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) […]

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 […]

Composition

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 […]