptance by the masses, what-have-you, automatically imbues…"
H. S. Teoh replied to Bob Porter's discussion Poor harpsichord.
"@RS's "graph": Sigh."
H. S. Teoh replied to Erwin van Delft's discussion Perpetuum mobile
"Your 16th notes alternating with rests really ought to be written as staccato 8th notes. Are you sure this isn't a subtle attempt at fugue? :-P  Other than the opening, which doesn't conform to the "fugue formula" (whatever…"
H. S. Teoh replied to Mike Hewer's discussion 3 Preludes and..wait for it...FUGUES- Extended with 3 more
"I wasn't implying that you couldn't play them... I was just (trying to) take comfort in the fact that I haven't been able to spend enough time to learn to play my recent piano pieces, because it would take me a long time to get my…"
Jun 5
H. S. Teoh replied to Mike Hewer's discussion 3 Preludes and..wait for it...FUGUES- Extended with 3 more
"Haha, so I shouldn't be so bothered that I've been unable to perform many of my recent new pieces myself? ;-)"
Jun 5
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Fugue in C# minor "Lament" - (updated - extended))
"Listened to the new version.  Love the little pause at 1:52. I thought that was a very effective dramatic device for extending the piece. Loved the subject entry at 2:39 under the light accompaniment. Very nice "returning home"…"
Jun 5
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Fugue - "Dark Sky"
"Very interesting, and very intense!  It reminds me of Rachmaninoff's and Medtner's piano concerti. The only thing is... the buildup at the end feels like it's just reaching the climax of a Rachmaninoff-style buildup, but all that…"
Jun 5
H. S. Teoh replied to Mike Hewer's discussion 3 Preludes and..wait for it...FUGUES- Extended with 3 more
"@Mike: These recordings were sequenced?!  Whoa... and here I've been convinced that you played them yourself..."
Jun 5
H. S. Teoh replied to Lurian's discussion Fugue in Bb major on an italian drinking song.
"Actually, real tradition (i.e., pre-Bach) has fugue answers coming in all sorts of intervals. I took Kristofer's advice to take a look at Pachelbel's fugues in Magnificat, and found that, indeed, he has expositions with all kinds of…"
May 30
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Fugue in C# minor "Lament" - 1st draft, (with Live piano intro :)
"Well, perhaps it may have been a bit cliché... but then again, clichés become clichés because they work, and they work perhaps a little too well so they get overused and become worn out over time. Be that as it may, I think the…"
May 30
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Nocturne in Fugue in B minor (first draft)
"Well, if you're not compelled to do a chopinesque thingy, then you have more options open. :-)  And yes, I think navigating through a few more keys or excursions before the setup would make the final transition more satisfying.  Would…"
May 30
H. S. Teoh replied to Lurian's discussion Fugue in Bb major on an italian drinking song.
"Thanks, Lurian! I transcribed the first few bars of your fugue and played around with the answer a little bit. Here's what I came up with: The notes in blue indicate where I changed the answer and the corresponding counterpoint.  IMO this…"
May 29
H. S. Teoh replied to Lurian's discussion Fugue in Bb major on an italian drinking song.
"Hi Lurian, I think you accidentally uploaded the .mp3 file again instead of the score. :-) As for the "embarrassing" 6/4 chord, it can't have been that embarrassing since I didn't even notice it. :-D"
May 29
H. S. Teoh replied to Lurian's discussion Fugue in Bb major on an italian drinking song.
"Roger, I did not write what I did because I desired adherence to "strict form" (or "strick[sic] form").  I wrote what I did because it sounded "wrong" to my ears.  I don't care for strict form as long as…"
May 29
H. S. Teoh replied to gregorio X's discussion Nocturne in Fugue in B minor (first draft)
"Finally got around to listening to this again. Liked the various treatments of the subject  you have here. Especially liked the compact exposition where you had the subjects back-to-back with no intervening modulatory bridges -- the 3rd entry…"
May 29

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

Mahler 4

Posted on July 21, 2017 at 2:11pm 4 Comments

This morning I decided to sit through a performance of Mahler's 4th symphony on youtube... in the hopes of expanding my horizons with Mahler and all that, y'know, since in the past I've really only heard his 1st symphony in full, and only snippets of the others.

Unfortunately, I have to confess my conclusion is still the same as before: his music just doesn't do it for me.  I don't deny his genius at the craft, and certainly he's an excellent orchestrator -- probably far beyond what I…


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.


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