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What Have You Written?


Peter Clark
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I get the impression that many "Manderins" (!) on this forum have written music for church and so on, and thought it would be interesting to hear about it.

 

I'll kick off by saying that I've just finished a setting of the Reproaches for Good Friday (in Latin - polyphony alternating with plainsong-type music) and am working on a setting of the Adoremus te Christe for the same service. I often set the psalm to music usually with a 4 part response (announced first by cantor) and single voice verses though sometimes I do a 4 part verse setting.

 

I have also written a little bit of organ music including A Birthday Toccata which I wrote as a birthday gift for my partner Jane a few years ago and am now going to introduce it to a wider audience in a recital. I also have an Easter Fanfare which is quite bluesy. But let's hear what others have been up to...

 

Best as ever

 

Peter

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I get the impression that many "Manderins" (!) on this forum have written music for church and so on, and thought it would be interesting to hear about it.

 

I'll kick off by saying that I've just finished a setting of the Reproaches for Good Friday (in Latin - polyphony alternating with plainsong-type music) and am working on a setting of the Adoremus te Christe for the same service. I often set the psalm to music usually with a 4 part response (announced first by cantor) and single voice verses though sometimes I do a 4 part verse setting.

 

I have also written a little bit of organ music including A Birthday Toccata which I wrote as a birthday gift for my partner Jane a few years ago and am now going to introduce it to a wider audience in a recital. I also have an Easter Fanfare which is quite bluesy. But let's hear what others have been up to...

 

Best as ever

 

Peter

 

 

===========================

 

 

Now please don't laugh at this, because I'm actually being quite serious for a change!

 

I have lots of things which I have written but never actually got around to finishing....let me explain.

 

I discovered a simply wonderful and mysterious chord-progression quite by accident more than by design, and so taken with it was I; I wrote it down.

 

Then I was improvising one day (as you do), and I hit upon this great opening for a big Fantasy, to which I attached said mystical chord progression in a quiet section. The whole Fantasy, (such as it is), is rather Regeresque, with big chords and whole-tone scales, and as I now appreciate, there is more than a hint of the central european about it. Due to the fact that I am painfully....nay agonisingly slow to write music down, (a bit like Durfule on barbiturates), I completed four pages of this grand work before throwing it onto a heap of music; vowing to return to it "someday." It has great potential, but the composer has just not the slightest motivation at the moment.

 

Then I looked at that splendid concerto-style opeinng of the unfinished Bach "Fantasia in C major", and I thought I would try and complete it. This went wonderfully well, and is well up to the quality of the original.....for all of three pages!

 

Pressure of work forced the abandonment of this noble project, but then I discovered that someone else had done it anyway, and I lost a bit of motivation. I now discover that the other version is fairly awful, and someday, I vow to go back to completing it. The frustrating thing is, I worked out a fugal theme which, in stretto, can combine the original unfinished Fantasia theme.

 

I have a way with hymn-tunes, and I've written a few of those in my time; but then they went happy-clappy and my efforts wouold not be appreciated to-day.

 

Then I wrote chants and the same thing happened.

 

Inspired by the develish cleverness of Reginal Porter-Brown, I then wrote AND COMPLETED (Hurrah!), an arrangement of the 20's hit tune "Nola," which rather cutely I re-named "The Nola Sisters," which includes varioue snippets of "Put me among the girls," "Polly" and "Ain't she sweet".....at one point, the two tunes "Nola" and "Polly" run absolutely parallel.

 

So I played this on a theatre organ, and everyone said exactly the same as they said to Reginal Porter-Brown......"You're completely mad!"

 

That didn't encourage me to play it again in a hurry, so instead, I wrote a period pastiche entitled "Caprice," and dedicated to the late Ena Baga.

 

So it is, that my Op. 1 and ONLY one, is there for posterity.....BUT.....I can at least claim something a little special about this mighty contribution to the art of musical composition, because it was first performed in the company of our friend Frank Fowler and no lesser a person than Carlo Curley; the notes being pressed by the late Wiliam Davies.

 

Someday, I promise that I will finish that Fantasia, because after 20 years, I still gaze at it adoringly; knowing that it has real potential.

 

Now does anyone know a suitable motivational course which I might attend?

 

MM

 

PS: Who are you calling a Manderin?

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===========================

Now please don't laugh at this, because I'm actually being quite serious for a change!

 

I have lots of things which I have written but never actually got around to finishing....let me explain.

 

I discovered a simply wonderful and mysterious chord-progression quite by accident more than by design, and so taken with it was I; I wrote it down.

 

Then I was improvising one day (as you do), and I hit upon this great opening for a big Fantasy, to which I attached said mystical chord progression in a quiet section. The whole Fantasy, (such as it is), is rather Regeresque, with big chords and whole-tone scales, and as I now appreciate, there is more than a hint of the central european about it. Due to the fact that I am painfully....nay agonisingly slow to write music down, (a bit like Durfule on barbiturates), I completed four pages of this grand work before throwing it onto a heap of music; vowing to return to it "someday." It has great potential, but the composer has just not the slightest motivation at the moment.

 

Then I looked at that splendid concerto-style opeinng of the unfinished Bach "Fantasia in C major", and I thought I would try and complete it. This went wonderfully well, and is well up to the quality of the original.....for all of three pages!

 

Pressure of work forced the abandonment of this noble project, but then I discovered that someone else had done it anyway, and I lost a bit of motivation. I now discover that the other version is fairly awful, and someday, I vow to go back to completing it. The frustrating thing is, I worked out a fugal theme which, in stretto, can combine the original unfinished Fantasia theme.

 

I have a way with hymn-tunes, and I've written a few of those in my time; but then they went happy-clappy and my efforts wouold not be appreciated to-day.

 

Then I wrote chants and the same thing happened.

 

Inspired by the develish cleverness of Reginal Porter-Brown, I then wrote AND COMPLETED (Hurrah!), an arrangement of the 20's hit tune "Nola," which rather cutely I re-named "The Nola Sisters," which includes varioue snippets of "Put me among the girls," "Polly" and "Ain't she sweet".....at one point, the two tunes "Nola" and "Polly" run absolutely parallel.

 

So I played this on a theatre organ, and everyone said exactly the same as they said to Reginal Porter-Brown......"You're completely mad!"

 

That didn't encourage me to play it again in a hurry, so instead, I wrote a period pastiche entitled "Caprice," and dedicated to the late Ena Baga.

 

So it is, that my Op. 1 and ONLY one, is there for posterity.....BUT.....I can at least claim something a little special about this mighty contribution to the art of musical composition, because it was first performed in the company of our friend Frank Fowler and no lesser a person than Carlo Curley; the notes being pressed by the late Wiliam Davies.

 

Someday, I promise that I will finish that Fantasia, because after 20 years, I still gaze at it adoringly; knowing that it has real potential.

 

Now does anyone know a suitable motivational course which I might attend?

 

MM

 

PS: Who are you calling a Manderin?

 

Sometimes I wonder about MM - but mostly I enjoy his posts!

 

Peter

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I get the impression that many "Manderins" (!) on this forum have written music for church and so on, and thought it would be interesting to hear about it.

 

I'll kick off by saying that I've just finished a setting of the Reproaches for Good Friday (in Latin - polyphony alternating with plainsong-type music) and am working on a setting of the Adoremus te Christe for the same service. I often set the psalm to music usually with a 4 part response (announced first by cantor) and single voice verses though sometimes I do a 4 part verse setting.

 

I have also written a little bit of organ music including A Birthday Toccata which I wrote as a birthday gift for my partner Jane a few years ago and am now going to introduce it to a wider audience in a recital. I also have an Easter Fanfare which is quite bluesy. But let's hear what others have been up to...

 

Best as ever

 

Peter

 

I once have written a Toccata for Christmas, 'Toccata pour le jour de noel'. It is in Sonata form with the gregorian Christmas Alleluia as first theme and a german carol as second theme. After the development section both themes are combined in the recapitulation. As you can see by the french title, the piece owes much to my predilection for the french symphonic style.

The first (and so far only) performance was played by myself on a huge Steinmeyer organ during a Christmas service.

At the end I was happier about my playing than about the composition, because I came through the piece without any breakdown :lol:

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Sometimes I wonder about MM - but mostly I enjoy his posts!

 

Peter

 

 

======================

 

I'm sorry to jump back so soon, but I did say I was being serious, and I am.

 

Other than "art for art's sake," what possible motive is there for writing anything down in England to-day?

 

You wouldn't get it published, you wouldn't get it performed and no-one is going to throw a comfortable living at you as you grind away writing things.

 

That's exactly why I gave up music, because the only alternative is a life sentence doing classroom-teaching, and frankly, I would rather eat worms.

 

Without much support from the churches these days, virtually the last remaining lifeline has now almost vanished.

 

Please tell me if I am wrong.

 

MM

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======================

 

I'm sorry to jump back so soon, but I did say I was being serious, and I am.

 

Other than "art for art's sake," what possible motive is there for writing anything down in England to-day?

 

You wouldn't get it published, you wouldn't get it performed and no-one is going to throw a comfortable living at you as you grind away writing things.

 

That's exactly why I gave up music, because the only alternative is a life sentence doing classroom-teaching, and frankly, I would rather eat worms.

 

Without much support from the churches these days, virtually the last remaining lifeline has now almost vanished.

 

Please tell me if I am wrong.

 

MM

 

I do it because I love music and I love the people I write for. That's good enough for me.

 

P

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That's exactly why I gave up music, because the only alternative is a life sentence doing classroom-teaching.................

 

The classroom teaching is actually not too bad - I find anyway - it's just all the rest...........! It certainly helps now having an instrument at home to work properly at music on - and even start composing again maybe.

 

AJJ

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======================

 

 

Other than "art for art's sake," what possible motive is there for writing anything down in England to-day?

 

You wouldn't get it published, you wouldn't get it performed and no-one is going to throw a comfortable living at you as you grind away writing things.

 

You could always try and get a job at Kevin Mayhew writing formulaic compositions, that look like exactly the same thing I write for Grade 8 theory!

 

I'm not sure the Reger-Esque fantasia you describe would particuarly fit in 'Throwaway music for a throwaway age volume 14' however.

 

Incidently, (and well away from this thread) has anyone ever used these books and found something of great worth in it?? (Excluding that Colin Mawby book of last verses of Hymns, which has some very useable stuff in it for the lazy)

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Yes, I've written quite a bit... some of it I'm actually proud of(!)

 

I've always meant to revise my op. 1, (Fugue in f-min) but never have done so:

http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/Orwig_comps...ue_in_F-min.mp3

Toccata-Flourish on "Wachet Auf":

http://www.evensongmusic.net/audio/OrwigWachetTFF.mp3

Toccata and Fugue in Gm: (a double fugue - almost did me in writing it!)

http://www.evensongmusic.net/audio/OrwigToccata+FugueGm.mp3

 

Those are the more "formal" works - the rest are shorter and based on hymn or carol tunes.

 

Hymn based works:

http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/Orwig_comps/crucifer.mp3

http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/Orwig_comps/lobe.mp3

http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/Orwig_comps/terra.mp3

http://www.evensongmusic.net/audio/LoveDivineBeecher.mp3

 

Christmas Suite:

http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/Orwig_comps...o_the_World.mp3

http://evensongmusic.net/audio/adagio_silent_night.mp3

http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/Orwig_comps...rald_Angels.mp3

http://www.blackiris.com/orwig/Orwig_comps...ta_Carillon.mp3

 

Toccata Nervosa (Good King Wenceslas)

http://www.evensongmusic.net/audio/OrwigWenceslas.mp3

 

2 pieces from a 2nd volume of Hymn arrangements:

http://www.evensongmusic.net/audio/OrwigJesusShallReign.mp3

http://www.evensongmusic.net/audio/OrwigNettleton.mp3

 

1st in a series of Spirituals - "Dry Bones"

http://www.evensongmusic.net/audio/OrwigSp...ls-DemBones.mp3

 

Organ and orchestra arr. of Karg-Elert's Lobe den Herrn mit pauken un zimbeln schoen:

http://www.evensongmusic.net/audio/LobePaukenFINAL.mp3

 

~~~~~

 

I'm also working on an organ concerto....

 

Certainly I don't do this to get rich :P

I do like to sell music, but I write primarily because I enjoy it, and

frankly, I'd do it even if no one ever bought a single piece.

 

Getting the word to people is difficult, and it costs a lot to promote oneself.

I try to be very careful about using online forums or email chatlists - I've found

that if I simply stick to posting links to free audio downloads, (without mentioning

the fact that the music is for sale) no one seems to feel that I'm abusing the system.

 

Some of you may remember that when I first joined this forum I was publicly whipped

(privately, too) when some members thought I was "advertising" my business here -

that was not ever my intention to trespass on the good will of Manders or this board, nor

to offend anyone. Since I've deleted those posts and refrained from mentioning my publishing venture and stuck to posting file links with minimal (or simply informational) content, I've not had any

flames come my way.

 

I hope these links I've put up are taken for what they are - a response to a question about

whether we are writing music, not a solicitation for sales. :lol:

 

Cheers,

 

-G

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I get the impression that many "Manderins" (!) on this forum have written music for church and so on, and thought it would be interesting to hear about it.
I tend to think of myself as more of a lemon really. :lol:

 

What have I written? Loads, but not much that I am keen to admit to. All terribly old-fashioned and derivative (sort of VW / Murrill idiom based on secondary sevenths, or even slightly Howellsian at times). Am prepared to own up to the following:

 

A motet written to be within the capabilities of a tiny parish church choir (6 boys, 4 men). Simple, but effective within its limitations.

 

An arrangement of "The Angel Gabriel" which has some nice moments until you start comparing it to Rutter and realise how stiff it is.

 

A unison hymn tune - a setting of "The spacious firmament on high". Not really four-square enough for a congregation, but it's a good tune, even if I say so myself. At least, I've been cursed by singers who can't get it out of their heads, which I take to be a good sign.

 

A handful of (mostly) very soupy Anglican chants.

 

A set of Preces and Responses which has been broadcast on Choral Evensong four or five times over the years.

 

A set of variations for organ on "Veni Creator Spiritus". Takes the form of a set of miniature essays in texture in which the theme remains fairly distinct and undeveloped (probably a bad decision in retrospect). Too long for its own good. It's always gone down well in public, but that's only because of the last movement (yes, it's the inevitable toccata - preceded by a diabolical "presto possibile" pedal solo which I can never get right in public).

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Since i Never answered peters original question::

 

An A-Level piece for Violin and Organ (to be recorded shortly)

 

An 8 Part Choir Vocalise (formerly an ave verum) for Music GCSE (synthasised)

 

Two Anglican chants that aren't particuarly exciting

 

Couple of Descants

 

Couple of Gospal Alleluias for three parts (cong, upper,lower)

 

Started work on a solo organ piece, some variations on the national anthem (music for its own sake, more like the Reger ones than Ives) - have so far written a three part counterpoint fugal section

 

 

Sure there will be more when the music degree starts....

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Incidently, (and well away from this thread) has anyone ever used these books and found something of great worth in it??

 

A slim book of plainsong based pieces (improvisations almost..) by Malcolm Archer - good to have handy when inspiration goes before the service or during Communion.

 

AJJ

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Incidently, (and well away from this thread) has anyone ever used these books and found something of great worth in it?? (Excluding that Colin Mawby book of last verses of Hymns, which has some very useable stuff in it for the lazy)

 

I've got a couple of these books: I mentioned in another thread the piece I've started to use at weddings Tubas on Parade by John March from "Soloing the Stoips". I have another book called "Swing Gently" which has a delightful piece by June Nixon based on the spiritual Shall We Gather t the River. I don't think any claim is made that these are monumental revelatory and revolutionary pieces which are going to send music in a completely new direction; they are just short servicable pieces.

 

Peter

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AJJ. Just wondering what the title of the album is ...and publisher.

Thanks for your time,

WM

 

Six Plainsong Preludes for Organ by Malcolm Archer published by Kevin Mayhew.

 

AJJ

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

A Responsorial psalm for the Feast of St Andrew (where I play)

 

A responsorial Agnus Dei (Latin text) sort of Dorian Mode-ish, written as a "one off" for a particular occasion 13 years ago, and still in use in the parish.) Conceived as unaccompanied and works well thus, but could be accompanied. (PM me if you would like to see a copy)

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Go on then...

 

A variety of hymn tunes and chants, one of which can be heard here sung brilliantly by AJT's choir, part of a setting of the Song of Solomon awaiting completion, three 'spoof' hymns, a handful of moderately tasteless descants and last verse arrangements (most of which reside in my head) and one or two improvisation themes which have worked out quite well and are quietly being worked on. Also in progress is a contemporary-ish reharmonisation of the Ferial Responses for ATB.

 

I have a real problem with composing in that I just don't know where to start; I can sit at the piano and discover something I rather like, then when I come to try and write it down I can't seem to focus in on things to, say, remember a sequence of three notes in a particular part, even if I play it over and over; by the time I've got the lid off the pen or gone back to Sibelius, it's completely escaped me. I tried plugging in a MIDI keyboard but editing pages and pages of junk is even worse. Immensely frustrating.

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Only six of us prepared to join the ducks on the target range? For shame! Come on. I bet you've all have a stab at something at one time or another. :)

Most of my stuff is 'occasional' - like the ASB responses written between the Vicar announcing we were using ASB for evensong one morning and the 5pm choir rehearsal that day- and two psalm chants to match. I don't even have a copy of the responses, but the chants seem OK in a journeyman kind of way. Various 'reharmonisations/descants' some more vulgar than others and various fanfares/processionals for the arrival/departure of various clerics.

 

The only thing that's lasted, as far as I know, is a (pastiche) congregational mass setting written for unison voices some 20 years ago that's still in use once a month.

 

There are various 'sketches' for organ which lie somewhere between improvisation and composition

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A setting of the Coventry Carol, published by Animus.

Two sets of Preces & Responses which the church choir use for Evensong.

One Mass setting written in panic at the introduction of Common Worship and still in use.

One short anthem, Lord, be thy word my rule written for a competition - never heard of again but we choir did sing it once.

A few chants, one in F minor that has become popular with my choir (they're very loyal, bless 'em).

A few last verse improvs/descants.

 

Like David Coram, I have moments of inspiration that vanish the moment the music software boots up!

 

H

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
Go on then...

 

A variety of hymn tunes and chants, one of which can be heard here sung brilliantly by AJT's choir......

 

Quite lovely and beautiful. Stick at it David!

 

Do a Beethoven and buy a Sketch Book. It is surprising how things grow when you carefully return to a piece some time afterwards. The other thing is that a deadline works wonders for the inspiration and focuses your energy to the task in hand. All power to the pen in the meantime!

 

Best wishes,

Nigel

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I've written a few bits and bobs over the years, some of which can be heard here: http://www.stevebarker.seriouslyinternet.c.../recordings.htm including a unison setting of the Common Worship Communion service with all of the Eucharistic Prayer odds and ends. There are some scores on http://members.sibeliusmusic.com/sbarker together with a small number of descants that I've written for my own choir.

 

If you like any of it then feel free to use what you want - always interested in knowing where it's being used though!

 

Steve

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  • 1 year later...

I have an Alleluia setting written in memory of Dom Alan Rees OSB, and in his style, which I think works quite well; useful for gospel processions. I also have just written a hymn tune to "For the Beauty of the Earth". They are in Music Publiser 7.1 but if anyone wants to see one or the other or both (and I'd be grateful for constructive comments) I can convert them to Word and send them as an attachment if I have e-mail addresses. Oh, I've written quite a bit more but these are the two which I am interested in people commenting upon at the moment. (I also have a piano piece just completed called Jane's Birthday Rag which speaks for itself!). (The Reproaches I mentioned in the first post on this thread is also "in print".)

 

Cheers

 

Peter

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