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Gav Brown's Blog (42)

A Wonderful Result

Hello everyone, I was so gratified to see that we had a record number of composers (19) participate in the last composition contest (Short shorts), a record number of site members (27) participate in the voting, and also some of the composers have posted their pieces in the Music Dissection forum and gotten a lot of responses, which is just great! I enjoy running contests and am working on a unique idea for the next one. Hope we will continue to see an increased level of participation, and…


Added by Gav Brown on April 5, 2013 at 4:03am — 2 Comments

Some good piano music

It is hard to find anything more beautiful than the music of the 19th century Polish composer Fredric Chopin, who was called "the poet of the piano" because of his lyrical and memorable melodies. I think he's like the Beatles of classical composers. Like them, everything he wrote was memorable and accessible - and short. Here is an example of one of my favorite works by him. The melody is utterly simple, and in the bass, accompanied by divine arpeggios in the right hand. It requires a…


Added by Gav Brown on March 29, 2013 at 12:31am — 3 Comments

Request for those who post videos

I was going through the recently posted videos today. Some of them look quite slick, but I can't tell if they are the work of the poster or if they are just putting up a video they like, because they did not comment. I like both types of video, but react completely differently depending on whether it is someone's composition or not. Please clearly indicate when you post a video if it's your own composition or not. Thanks -

Added by Gav Brown on March 27, 2013 at 4:50pm — No Comments

Amazing Acapella Performance

One guy does all the singing, all the instruments - Wow!

Added by Gav Brown on March 11, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Beautiful Glass Playing

Added by Gav Brown on February 18, 2013 at 7:06pm — 1 Comment


The single most challenging thing to me as a composer and what I hope to improve the most in my compositions is 'return.' Some of the best music I have heard begins and ends the same way, and often repeats initial themes throughout. Return coheses a piece like nothing else and seems to me to be a key element of  compositional mastery.

Added by Gav Brown on January 25, 2013 at 12:05am — 1 Comment

Scott Joplin at 137

At the time I composed this, in 2004, Scott Joplin, the greatest ragtime composer of all time, and a great influence on me, would have been 137 years old if he was still alive. I've taken inspiration from him to compose this piece, which is in a progressive rock style, but with lots of syncopation and motifs inspired by this wonderful American composer. Hope you enjoy!

Added by Gav Brown on January 4, 2013 at 11:18pm — 3 Comments

Who I studied with

I was a composition major for a year (1982) at Illinois State University. The teacher was a guy named Roque Cordero, a Panamanian composer of some note amongst composers of note (I guess). His music was atonal and sounded to me like demented ragtime.

Added by Gav Brown on December 17, 2012 at 8:58pm — 1 Comment

Spiritual Heir to Dave Brubeck?

He wrote many fine pieces in traditional time signatures, but of course is best known for his compositions in unusual time signatures. I was listening to Rush Permanent Waves (their best, I think) today and realized that they too use all sorts of odd time signatures, and often change time multiple times throughout a piece. There are really only a small number of artists who work outside of the confines of 3/4 or 4/4 time.

Added by Gav Brown on December 6, 2012 at 3:26pm — 1 Comment

Mystique for 14 Handbells

I wanted to compose a piece in the Locrian mode, which is IMO is the hardest of all to work in (it is based on the white key scale on the piano beginning with "B," which means the tonic is B-D-F, so hard to resolve to). Since handbells harmonize on a minor third, it kind of works out. Here's a piece in A-Locrian:



Added by Gav Brown on November 29, 2012 at 8:00pm — No Comments

TV Show Theme

This is a theme song I wrote 2 decades ago for a TV show called "Just Sisters." The show was to be about identical twins who got into shenanigans. It never happened. I enjoyed writing it and to represent the idea of identical twins would repeat small musical motifs throughout the piece. Hope you enjoy it -



Added by Gav Brown on November 26, 2012 at 7:26pm — No Comments

Music Written for a web app: 60s Celebration

This music is intended to loop in the background of a web application/game:

60s Celebration.pdf

60s Celebration on Youtube

Added by Gav Brown on September 20, 2012 at 10:26pm — No Comments

Music written for a web app: Adventure

The music is intended to repeat in the background of a web application/game:


Adventure on Youtube

Added by Gav Brown on September 20, 2012 at 9:59pm — No Comments

30 Second Symphony

I wrote this 20 years ago for a young composer named Allan, who was having trouble figuring out how to develop a style. I joked with him that "any piece can be in any style" and so wrote this work which changes style multiple times in a piece lasting less than a minute.



Added by Gav Brown on July 30, 2012 at 9:21pm — 4 Comments

The value of 67 cents

I just sold a piece! I have pay-for sheetmusic sites at Lulu (American) and MusicaNeo (Swedish, I think). Someone just bought a piece at MusicaNeo of which my share is 67 cents. That's nothing of course, but it's an effing great feeling that someone was willing to pay for my music.

Added by Gav Brown on July 30, 2012 at 4:56am — No Comments

What does "Classical Music" mean today?

I wonder. The 20th century, particular the latter half of the 20th century, seems to have exploded the idea of each era being defined by a "movement," such as Baroque, Romantic, Impressionism. Even once-far-out ideas like atonalism, chance-music, minimalism and other "reject-what-has-come-before" movements seem dated. I personally think that many composers who in the past would have been "court" composers now work in TV and movies and that their music is shaped by the demands of those…


Added by Gav Brown on June 15, 2012 at 8:29pm — 7 Comments

Two part invention

Comments welcome:

Two Part Invention music


Added by Gav Brown on May 16, 2012 at 8:42pm — 1 Comment

About listening to your music - score appreciated

Hello - I listen to just about everything posted here. I can understand your music better if you provide a score along with it. Thanks to those who can do this!

Added by Gav Brown on May 16, 2012 at 7:43pm — No Comments

Bijou Rag

Written for the 200th Anniversary of Enoch Pratt's birfday (look him up).

Bijou Rag music

Bijou Rag PDF

Added by Gav Brown on May 1, 2012 at 8:36pm — No Comments

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