I once saw a YouTube video of a dog demonstrating perfect pitch. A lovely Golden Retriever sat at what looked to be a makeshift, paw-friendly piano keyboard . Opposite and off screen, a woman played a penny whistle and addressed the dog in German. The woman would […]
“Blue Hills Over the North Wall” is an excerpt from my 1996 piece Cycle of Friends for soprano, chorus and chamber orchestra, commissioned by the Music Group of Philadelphia, and premiered by them in conjunction with Orchestra 2001. I was in my twenties when I […]
This off-beat little a cappella piece was written many, many years ago (1991, to be exact). It is an earnest and faithful setting of a very silly poem by my friend Will T. Laughlin. It happens to be very difficult to learn and perform, with a lot of meter […]
“Roll the Tide” is a short, a cappella quasi-spiritual excerpted from the larger work Waiting…, based on poems by Elisabeth T. Eliassen.
In the “video perusal score” above, you can follow the score as you hear its premiere performance by the 2011 Kodály Summer Institute Chorus at Holy Names University, conducted by […]
What is so wonderful about for me about my poetic “thought music” is that while it can have specific meaning for me, it doesn’t have to have a specific meaning for anyone else.
— poet Elisabeth T. Eliassen
My new choral work Waiting… is […]
The Sanford Dole Ensemble will give the premiere performance of my new choral work Waiting…, for chorus, string quartet and piano, at the San Francisco Conservatory on February 4th at 8:00pm.
This “All New, All Local” program also includes new works by San Francisco composers David Conte and Peter […]
The word tritone is frequently used interchangeably with the terms augmented fourth and diminished fifth. Let’s see if we can clear that up.
The intervals of the augmented fourth and diminished fifth indeed sound the same when played out of context on a piano, but they are not the same interval, they are not both the same thing as a tritone, and the tritone is not an inversion of itself. […]
I recently discovered that an old acquaintance of mine is a fellow musicianship teacher and has been writing and recording diabolically clever songs that illustrate musical ear training concepts in a refreshing and fun way.
David Newman is an accomplished baritone soloist and teacher of voice and musicianship at James Madison University, who apparently knows a thing or two about songwriting as well. His songs are on YouTube and they speak for themselves. If you are at all concerned with getting students to hear harmonic progressions and intervals, you will be thoroughly entertained by these. […]