The key to understanding

“Setting the right tone” is a common enough phrase that’s readily understood and achieved in everyday life. But how does a composer set the right tone in a piece of music? Composition is an increasingly common activity in schools nowadays, … Read More →


Backing Bacchus

There will be few, if any, readers of this blog who have been immortalised in music as the dedicatee of a particularly famous composition. But maybe some of you have been given an honourable mention, simply by dint of your … Read More →


Bricks of the trade

The humble triad, or doh-mi-soh of a scale, has been a fundamental building block of classical music for several centuries. No matter how sophisticated a work turns out to be, those little bricks are to be found holding up the … Read More →


Podcast: A reticent English richness

Ralph Vaughan Williams is not especially remembered for his chamber music, being much more popular for his nine symphonies and works for voice and chorus. But the chamber music he composed throughout his long career is now becoming properly appreciated. … Read More →



After a hard day’s work, there’s nothing like going into flop mode, a glass of something in one hand, the other gently rifling through ranks of CDs or scrolling through a digital cache of music, finding the escape hatch from … Read More →