Newsletter 5 – October/November 2023

Dear friends,

Welcome to my October/November newsletter, which is for anyone who has connected in some way with my music, both choral and instrumental.

This month’s focus is on music for piano, organ, and bassoon, some new, and some republished. (Next month’s will be mainly choral.)

The brand new publication is Aspects of Blue – seven piano pieces at intermediate level.  I wrote these pieces over the last year or two. Each of the pieces represent a different aspect of the twelve-bar blues structure. They are all based on the twelve-bar chord sequence, but each responds to it in a different way, with stylistic reference to the past as well as the present, providing an enticing and contrasting set of pieces which can be played complete or individually. The titles are Deep Blue, Bluetooth, Light Blue, Blue River, Stately Blue, Blue Sky, and Electric Blue. The score is published by Editions Musica Ferrum: you can hear a performance with scrolling score here, and details to order the music are here.

Another new publication, in which I had a part to play, is Piano Inspiration – Isata Kanneh-Mason. I made two arrangements for Book 1 (Grades 4-6) of this two-book series: Sometimes I feel like a motherless child (trad.), and The Man I Love (Gershwin). These were fun to do and I’m pleased that they form part of Isata’s eclectic and diverse musical collection. The books, published by ABRSM, are on sale here.

Prelude No. 9 from my ‘Twelve or Thirteen Preludes for solo piano, Set One’ continues to sell regularly here, as it is in the current ABRSM piano syllabus for Grade 7.  It is now joined by its neighbour, Prelude No. 8, which is in the current Trinity College London piano syllabus – also Grade 7 – which is now also available as a separate download here. They are very different in character: Prelude No. 8 is a fast-moving piece, with fanfares and running passages in constantly changing metre, moving to a big climax and a throw-away ending – a complete contrast to the calm and reflective Prelude No. 9. Details of both pieces, and the book that they come from, are here, and here are recordings of the pieces: Prelude No. 8, Prelude No. 9.

Out of print for some time, and now reissued, are my Six Dances for Four Hands – a set of light-hearted pieces at intermediate level, for piano duet (the set of pieces was formerly called ‘I Love Piano Duets, Book 3’). I really enjoyed re-discovering these pieces – quite traditional in style, and a lot of fun to play – and you can see and hear a scrolling score here.  Please visit this page to buy a copy (print or digital download), or this page to read a blog about them.

Those who have used the Pianoworks series (by Janet and Alan Bullard), published by Oxford University Press, may be interested to see the ongoing series of arrangements of popular songs and tunes for the beginner and intermediate pianist that we have been doing in the Janet and Alan Bullard Piano Series. These are new arrangements, not in the Pianoworks books, and are available as separate digital downloads – please follow this link.

For organists, my Christmas Preludes and Fantasia might come in useful at this time of year. As well as a Fantasia (with a bit of everything, to end a service joyfully) there are individual preludes on The Angel Gabriel, Infant Holy, Whence is that goodly fragrance?, As with gladness men of old, and He is born (Il est né). Published (complete, or separate downloads) by Banks Music Publications here.

And lastly, my bassoon piece, Blue Bassoon, has been re-published by Clifton Edition. This short piece was originally written for a competition for young bassoonists, and exploits several aspects of the instrument at an intermediate level.  Here’s a scrolling score, and the music can be ordered here.

Recent Pieces of the Week have included:
Autumn, for upper voice choir
Autumn Evening, for soprano, clarinet, and piano
Attitudes, for solo guitar
Cantate Gloria, for unaccompanied choir

You can also view previous newsletters as posts on this website.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading this newsletter. Any thoughts or suggestions are very welcome,

Best wishes, Alan