Birth of Third Stream

Symphony for Brass & Percussion

Octet (3)

American composer, conductor and writer Gunther Schuller died in Boston on 21 June 2015, aged eighty-nine.


Liang Wang

Dosia McKay


Dosia McKay discusses her pathway to composition, the sources of inspiration for her music, and her new projects.

Special thanks to Chris Stack for camera work and scripting, and to Sally Sparks and Lora Tannenholz for helping us create the magic. Thank you to Cheryl Krugel-Lee for help with the New York video footage and to Paul Howells for touch-ups on audio post-production. Big pat on the back to myself for my editorial debut. Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me along the way.

The soundtrack of this video draws from my following compositions:
Uncertain, Secret Garden, European Folk, Is This All There Is? Bubble Tree, Girl on the Bridge, Lush, Glow, Cantabile from Three Monologues for String Quartet.

Watch the second part of the documentary here:…

COMPOSERS:  Please note Boulez’s  precise, expressive coonducting tecnniques.

Andrew Toovey


It’s So Amazing!

Here you  are in one moment of time.  Exploring your guitar , your piano.  Then something Happens to you.  Your ego disappears  and your higher self begins to hear  music you’ve never heard before.  It’s taking your heart and mind into new territory.  Patterns turn into phrases.  You are trying to feel where it wants to go.
Listen  to your intuition . Be daring.  It will all work out later.

Enjoy the magic of music creation!  The more music skills you learn , the more freedom  of expression comes your way.  Many musicians want to help you learn .  I hope that  you will find  these  websites helpful .   Your music composition adventure has begun!



You can upload music to our network, where our insightful review team will help you hone your craft.  Our composer music forum is an active com – munity of professionals, students, and amateurs who can  answer questions about the life and career of classical music composition and show you new techniques. 

Maria Schneider’s Advice to Young Composers   –   YouTube
“When artists break through by doing what they think will make them famous, not what they love, expressing their “real” selves becomes far harder.”

Advice For The Emerging Composer   –   Eric Whitacre .com 

A young composer uses old school methods of  music notation and tells you why.  ( Listen to his Virtual Choir 3, ‘Water Night’  received 3746 videos from 73 countries around the world  and launched on April 2nd 2012 at a live event at Lincoln Center, webcast on Lincoln Center Website, and revealed online.  Very Inspiring!
Eric  –  Advice For The Emerging Composer  –  Competitions
Learning from his personal experiences.
South Carolina School of Music
Leans toward Jazz Comp   –   Very  helpful Guide to the beginning Composer.  Music Theory Rules, Getting Started, Rewriting, Questions to Ask, Contrasts, Consistencies Motivic & Compositional Devices, Listening, Composition Links
Advice For Pianists: How To Compose Piano Music
Piano Lessons Myths  –  David
Advice For Young Composers / Young Musicians QuestionsMusical Mentors   –   Christophe Beck  –  YouTube
Composers New Pencil   –   Live / Dead Site  (no longer maintained).
What a shame!  What remains is quite useful to a composer.
Array Young Composers Workshop   –   The Process   –   YouTube 
National Young Composers Challenge   –  YouTube   –  The Composium
Pillars of Creation by Stephen Spies  –  The National Young Composers Challenge is open to young musicians ages 13 to 18 who are
U.S. residents.  The Challenge is simple. First, you can take part in a free full-day workshop with world-renowned composers and musicians. Then you write your own score for chamber ensemble or full orchestra. Finally, a panel of judges chooses the top three orchestral and top three ensemble compositions.

Very Young Composer Workshop   –   YouTube   –  Part One   –   Part Two

Berklee Press   –   Music composition / arranging / songwriting publications

Lawrence  Music  Composition  Blog
The number one piece of advce for young composers.

The Muses Muse
A songwriting resource for both beginners & pros. 

Advice For A Young Composer

Vikingur Olafsson

Andante con tenerezza – With Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir. violin, Stefán Jón Bernharðsson, horn, Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson, piano. Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Iceland, 12th August, 2006.


Soloist: Sharon Kam – Basset Clarinet
Performers: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra / Manfred Honeck

Recorded live at the Estates Theatre, Prague, 27 January 2006

With the excellent Sharon Kam on the clarinet – since emerging as the most exciting young clarinetist on the international scene when she won the top prize at the Munich (ARD) International Competition, she has performed with many renowned orchestras all over the world.


Martha Argerich playing Piano Concerto by Maurice Ravel live from Torino
Andrej Boreyko, conductor
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai

El Jardín de Epicuro

BBC Proms 2012 (32)
Leonard Bernstein, Misa


Chao-Jan Chang’s Music & Films

(For scores or commissioning new works, please contact the composer at

This is the first movement of Chao-Jan Chang’s cello composition, 4 Moods for Solo Cello. Each movement reflects a mood, such as fury, imagination, meditation, etc. This movement, flying, is very lyrical and poetic. The virtuoso cellist, Jan Muller-Szeraws, recorded this piece in 2009 in the Chapel of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.

If you like the music or need scores, you may also visit Chang’s website at for more music and photography works!

Ashish Xiangyi Kumar

A stupendous recording of the greatest post-Beethoven sonata (at least, by popular academic consensus). Along with Andre Laplante’s recording this is probably one of the pinnacles of classical pianism. (Zimerman took 76 takes before he managed to get a recording of the Sonata he was satisfied with.) I have a great fondness for the ending of this sonata, with its very daring augmented-fourth leap from an F major (arrived from A minor) to B major chord.

The structural brilliance of this piece is unmatched, opening with a deliciously harmonically ambiguous descent. The sonata is constructed from five (or, depending on your choice of academic, four, or seven, or nine) motivic elements that are woven into an enormous musical architecture. The motivic units undergo thematic transformation throughout the work to suit the musical context of the moment. A theme that in one context sounds menacing and even violent, is then transformed into a beautiful melody (compare 0:55, 8:38, 22:22, 26:02). This technique helps to bind the sonata’s sprawling structure into a single cohesive unit. Michael Saffle, Alan Walker, and others contend that the first motive appears at the very start of the piece until bar 8, the second occurs from bar 9 until 12 and the third from measures 13 to 17. The fourth and fifth motives appear later in the piece at measures 105-108 and 327-338 respectively.

Broadly speaking, the sonata has four movements although there is no gap between them. Superimposed upon the four movements is a large sonata form structure, although the precise beginnings and endings of the traditional development and recapitulation sections has long been a topic of debate. Charles Rosen states in his book The Classical Style that the entire piece fits the mold of a sonata form because of the reprise of material from the first movement that had been in D major, the relative major, now reprised in B minor.

Walker believes that the development begins roughly with the slow section at measure 331, the lead-back towards the recapitulation begins at the scherzo fugue, measure 459, and the recapitulation and coda are at measures 533 and 682 respectively. Each of these sections (exposition, development, lead-back, and recapitulation) are examples of Classical forms in and of themselves, which means that this piece is one of the earliest examples of Double-function form, a piece of music which has two classical forms occurring simultaneously, one containing others. For instance the exposition is a sonata form which starts and ends with material in B minor, containing the second part of the exposition and development wandering away from the tonic key, largely through the relative major D.

gbgfilmfestival·185 videos

The film festival is proud to present a Master Class with one of the most influential composers and intellectuals of our time: Philip Glass. Philip Glass is an American composer, considered to be one of the most important music makers of the late 20th century. Glass has won a wide audience in the concert hall, the dance world, in film and popular music simultaneously. Glass will be performing his groundbreaking movie soundtrack Koyaanisquatsi in Scandinavium in Göteborg, February 1st.

Participants: Philip Glass, composer Moderator: Niklas Rydén, composer and artistic director Atalante

The seminar will be held in English.

A co-operation between Göteborg International Film Festival and Göteborgs Symfoniker

jonathanwcasey·25 videos

3 minutes of amazing visuals of the Galapagos from the BBC composer competition, with my own music added.

pelodelperro·1,958 videos

Douze Études for piano in 2 books, L. 136 (1915)

I. Pour les cinq doigts (after Czerny)
II. Pour les tierces (2:52)
III. Pour les quartes (6:28)
IV. Pour les sixtes (12:06)
V. Pour les octaves (16:23)
VI. Pour les huit doigts (19:35)
VII. Pour les degrés chromatiques (21:08)
VIII. Pour les agréments (23:15)
IX. Pour les notes répétées (28:13)
X. Pour les sonorites opposées (31:35)
XI. Pour les arpèges composés 2 (36:57)
XII. Pour les accords (41:48)

Mitsuko Uchida, piano

Early in 1915, disheartened by the menace of World War I and gravely ill with cancer, Claude Debussy (1862-1918) nevertheless managed to compose. The fruits of his labors, 12 Etudes (study pieces or exercises), would be his last important works for solo piano, and would represent a distillation of the composer’s musical legacy. It was appropriate for Debussy — the most original composer for the piano since Franz Liszt — to join the ranks of etude composers. Equally fitting was his dedication of his two volumes to Frederick Chopin, noting that the serious nature of the exercises was offset by a charm reminiscent of the earlier master.

The etudes are divided into two books, each different in conception. Book I is devoted to exploring the technical problems and musical possibilities inherent in different intervals (thirds, sixths, etc.), while Book II engages in the exploration of musical syntax and style. In all, the etudes are witty, challenging, and inspired. Though academic in nature — and perhaps less easily digested than other of Debussy’s works — they fall closely on the heels of his popular Préludes and Images, and reflect the same aesthetic concerns: complex harmonies, fragmented melodic lines, and colorful textures.

The first etude of Book I, “Pour les ‘cinq doigts’-d’apres Monsieur Czerny” (For Five Fingers-after Mr. Czerny), is inspired by the five-finger exercises of Carl Czerny. Debussy pantomimes the pedantic works by placing figurations in grotesque juxtaposition and introducing bizarre modulations. “Pour les Tierces” (For Thirds) presents an extraordinary variety of patterns in parallel thirds, excepting those already encountered in “Tièrces alternées” from the second book of Préludes. “Pour les Quartes” (For Fourths) exercises the pianists ability in parallel fourths. Almost needless to say, quartal harmony abounds, making this etude more tonally adventurous than many of the others. “Pour les Sixtes” (For Sixths) is a slow and meditative work with two fast interludes, and one forte interruption. “Pour les Octaves” (For Octaves) combines chromaticism, whole-tone harmonies and complex syncopation. Probably the most brilliant etude of both books, it is equally difficult to play. “Pour les huit doigts” (For Eight Fingers) is meant to be performed (the composer’s suggestion) without the use of the thumbs, due to the division of the figuration into four-note scale patterns. It finds humor in its rigid insistence on four-note groupings and sudden ending.



Surface Tension