Music composition activities: an update (emphasis on separable miniatures)


I want to provide an update of my music composition activities, particularly with respect to preparing miniatures that are performable on solo piano or (for practical reasons) by organ transcription.

I had discussed some of this on Nov. 25, 2015.  On Jan. 28, 2015 I described the progress of my Third Sonata.  On Aug. 21. 2016, one of the miniatures was played.

Here is a list of the items I have worked on.  For each element I have a print PDF, and MP3.  Some slower tempo items are not effective when played by the computer, as they need human nuance.  The fast pieces, toccata-like, sound effective.

“Losing It” (a curious title that I won’t explain here, other than it comes from my dark days at NIH in the Fall of 1962, about the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis), is a three-stanza hymn without words in B-fat Major.   The tempo is moderately slow.  There is a middle section in F minor.

The elements are LosingItRev2, LosingItConc (concluding a dour middle section) and LosingItClose, which recasts the original tune a little more cheerfully.

The song (originally numbered Su506Bf, had been originally envisioned as an interlude in a “choral song symphony” back in 1974.

The first stanza was performed on Aug. 21.


The other pieces in the best shape are the “PolyTonal Prelude” (PolyTonalPreludeV2 and Coda) and the “Adagio Religioso” in B Major (Sonata3Mov3MReligioso) which is a middle section in the slow movement (third) of the Third Sonata,  This section was conceived in the spring of 1962 after a college friend at George Washington University was struck by a car near campus and killed (one of the outstanding students in the chemistry class).

I’ve added a section where the chorale religioso theme is reharmonized, with a lot more outright dissonance, near the end of the slow movement (Sonata3Mov3Da2).


The “Hymn tune” in the Finale (of #3) first appears quietly but with restless harmony (HoldApplauseHymn2)


That’s some time after the playful Toccata-like introduction (MSonata3FinaleS1) , which is surprisingly self-contained.



I’ve added to the cadenza before the coda in the finale  (Sonata3Mov4Cad), which is very toccata-like and plays well on the computer.  There are some invocations of the Scriabin “Black Mass” motive, and the music progresses through atonality before settling on a G#-minor chord, before the Coda, which will start in F# Major and finally migrate to C.


The Coda is on two files (Sonata3Mov4Coda1a and Sonata3Mov4Coda2b)..  I’ve marked the hymn melodic line in blue, and a secondary melodic line in pink.  The “Hold Applause” theme (which came to me in a dream in 2011, shortly after mother’s passing) is supposed to be singable.  There is a little bif of reference to Chopin (the A Major Polonaise, and then the Op 61 Fantasy) except that the descending interval is a major third, not a fourth (Chopin’s Op 61 sounds almost like a Scriabin Sonata to me).  But then there is a “double fist take” to settle on the final C Major outburst, with the toccata-like themes earlier in the Finale played over rising bass figures, taken from the conclusion of the Bruckner #7 and the scherzo of Bruckner 8.  The final 12 measures try to pile the history of postromantic music on top of one another in a skyscraper-like structure.  Finally, the work crashes to a close on a major third (C).

Coda Part 1 Page 1


Coda Part 1 Page 2


Coda Page 2 (end)


My “legacy” site ( holding all the music mp3’s has migrated to a new server recently,  I’ll copy the new files to it soon.  Right now, they’re private (in the cloud).

(Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 at 12:45 PM EST)

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