Archive for April, 2010

Too Many Rests

April 28, 2010

I have a 12 CD collection of band music from J.W.Pepper. Each track starts with an enthusiastic Dick Clark-ish announcer saying things like “You won’t want to miss this harbinger of a piece” or “Your students will LOVE this new work by …” or “From the hear-pounding introduction to the sublime conclusion, you’ll find this work …” After that, a professional sounding band accurately plays the piece for you to audition.

And I’ve always wondered, why do most of the band pieces in these 12 CDs sound the same?  Not with the same melodies or same beats, but with the same sound?

I used to blame the clarinets. If there was ever a section worth blaming, it seemed like it would be the sea of clarinets that every band has. They always seemed like a poor substitute for the violins. (more…)


Program Notes for the Band Piece

April 23, 2010

When you post something on the web, you want folks to bang on it before it goes to your intended audience.  So, when I posted the sound file of this band piece, I emailed it to my family.

So far, lots of positive comments on the piece, but the one comment that was consistent with all of the listeners so far:

What’s with the loud start at the beginning?  My teenage fill-in-the-blank (child, niece, alter-ego, …) doesn’t wake up that energetic!

So, it was time to write some program notes for those who were not part of the residency.

Here they are: Program Notes


Finishing the Piece With Percussion (sound file included)

April 23, 2010

There is now some hope that I can claim my life back.  I believe that I have officially finished the band piece.

The music for the wind players was finished nearly 2 weeks ago.  The percussion was left to be done.  And, for me, percussion is like dynamics. Sure, they’re important, but I’d rather write REAL notes. (more…)