Key Issues

When I began my musical journey I used to believe that tonality is an indispensable part of music that had virtually always been with us until ‘modern’ composers tried to take it away from us. And yet a moment’s thought would have reminded me that, until the campaign in favour of equal temperament gathered strength […]


Composers will occasionally pause to think about about what they do and why they do it and then get on with their daily business. Some will rarely think about it at all. But it can be interesting to assess current attitudes against the background of what has gone before. For example, many years ago music […]

Putting it across

The book has a section which deals with the importance of clear, ‘logical’ scores and band parts and makes an attempt to arrive at standardization – accents (usually) opposite the stems; instructions to the player, except dynamics,  above the stave (staff) etc. Music written for recording and broadcasting will generally involve ‘sight reading’. Studio time […]

Stop the world, I want to get off!

I’m grateful to a fellow blogger for a comment he made regarding an earlier blog in which I discussed writing for the rhythm section in jazz. The book has a section dealing with the ‘hardware’ of music – band parts, scores etc. – that used to be so badly presented by some publishers. I often […]