Are you looking for imaginative gifts for classical music lovers? Here are some suggestions:
Casals conducting the Brandenburg Concerti cds These expressive interpretations are also refreshingly unpolitically correct with lots of string vibrato and the use of piano instead of harpsichord: Casals conducts Brandenburg Concerti
Marx Brothers: A Night at the Opera Hilariously funny even for genuine opera lovers: A Night at the Opera
Gift card for The String Zone A useful present for any string player. The String Zone sells rosin, strings and other essential accessories. Gift cards range from £10 – £250 and are sent by email: Gift Card
Huffnung Cartoon Books
Only available second hand but the amusing cartoons have a definite grain of truth: Huffnung Cartoons
I went to a wonderful performance of Cinderella by Ballet Cymru recently. I was especially impressed by the choreography and music, which had been newly created.
The production was inspiring: the ballet was powerfully expressive and I loved the music , which was composed by Jack White:Rehearsing Cinderella
Using music to enhance a story
Telling a story or having a clear feeling, image or mood that you want to express can be a great starting point for composing music . It can also be a fun way of improvising when you practice: Cinderella Music
Ballet Cymru is an innovative company and I definitely recommend going to see them if they are performing nearby. The most comparable thing to the Cinderella music we have on our website is our music commissioning service: Gifts and Dedications
…and perhaps these opera cello duets, which have been arranged with the character of the songs very much in mind: Habanera Cello Duet
Roger has achieved music success by having his 15 Insect Songs accepted for publication by Spartan Press. The songs are based on a children’s story Roger wrote several years ago called The Quest for the Golden Orchid. The story features a bee called Hermia – and a variety of other insect characters- and their adventures in escaping dangers caused by pesticides.
About the songs
The music is fun and imaginative in illustrating the different characteristics of the various insects. The number of solo voices or choruses vary per song and there is a violin and piano accompaniment.
” These songs are ideal for use in schools, ” said Roger. ” Each song works on its own with or without the book – or all the songs and the book can be combined to create a children’s musical.”
Find out more
If you’d like to be kept in touch with up to date information about publication of the book and the songs please email Roger direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
And to find out how we can custom write and dedicate a piece of music for you, click below Gifts and Dedications
Composing music is something we spend an increasing amount of time doing. Our focus is usually string duets in their various forms.
How do you start composing string music?
For me, the easiest way to start composing string music is to have a focused idea of a feeling you want to create, a mood you want to evoke, or a visual image. I then decide on the form of the music – which gives a clear structure – and the key and time signature. I have found that structure itself can be inspiring. Ternary form and Variation form – for example – are ideal for creating short pieces of music in different moods. In Variation form or in a Chaconne there is also given series of notes.
Trying it out
Trying out tunes on your own instrument and experimenting with harmonies on the piano is, for me, the next step. And have a good understanding of the instruments you are composing for, what sort of patterns lie under the hand most effectively, and what special effects can be achieved is also a huge help.
Some super new composed string music
The video above is an example of a beautiful string orchestral piece written by Andrew Lowe Watson – a composer and pianist I was at music school with. It uses all the best traditions of string orchestral music and shows a deep understanding of string sound. I think it should be much better known.