So I’ve done something musical every day this year. I’ve done at least three of the following four things daily:

(1) Make music in some way – practice my horns, perhaps;
(2) Compose;
(3) Work on analytical articles; and
(4) Listen to some music that I had not heard before.

If you want to do what I do, this is what you have to do. I didn’t for far too long, and I regret it.

Expect updates.


This week, I’ll be starting research on a new and exciting composition project. Bulletins will be issued as events warrant.

Also, I’m going to force myself to do more work on my Rocky Horror paper, even as I no longer think it’s going in the direction I thought it was and thus won’t be submitting it for publication at the originally intended place. I am going to salvage it, though, and make sure it gets out there somewhere.

I think it’s time to get the Susannah paper into a place where it can be published as well. Any and all suggestions as to a good journal for a paper on (American) opera and philosophy are appreciated.


Though I guess this is technically more composition than theory…

I’ve been thinking about orchestration lately and how we decide what notes/themes work best with the different timbres at our disposal. John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls is playing right now, and I’m intrigued by the interplay of the spoken names/words and the string writing.

Composers – Where in your compositional process do you decide on timbre assignments? I know that several of Stravinsky’s works (I’m thinking of the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, among other things) started out life as something completely different timbrally-speaking. I personally make about 55% of my timbral decisions during the sketching and the other 45% during the final drafting, though those numbers may fluctuate (for example, I have made maybe 15% of the timbral decisions for the finale of the piece I’m currently working on; earlier variations had about 75% of the decisions made before the final draft) and are always subject to revision.

How about you?