(Mottled) Penny Rag

1 part5 pages02:142 years ago528 views
This is actually the second rag I ever composed - the first is my Improv Rag, which you can listen to in IMO, this is better than the Improv Rag - the Improv Rag borrows somewhat heavily from Joplin's The Entertainer-era rags, while this probably borrows a little from his Magnetic Rag (especially structure-wise)...

...and the chord sequence and half of the melodic outline of Bars 11-12 were taken from Gershwin's Rialto Ripples.

(And Bar 9 sounds like it came straight out of Koji Kondo's music...)

I called this the Penny Rag back when all I composed were the first 2 strains, but when I listen to it now, the penny's pretty mottled, and the name Penny Rag sounds too small for it. I'm not entirely comfortable with calling it the Mottled Penny Rag, though, so the word Mottled is in parentheses.

I find that a favourite device of mine is to reuse the melody ad verbatim but change the harmonies underneath - this appears in the introduction right off the bat, but be substantially more aware of the A strain's second appearance near the end of the piece - its harmonies are quite a bit sourer the second time around.

By the way, fake the arpeggio in Bar 61 as necessary. Use the damper pedal, don't hold down certain notes, do what you have to - just make sure you hit all the notes.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-C-C-D-D-Interlude-Intro-A'-Coda)

Percussive March

1 part8 pages03:192 years ago2,209 views
This is an unorthodox march in rondo form. It reminds me of 20th-21st-century concert band music--thus the "concert band" tag. This is (barely) possible to play for solo piano--I expect virtuosos to be able to play this.

As seen in the subtitle, I do want to make a concert band arrangement of this someday...but if you can arrange it for concert band, I'd love to hear your arrangement!

I composed the melody of the A section (first appearance: Bars 23-38) years ago, and only composed the rest of the piece this year. I don't like leaving my melodies alone--I like composing proper shells for them, and I think the intro, B section, C section, and coda have some of my best shell writing yet!

I like the contrast the B and C sections provide for the A section--where the A section is slightly organized because of its mandatory repeat, the B section is free-flowing, while the C section is so incredibly organized that I put down its structure at the bottom of this description.

All 32nd-note passages from Bars 50-56 are trills. Because I'm not fond of actually changing key signatures in this piece (while the home key is F minor, the B section modulates to B flat minor, and the C section is in C minor), I've written the trills out. I don't think writing them out is necessary if I switch the section's key signature to B flat minor, but I can't figure out how to get trill notation right in F minor playback.

I tend to sing my melodies first, then put them down in Musescore and/or play them on piano, so Bar 22 has microtonal tendencies. Shame that pianos can't smoothly glissando up...

Bars 57-64 strongly remind me of John Williams's march writing, Bars 65-80 remind me of a Russian folk song...and Bars 19-21 sound a little too much like the Prologue of the Disney Beauty and the Beast movie (by Alan Menken), and Bars 133-136 sound too much like "That Person's Name Is" from Bravely Default (by Linked Horizon). I fear I'll be using the "That Person's Name Is" snippet a little too often in my works, especially since that snippet also sounds slightly like the Metroid Prime menu theme (by Kenji Yamamoto and Kouichi Kyuma)...

While the A section is the entire reason I wrote this piece, the C2 section (Bars 137-152) has really grown on me. Which section is your favourite?

(Structure: Intro-A-B-A-C-A-Coda)
(Structure of C section: Intro-C1-C1-C2-C2-Retransition)

Thunder On Boss (Boss Theme)

1 part6 pages02:412 years ago1,064 views
This is the piano version of a generic boss theme of a hypothetical video game that does not yet exist.

As seen in the subtitle, I want to rearrange this for different instruments someday. Synths? Electric guitar? Both? I'm not sure!

In-game, the music is supposed to loop endlessly. The ending (starting at Bar 79, after the repeat) will only be in OSTs.

Bars 21-34 sound too similar to "That Person's Name Is" from Bravely Default (by Linked Horizon) for my tastes, and the D-F-E-Eb motif (Bar 4, 12, etc.) probably came out of the Pure Odio theme from Live A Live (by Yoko Shimomura). My aim for Bars 43-46 is to sound rather like Yoshi's Island boss themes (by Koji Kondo).

I might try sneaking this into a game I make someday, but if you like this theme enough, you can stick it in your game and possibly rearrange it! Just tell me which game!

It's Only Us Together

1 part9 pages03:122 years ago650 views
"...but no, there's NOBODY ELSE!
It's only us together,
Fighting that matter..."

...That's as far as I got with the lyrics. They correspond to Bars 25-28, melody notes C-Db-Eb-F-F-F-F-F-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F-Bb-F-F-Gb-F-Eb (one note per syllable).

Luckily, I went all the way with the rest of this song!

...Except figuring out which genre this is in. Pop? Rock? Maybe even Latin? The rhythms sound rather like Latin music to me...if you can tell me which genre this is in, I'd really appreciate it!

The bridge-solo hybrid section (Bars 76-108) was one great big experiment for me--I'd read about the Phrygian Dominant scale and wanted to use it in a song, so I tried using it in this section. I noodled around with melodies and accompaniment notes some more...and actually eventually settled on the Double Harmonic scale instead. I'm now more comfortable with using the Double Harmonic scale when soloing on the dominant of a minor key (Bb minor in this piece).

I like how which hand has the melody and which hand has the accompaniment is ambiguous in Bars 96 and Bars 101-102. I like listening to those sections with both the RH-melody and LH-melody interpretations.

I like to think of this as a song, but I'm aware that it's extremely hard to sing the melody without shifting many phrases' octave voicings around. I cannot sing the highest note in Bar 77 and am having increasing trouble hitting the highest notes in Bars 42, 76, etc. ...Yeah, I just implied that I have a huge vocal range. (I can hit the highest notes in the intro, and those get lower than Low C.) Perhaps that huge vocal range does influence the ranges of my piano melodies...

...after all, I came up with the introduction during work and fleshed out the rest of the song outside of work.

While harmonizing this song, I ended up using some pretty exotic chords. I think V7Flat5 of V--a.k.a. French Augmented 6th 2nd Inversion--is now one of my favourite chords to use. I use this chord twice in the end of the bridge-solo in Bars 106-107.

(I took too much music theory; please forgive me...)

(Structure: Intro-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge/Solo-Chorus-Coda)


1 part9 pages07:042 years ago390 views
It starts off just like a march does. Aw, come on, don't Bars 1-48 sound just like a classical march, complete with repeats?

Then Bar 49 happens, and then you hear the second theme starting on Bar 69, and then it hits you--it's actually a sonata-allegro.

I composed this during my internship, not during work, so the transitions are sloppier and thinner here.

Again, chromatic passages such as Bars 257-258 and Bars 305-306 have microtonal tendencies, as I sang every melody in this piece before recording it. It's still a shame that pianos cannot smoothly glissando up...

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

(Structure of March:
A Theme: Bars 1-8
A Repeat: Bars 9-16
B Theme: Bars 16-32
B Repeat: Bars 32-48)

(Structure of Sonata-Allegro:
Exposition 1st Theme: Bars 1-48
E. Transition: Bars 48-68
E. 2nd Theme: Bars 69-106
E. Codetta: Bars 107-116
Development: Bars 117-220
D. Dominant Prep: Bars 211-220
Recapitulation 1st Theme: Bars 221-244
R. Transition: Bars 244-258
R. 2nd Theme: Bars 259-296
R. Codetta: Bars 297-314
R. Coda: Bars 315-355)

Scherzo Infernale

1 part5 pages03:402 years ago373 views
This starts off sounding like it'll go into B flat major...or E flat major, at least...right?
Nope--it rails straight into E flat minor!

This scherzo is rather influenced by Alkan's Scherzo Diabolico. It uses similar tempo markings and has a similar tempo. Just like Alkan's piece, the scherzo proper consists of flurries of notes, while the tonic-major trio is full of proud, lengthy chords. Even their endings are similar--both pieces quote their trios at the end. At the very end of my scherzo, I do sneak in a reference to the ending of Alkan's "20 ans" from his "Grande sonate: Les quatre âges".

Beware--readability has currently been sacrificed. Just be assured that there are a lot of octaves in this piece.

(Oh yeah--both this piece and Alkan's Scherzo Diabolico are wicked difficult.)

(Structure: Intro-A1-A1-A2-A2-Codetta-B1-B2-B1-B3-Intro-A1-A2-Codetta-Coda)

Out of Strife (Comes Hope)

1 part7 pages03:402 years ago394 views
This march resembles Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance marches. IMO, this resembles his 3rd Pomp and Circumstance march the most--both are in minor keys, start quietly, quote their march propers' first themes loudly, and have trios that appear second in their tonic majors. But where Elgar's 3rd Pomp and Circumstance march turns around, heads back to its minor home key, and ends in fury, my march ends victoriously (if not without some pollution) in the tonic major key.

I composed the entire melody of this march years ago and fleshed out the rest of this piano version this year. I do want to make an orchestral arrangement of this someday...but if you can pull one off, I'd love to hear it!

...Yeah, I have a tendency to write very long codas. I've been working hard on shortening them lately.

(Structure: A-B-A-B'-Coda)

Improv Rag

1 part3 pages03:022 years ago691 views
This is the first rag I ever composed. I composed the first strain years ago and only managed to complete the rag this year. The introduction and first strain were born from one of my improvisations at the piano, and the other strains were born from improvised tunes I hummed--thus the name "Improv Rag".

IMO, at least in the first 2 strains, this borrows somewhat heavily from Joplin's earlier rags. The borrowing is at its most apparent in Bar 35--I take the left hand of that bar from Scott Joplin's New Rag. The rhythmic patterns I use definitely sound like Joplin's favourites.

In the third strain, I play around with left-hand melody--it seems like I always want to bend ragtime conventions.

The fourth strain is rather influenced by tap dance music (especially in the left hand)...and Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land". The melodic and harmonic resemblance is striking...

...and I start to quote the Kirby Dance (by Jun Ishikawa) in Bars 23 and 31. And the first strain sounds a bit like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". And Bar 10 sounds like Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu.

...Oh well, it was my first rag, right?

Whenever I listen to the fourth strain, I definitely think that this rag can be played in swing time...

...This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-A-C-C-D-D)

Fire and Ice Polka

1 part2 pages01:372 years ago604 views
This is a polka--to be more precise, a polka-schnell--composed in the style of the Strauss family's polka-schnells.

...And I composed the first part of the polka proper months, if not years, before I composed the rest of the piece.

Harmony-wise, my least favourite bars are Bars 9-11 (and the equivalent Bars 75-77). To me, something doesn't quite ring right with the harmony there, but I couldn't come up with any better chord sequences at the time.

Some days, it's unnerving how much the first few bars of this piece's trio (Bars 32-34) and Out of Strife (Comes Hope)'s trio (Bars 51-54) sound alike. (Out of Strife (Comes Hope) is in for reference.) It's at the point where I hum the trios in each others' keys.

I do like this piece's trio when, in Bars 61-63, it starts to quote the trio's first theme, but then rapidly turns away.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

...And yeah, the formatting for this piece is sub-par. The crescendo and diminuendo hairpins collide with notes, the first and second ending brackets in Bars 29-30 cut into the bars above, the ties in Bars 50-56 cross over too many other notes...

(Structure: Intro-A1-A1-A2-A2-Interlude-B1-B1-B2-B2-Intro-A1-A2)

Little March

1 part1 page01:122 years ago285 views
Remember the part where I say that Marche-Sonate ( sounds just like a march at the beginning? Well, this was composed to be its exposition's first theme's theoretical trio. It's got the same meter, tempo marking, and tonic. (Trios of classical-era minor-key pieces tend to be in major keys, so this is why Little March is in D major instead of Marche-Sonate's D minor.) This time, this is truly in rounded binary form (not the vague allusion to rounded binary form that Marche-Sonate's exposition's first theme pulls off). To contrast with Marche-Sonate, it is quieter and more legato.

To play the Marche-Not-Sonate, play Marche-Sonate to Bar 48, Beat 5, then switch to this, then switch back to Marche-Sonate's beginning to Bar 48, Beat 5 (if you want to play repeats) or recapitulation from Bar 221, Beat 1 to Bar 244, Beat 5 (if you don't).

(Structure: A-A-B-A'-B-A')

Toccata No. 1 in E Minor ("Alla Metal")

1 part10 pages02:062 years ago698 views
This is what comes out of my mind after I listen to too many piano toccatas from Russian composers along with instrumental heavy metal songs. I use some chord progressions commonly used in heavy metal such as i-bII-i, i-(b)VI-(b)VII, and i-#IV (i.e. two chords with tonics a tritone apart).

This composition has one foot in classical music (it's a piano toccata in free fantasia form, for starters) and one foot in heavy metal music...but what kind of heavy metal? Progressive metal? (It's not in 4/4 time, it's not in verse-chorus form, and 3 of its themes recur despite that.) Math metal? (It switches time signatures a lot.) Thrash metal? (Bars 13-23 sound like thrash metal to me.) Heck, a death metal band probably wouldn't sound that bad arranging this song, especially since there are some abrupt implied key changes...

The classical music influences sound the clearest to me in Bars 65-76, Bars 111-114, Bars 147-160, and especially Bars 181-188. That last set of bars sounds too consonant and pleasant to me in the context of the rest of this piece, but maybe you'll like it better...

...Some days, I can't even believe I composed this piece. It's that dissonant. If you expected something pleasant-sounding, you've been warned: this isn't it.

Theme of the Light Warrior (Special Boss Theme)

1 part3 pages02:352 years ago791 views
This is the piano version of the boss theme of a fan character I made. I think an orchestral arrangement of this would sound really nice in a video game. Feel free to make orchestral arrangements of Bars 45-60 (in the OST-only ending) sound at least one octave higher than this version's bars.

Some background on the fan character this is for is below:
He's inherited his father's most powerful spells, but he's also gotten trained with the sword for good measure.
He's not the most confident in himself, but if monsters assault his home country, you bet he'll rush out to protect those he cares about.
He's strong on politeness, chivalry, following rules, staying calm in battle, etc....but his older brother isn't so warm about that stuff.
He's virtually always a playable character in video games he (hypothetically) would show up in--the only way you can fight him is in boss rush modes while you play as another character (such as his older brother). This is why this song is tagged as a "bonus boss theme"--boss rushes are only unlocked after story mode ends.
...And, yeah, he can cast powerful light spells. He's also not shabby at casting electric spells. He's a pretty hard boss to beat.

I came up with the first section of this theme while improvising at the piano (which is why it sounds like one of my earlier pieces--the Piano Sonata in E Minor ("Scherzando"), Movement 1 in, then created the rest from hummed tunes I improvised. I figured out the accompaniment and texture at the piano--this is one of my rarer compositions that I can actually play (at closer to dotted quarter = 160 bpm, though). IMO, the default speed is the fastest this piece can go--I do not recommend playing this any faster, although it does sound nice slower. (My favourite section to play is Bars 32-36, starting at the forte.)

This is actually the first original video game theme I composed. Since the first genre I've ever composed in is classical, this is strongly influenced by classical music. IMO, this doesn't sound like a typical boss battle theme.

In-game, the music is supposed to loop endlessly. The ending (after the repeat) will only be in OSTs.

...I only found this out months after I composed this song, but Bars 16-18 sound like Green Greens (by Jun Ishikawa).

D-Reamy D-Rag

1 part5 pages04:382 years ago722 views
One day, I figured I was going to compose a slow drag. I was experimenting with the IV chord with the dominant note as the root (found in Bar 2), and I came up with a good enough first strain.

...Well, maybe the first strain was good enough because it ends up quoting "Rock-a-bye Baby" in Bar 5.

I've heard enough versions of rags where the second repeat of a strain is an octave above the first that I thought I'd muck around with that tradition: the second time the first strain appears, it's an octave above the first time.

In both the first and second strains, I play around with the sense of key. The first strain flips to F Sharp Minor quickly from the rag's (and strain's) home key of A Major, then inflects into A Minor. The second strain spends more time in C Major, A Minor, and D Minor than its ostensible key of A Major.

The third strain is strongly influenced by tangos and flamenco music, and it is distinctly bolder than the other strains. Here, I mess with typical rag structures by putting the third strain in the subdominant minor instead of the usual subdominant (major).

In regards to the accompaniment, I've always felt that the urge to use the typical ragtime left hand pattern was weaker in slow drags than in faster pieces.

And yes, the title is a dreadful pun on how the word "drag" has the word "rag" in it. I believe that this rag only lives up to its "dreamy" name in the last strain...

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-A'-C-C-D-D)

Trumpet Exercise

1 part1 page00:342 years ago430 views
...I'm trying to compose for instruments other than the piano, OK?

This is a study for trumpet players. You should be able to play this on the trumpet without changing your fingering a single time.

...It's pretty hard to compose something interesting without forcing the trumpet player to change his/her fingering. I'm stuck with the Bb trumpet notes C, G, C, E, and G (in ascending order--assume you strictly go up the octaves). I use a lot of dynamic changes in this piece--this is why all repeats are written out.

To me, this resembles a galop, so perhaps it is a bit more exciting than your average etude.

Bad-Tempered Dances

1 part5 pages02:292 years ago302 views
This is one of my earlier works--its last modified date claims to be in December 2014, but I'm sure I came up with the A theme years before that. Maybe I didn't come up with the B or C themes years ago, though.

This is a short, fast rondo with a variety of dance forms in it. ...I'm just not sure which dance forms. The B section (in E major and A major) probably contains the most formal dances, though.

I personally find the B section pretty repetitive, but back then, I must have thought it sounded good enough...

Bars 134-137 remind me of Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata's 3rd movement (sheesh, I must be influenced by that Beethoven sonata), just before the development ends.

As of August 18, 2016, I have submitted this to the First Composition Contest on this Group in It fits the contest criteria...

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

(Structure: A-B-A'-C-A'-Coda)
(Structure of B section: B1-B1-B2-B2')

Piano Sonata in D Minor, "Piecemeal" - Movement 2 ("Rondo Oscuro")

1 part2 pages02:562 years ago167 views
This is the second movement of my first complete piano sonata...although, in Schumann's words, I feel like I've merely "bound together four of my most unruly children". This is why the sonata is called "Piecemeal" - the second and fourth movement were originally meant to be standalone pieces.

This is a pretty old piece of mine - I believe I composed it in Grade 8 and first performed it in that grade. I even originally intended to make it even longer--thank goodness I made it (and the fourth movement) more concise.

As a rondo with a shadowy feel, I have called this "Rondo Oscuro". The main theme is based on the i-IV-V-i cadences I had to practice for piano exams.

The entire movement is marked "con pedale", but the damper pedal usage is invisible and merely a suggestion.

One more thing--all repeats are mandatory.

(Structure: A-B-A-C-A'-Coda)

Piano Sonata in D Minor, "Piecemeal" - Movement 3

1 part2 pages03:162 years ago200 views
This is the third movement of my first complete piano sonata...although, in Schumann's words, I feel like I've merely "bound together four of my most unruly children". This is why the sonata is called "Piecemeal" - the second and fourth movement were originally meant to be standalone pieces.

I believe I composed this in senior high school (Grades 10-12 in Canada). It doesn't sound very flashy and, as an old-fashioned minuet and trio, it doesn't have to be.

It's so old-fashioned that the minuet proper is in symmetrical binary form and the trio is in rounded binary form.

(Structure: A1-A1-A2-A2-B1-B1-B2-B1'-B2-B1'-A1-A2)

Piano Sonata in D Minor, "Piecemeal" - Movement 4 ("Tribute")

1 part5 pages04:442 years ago644 views
This is the fourth movement of my first complete piano sonata...although, in Schumann's words, I feel like I've merely "bound together four of my most unruly children". This is why the sonata is called "Piecemeal" - the second and fourth movement were originally meant to be standalone pieces.

I composed this for an assignment in Grade 10. I got to take a really cool composition class, and the assignment I wrote this for was to write a piece that was about an existing work of fiction.

...So I picked Super Paper Mario. (Thus the name of this movement--it's a tribute to Super Paper Mario.) And, at the time, I had not heard a single song in its soundtrack. (Sacre bleu--I still haven't played the game, but I have read its storyline.) So, I composed a variety of leitmotifs for prominent characters and arranged them into sonata-allegro form, roughly corresponding to the storyline of that game. Spoilers ahoy. (I've listened to a few of the Super Paper Mario songs by now, and The Ultimate Show is pretty good...and does use Dimentio's in-game leitmotif, so I was on the right track.)

Bars 1-66 are the exposition and contain the leitmotifs for Count Bleck, Mario, Luigi, Tippi, Princess Peach, and the rest of the Pixls. This corresponds to the beginning of the game. The antagonists get the first theme group (Bars 1-24), while nobody gets the bridge (Bars 24-27), and then the protagonists get the second theme group (Bars 28-66).

Bars 67-157 are the development, where the bulk of the game occurs and not much development as defined for classical music actually happens. Leitmotifs mainly get tossed around whole with their keys and sometimes moods changed. I introduce Dimentio's leitmotif here. I also musically depict the protagonists reading the story of Timpani and Blumiere...and, if you're good enough at interpreting the exposition, you may figure out who the protagonists are REALLY reading about.

Bars 158-282 are the recapitulation, where the protagonists storm Castle Bleck and the ending occurs. Leitmotif usages involving cryptic Super Paper Mario spoilers include Tippi's leitmotif getting extended, Count Bleck's leitmotif getting changed into a major key (echoing the development), Dimentio's leitmotif coming back in an even more deranged form, and Luigi's leitmotif getting warped into a minor key. Where the coda precisely begins is rather ambiguous--depending on your interpretation, the coda begins in Bar 196 or does not actually exist.

...Given all the information, can you determine which leitmotif belongs to which character(s)?

This movement has gone through the most revisions of the four movements--I initially composed passages with notes that were too fast. I was also originally planning to give Bowser his own leitmotif--the motive I wanted to give him was turned into Bars 241-252 as a generic battle theme.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

Piano Sonata in D Minor, "Piecemeal" - Movement 1 ("Inexorable")

1 part8 pages09:072 years ago274 views
This is the first movement of my first complete piano sonata...although, in Schumann's words, I feel like I've merely "bound together four of my most unruly children". This is why the sonata is called "Piecemeal" - the second and fourth movement were originally meant to be standalone pieces.

This sonata-allegro is the largest movement of the four. Analysis-wise, it's pretty involved--the first ending of the recapitulation, while sounding like the codetta, also echoes the end of the development. The coda contains lots of secondary development--it sourly turns away from the D major key of the recapitulation's second theme group, quotes the bridging theme of the first theme group in a more terrifying context, then rails into an ending that uses and modifies various motifs in the first theme group.

I finished this movement in the summer between my second and third years of university, but I revised the dynamics just before publishing it today. Thus, the transitions are sloppier and thinner.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

Etude in D Minor ("Eil Ton")

1 part3 pages01:182 years ago466 views
This is a colourful piano etude that helps you practice your left-hand arpeggios and right-hand chords.

Depending on your translation, "Eil Ton" means either "the wave" or "the second wave" in Welsh. I aim to depict tumultuously flying over crashing waves in this piece.

The entire piece is marked "con pedale", but the damper pedal usage is invisible and merely a suggestion.

This piece was composed at least 3 years ago, but I've only published it today--I initially made a semi-mastered MIDI version of this in a DAW because the damper pedal makes this sound so much better.

...Yeah, this sounds harmonically similar to Stephen Heller's 25 Etudes Melodiques, Op. 45, No. 15. ...Yes, the one in D minor that's "Poco maestoso" and is known by too many titles. It's quite possibly his most famous piece. Bars 35-39 sound a lot like that etude.

In the meantime, the ending bars--Bars 47-48--pretty much quote the very end of the first movement of Beethoven's Tempest Sonata.

This is fairly difficult, but competent pianists should be able to nail this--this is not a virtuoso piece.

Out and About (Overworld Theme)

1 part3 pages01:502 years ago672 views
This is the piano version of the first overworld theme of a hypothetical video game that does not yet exist. Maybe it's the same video game as the hypothetical game Thunder On Boss ( is from. Who knows?

As seen in the subtitle, I want to rearrange this for different instruments someday...but probably an orchestra or concert band.

In-game, the music is supposed to loop endlessly. The ending (starting at Bar 61, after the repeat) will only be in OSTs.

More modern overworld themes have sounded pretty grand and impressive--along with marches, I have a feeling I was influenced by the first overworld themes of Blue Dragon, Shovel Knight, and Kirby's Return to Dream Land. All of them either use an orchestra or go for an orchestral feel, and that orchestral feel is my aim here.

I might try sneaking this into a game I make someday, but if you like this theme enough, you can stick it in your game and possibly rearrange it! Just tell me which game!

Bell Carol

1 part5 pages02:352 years ago432 views
No, this isn't Carol of the Bells. They both share a fast triple meter, though, and Carol of the Bells is often in G minor (this piece's key).

This is one of my earliest pieces--I believe I composed this in junior high school (Grades 7-9 for you non-Canadians). Even back then, I must have liked very fast pieces.

This is in ternary form--the central section is significantly slower than the outer sections and is filled with 3-bar phrases. All ritardandos and accelerandos must be taken, but you do not have to strictly follow this version's tempo change rates.

Despite being "con pedale" throughout, I have not put in any damper pedal in this piece's playback (not even invisible damper pedals). Put in whatever feels right.

(Structure: A-B-A'-Coda)

The Other Ragtime March

1 part4 pages01:492 years ago539 views
According to, the name "The Ragtime March" is taken, so this is "The Other Ragtime March".

After listening to so many "March and Two-Step" ragtime pieces, I started wondering--how come they're not in march form? So I was determined to write a rag in march form.

It started sounding more and more like a march. Is a piece like this, perhaps, how John Philip Sousa would write rags? That this is in the easiest of concert band keys (and a fairly common ragtime key), B flat major, makes this sound even more like a march.

I suspect I took the theme in Bars 38-43 from somewhere else, but I can't remember the tune's name. Do any of you recognize it and can name it? Please write a comment with its name if you do, and I'll edit the description with it!

...I later found out that there is a rag in a form similar to mine, complete with breakstrains, called Popularity. As shown in, it is by George Cohan and it was published in 1906. ...I don't think I come up with much innovation in ragtime that hasn't already been covered.

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-C-D-C-D-C)

Fraught Forest (Special Level Theme)

1 part3 pages01:322 years ago725 views
This is the piano version of a theme of a dark forest level for a hypothetical video game that does not yet exist. This forest is supposed to make you feel tense and uneasy, especially the deeper you travel into it. Perhaps it's haunted. Perhaps the ghosts don't come out until past midnight. Perhaps the trees try to grab you.

As seen in the subtitle, I want to rearrange this for different instruments someday. Keyboards? A wind ensemble? Maybe even a violin, a trumpet, a cello, and a drum? I'm not sure!

In-game, the music is supposed to loop endlessly. The ending (starting at Bar 52, after the repeat) will only be in OSTs.

Form-wise, this is definitely influenced by Bravely Default's music. Several of that game's themes are made of elaborate, repeated sections. For example, "That Person's Name Is" has a structure of Intro-A-B-A-B-C-D-E before it repeats, and "Wicked Battle" has a structure of Intro-A-B-A-B-C-A-B-C-D before it repeats. This piece's structure before it repeats is at the bottom of this description.

...And, despite supposedly being a piano version of a theme with a different instrumentation, this piece reminds me of a piano scherzo.

I'm not entirely satisfied with this theme, especially the OST-only ending. If I have the time to come up with ideas, I just might revise it...

I might try sneaking this into a game I make someday, but if you like this theme enough, you can stick it in your game and possibly rearrange it! Just tell me which game!

(Structure: A-B-A-B-C)

Sonatina in C Major ("Pastorale")

1 part3 pages02:112 years ago261 views
This is one of my earliest pieces--I believe I composed this in Grade 6 or 7. At any rate, I had learned what the structure of a sonata-allegro was like before I composed this miniature sonata-allegro.

At the time, I had revised the recapitulation's second theme group so it is extended (compared to the exposition's second theme group) and some of it is an octave higher.

I'm finding that my earlier pieces are generally easier to play (I'm almost always composing at the computer keyboard instead of the piano keyboard nowadays, which is why some of my latest pieces are very hard to play) but significantly harder to get the playback right. In every "piu piano" place here, I have to put negative offsets on all the notes just to make them sound appropriately quieter.

As a "pastorale", this is significantly more soothing to listen to than my other pieces. There isn't even much contrast in the development--it's merely a little bolder and uses the rhythmic motives and stepwise motion of the exposition's theme groups.

By the way, I hate how percussive the default piano soundfont makes this piece. It sounds a lot more legato on a real piano.

Sonatina in F Major ("Classical")

1 part3 pages06:182 years ago1,390 views
This fair-sized sonata-allegro sounds a lot like typical classical music to me. I'd guess that it sounds the most like Mozart, Clementi, or perhaps Kuhlau or early Beethoven (think before-his-Pathetique-Sonata early). IMO, Haydn typically composes drier piano sonatas.

This piece's last modified date claims to be in November 2015, but part of me thinks I finished its notes earlier than that. At any rate, I came up with the exposition's theme groups before I graduated from Grade 12.

Unusually, the first theme I came up with was actually the codetta (Bars 37-42). I think I came up with the first theme group next, then the rest of the second theme group.

In Bar 27, I think I actually use a German augmented 6th without realizing it at the time. Normally, I consciously use augmented 6ths and Neapolitan chords, so this is surprising to me...and makes me wonder when I finished writing this.

Piano Sonata in E Minor, "Scherzando" - Movement 3

1 part3 pages03:302 years ago228 views
This is the third movement of one of my incomplete piano sonatas. The entire piano sonata is "Scherzando"--all movements are either in triple meter or compound duple meter, and all of them should sound scherzo-like.

...And, yeah, this is the only genuine scherzo and trio in the entire sonata.

I finished this movement in July 2012. Stuff like this is why I do not upload individual piece WIPs--you'd be waiting years for their complete versions (if I ever finish them).

This movement's scherzo proper is good-natured and affable, in contrast with its shouting trio.

Around the time I started composing this piece's scherzo proper (the A sections), I'd learned about mediant-key relationships, so I put one such relationship in the A2 section (G major vs. E flat major). The first and third movements were composed around the time I started learning about Advanced Harmony in RCM's Grade 5 Harmony (back when it was called Grade 5 Harmony), which is why they start incorporating unusual chords and modulations I learned then.

There isn't as much going on in here as in the first movement. I generally prefer listening to the first movement, though your tastes may vary...

(Structure: A1-A1-A2-A1'-A2-A1'-B1-B1-B2-B1-B2-B1-Codetta-A1-A2-A1'-Coda)

Piano Sonata in E Minor, "Scherzando" - Movement 1

1 part5 pages04:062 years ago531 views
This is the first movement of one of my incomplete piano sonatas. The entire piano sonata is "Scherzando"--all movements are either in triple meter or compound duple meter, and all of them should sound scherzo-like.

...Including this one. Especially this one. The first 10 bars of this is based on the first bars of Chopin's Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20. They both share long, stark block chords, followed by a flurry of notes. Even the tempo marking of this movement is based on Chopin's first standalone scherzo.

The rest of this sonata-allegro quickly diverges from there. The first theme group continues with chords in the right hand and single notes in the left, not Chopin's sustained flurries. The second theme group sounds like a hunting song. The development has none of the calm that Chopin's Scherzo No. 1's trio does.

I finished this sonata-allegro by June 2011. I started making a more mastered version of this movement on a DAW, but it's a pain to enter in all the MIDI notes, especially with the proper articulations, so that version's still unfinished.

The entire exposition was born from my improvisations at the piano. This is why Bars 11-13 sound like the first section of my Theme of the Light Warrior ( And yes, I composed this piano sonata movement first. ...By a few years.

Around the time I started composing this piece's recapitulation, I'd learned about Neapolitan chords, which is why they prominently appear in Bars 193-194. The first and third movements were composed around the time I started learning about Advanced Harmony in RCM's Grade 5 Harmony (back when it was called Grade 5 Harmony), which is why they start incorporating unusual chords and modulations I learned then.

Daring March

6 parts9 pages01:462 years ago391 views
Flute, Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, Baritone Saxophone, Trombone, Tuba
This is a march in a not-quite-orthodox form. There's an introduction, an A1 theme that's passed between instruments, a slightly contrasting A2 theme, and eventually a trio in the tonic major key, but there are no breakstrains, none of the themes are repeated in the same sense that Sousa's march sections are repeated, and the stinger (if you could call it that) is too much like classical music endings.

...Oh yeah, for once, this isn't for solo piano. Maybe I should write a piano transcription some day, though...

I composed this for an assignment in Grade 10. I got to take a really cool composition class, and the assignment I wrote this for was to write an original composition using only GarageBand.

...I was fairly bad at making MIDI input into GarageBand. Even though I got 100% on the assignment, I kept hearing unwanted sections of my accompaniment loops (namely, an F in a G major triad section).

This wasn't originally written for concert band. Maybe I should arrange it for concert band. It sure reminds me of 20th-21st-century concert band music.

...Speaking of arranging this for concert band, I've revised the accompaniment of the ending since I took that Grade 10 course. I also found that several of my notes were out of the ranges of the instruments they were for (according to Musescore). I don't want the flute player to have to switch to a piccolo midway through, and I don't think typical trumpet players know how to play soprano trumpets, so I transposed some notes down.

(Structure: Intro-A1-A1'-A2-A1"-Interlude-B-B'-Coda)


1 part5 pages03:192 years ago594 views
One day, I thought, "What would a rag in sonata-allegro form sound like?"
Well, one possibility is that a rag in sonata-allegro form would sound like this.

The exposition's first theme group is the A strain. The exposition's second theme group is the B strain. The development is the C and D strains. The recapitulation's first theme group is the return of the A strain. The recapitulation's second theme group is the B' strain near the end.

I sometimes put rags in rarely used ragtime keys such as B major (here) and G flat major (I've heard Tom Brier's Elephant Tracks is in that key).

The A and B strains were easy to write. The C and D strains were the most difficult to write. I had to ensure that they used the A and B strains' material, they went to somewhat remote keys, their second repeats had to finish modulating to new keys, and their first repeats had to turn away from the modulations and go back to the previous key.

...Oh yeah, writing in A sharp minor (as in the C strain) is horrific and nearly unreadable, and I do not recommend it. Heck, even in a context where key signatures are filled with sharps, I encourage writing in B flat minor instead.

I wrote bars like Bar 22 with fewer ties than usual in order to make them sound right. It's hard to put working staccatos on tied-together 16th notes.

The tenth-spanning left hand chord in Bar 11 should be played without arpeggiation if possible. My hands only comfortably span an octave (I hit too many notes when I span a ninth), so I'm forced to make that chord an arpeggio.

(Structure: A-A-B-B-C-C-D-D-A-A-B'-B'-Coda)

Suite in E Flat - Movement 3 ("Chargers")

1 part5 pages02:512 years ago309 views
This is the third movement of an incomplete suite in E flat. Two of the movements are in E flat minor, and the other two are in E flat major. Each movement of the suite contains its own fantasy stories and depicts its own characters, although the last movement will quote the other three.

In this case, this scherzo and trio depicts the wild rides of a knight and his companion fairy. The knight gets the scherzo proper, while the fairy gets the trio starting in Bar 69.

I finished this piece during my internship. Back then, I thought that changing the key of a theme made it different enough, which is why the scherzo proper has its theme play in E flat minor, B flat minor, and A flat minor. I find the scherzo proper to be quite repetitive nowadays.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

(Structure: A-Codetta 1-B-Codetta 2-A-Coda)
(Structure of A section: A-A-A'-A-A'-A-A"-A-A"-A)
(Structure of B section: B1-B1-B2-B1-B2-B1)

Suite in E Flat - Movement 2 ("Hidden Royal")

1 part6 pages05:512 years ago317 views
This is the second movement of an incomplete suite in E flat. Two of the movements are in E flat minor, and the other two are in E flat major. Each movement of the suite contains its own fantasy stories and depicts its own characters, although the last movement will quote the other three.

This movement depicts the story of a prince and his attempts to go out into the kingdom without anyone recognizing his royal status. He meets his lover while on one such trip. Eventually, the prince's royal status is exposed, but his lover sticks by him regardless, and the prince learns to accept both his royal duties and his desire for a looser freedom.

The prince is represented by the first theme group. The first bars bring foreboding regarding the prince's situation. The prince's theme group in the exposition depicts one of his trips while incognito. It is "comodo" and more easy-going with more major chords in its harmonization. The first bars are quoted in an even more foreboding form at the start of the recapitulation, heralding the arrival of the prince (and his now march-like theme) in Bar 135. At the start of the recapitulation, the prince is stuck on official duty, his royal status fully revealed, and his lover sees him in his regalia for the first time. The prince does not like being on official duty, and this manifests in the higher usage of minor and diminished chords in the harmonization. His discomfort with being exposed is depicted in the trip to E flat minor in Bars 142-150. The coda's version of the first theme group depicts the prince's acceptance of both his duties and his desire for freedom. This manifests as a higher, thinner-textured, tranquil version of the exposition's version of the theme group, but with the harmonization of the recapitulation's version of the theme group.

The prince's lover is represented by the second theme group (first appearance starts at Bar 41). The lover's theme does not develop much in comparison, although you can argue that the way this theme is treated in the development reflects her pining over the mysterious young man she had met in the exposition.

I finished this piece during my first year of university. I suspect the lessons I had learned about Advanced Harmony in RCM's Grade 5 Harmony (back when it was called Grade 5 Harmony) were fresh in my mind back then, as this piece contains several unusual and often mediant-based modulations, even in the recapitulation.

Despite being "con pedale" throughout, I have not put in any damper pedal in this piece's playback (not even invisible damper pedals). Put in whatever feels right.

Seems like the preview page for this disappeared one day, so I tried my best to fix it by re-uploading it--but that doesn't seem to be working.

Kids On the Monkey Bars

1 part2 pages00:402 years ago211 views
I was improvising on a chord progression I was using in another of my pieces, and I came up with this. Truth is, there are a lot of directions you can take with an improvisation such as this.

The left hand has the ostinato F major-G major-A major-G major. The right hand has the kids on the monkey bars singing improvised playground tunes. The kids are bad at singing. They can't sing along with the ostinato. They can't even sing in tune.

...The kids also can't sing for long, and the piece ends as they get off the monkey bars (and, perhaps, move on to another part of the playground).

In Musescore, I hope the "Contemporary" genre means more modern music (i.e. Contemporary Classical Music as in and not "Adult Contemporary Music" as defined in

Piano Sonata in F Major, "Cosmos" - Movement 3 ("Stars")

1 part6 pages02:282 years ago788 views
This is the third movement of one of my incomplete piano sonatas. Each movement of the "Cosmos" piano sonata depicts at least one celestial body--there will be movements for the Sun, the Moon, the stars, and the planets.

The twist is that, in each movement, I break an unwritten convention of Classical music (at least from the Classical era). This movement breaks the rules the most mildly--it has irregular phrase lengths. The scherzo proper starts with two 6-bar phrases, while Classical-era music rarely ventures beyond 4-bar phrases. The scherzo proper keeps using 6-bar phrases after the first repeat. The trios have blurry senses of how long their phrases are, at least at first.

This movement, a scherzo and double trio, depicts the stars. The regular stars are depicted in the scherzo proper (starting in Bar 1). The first trio (Bars 41-124) depicts shooting stars. ...Meteors. They aren't really stars, but people call them stars, don't they? The second trio (Bars 163-216) represents a black hole as it sucks in all kinds of matter. Yes, unlike a shooting star, a black hole is a kind of star.

I'm fairly certain I finished this movement before 2012, including revisions done because some portions were too fast to play. That might be the reason why both trios sound harmonically similar to each other (at least at their starts).

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

(Structure: A-B-A-C-A-Coda)
(Structure of A section: A1-A1-A2-A2)

Piano Sonata in F Major, "Cosmos" - Movement 1 ("Sun")

1 part6 pages04:222 years ago876 views
This is the first movement of one of my incomplete piano sonatas. Each movement of the "Cosmos" piano sonata depicts at least one celestial body--there will be movements for the Sun, the Moon, the stars, and the planets.

The twist is that, in each movement, I break an unwritten convention of Classical music (at least from the Classical era). In this movement, I use a 7/8 time signature, which was pretty much never used in the Classical era.

This movement, a sonata-allegro, depicts the sun. It rises, its rays shine down, and people celebrate and labour under it.

This movement is rather heavily influenced by the Live at the Acropolis version of Yanni's Santorini. Like that version of Santorini, it is in septuple meter, it starts with a drawn-out passage of monotonous, repeated chords, and its beginning gradually crescendos. Both pieces are filled with accessible, energetic melodies.

I finished this movement in July 2012. I remember humming its theme groups in the bus on the way to university.

This piece, by far, took the longest to master on Musescore 2.0. Musescore 2.0 ignoring all the beaming Musescore 1.X had was no fun. I also had to make sure that the long melody notes in the beginning of the piece weren't swallowed by the repeated chords, and I had to emphasize that the left-hand dynamic indication in Bar 19 (and Bar 122) does not apply to the right hand. Figuring out what offsets to apply to the notes to make the playback sound like what I desired took a long time.

Funeral March No. 1 in B Flat Minor

1 part5 pages06:192 years ago1,305 views
...This has the be the first time I've come up with the main theme for a piece in the middle of the night. And, appropriately enough, it's for a funeral march.

This is influenced by Chopin, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn's funeral marches. Like Chopin's famous funeral march, this is in B flat minor and has a melodic, lyrical, major-key, and decidedly un-march-like trio. Chopin and Beethoven use textures similar to mine in their marches (chords in the right hand, octave spans in the left). Mendelssohn's, like mine, harmonizes repeated melody notes with descending chords.

The 5:1 ratio of the melody notes in the march proper is taken from the very start of the first movement of Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata. I've always wondered why seemingly nobody else uses notes dotted in that ratio.

The start of the coda's melody is taken from the ending of Schumann's 3 Romances, Op. 28, No. 1 (which is also in B flat minor). Luckily, the harmonization isn't, but the rest of the coda (except Bars 53-57) sounds rather like the ending of that Schumann piece.

...This song's been haunting my dreams long enough. It's time to let it go.

(Structure: Intro-A1-A1-A2-A1'-A2-A1'-Interlude-B1-B1-B2-B2-A1-A2-A1'-Coda)

Alien Briar Rag

1 part4 pages02:482 years ago562 views
The "alien" in this rag's name refers to its plethora of strange chord progressions, and the "briar" is actually a disguised reference to Tom Brier, who is fond of such strange chord progressions himself in his "Parallelograms", "Rhythmodik", "Elephant Tracks", and no doubt other rags. On the other hand, perhaps this rag does remind you of a strangely branching, alien bush...

Right off the bat, this rag starts with two major chords with tonics a tritone apart, which really throws a wrench into figuring out which key this rag is in. Turns out that those were just bII (Neapolitan)-V of A minor, but the strange chord progressions don't stop there!

Other weird chord progressions in this rag include German augmented 6th-V-German augmented 6th-V, diminished 7th chords resolving into each other (followed by a German augmented 6th), sequences of major chords with tonics a whole tone or a semitone apart, a sequence of minor chords with tonics a whole tone apart, and E augmented-Esus4-E major.

Heck, in Bar 12, the left hand and right hand ignore each other entirely harmony-wise!

Even the closing chords join in on the strange chord progression fun--the second last chord blends together a dominant chord (including its distinctive leading tone) and the striking bII of the Neapolitan.

The A minor-F major-A major-C# diminished 7th-B flat major-D minor-B major-D# diminished 7th chord progression in Bars 29-30 sounds a lot like Schumann to me for some reason.

Thank goodness this rag is in A minor or the accidentals would be nightmarish...

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-A-C-C-D-D)

Unseelie Rag

1 part5 pages01:592 years ago536 views
This is the third rag I ever composed. At this point, I was still trying to find my voice when writing rags, and I think this one resembles George Gershwin's works overall.

After coming up with the rapid introduction, I decided to write a very fast rag around it. This is called the Unseelie Rag because, in Scottish belief, the Unseelie consists of fairies who disregard humans and offend them without warning. I aimed to write music evoking images of mischievous, even malicious fairies.

...Perhaps I went too far. As far as I can tell, Bars 19-20 quote the Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream by Felix Mendelssohn. I also find that the A strain sounds rather like Mendelssohn.

...Yes, I know, the tradition is that rags should Never Be Played Fast. This rag is so fast that Tom Brier can't always keep up that speed (see However, this isn't the only incredibly fast rag--Larisa Migachyov's Pumpkin Bread Rag is so fast that Kylan deGhetaldi messes it up in, and I personally find that it sounds better at the speed in ...Maybe all of those are proof that rags should Never Be Played Fast.

...So, is this a novelty piano piece instead of a rag? If it is, I'd better start a group for Novelty Piano (as defined in and put this piece in it...

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-C-C-D-D-C'-C')

Angry Dance (100-Note Challenge)

1 part1 page00:072 years ago203 views
I may be very late to the 100-Note Challenge party, but I figured I'd accept the challenge of composing something with exactly 100 notes in it.

While improvising tunes in the shower, I figured that one of them was catchy enough and could be arranged with exactly 100 notes.

I tried sticking to 5 notes per bar, though the second last bar compensates for every bar with less than 5 notes in it. Maybe that's how it came out sounding like a dance.

...A very angry dance. I just might be composing and publishing a set of variations on this dance theme. I certainly keep humming it often enough...

Song Without Words No. 1

1 part4 pages02:062 years ago860 views
This piece's main tune has been stuck in my head for months, at least, but it took me a long time to compose enough other sections to flesh it out.

IMO, this sounds rather like a Christmas carol...I guess I continue my tradition of publishing Christmas-like songs when it isn't winter.

I've started several other Songs Without Words but haven't finished them yet. This is just a taster.

This short piece is in rondo form, and the C section (starting Bar 33) sounds rather like the Peppa Pig theme.

(Structure: A-A'-B-A'-C-A-A'-B-A')

King Thrushbeard

1 part2 pages03:042 years ago868 views
Just like the title, this song depicts the Brothers Grimm's folk tale of King Thrushbeard. Just in case you have no clue what this folk tale is, you can read,,, and this description.

Please forgive the bad default bass clarinet sound font, its inability to play slurred passages properly, and its difficulty with playing fast notes. I know I'm capable of playing this piece at full speed (although I have trouble hitting the highest F#).

This was composed for the Solo Instrument Championships's first round, "Once Upon A Time", which you can read about in

This song mainly revolves around the themes of two characters--the haughty princess and the scheming young King Thrushbeard. The princess's theme has its first appearance in Bars 1-3, while King Thrushbeard's theme first appears in Bars 12-16. IMO, neither character ever comes across as sympathetic to me, but in modern times, I think the princess would be allowed to reject all her suitors and later choose anyone she wants...if she ever wants anyone.

Unfortunately, in the Grimm tale, the princess is punished harshly for rejecting all her suitors, especially in arbitrary ways. The prince represented by the pause in Bar 3 is dumbstruck and silent. The prince in Bars 7-8 protests and never comes back. King Thrushbeard schemes pretty hard once he hears that the princess's father, the old king, is going to marry her off to the first male visitor who arrives at the castle, starting after all the suitors leave.

...So, if you've been paying attention to King Thrushbeard's theme, you should think that the minstrel visitor's theme in Bars 18-26 sounds familiar.

Just as promised, the old king hastily marries his daughter off to the "minstrel" in Bars 27-29 to the tune of Felix Mendelssohn's famous Wedding March (which is thankfully in the public domain), then kicks them out of his kingdom to the tune of Bars 30-35.

Bars 36-37 depict these lines (as translated in SurLaLune): "It belongs to King Thrushbeard; if you had taken him, it would have been yours."
Bars 38-39 depict these lines: "Ah, unhappy girl that I am, if I had but taken King Thrushbeard!"

Bars 40-46 fast-forwards to the princess trying to sell pottery at the market. This is rudely interrupted by a familiar-sounding drunken knight in Bars 47-48, who lets his horse smash through the pottery and leaves the princess sobbing and penniless in Bars 49-51. (By the way, "Rozzo" means "rude" in Italian, and "Mesto" means "sad". All other strange tempo markings at least try to sound like the English words they mean.)

Bars 52-55 announce an impending royal wedding in the "minstrel"'s home country. Now, in Bars 56-60, the princess is employed at the royal castle as a cook. Bars 61-62 depict her, in a terrible rush upon recognizing King Thrushbeard in groom's clothes, spilling the food scraps she was going to take home for her husband. (Bars 56-63 should not be played maestoso.)

King Thrushbeard helps the princess-cook up in Bar 64, and the princess starts accepting his help (and finally starts playing her leitmotif in a major key) in Bar 65.

Paid attention to King Thrushbeard's theme back in Bars 12-16? Bars 66-70 are the payoff--turns out he was both the "minstrel" who arrived quickly at the old king's castle to marry her and the drunken knight who wanted to teach her about how unfair life could be. Note that both disguised versions use snippets and corruptions of King Thrushbeard's theme--the knight's version is less obvious, using only the octave leap of Bar 15.

The royal wedding ceremony starts in Bars 70-74 to the tune of Mendelssohn's Wedding March again (complete with Mendelssohn's original tempo marking), and the ending Bars 75-82 depicts the (relatively) happy newly-again-weds.

Regressive Form

1 part12 pages04:202 years ago927 views
I start off with a heavy metal theme in A minor that I know is the chorus of a D minor song, I come up with another heavy metal theme in D minor...I then figure I may as well write a sonata-allegro in verse-chorus form.

This being heavy metal, you know what this means. The development consists of a bridge (made of riffs from the verse and chorus) and a solo (on the dominant)!

This has half a foot in classical music and one and a half feet in heavy metal...but what kind of metal? Progressive metal? (Likely the most obvious given the form.) Neoclassical metal? (Possibly tied for most obvious, except I find Yngwie Malmsteen's neoclassical metal songs to be cleaner than this piece.) Thrash metal? (It's certainly fast enough.) Death metal? (It's dirty enough, it's got loads of abrupt implied key changes, the drummer will exhaust him/herself playing the blast beat for this song...)

...And because this is a sonata-allegro--normally found only in classical music--this is called Regressive Form. Rhymes with Transgressive Form, though, which sounds savage enough for heavy metal...

Some play tips:
In general, notes that are beamed together should be played with the first note(s) in each group as the loudest. For example, Bar 30 has its 8th notes split in 3-3-2 groups, and Bars 37-38 are in 3-3-3-3-2-2 groups. (Notating this was hellacious, to the point that I had to put in explicit line breaks because the bars kept shifting around and making the note beaming look bad in the process.)
In contrast, the running 8th notes in Bars 143-154 (near the end of the solo) are grouped ambiguously rhythm-wise. Except for Bar 150, which has accents that split the 8th notes into 2 groups of 4, you can group those running notes in a variety of ways. (Bar 154 definitely sounds like it should be grouped 3-3-2 whenever I listen to it, though...)
As this is in verse-chorus form (in addition to sonata-allegro form), the repeat is mandatory.

(Structure: Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Solo-Verse-Chorus (Modified)-Coda)

Tarantella No. 1 in C Minor

1 part16 pages04:552 years ago1,407 views
This tarantella was born when I was improvising tarantella tunes in the shower and Bars 41-48 came out. I knew this could not be the beginning of the tarantella, so I had to compose the rest, and I was surprised how well all the other sections turned out.

This is in sonata-rondo form: a traditional classical form that fuses together aspects of sonata-allegro form and rondo form. It traditionally puts the A section in the home key, the B section's first appearance in the key a sonata-allegro's exposition would travel to, and the B section's second appearance in the key a sonata-allegro's recapitulation would travel to (the tonic major in this minor-key piece's case, though it would be the home key in a major-key piece's case). Like rondo form, it also repeats the A section an awful lot.

All repeats are written out. Yes, you get to repeat music that many times.

Quadruplets don't have to be played precisely--think of them as embellished turns. Speed and a good snap are of the essence in those parts.

The B section (especially the second appearance's Bars 309-327) reminds me of Yanni's "Standing In Motion".

Don't worry if you can't play this at full speed--this piece also sounds nice at dotted quarter note = 168 bpm.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

(Structure: A-B-A-C-A-B'-A-Coda)
(Structure of A section: Intro-A1-A1'-A2-A2'-Codetta)

Simplicity Rag

1 part3 pages03:12a year ago355 views
I am surprised that James Scott never composed anything named the "Simplicity Rag". He's composed several rags whose names fit the "Ends-with-y Rag" pattern, but never the "Simplicity Rag".

This rag is called the "Simplicity Rag" because it is meant to be sight-readable at full speed. It helps that the first strain was born when I was improvising ragtime at the piano (and the rest of the strains were born when I was improvising at the computer). Perhaps strains like the B strain don't sound so simple, though...

I wrote bars like Bar 23 with fewer ties than usual in order to make them sound right. It's hard to put working staccatos on tied-together 16th notes.

The C and D strains sound rather similar harmonically to the C and D strains of the Improv Rag ( Do I improvise the same material over and over again? Maybe I need to take a break from composing rags...

(Structure: A-A-B-B-A-C-C-D-D)

March of the Empire

1 part9 pages04:05a year ago3,212 views
This is likely the least march-like of all the marches I have composed so far. It's probably a march the same way John Williams's "The Imperial March" is a march--the opening bars sound like an imperious procession, but the succeeding bars don't sound particularly like a march.

Speaking of the Imperial March, this isn't the most creative march, either. The name is inspired by the Imperial March. The structure is just like Elgar's 3rd Pomp and Circumstance march. This piece's plot slightly resembles Star Wars.

Like Elgar's 3rd Pomp and Circumstance march, this piece starts with a quiet theme in the home minor key, gets louder and louder, shifts to a happier major-key trio, shifts back to the home-key march proper and repeats it, then replays the trio in the tonic major, and finally reverts to the home key in loud protest.

Like Star Wars, this piece involves an evil empire and a rebel force that vies against it. The evil empire gets the A sections (and the coda), while the rebel force gets the B sections. The evil empire establishes itself first, then the rebels strike, then the empire defends itself, then the rebels strike so hard they seem to grasp victory, and finally, the empire exerts even more force and is victorious, crushing the rebels.

The musical directions tend to take the point of view of the rebels. The rebels are none too happy about the empire's oppressive assertion of power in the A sections. The B section (especially Bars 30-41) should be played optimistically, as if the rebels are hoping their hardest that they can win. The B' section (especially Bars 87-98) should be played victoriously, as if the rebels are about to win. The coda (starting Bar 107) should be played as if the tables have turned and the empire is securing victory instead.

Play tips-wise, Bars 52-53 are surprisingly easy to play--simply hold right-hand notes for as long as possible until the left hand needs to play them. However, beware--the B' section is not purely a transposed version of the B section, and you need to be on the lookout for its changed and added harmonies.

Like a lot of my other pieces, this started from improvised hummed tunes, and as I fleshed them out on the piano, I found that it started sounding powerful but still relatively easy to play. This should be within reach of intermediate to early advanced pianists--you don't need to be a virtuoso to play this piece. You might need some extra chops if you want to fully express this piece's soaring and crushing moments, though...

(Structure: A-B-A-B'-Coda)

Seelie Rag

1 part7 pages04:03a year ago476 views
I actually composed this rag before the Simplicity Rag (, but I've been reluctant to publish this. It actually sounds halfway between ragtime and jazz piano, despite being structured like a rag. It's extravagant, it's highly complex, it rarely uses the typical ragtime accompaniment, its phrasing is offbeat at times, it's hard to read and harder to play without listening to it ad nauseam...

...It's highly beautiful at times, and that's probably the reason why I'm publishing it.

This is called the Seelie Rag as a sort of companion piece to the Unseelie Rag ( the Unseelie Rag, this has 1 sharp in its key signature and focuses on fast flurries of notes, but unlike the Unseelie Rag, it is in G major (instead of E minor) and has a significantly slower tempo. This fits the Scottish belief that the Seelie consists of fairies who are actually considerate towards humans (though they are not always kind).

Play all notes exactly as written rhythm-wise. No exceptions. It doesn't matter that the maximum-notes-per-minute of this rag approaches the Unseelie Rag's.

One more thing--use pedal whenever you play an arpeggiated chord involving 6 or more notes in one hand. I've played the intro (which contains one such chord), so pulling those chords off that way is possible.

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-C-C-D-D-Interlude-Intro-A-Coda)

Took 5 to the Wing

1 part8 pages03:38a year ago1,166 views
My first full foray into jazz piano is here!

This is called "Took 5 to the Wing" for a combination of two large reasons:
The "Took 5" is taken from the Dave Brubeck Quartet's famous jazz piece, "Take Five". Like "Take Five", this is in 5/4 time and uses an accompaniment ostinato with the same rhythm and a similar melodic curve as "Take Five"'s. It even borrows the Dave Brubeck Quartet's love of block chords.
The "to the Wing" is actually derived from the chord progression of its accompaniment ostinato--it is very similar to the opening bars of both Ridley's and Meta Knight's themes. Both of those video game themes are in C minor, in quintuple meter for substantial periods (although the start of Ridley's theme is arguably in 10/8 time with its 3-3-2-2 rhythmic pattern), and start off with C-Db-Bb in the accompaniment in a roughly 3-1-1 rhythmic pattern in each bar. Seeing as both characters have wings, I thought the overall title "Took 5 to the Wing" could imply that one of them got hit in the wing and took 5 damage. (It is no coincidence that this piece is also in C minor and quintuple meter.)

Harmony-wise, though, Meta Knight's theme probably won. My piece picked up its strong tendency to use D flats, stricter adherence to 5/4 time, shift to F minor, and relative lack of key changes. I've only played piano transcriptions of Ridley's theme once or twice, while I'm pretty close to finishing a piano transcription of Meta Knight's theme, so of course one of them rubbed off more on me.

This is partially based on piano improvisations on that ostinato and partially done on the computer (rather on the spot). Whenever I improvise on that ostinato, I tend to throw in those shifts to F minor and G minor, tremolos, Phrygian implications, chords with many notes a whole tone apart, the return to the original theme, and more. Chances are, unless I have the sheet music in front of me, I can improvise a piece similar to but not exactly this.

The 16th-note sextuplets in Bars 53-59 are tremolos and do not need to be played completely accurately. This is jazz, after all.

Unlike almost all my other pieces, this does not end with a clean tonic chord. Jazz has a habit of not ending pieces cleanly, and this piece follows that trend.

As awesome as "Blue Rondo à la Turk" is, I believe that "Take Five" has the greatest influence on me overall among the Dave Brubeck Quartet's pieces. At one point, I even improvised "The Noble Haltmann" and King Dedede's theme on the piano in the style of "Take Five"...

(Structure: Head-Solo-Head-Coda)

The Abyss

1 part2 pages01:16a year ago340 views
This is one of my earliest pieces--I believe I composed this in Grade 5 or 6. This is my earliest composition that I'm willing to publish--my first 1-2 were pretty bad.

I called this "The Abyss" back when I wrote it down on music staff paper, and although I'm keeping that title, I now question how appropriate it is. Perhaps "Deep Sea" or "Underwater Calm" might be better names.

This is my only piece (so far) where I explicitly write down pedal markings. Although they take up the entire piece, this piece luckily isn't too long.

Compared to most of my other works, this is rather like a bagatelle in terms of length, structure, and content. As I found when I read its sheet music again last week, it can still sound beautiful, though...

Alpha Bravo Foxtrot

1 part5 pages02:07a year ago756 views
...Yeah, this is inspired by the letters in the NATO phonetic alphabet. The name "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" may already be taken, but "Alpha Bravo Foxtrot" basically isn't. So why not make that the title of a dance?

I created the strains in this rag with a militaristic feel in mind, but I'm not so sure that I succeeded. The repeated notes are supposed to be reminiscent of firing a machine gun, the occasional wide leaps in the melody are supposed to reflect how sudden and lurching moving around a war zone as a soldier can be, and the C strain (Bars 55-71, in C minor) is supposed to be practically strafing the listener...but I'm often not convinced about that on further listens.

I had to look up ragtime-era foxtrots so this piece would sound remotely authentic. 5-7 foxtrots later, all I figured out that foxtrots had that other rags didn't was that foxtrots often use dotted notes in a 3:1 ratio (and they were often written in 4/4 time, but I ignored that). So I put in some measures where I use notes dotted in a 3:1 ratio.

The intro is a direct rip of the second phrase of the A strain (Bars 5-21, in E minor). This is a reference to and a change from one of ragtime's tendencies: ripping the intro from the fourth phrase of the A strain.

Yes, the notes A-B-F (Alpha-Bravo-Foxtrot) appear prominently in that order in the B strain (Bars 22-38, ostensibly in E minor).

This rag is in rondo form, rather like Scott Joplin's New Rag. However, this is a militaristic rag after all, so it has no strains in major keys. While this piece's home key is in E minor, so C major would make sense in the C strain, I swing the piece wildly into C minor instead.

By the way, Bar 20 convinced me that I did NOT want to improve the readability of this rag. Overlapping note beams and dynamics beware.

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-A-C-C-A-Coda)

Ragtime Evening

1 part4 pages04:02a year ago737 views
My first choice for naming this piece was "Ragtime Serenade", but unfortunately, that's been taken at least twice. So I tried "Serenade Rag", but that's also taken. Then, I tried "Evening Ragtime", but that's taken, too! Thank goodness "Ragtime Evening" wasn't taken, or I'd be running out of name ideas fast.

("Ragtime Nighttime" doesn't seem quite as appropriate--I keep thinking that the ragtime playing rate goes up in the night.)

This is my first rag where I put a long, paused, cadential chord in the intro (Bar 4, to be specific). Don't hold down its paused chord too long there--the playback version's chord length is what I'd recommend. Emphasize the caesura instead--there should be plenty of silence there!

The first 2 strains are a return to old-style rags and more Joplin-like writing. "The Entertainer"-style octave chords are in the B strain (such as Bars 23-24). Bar 12's cheeky 16th-note triplet is a reference to Luca Allegranza (see "The Soy Sauce" in for an example of how often he uses 16th-note triplets), who I've noticed definitely composes in the old style and should be commended for that. ...OK, the accompaniment texture in the A strain isn't quite a return to old-style rags--I still have a harder time using the typical ragtime left hand in slower rags.

The last 2 strains probably drift away from old-style rags. The C strain is filled with arpeggiated chords. I don't quite like how the playback assigns the arpeggios such varying lengths--I'd prefer if all the arpeggios were a bit faster than Bar 58's, but not as fast as the 16th-note arpeggio in Bar 55. (The sporadic octaves in the right hand, such as Bars 59-62, are rather like Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag", though.) On reflection, the D strain even foregoes typical ragtime syncopation altogether! It revolves around accented, slurred chords instead (such as the middle two 8th-note beats in Bar 72).

...Well, like old-style rags, at least all 4 strains contain two 8-bar sections each that both start with the same 4-bar phrase (thankfully, the 4-bar phrase isn't reused between strains), and the intro uses the common structure of "Motif in octaves, then repeat that going down an octave each time" (rather like "The Entertainer" in all cases, in fact).

While this is technically slow enough to be considered a slow drag, I have a harder time thinking of it as such than my D-Reamy D-Rag (in

There are occasional weird notes and chords, and they are intentional. The paused chord in Bar 4 is the tenser V augmented chord instead of a typical V chord. Bar 78 purposefully peaks with a F instead of the expected F#--I tended to hum that F more often than the F#.

(Structure: I-A-A-B-B-A-C-C-D-D)

A Sonata-Allegro in Under 2 Minutes

1 part5 pages01:45a year ago797 views
In classical music, sonata-allegros are usually prolonged affairs, easily more than 5 minutes long, occasionally breaking 15 minutes...and given their elaborate structure and prominence in large works such as symphonies, I can't blame them for taking that long.

This is one of those sonata-allegros that doesn't take that long. In fact, it's less than two minutes long and repeats the exposition!

The occasional classical-era sonata-allegro also isn't that long. The second movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30 in E Major, Op. 109 typically clocks in at barely over 2 minutes (it has no repeats, though). The first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 25 in G Major, Op. 79, is approximately four and a half minutes when both its repeats are played.,_Op.36_(Clementi,_Muzio) has a recording of the first movement of Muzio Clementi's Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36, No. 1 that is only 2 minutes and 20 seconds long and plays both repeats.

This sonata-allegro can afford to be so short partially because it is especially fast. Its common double-note passages, such as the right-hand part of Bar 1, can be pretty difficult to play at the proper speed. Its 16th-note triplets are so fast that they have to be played like grace notes. IMO, it's not flashy enough to be a virtuoso piece, though.

You may reassign notes between hands if you want (Bar 40 has a particularly glaring example where you may want to play both initial quarter notes with the left hand).

This is fiercely economical structure-wise--the development is made entirely of motives (transposed or more heavily modified) from the exposition, and the coda mainly consists of a transposition of the staccato passage of Bars 6-8.

Perhaps the first theme's topmost repeated note and descending inner line is influenced by Charles-Valentin Alkan's Esquisse Opus 63 No. 2 in F Minor (you can hear it in the last 2 notes of this piece are definitely derived from the last 2 notes of the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101 (you can hear it in

Because of its extreme speed and light passages, this piece sounds like a scherzo to me, but it's a full-blown sonata-allegro in duple meter, not a ternary-form scherzo in triple meter.

(Sonata-Allegro Structure (does not mention pickup bars):
Exposition 1st Theme: Bars 1-14
E. Transition: Bars 15-18
E. 2nd Theme: Bars 19-27
Development: Bars 28-53
D. Dominant Prep: Bars 50-53
Recapitulation 1st Theme: Bars 54-67
R. Transition: Bars 68-73
R. 2nd Theme: Bars 74-80
R. Coda: Bars 81-85)

Rocket Piece No. 1

1 part2 pages01:11a year ago138 views
This is one of my earliest pieces. Along with Rocket Piece No. 2, I believe I composed this in Grade 5 or 6.

Yes, both Rocket Pieces are for the right hand only. They're called that because they both start with Mannheim Rocket themes and prominently use those themes throughout. They both abuse the highest note on the piano, which is why they are both in C keys (C minor, in this piece's case).

This piece is in sonatina form--its first theme group is in C minor both times, and its second theme group is in E flat major the first time and in C major the second time. Unlike sonata-allegro form, sonatina form does not have a development section.

(Structure: A-B-A-B'-Coda)

Rocket Piece No. 2

1 part2 pages01:34a year ago181 views
This is one of my earliest pieces. Along with Rocket Piece No. 1, I believe I composed this in Grade 5 or 6.

Yes, both Rocket Pieces are for the right hand only. They're called that because they both start with Mannheim Rocket themes and prominently use those themes throughout. They both abuse the highest note on the piano, which is why they are both in C keys (C major, in this piece's case).

This piece is in rondo form. The main theme appears four times, although its octave voicing and dynamics tend to vary.

(Structure: A-B-A'-C-A"-B'-A-Coda)

Etude-Coronation March in G Major

1 part2 pages04:40a year ago352 views
...OK, this is quite possibly the least march-like of all the marches I have composed so far. It sounds stately and regal, like a coronation march, but it's in 3/4 time! Oh, and it's also an etude that focuses on beat subdivision. The B section kicks it into high gear with its triplets, portions of 16th-note sextuplets, and 32nd notes.

I composed the A section years ago, while I composed the melody of the B section more recently than that but still more than a year ago. I've currently put a simple accompaniment on the B section. Back when I composed the A section, I thought that changing the key of a theme made it different enough, but I find the A section to be quite repetitive nowadays.

(Structure: A-B-A)
(Structure of A section: A-A-A'-A-A'-A-Codetta)
(Structure of B section: B1-B1-B2-B2)

Going Distances Polka

1 part3 pages01:44a year ago496 views
This is a polka--to be more precise, a polka-schnell--composed in the style of the Strauss family's polka-schnells.

...although, with all those 16th-note runs, it sounds more like a circus screamer at times.

Feel free to use more crescendos and decrescendos than notated, as long as you hit the right dynamic markings (e.g. forte) at the right measures.

I had to make the distance between staves extra wide in order to make the score not look squished, especially when I notate trills for the topmost note in the left hand.

This piece was conceived when I started improvising a hummed polka, and Bars 38-53 stuck. I knew that excerpt had to be half of the trio of a new polka, so I came up with the rest from there.

If you can't pull off the tenth in the left hand of Bar 41 (I can't without using an arpeggio), make the right hand play the middle C flat instead.

Whenever I sing Bars 50-52, I use a smooth glissando instead of those individual 16th-and-faster notes. In fact, I sung and remembered the entire melody of this piece before recording it into Musescore.

(Structure: Intro-A1-A1-A2-A2-Interlude-B1-B1-B2-B2-Intro-A1-A2)

10 Minutes' Worth of Stressful Racetrack (10 Minute Challenge)

1 part1 page00:49a year ago250 views
How do you all compose and arrange so fast? I can only come up with THIS in 10 minutes. One instrument, just a melody line...I did restrict myself to that since that's the way I know will let me write the longest tune in the shortest amount of time.

The first 17 bars came from one of my hummed improvisations--give me 10 minutes to improvise a sung melody on the spot, and I will occupy the entire 10 minutes with not-so-repetitive music. The other bars stick to the same rhythmic pattern--in the interests of composing quickly, I decided to copy and paste the same bar over and over again, then change the notes so the passage would sound OK. (Don't worry; I only started improvising right at the start of the 10 minutes provided.)

I decided to improvise in the style of a racetrack theme of a F-Zero-like racing game, complete with repeat. (F-Zero tends to have rock music for its racetrack themes, unlike Mario Kart's tendency towards other styles.)

This has no (OST-only) proper ending because I didn't have enough time to write one in.

I apologize if I accidentally quoted a tune I did not compose. (Hot diggity, do the first 2 bars sound familiar to me.) If you recognize another song in this, tell me its name in the comments!

Drum Solo Time! (10 Minute Challenge)

1 part1 page00:08a year ago460 views
According to, the theme this round was to be "original", and I dare say that a mixed-meter piece that technically is atonal (because it's a drum solo) is original.

...Unfortunately, I can't write drum solos fast enough. I only got to Bar 7 before I had to nail the last 2 bars to it (which I composed and recorded about 8 minutes in). Better luck next round, maybe...

For the premise of the drum solo, imagine that the drummer of a Dream Theater-like band has some time to improvise. (Guess that drummer didn't have long...)

Avant-Garde Sonata-Allegro

2 parts12 pages03:21a year ago390 views
I've had a nutty idea for a while. Some sonata-allegros go into remote keys in the second theme group of the exposition (*cough* Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata 1st movement *cough*), and the very occasional sonata-allegro even goes into a remote key in the second theme group of the recapitulation (*wheeze* Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 18 in E♭ major, Op. 31, No. 3, 4th movement *wheeze*). So why not keep the second theme group tonal, but make the first theme group atonal?

I have trouble writing atonal music--my brain keeps trying to extract as much of a sense of key as possible from music--so the final spark that inspired me to write this piece was that I didn't have to restrict myself to pitched instruments for the atonal first theme group.

Yup, the first theme group of this sonata-allegro involves purely a drum kit. It's one long drum solo.

The bridge introduces the glockenspiel and involves a lot of diminished sevenths. The diminished sevenths are meant to sound rather atonal but actually be a chain of secondary dominants.

The second theme group is in G major in the exposition and C major in the recapitulation, behaving rather like this sonata-allegro should be in C major.

The development wavers between more (technically atonal) drum solos and pitched music from the glockenspiel.

The second theme group's habit of spamming parallel fifths is influenced by Alberto Ginastera's early works. He's my favourite atonal music composer so far because of his great sense of rhythm and energy (even though I generally don't like atonal music, especially since I often can't remember how to hum their melodies).

Shoot, Bars 36 and 44 sound like the Toad Town theme from Paper Mario (by Yuka Tsujiyoko and Taishi Senda).

Playback-wise...just assume that the drummer can crescendo and decrescendo better than Musescore's player will in those snare drum rolls, OK? And yes, this is another one of those pieces where the drum kit needs a double bass pedal (or two bass drums).

I had to widen the distance between staves again for this piece. I had big trouble keeping everything from colliding into each other in the first line without making the blank glockenspiel part appear there. Eventually, I relented and let the blank glockenspiel part make the spacing good near the title.

All these mixed meters, key shifts, and drum kits make me wonder if this is a progressive rock sonata-allegro or if it has too many influences from other genres instead (such as New Age and classical).

Relaxing Jazz (10 Minute Challenge)

4 parts3 pages01:12a year ago662 views
Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, Piano, Cello
The "10-Minute Challenge" for that group's third round,, was actually a 31-minute-long challenge, so if you're wondering why this piece is actually more than a minute long for once, that would be why.

Oh yeah, the theme for that round was "relaxing".

My brain kept coming up with a F major 7 chord and a cello part (despite cellos not normally appearing in jazz music--its cousin the double bass tends to be included instead), so that's what I started with for this piece.

I originally wanted a more elaborate alto sax part, but I hit a time crunch at Bar 13, so I had to assign that instrument half notes instead from that point forward.

One thing you might have noticed from my previous works and that you'll notice here: I use English tempo markings in all my jazz pieces, including arrangements of others' works.

...I swear that pedal-point E in the electric piano part is just a gag, though...

On This Side of Death's Shores (10 Minute Challenge)

1 part1 page01:05a year ago175 views
I've been kicking around this idea for a piece for a long while. It'll be called "On the Other Side of Death's Shores", it'll be for piano only, it'll be in F sharp minor, it'll be slow, and it'll end on an unresolved chord.

This is not the time for that piece. This is the time for "On This Side of Death's Shores" instead. I haven't really figured out how to compose that slow piece yet. "On This Side of Death's Shores" is much like "On the Other Side of Death's Shores", except it's significantly shorter and its kinks won't be ironed out. But maybe it'll prod me to finally compose "On the Other Side of Death's Shores" some day...

The fourth round of the "10-Minute Challenge",, had me compose a piece with a soundfont, so I figured I'd compose a piece that sounds great in a mellower piano soundfont but terrible with the default piano soundfont for it. (Not all my piano pieces are like this--some of them sound terrible with a mellow piano soundfont but great with the default, brilliant piano soundfont.)

Here's hoping the Kawai Upright Piano soundfont transferred well! I apologize for the shoddy syncing--guess that's the sound of me not making any more default-audio YouTube videos.

(There's an unfathomable sea between this life and the afterlife.
On the other side, it's not so bad.
But you grow to miss those on the side of life...
...And they grow to miss those who have already crossed...)

Etude in G Minor ("Arpeggio")

1 part1 page00:44a year ago289 views
This etude focuses on arpeggios, of course. This is probably my only composition that can be played in a large variety of tempos--thus its tempo-marking-that-doesn't-indicate-speed of "Agitato". I've set its Musescore playback to one of the fastest tempos you can play this at, a Presto speed of quarter note = 260 BPM, but you can play it a LOT slower than that (how about quarter note = 100 BPM?).

I'm fairly sure I composed this a long time ago, before I entered university, but I revised it this year not long before publishing it.

The mf dynamic marking is more like a placeholder--it's good for very fast renditions like the default, but slower ones like quarter note = 100 BPM probably need quieter dynamics and more decrescendos.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs and articulation it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

Impromptu-Scherzo in G Minor (IMCC)

1 part7 pages06:34a year ago774 views
I compose by improvising hummed tunes until at least one sticks, then fitting them into structures. I got into a good groove with quintuple meter improvisation one day--the day I came up with the initial tune of this piece.

No wonder this is called an "Impromptu-Scherzo"--I initially recorded only the tune and didn't know what the structure of its surrounding piece would be (so I initially labelled it "Impromptu"), then I noticed it sounded rather like a scherzo (with the wrong meter) and could fit into a scherzo and trio form.

I actually initially lost my original Musescore file containing the initial tune and had to reconstruct it from memory. It's probably a better piece for that, as I came up with its structure while reconstructing it.

I'm aware that this is a highly structured "Impromptu", complete with two rounded binary sections in ternary form--blame Franz Schubert for coming up with the structured Impromptu first.

My goal with the full version of this piece is for it to sound exactly like classical music despite being in quintuple meter. Did I succeed? Comment below with your opinion! (I tried to make the trio of this piece influenced by Schubert and Antonín Dvořák's trios-of-scherzos...I don't quite think I succeeded.)

I have to note that Bars 28-33 sound quite a lot like Camille Saint-Saëns's "Danse macabre".

The "quarter note = eighth note" and vice versa markings are strong guidelines for how much you should accelerate and decelerate. With that being said, I set this piece's current playback so its Bar 112 goes faster than the next bar's target speed of eighth note = 288 bpm (a.k.a. quarter note = 144 bpm, but that's hard to understand in the context of a 5/8 piece).

I've now entered this into the International Musescore Composition Contest's 2018 annual composition contest ( )!

(Structure: A1-A2-A1'-A2-A1'-Interlude 1-B1-B1-B2-B1'-B2-B1'-Interlude 2-A1-A2-A1'-Coda)

Regressive Form (Heavy Metal Band Version)

4 parts37 pages04:20a year ago373 views
Guitar(2), Bass, Percussion
This is the first time I've rearranged one of my own works I've previously published on Musescore.

"Regressive Form" quickly became one of my favourite compositions, and its appeal has been enduring for me. Maybe it's the eclectic blending of forms. Maybe it's the aggressive heavy metal melody. Maybe it's the speed and energy. (You can listen to the original at

So I figured that it's about time this piece finally became playable by a heavy metal band.

I made this arrangement for Community Remix Competitions' Competition #2, which you can read about in

I had to shift around some octave voicings and notes because they fell out of the range of the guitars and bass. Yes, even though I made the rhythm guitar use Drop D tuning and the bass use Drop C tuning, some notes were still too low. Several notes were also too high for the lead guitar--note the changes to the solo in Bars 148-149.

All those octave shifts gave me the opportunity to spice up the chorus's last hurrah (starting on Bar 203) by dropping the melody an octave the first time around.

You guessed it--get your drum kit with a double bass pedal (or two bass drums) for this piece. It's standard for heavy metal nowadays. Whenever you see two bass drum note heads on the same stem, use both feet. Again, I recommend alternating feet for consecutive single bass drum eighth notes (at least for the most part).

If anyone ever actually plays this, feel free to cut any notes that make the music sound too muddy. The first several bars might end up needing this...

If you've looked at the original, you know the drill for play tips for this version. The repeat is mandatory because this song wants to repeat its first verse and chorus, emphasize the first note of each beamed group, blah blah blah...

Tell me how exhausted the drummer will be after the band finishes playing this piece.

And tell me which heavy metal subgenre(s) this piece is actually in.

(Structure: Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Solo-Verse-Chorus (Modified)-Coda)

Fight As If They're Monsters (Boss Theme)

3 parts14 pages02:34a year ago392 views
This is a synthesizer-heavy sketch/transcription of a boss theme of a hypothetical video game that does not yet exist.

...But it feels less generic this time. It feels more like you're fighting people, but while this song is playing, you're encouraged to treat them like they're monsters. Kind of like an Asterisk boss theme in a way (one that commonly plays when you fight people with careers--yeah, this is a Bravely Default reference).

In-game, the music is supposed to loop endlessly. The ending (starting at Bar 36, after the repeat) will only be in OSTs.

This song was actually inspired by and influenced by Temmienator's "Voyage Against the Sea(s)" ( Both songs share the key of G minor and use rather similar rhythms and melodies in their Bars 3-6. Yeah, my selection of 13/8 time was directly inspired by that 3-3-3-1.5-1.5 rhythm--I use 3-3-3-2-2 instead, though.

In the meantime, Bars 1-6 also sound like Pokemon battle music (especially the chromatic scale-like lines), and Bars 3-4 really remind me of the Mission Impossible theme. ...Shucks, I'm influenced by that many pieces of music, huh?

I composed this with the electronica genre in mind, although I'm aware that you can remix this in a variety of styles.

I might try sneaking this into a game I make someday, but if you like this theme enough, you can stick it in your game and possibly rearrange it! Just tell me which game!

Synth Scherzando (10 Minute Challenge)

1 part2 pages00:34a year ago144 views
10-Minute Challenges are back! This round for, I needed to write 100 bars' worth of music in 10 minutes.

I had to work on this one at breakneck speed. Wanting this to sound like an actual piece, I set this to a very fast tempo (comparable to the second movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony). I then proceeded to copy and paste several bars' worth of music in order to get this finished on time (a lot of music genres tend to do that, anyway).

The first 12 bars of this piece sound familiar to me, but I can't quite put my finger on why.

After listening to this short piece, it reminds me a lot of Felix Mendelssohn's works. I wonder what instruments he would use if he were alive today....

Furiant No. 1 in G Minor (MCCHQ #6)

1 part7 pages03:08a year ago445 views
I've had the idea to compose a furiant for a pretty long time. Unfortunately, I never could come up with any furiant tunes until about a week ago.

You're probably wondering what a furiant is at this point and what makes them so tricky to compose. Well, a furiant is a fiery Slavic dance. It's notated in 3/4 time, but it's very fast and it often uses hemiolas. The 2-2-2-3-3 rhythmic pattern is very common in furiants. Thus, it's rare to find a triple-meter piece that sounds like a furiant.

If you're thinking dotted half note = 126 bpm seems too fast for you...this is actually a typical furiant tempo. And yes, despite their speed, the marked tempos of furiants are invariably just "Presto".

My main model for this furiant was Antonín Dvořák's works. He composed two excellent furiants in his Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, and the third movement of his Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60, B. 112 is a "Scherzo (Furiant)". Yes, its outer sections sound just like furiants.

Although I've listened to others' furiants, too (e.g. Smetana, Mišek, Fibich), I chose to use Dvořák's habit of switching keys abruptly and jumping to chromatic mediants and other distant keys. I also purposefully repeated and modified small motives in transitions, just like Dvořák.

Probably the place where this piece sounds the most obviously like Dvořák is Bars 201-202, which is similar to the transition back to the scherzo proper of his Symphony No. 6, Movement 3.

With that being said, this piece's coda's usage of major-key middle section material, then quick snap back into furiant outer section material at the very end is rather like the ending of Dvořák's Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, No. 8 (yes, the G minor furiant).

Maybe the B major section sounds a bit like Chopin's Scherzo No. 4 in E major, Op. 54, though.

My biggest wish for this piece's notation is that Musescore would treat marcato markings to make notes as short as staccato markings. It used to do that in earlier versions of Musescore 2.X from my experience, but now the marcato markings sound as long as portato markings. I wish a lot of the portatos in this piece were staccatos instead.

I've now entered this into the Musescore Composing Contests HQ Contest #6 (!

(Structure: Intro-A1-A1-A2-A1-Codetta-B1-B1-B2-B1'-Interlude-A1-A2-A1-Codetta'-Coda)

Sonata-Allegro in F Minor ("Complexity Within") (MWSC1)

1 part16 pages07:4811 months ago501 views
Sonata-allegros can be sprawling as all get-out--Franz Liszt's Sonata in B Minor, S.178 is one continuous sonata-allegro that theorists arguably split into multiple movements anyway, and Sergei Lyapunov's Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 27 is in a similar camp.

But, as far as I can tell, no one besides me has ever written a sonata-allegro with an entire scherzo and trio in its development.

So how many movements long do you think this is?

As befits a scherzo and trio nestled in the development of a sonata-allegro, the scherzo proper is based on the first theme group of the exposition, while the trio is based on the second theme group. While the exposition's version of the first theme group is more stately and its version of the second theme group is surlier and more energetic, the scherzo and trio's versions switch roles--the scherzo proper is rapid and assertive, while the trio is calm and pastoral.

Please note that all fermatas are optional. You can even make Bar 465 shorter than notated! This piece's Musescore performance effectively does, anyway.

I'm not a fan of how Musescore plays back this piece's trills. I wish there were more notes instead of the slight pauses the playback puts in. "Baroque" trills mitigate this problem but don't eliminate it entirely.

In Bars 405-406, I probably ripped the Db-Db-Db-C motive from the 1st movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata. Man, I must be influenced by that piece.

In the meantime, Bars 170-179 sound similar to the last movement of Robert Schumann's Faschingsschwank aus Wien, and Bars 186-196 are harmonically similar to a passage in the 2nd movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54.

It's close enough to Halloween (at the time this was published) that perhaps we can think of this piece in Halloween terms--maybe it starts dressing like a pirate (and succeeding, to its surprise) in the scherzo proper. The coda definitely starts recalling the frenzy of the scherzo proper and turning into a demonic tarantella (although the last 3 bars plunge the piece right down to Earth).

I've now entered this into the Musescorers With Superpowers Contest 1 (!

Exposition 1st Theme: Bars 1-14
E. Transition: Bars 15-30
E. 2nd Theme: Bars 31-46
E. Codetta: Bars 47-51
Development Interlude 1: Bars 52-53
D. Scherzo Proper: Bars 54-137
D. Trio: Bars 138-305
D. Scherzo Proper Reprise: Bars 306-388
D. Interlude 2: Bars 389-403
D. Dominant Prep: Bars 404-407
Recapitulation 1st Theme: Bars 408-421
R. Transition: Bars 422-437
R. 2nd Theme: Bars 438-453
R. Codetta: Bars 454-455
R. Coda: Bars 456-468)

March in F Major

1 part5 pages04:4510 months ago826 views
Enough of pessimistic marches for a little bit. Let's listen to an optimistic, spirited march!

This march's starting F major portion is happy and lively, rolling along into a sunny future. It isn't entirely innocent when it shifts to A flat major and then F minor, but it figures out how to be optimistic again and moves back to F major.

The B flat major trio is a nice contrast, with its stately motions and more regal atmosphere. Like the F major march proper, though, it does inflect towards the parallel minor. Bars 103-123 remind me of an American march break strain.

I actually came up with the first bars of this piece by riffing on the last four notes of my Sonata-Allegro in F Minor ("Complexity Within") ( There might be a 4-movement piano sonata with "Complexity Within" as the first movement and this as the second movement coming up. This does fit in a regular piano sonata, after all--it's in compound ternary form.

Both sections remind me of Beethoven's music at times. This piece especially reminds me of the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101 (you can hear it in and tell me how similar my piece is).

Tell me if this piece needs more slurs and/or other markings.

(Structure: A1-A1-A2-A1'-A2-A1'-B1-B1-B2-B1'-B2-B1'-A1-A2-A1')

Thopter Foundry Rag

1 part5 pages02:379 months ago269 views
Yeah, I play Magic: The Gathering. Yeah, perhaps I like thopters a bit too much. Yeah, "Thopter Foundry" is an actual Magic: The Gathering card, and it's part of an infinite combo to boot. Yeah, I can imagine that infinite combo churning out thopters to this music.

Yeah, "meccanicamente" has actually been used in a tempo indication before. (Nikolai Kapustin used it.) This rag is meant to be played in a precise rhythm, and I think that Italian word conveys this very appropriately.

I actually had this rag pretty much finished in 2016...except I felt that one of the strains sounded a bit too close to other music I've heard. I adjusted it recently and now I'm publishing this.

The A strain may as well be a parody of the Maple Leaf Rag (especially its A strain). I'm pretty sure the B strain is parodying another tendency of ragtime, but I've forgotten which piece does something similar. I hate Musescore 2.X's current grace note playback and how it's made me notate Bar 25's last grace note as a 32nd note instead, simply because I want it to be played before the beat. The C strain, like the A strain, also sounds purposefully repetitive and mechanical. (Truth is, the C strain was the one I had to adjust.) The D strain sounds pretty familiar to me--it sounds like a probably public-domain piece to me, but I've forgotten which one. If you remember that piece, put it down in the comments!

(Structure: A-A-B-B-A-C-C-D-D)

Puck, Hobgoblin

1 part2 pages03:218 months ago184 views
I'm calling this a scherzino because it's the right mood but the wrong meter for a scherzo. It's also not very big. If Robert Schumann named such a piece a scherzino in his Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Op. 26, then why can't I?

Some people call Puck a hobgoblin, not just a fairy--enough people that I'm using "hobgoblin" in the title. The starting portion of this piece sounds just heavy and plodding enough to be hobgoblin-like, IMO.

I actually composed the scherzino proper (Bars 1-22) several years ago on Musescore 1 (yes, the default page formatting for Musescore 1 was close to this). However, I only composed the trio (Bars 23-70) this week. I've always thought the trio was going to be in A major and 3/4 time, though.

The caesura in Bar 22 is meant to be a little pause, just large enough to separate the scherzino proper and the trio.

Also, whenever you see the two hands collide (e.g. Bar 2), repeat the collided note with the proper hand.

Back when I composed the scherzino proper and was tossing around some early ideas for the trio, I had Edvard Grieg on the mind. Does this piece sound Grieg-influenced?

Here's hoping I put in all the slurs, articulations, and dynamics this piece needs!

(Structure: A1-A1-A2-A1'-A2-A1'-B1-B1-B2-B1-B3-B2-B1-B3-Interlude-A1-A2-A1')

Tarantella No. 2 in E Minor

1 part9 pages03:135 months ago238 views
This time, this tarantella was born when I was improvising tarantella tunes in the store and Bars 73-80 came out. Bars 81-88 came soon afterward. Again, I knew this could not be the beginning of the tarantella, so I had to compose the rest. This time, I decided to improvise the rest within the limits of ternary form with an introduction and a coda.

OK, I did have goals in mind while improvising--I wanted the introduction to center around the dominant of E minor (the B major chord) but prominently use the C major chord to foreshadow the tarantella's later strong use of C major. I wanted the A section to be in E minor and the B section to be in C major, and I wanted the B section to end with a (b)VI-V chord hyper-progression crash into E minor. Yeah, the coda was going to end the piece in a satisfying way.

With that being said, my improvisations are generally less structured than a lot of my pieces, and I believe this tarantella's improvisando nature does indeed show. Neither the A section nor the B section have that much structure, and they're certainly not in binary form.

My improvisation method for this piece was to make up the melody on the spot at the computer, then find accompaniments that fit. I often tried several accompaniment lines per bar and picked the best one that fit, so the left hand wasn't so improvised. I've noticed that I actually do repeat some phrases when I improvise hummed tunes, so the B section has some repeated phrases.

I'm not sure which enharmonic spellings to use in several places. On the one hand, using E flats in contexts where D sharps are the norm just looks strange. On the other hand, using C double sharps in those same contexts looks even stranger.

Yes, those are feathered beams in the right hand of Bars 18-19. Getting the invisible tempo controls right for those beamed notes was kinda tricky, especially when they were so close together that they got unreadable.

Oh yeah, passages like Bars 29-32 are indeed ripped from my Tarantella No. 1 in C Minor ( ). I thought the homage would be fine.

Oops, Bars 142-145 sound rather like "Funkytown".

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

(Structure: Intro-A-B-A-Coda)

Prelude in C Major

1 part4 pages00:514 months ago133 views
This month, the very first arpeggio of this piece just sprang to mind one day. I knew this would have to belong to a piece of classical music, and I would try to make that piece not too chromatic.

I figured improvising the rest of the melody, then creating a non-intrusive accompaniment, would be good. I came up with the right hand of the first 2 bars first by some days, though. (I played some trial runs of improvised pieces like this at my sister's place on her shrunken electronic keyboard.) I knew the first-2-bars excerpt would come back at the end, but not completely in what form.

This sounds introductory enough to be a prelude, IMO. This isn't a prelude to a bigger work, though...unless you want it to be.

This prelude sounds pretty cheery and happy every time I listen to it. Do you agree?

Every time you see dynamic indications that aren't between the staves, they're for that hand/staff only. Even then, bounce back to forte after doing the right-/left-hand only decrescendos in Bars 26 and 27.

Shoot, Bars 13-14 sound like the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

Piano Sonata in F Major, "Cosmos" - Movement 2 ("Moon")

1 part2 pages05:304 months ago120 views
This is the second movement of one of my incomplete piano sonatas. Each movement of the "Cosmos" piano sonata depicts at least one celestial body--there will be movements for the Sun, the Moon, the stars, and the planets.

The twist is that, in each movement, I break an unwritten convention of Classical music (at least from the Classical era). ...OK, I break two unwritten conventions this time. The first convention I break is the time signature--quintuple meter was rarely used (and only started appearing in the Romantic era and in folk music, to my knowledge), and this piece is in 5/4 time. The second convention I break is more important--this piece almost completely avoids common practice period harmony, while Classical music uses that in spades. This piece uses extraordinarily strange chord progressions (F minor-G major-F minor is only the start of it) throughout. Chords mainly move by step-wise motion.

This movement, a ternary-form slow movement, depicts the moon. The music rises and sets slowly, rather like the moon. The alien harmonies are reminiscent of the experience of actually being on the moon--it's weird.

Feel free to crescendo and decrescendo in a Bar 1-like manner every time you see a similarly rising and falling motif.

I finally finished this movement yesterday and tweaked it today. Because of its unorthodox new harmony rules, it's been bothering me for years. Time to finally let go of it...

(Structure: A-B-A-Coda)

Waltz No. 1 in B Minor

1 part5 pages04:404 months ago243 views
Accompaniment parts don't come easily out of me, so when I heard from multiple sources that waltz left hands write themselves (or so I've been told), I decided to write a waltz for solo piano.

I'm surprised how easily the first several bars came to me at work a few days ago. I'm also surprised how quickly I wrote the rest of the music.

I'm still a bit disappointed at how difficult it is to write waltz left hands, though. It's easier than for most other types of pieces, but I'm still listening to and tweaking specific bars' accompaniment parts too often.

I picked B minor because I've noticed that I've never published a composition in that key before, while I've published compositions in all the other minor keys on Musescore.

Melody-wise, I think this is a blend of Chopin, Mendelssohn, and the Strauss family. Structure-wise, this is mostly Strauss family-influenced--they tend to construct their waltzes out of several repeated sections, put on introductions, and repeat the first section near the end of the piece--but there's a trace of ragtime influence when I repeat the A section after inserting only one other section in between.

There are two musical directions in this piece that you might not be familiar with--"ardito" in Bar 22 means "ardent/bold" in Italian, while "sfacciato" in Bar 30 means "cheeky" in Italian.

Make sure to play all the tenuto notes in Bars 72-85 with a bell-like tone.

(Structure: Intro-A-A-B-B-A-C-C-D-D-E-E-Interlude-A-Coda)
Four Can Fight At This (Boss Theme)
Custom audio

Four Can Fight At This (Boss Theme)

1 part5 pages03:304 months ago178 views
This is the piano version of a boss theme of a hypothetical video game that does not yet exist.

This boss theme feels reserved for difficult bosses only. Perhaps they're the sort of boss who'll have their real themes kick in once you get them down to half health.

In-game, the music is supposed to loop endlessly. The ending (starting at Bar 75, after the repeat) will only be in OSTs.

This is a more experimental piece of mine--I use quartal harmonies extensively in this boss theme, and I think this is my first time composing with quartal harmonies. The "Four" in this theme's title is indeed a reference to this quartal harmony use. (A lot of this piece being in 4/4 time helps.) The "Can Fight At This" is a reference to this being a boss theme. The title as a whole is a reference to the saying "two can play at this game", except this time, our four are fighting at this...battle, I guess.

I have no clue which four characters are fighting, but they're all up against tough opponents!

Because this is my first time trying out quartal harmonies, I had to work out the entire piece at the piano before recording it into Musescore. I can play nearly all of it at full speed! ...And wow, is my accompaniment in Bars 22-37 uncreative. (OK, maybe I can't play the 3-vs.-4 cross-rhythms completely accurately.)

I've listened to quite a few video game themes that extensively use ostinatos in the bass, so I figured I'd try that in Bars 54-72. I'm surprised how consonant the right hand sounds against my ostinato in that section.

Every time you see dynamic indications that aren't between the staves, they're for that hand/staff only.

You don't have to play the tremolo in Bar 21 completely faithfully. Just make them faster than 16th notes.

By the way, I think this is one of those (likely few) pieces that sounds better with the old Musescore 2.1 soundfont. ...So I used it for this online version.

I might try sneaking this into a game I make someday, but if you like this theme enough, you can stick it in your game and possibly rearrange it! Just tell me which game!

Deceptive Little Bagatelle

4 parts5 pages01:373 months ago75 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon
Occasionally, I'm inspired by Musescore music. In this case, and both gave me this idea: write a piece where only the last cadence is a perfect or plagal cadence.

You know what this means: deceptive and imperfect cadences galore!

I placed the additional restriction on myself that all my cadences in keys I modulate to and/or tonicize must also be deceptive or imperfect.

In order for this scheme to work and actually dash expectations, I figured I had to write classical music. Even pop music tends to do away with perfect cadence spam, let alone jazz/rock/metal/EDM/concert band/video game music/etc.

And I decided to be brave and write my first woodwind quartet!

So, I decided to make things not too hard for woodwind players and write this piece in A flat major. I've always figured that A flat major was the most morose major key, anyway--fitting for a piece that doesn't find proper resolution until its last bar.

I'm not the biggest fan of some of the dynamic markings in this piece--ones like Bars 3-4 are more for proper playback volume balancing than anything else.

(Structure: A-B-A)

Tango No. 1 in G Minor

2 parts11 pages05:052 months ago237 views
Clarinet, Piano
Here goes--this is both my first tango and my first piano-&-non-piano duet!

I played bass clarinet in 3 school concert bands, and I still have a soft spot for that instrument. That's why I picked bass clarinet for this duet.

I've listened to quite a lot of tangos lately--Libertango, Tango Pour Claude, Tango of the Troupple King--and I listened to a bunch more tangos here on Musescore so I could make this one sound somewhat authentic. The piano in this piece uses a rhythmic pattern common in 19th-century tangos.

One default sound font update later, I still have to say this: please forgive the bad default bass clarinet sound font, its inability to play slurred passages properly, and its difficulty with playing fast notes.

Tangos demand that you get the articulations right or they don't sound as imperious or wistful as they fully could be. Here's hoping I did a good job with the articulations!

(Structure: Intro-A-A'-B-A'-C-A-A'-B-A'-Coda)

Song on "Hippo's Hope"

1 part4 pages01:492 months ago77 views
"There once was a hippo who wanted to fly - "
- Shel Silverstein

That's the starting line of "Hippo's Hope", a poem by Shel Silverstein.

Several years ago, I created a tune that could be sung to this poem (one note per syllable in general, except for the 8th syllable of every second line, which gets assigned two notes). Each of its stanzas can be sung to the melody of Bars 1-8 (and the pickup).

This poem has 3 endings, and each variation on the theme reflects a separate ending (the first variation is for the happy ending, the second variation for the unhappy ending, and the last variation for the chicken ending).

Actually, I had most of this piece lying around for years. The chicken ending was the hardest one to write music for, while the unhappy ending was no slouch, either (but its music got done sooner).

Whenever you see collided notes, strike them again.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs, articulation, and dynamics it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!

Summer Field (Special Level Theme)

1 part5 pages03:402 months ago87 views
This is the piano version of a theme of a summery field level for a hypothetical video game that does not yet exist. The level itself is quite peaceful, and it possibly always comes with a sunset, but this doesn't sound like a first overworld theme to me. It sounds like a theme of a later level.

As seen in the subtitle, I want to rearrange this for different instruments someday. I keep hearing a harmonica play the lower melody in Bars 38-70 one octave lower than written, and I keep hearing twinkling bell-like instruments play the upper embellishments in those bars. There might also be a piano in that version, though.

In-game, the music is supposed to loop endlessly. The ending (starting at Bar 73, after the repeat) will only be in OSTs.

I've listened to quite a lot of Mario Kart 64 transcriptions lately, especially the Jonny Music ones for organ, and one thing I noticed with those themes is that they love using ostinatos. (Despite playing that game extensively in my childhood, I somehow didn't notice that ostinato use before.) These themes do change up those ostinatos reasonably often, so I thought I'd use left-hand ostinatos in a similar fashion here. I also figured I'd better brush up on my harmony-first composing skills with this piece. (I'm normally a melody-first composer.) The varied return in the second half of the loop is a feature I've picked up from several video game themes, including Mario Kart 64's own Rainbow Road theme.

I managed to come up with this entire piece yesterday evening, which has got to be a new record for me for a non-X-Minute Challenge piece. The first thing I came up with was the ostinato, and I actually had it in F major at first. (F sharp major is so much more summery, though, IMO.)

I might try sneaking this into a game I make someday, but if you like this theme enough, you can stick it in your game and possibly rearrange it! Just tell me which game!
Torn-Wing Butterfly
Custom audio

Torn-Wing Butterfly

5 parts22 pages04:42a month ago79 views
Guitar(3), Bass, Percussion
This is my first piece I composed for heavy metal band right off the bat. No piano version, none of that stuff. OK, there's an acoustic guitar, but plenty of heavy metal songs come with acoustic intros. (OK, acoustic outros like mine are much rarer.) Maybe this is alt metal? It's definitely a metal ballad, though.

This is one of those rare pieces of mine where I try verse-chorus form, and this is also one of those very rare pieces of mine where I've written a poem for it! I don't necessarily hold the (rather anti-war) views of this poem; I bet all you soldiers have something to say about it, and rightfully so:

A butterfly with a torn wing...
Such beauty...
Such life...
Cut cruelly short...
It's a waste, isn't it?
When such vibrancy is torn apart,
It's not long before it's gone from this world...

Just like the soldiers,
Those who strive and fight,
Those who forge into battle, don't they tear apart, too?
Such vibrancy and youth, all headed for death...
Do they have to go this way?

Perhaps those who continue to fight will become torn-wing butterflies themselves....

It's a poem, not a set of lyrics; you can't sing this piece along to that. The last 2 stanzas do correspond to the verse-chorus pair after the solo, though, while the first stanza corresponds to the first 2 verse-chorus pairs.

Yup, you guessed it: the repeat is mandatory.

The interludes between the chorus and the verse are actually derived from Vocaloid song structures, which tend to use these.

The acoustic guitar is always supposed to have substantial reverb in this piece, but I have my doubts that the mixer pulled that off well enough. This uses the old Musescore 2.1 soundfont in an attempt to introduce as much reverb as possible, but I might still have failed.

My aim for the solo was haphazard flight. This butterfly has a torn wing, and it cannot fly steadily. It spirals downward and plunges to the ground. The narrow-stepped guitar fluttering alternates with large leaps.

Note that the rhythm guitar and the bass guitar both use Drop D tuning.

You know the drill for the drum kit--get a drum kit with 2 kick pedals (or 2 bass drums), and whenever you see 2 bass drum notes on the same stem, use both feet. Whenever you see 2 snare drum notes on the same stem, use both hands.

All drum kit grace notes should be played before the beat. Musescore playback doesn't pull this off anymore. It used to in Musescore 1.X.

I actually started this piece and Tarantella No. 2 in E Minor ( ) at around the same time--if you notice that this piece's solo resembles my tarantella's coda, note that I actually wrote this piece's solo first and had to adjust it after using similar material in my tarantella.

(Structure: Intro-Verse-Chorus-Interlude-Verse-Chorus-Interlude-Bridge-Solo-Verse-Chorus-Outro)

Etude in C Minor ("Wilde Jagd")

1 part4 pages02:20a month ago91 views
This etude helps you practice your triplets. The central, smooth section is a fine contrast and helps you practice your lyricism and damper pedal usage.

The fast, minor-key triplets of this piece and the initial hunting call remind me of the folkloric Wild Hunt--thus the name. ("Wilde Jagd" translates to "Wild Hunt" in German.)

I started composing this on Finale Notepad...2006, I think. Wow, the triplet-filled theme is old! I didn't have the greatest idea of how to complete the central section until last week, when I found I still remembered a version of the entire melody of this piece after all this time. I figured that having monophonic lines for both hands of the central section was fine.

This piece is actually easier than you'd think. Even the left-hand leap between Bars 21-22 is quite manageable.

This probably doesn't have all the slurs and articulation it could - if you have any ideas for these, comment away!