Orchestral strata

We sometimes hear about orchestral, or harmonic, strata. As so often happens, in any field of endeavour, seemingly obscure and complex ideas actually exist all around us. The idea is this: by treating large groups of sound as collections of smaller layers we not only achieve a more controllable method (especially of combining instrumental sections) […]

Passing chords and all that jazz…

[Passing chords and the related subject of unessential notes in general are treated in detail in the book. The purpose of these blogs is to try and achieve a deeper insight into problems that usually appear in the A – Z of music-writing.] Jazz and ‘dance band’ arrangers of old were obsessed with voicing styles […]

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 […]