Welcome to my blog

I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sonata for Horn and Piano


Below are all three movements of a three-movement Sonata that I have created in memory of my dear friend, Hornist, and composer/arranger, David Baptist. To read more about Dave, visit http://todd.macshare.com/davidbaptist/index.html This work was created with the support of a commissioning consortium. For more information, visit http://cooppress.net

This first movement is heroic in style as Dave was one of my heroes. He had so much talent and yet was very humble. He was one of the first friends we made when we moved to Arizona and his sense of humor was priceless. The movement is in a modified sonata form. Measures 1-22 is the main theme, measures 23-40 the secondary theme, and measures 41-59 the closing theme. The clarity themes are slightly obscured due to a carry over of material. The development section uses motifs from all three themes and goes from measures 59-94. The recapitulation begins at 94 with the secondary theme, then the closing theme and finally the main theme therefore creating an arch form.



The second movement reflects Dave's love of jazz. This bluesy movement uses a slight twist of the blues scale. Normally the lowered third is in the melody and the normal 3rd in the harmony. While this occurs in this movement, the reverse also occurs. The normal third is in the melody and the lowered third is in the harmony. Frequent use of both the normal and lowered versions of the 5th and 7th also occur.  The form builds to a climax about two-thirds through before returning to the opening material.





The third movement is in a modified rondo form. The 2/4, 5/8 rhythm of the A theme was inspired by my counting my vitamins in the morning to make sure that I had what I was supposed to take. I counted 1234 12345 which gave rise to the rhythmic pattern. The asymmetrical meter idea is carried over into the B theme where it begins with 4 measures of 5/8 followed by alternating 2/4 and 3/4. The character is similar to the A theme. The C theme is radically different and sounds more like a development with its repeated Horn notes and changing harmonies underneath. I am in the process of preparing Dave's compositions for publication and observed that Dave used this technique frequently. After the C section the themes return as B followed by A and a coda. The odd meters, articulation, and dynamic surprises create a lighter, more humorous movement.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Adventures for Tuba and Prerecorded Sounds

This is the first movement of a composition that I am composing through a commissioning consortium for tuba and prerecorded sounds for performance by college level musicians and above. The composition is called Adventures and the three movements will be African Safari, Final Ascent to Mt. Everest, and Rafting Down the Colorado River. People interested in joining the consortium can do so by going to http://cooppress.net before April 1, 2018.

The three animal sounds that are used in the first movement are hyena, lion, and elephant. Djembe is used for the drumming sounds. The movement contains sections of traveling alternating with sections of observing.




The second movement uses Tibetan bowls, wind, an avalanche, and heavy breathing for the prerecorded sounds.



Friday, November 24, 2017

Lexicon II for Brass Quintet - Movement 4

This is a composition that I am writing as a result of a commissioning consortium. The composition is for Brass Quintet. For more information about the consortium, please visit http://www.cooppress.net/page9/page385/index.html

Lexicon II is the second composition in a series that defines words through music.

The fourth movement, Amok, is filled with dissonance, counterpoint, and chromaticism in order to represent its definition; "to behave uncontrollably and disruptively." Sections of order seem to break down into sections of chaos and the movement ends on an unsettled chord.


Your comments are always welcomed.

Dr. B

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lexicon II for Brass Quintet - Movement 3

This is a composition that I am writing as a result of a commissioning consortium. The composition is for Brass Quintet. For more information about the consortium, please visit http://www.cooppress.net/page9/page385/index.html


Lexicon II is the second composition in a series that defines words through music.
In order to represent Eerie, the word for the third movement, a slow tempo and sparse instrumentation are used along with dissonance, extreme dynamics, trills and glissandi. Eerie means "uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear."



Your comments are always welcomed.

Dr. B

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lexicon II for Brass Quintet - Movement 2

This is a composition that I am writing as a result of a commissioning consortium. The composition is for Brass Quintet. For more information about the consortium, please visit http://www.cooppress.net/page9/page385/index.html


Lexicon II is the second composition in a series that defines words through music. The second movement, Clandestine, uses pyramids to disguise the melodic line and asymetrical meter to disguise the beat in order to represent the definition of "characterized by, done in, or executed with secrecy or concealment, especially for purposes of subversion or deception." The brass instruments are muted throughout this movement.



Your comments are always welcomed.

Dr. B

Divertimento II for Brass Quintet - Movement I

This is a composition that I am writing as a result of a commissioning consortium. The composition is for Brass Quintet. For more information about the consortium, please visit http://www.cooppress.net/page9/page385/index.html


Lexicon II is the second composition in a series that defines words through music. The first movement, Ballyhoo, means "clamor or outcry." This is achieved musically through a fast tempo, wide intervals, asymetric meter, imitative sixteenth note patterns, and mild dissonance.




Your comments are always welcomed.

Dr. B



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Spectrum Suite for Alto Saxophone and Tuba Movements 6-7

This is a composition that I am writing as a result of a commissioning consortium. The composition is for Alto Saxophone and Tuba. For more information about the consortium, please visit http://www.cooppress.net/page9/page10/index.html 

Spectrum Suite consists of seven short movements that musically depict the seven colors of the spectrum. Here are movements 6 and 7.

Indigo–Indigo is mystical as it bridges the Gap between Finite and Infinite. Indigo colored gemstones are often used for spiritual attainment, psychic abilities, self-awareness and enhancement of Intuition. This movement is mystical in nature.


Violet–is considered the highest element of spirituality. This movement is rich and inspirational.


Your comments are always welcomed.

Dr. B