Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I am inching closer to trying to get some of my musical compositions published. Lately I have been combing through my choral scores, adding rehearsal piano parts and turning these, without the choir parts, into keyboard works that I could publish under the same opus number with an "a" added. In some cases I have still need to type in lyrics, dynamics, and articulation marks, and there have been a lot of typos to correct. Also, I scoped out a publisher and found out how to submit my work to them for consideration. So, perhaps in as little as a week or two, I will be ready to start courting rejection.

My seven-stanza chorale fantasy on Luther's Easter hymn, "Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands," now exists as a complete work for SATB a capella choir (with rehearsal piano), a less demanding version for a modest church choir (with keyboard obbligato), and as a purely instrumental piece for 2-manual organ with pedal (including a rough approximation of how the organ is to be registered throughout the piece). I completed the original draft of this piece the same week as organ preludes on two other hymn tunes, one of which I have already taken for a test drive during services at my church. Plus, I'm trying to teach the Easter piece to my church's choir.

After I perform some needful services to the scores of a half-dozen other hymn-based choir pieces, I'll be ready to face the publishing world with a catalogue of preludes, fantasies, partitas, and motets on 24 different chorales. This isn't an awfully huge output for the last dozen years of my composing career, though it doesn't count a setting of the Divine Service, a Psalm, and selections from the Easter Vigil, plus some original hymns. Hopefully enough of of these pieces will find favor in some publisher's eyes, and come to the attention of choir directors or an organists at traditional, hymn-oriented churches. Then, perhaps, I'll be better situated to make money doing this...and, thereby, enabled to do more of it!

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