Instrumental Music | Choral Music
Featured Piece: Meditation for Strings

Michael L. Carroll -- composer/arranger

Last Update: Jan 1, 2019

Welcome to my Music Blog!

This website contains samples of my work and serves as a partial portfolio of some of my compositions.

BIO: I studied music and mathematics at the Georg August Universität in Göttingen, Germany, and graduated with a master's degree in math from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1979. I studied classical guitar under Thomas Walati and also taught classical guitar at the Goettinger Musikschule in Germany. Attended master guitar classes under Karl Scheit. The primary influences on my compositional style are Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Tschaikovsky, and Hindemith. I enjoy arranging 20th century American popular jazz idioms into works featuring classical structure such as the sonata form, rondo form, fugue, canon, etc.

Instrumental Music
Choral Music

Recent Postings

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12/31/2018: Happy New Year! Looking forward to playing lots of classical guitar duets in 2019 with Patty Rodgers. We've had one session together and it was fantastic! To celebrate, I've written an classical guitar duet arrangement of "We'll Meet Again", appropriate for New Years.
Synthesized Audio (Ogg);
Score (PDF)
Guitar 1 (PDF) ;
Guitar 2 (PDF)
First Variation:
Synthesized Audio Variation 1 (Ogg);
Score Variation 1(PDF)
Second Variation:
Synthesized Audio Variation 2(Ogg);
Score Variation 2(PDF)

12/24/2018: Updated version of Variations on Folias of Spain (Ogg file)
Score PDF
Guitar 2 PDF
Guitar 1 PDF

11/25/2018: A recording I made of "My Melancholy Baby" playing guitar and mandolin (Ogg); MP3
Also, the rhythm guitar backing track, if you want to make your own recordings: Backing Track (Ogg) ; MP3

08/08/2018: A recording of Bach's harmonization of "O Sacred Head Surrounded" with four guitars.

08/05/2018: A recording I made of Lady Be Good with mandolins and guitars. There's a rhythm mandolin and rhythm guitar, a solo guitar and a solo mandolin. After the theme comes two variations I wrote (see sheet music below), one play by the solo guitar and one by the solo mandolin. Enjoy!

06/04/2018: Recently visited La Cour, Denver's Art Bar. They feature live jazz music everyday (except Mondays, when they are closed), and their food and drink are delicious. The staff is very friendly and the atmosphere is very, well, artistic!!!

05/11/2018: Gershwin's Lady Be Good with a couple of variations for Violin or Mandolin (or guitar).
Dedicated to Nancy Kamm, a wonderful Dallas area jam companion! Violin/Mandolin PDF

05/01/2018: Duet in G minor for Violin and Guitar. PDF Score
Ogg Audio File
Guitar Part PDF
Violin Part PDF

01/06/2018: The Canon Composition series is proving to be too advanced for most users. To remedy this I am starting a new series on more fundamental, prerequisite topics in music composition. Here's the first one dealing with
Interval Progressions (PDF) (even more fundamental than chord progressions).
Also a .wav audio file to accompany the PDF file. The audio is intended to be listened to while looking at the PDF file. (By itself the audio file is meaningless.)
Interval Progressions (WAV)
Interval Progressions (Ogg)
Interval Progressions (aiff for Apple people)
Interval Progressions (MIDI)

01/02/2018: Happy New Year!
Canon Composition: Lesson 3: The previous two lessons presented the basics but didn't modulate. Here is a whole note sketch of the A and B part for a Theme and Variations (see links below). This was the actual whole sketch that I used (and am still using, since I'm not quite done with this third movement of the sonata) to compose the four variations thus far. Here I illustrate how a third, free voice can be added to two imitating voices in order to spell out the harmony a little more clearly and to provide more harmonic structure from which to build non-imitative phrases (which I do in a couple of the variations presented thus far).
Ogg file
PDF file
Also, I am now posting musical content on Steemit, a blockchain-based social media site at which content providers are rewarded for posting in cryptocurrency.

12/31/2017: Added a fourth variation to the Theme and Variations (3rd movement from Sonata in Bb).
Ogg file
Not sure how many more variations I'll write for this. It's getting long: 12 minutes. Oh well, stay tuned and Happy New Year!

12/16/2017: It is my pleasure and honor to present a couple of pieces composed and performed by a very talented young musician, Natalie Plotkin, a colleague of mine in Colorado. Natalie grew up studying classical music at Forte Academy in Littleton, Colorado, and later, geology and computer science at the University of Colorado. Natalie has been composing classical pieces since childhood and holds national titles in competitions for her compositions. Her main musical influences are Chopin and Rachmaninov.
Solace and a very recent improvisation Improvisation -- Untitled .

12/13/2017: Sonata in Bb, third movement, Theme and Variations.
Still a work in progress. Only 3 variations, although the theme is fairly long, so that the whole piece right now is over 8 minutes long.

12/13/2017: Canon Composition: Lesson 2
Lesson 2: Imitation at Other Intervals
Finale file. Instrumented with flute and bassoon.
Some Wav files for Lesson 1:
Dotted Half Notes
Variation 1
Variation 2

12/12/2017 Feast of Our Lady of Guadelupe: Our Lady of Gaudelupe
Starting a new series of tutorials on how to write canons, expounding my "Forward/Backward" Method for composing canons. The backward process always yields a skeletal canon phrase that can then produce a strict canon when moving forward, but one doesn't have to compose a canon. One could let the the "comes" voice (follower) just provide free counterpoint to the "dux" (the leader).
Here's the first one:
Lesson 1: Basic Canon Composition This is a self-explanatory, step by step instruction.
Also included is the Finale file (if you have Finale): Finale file.
Some Wav files for Lesson 1:
Whole Notes
Variation 1
Variation 2
Variation 3 (Makes the upper voice the dux)
Some MIDI files for Lesson 1:
Whole Notes
Variation 1
Variation 2
Variation 3 (Makes the upper voice the dux)

11/02/2017: Sonata in B flat for Piano. 2nd movement: Adagio.
AABA form, each part is a canon with lag of 2 measures. The A part is a canon at a third above (plus octave).
The B part is also a canon but at seventh above.
Wave export from Finale. Very large file.
PDF file

10/22/2017: Sonata in B flat for Piano. 1st movement: Allegro. Dedicated to my musical mentor Thomas Walati.
There are three themes in this movement. Two of the themes are very contrapuntal with subthemes in various canon formats. The third theme is homophonic, sort of Haydnesque.
Wave export from Finale. Very large file.
PDF file

07/22/2017: Study for Guitar in B minor. Many canon phrases.
A recording of me playing it..
PDF file

06/11/2017: Clips from the Dallas Sunday Jam:
Charli Alexander singing "Across the Great Divide".

06/10/2017: Cotton Patch Rag Recording Project. I am working on a recording of the tradtional bluegrass tune called "Cotton Patch Rag". I am playing all the parts (except bass). Will feature two mandolins and two guitars. The mandolins are a traditional f model bluegrass mandolin and the other is a Fender 4-string electric (like Johnny Gimbel use to play with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys). The two guitar parts are rhythm and flat-picking solo. My goal is arrange all the parts so that there is rich contrapuntal texture, sort of like Dixieland. Here's a sample of a trio (2 mandos and a solo guitar): Cotton Patch Trio (Variation). This is just a rough draft to give you an idea of what's coming.
PDF Mando 1 Sheet Music
PDF Mando 2 Sheet Music
PDF Guitar Sheet Music
PDF Score

06/04/2017: Video of Charli Alexander's jam session in Dallas, TX. That's Nancy Kamm leading the way on fiddle with Oh, Lady Be Good.
This group meets every Sunday from 3-6 pm at the Half Price Bookstore on Northwest Highway in Dallas. I sooooooo look forward to this jam every week.
This week Kenny from Kenny and the Kasuals joined us! Kenny

02/13/2017: Two-Part Invention in E flat for Piano, dedicated to my wife for Valentine's Day.

11/21/2016: Two-Part Invention in G for Piano. PDF.
Invention for Flute and Bassoon in B flat. PDF

10/28/2016: Can't believe it's been over a year since I posted a composition!!! I have many to post but I'll do just one today. A Invention in E flat for Piano
PDF Score

10/11/2015: A Wind Quintet in G composed in August 2015 (forgot to post it!). I love french horns! They are right in between the woodwind and brass instruments.
PDF Score

10/11/2015: A Wind Quintet in G composed in August 2015 (forgot to post it!). I love french horns! They are right in between the woodwind and brass instruments.
PDF Score

08/23/2015: A new double canon for string quartet in E flat.
PDF Score. Parts available upon request.

08/22/2015: An upgrade to the Canon Study in A posted below. Corrected some faulty voice leading.

08/22/2015: An updated version of the Folias for two guitars previously posted. This is version 3. Upgrades include dynamics, slurs, increased tempo (120), a new phrase near the end and a few minor note adjustments.
Guitar 1 PDF
Guitar 2 PDF

07/26/2015: A new canon for piano in A major. AABA form in the beginning. Sort of like a rondo in which the theme recurs in different keys after several modulation episodes.

03/22/2015: Made recording of guitar piece I wrote for my grandaughter Ramona. It is called "Song for Ramona".

01/25/2015: Variations on Folias of Spain, for two guitars. Version 2.The standard Folias theme and variations are presented in D minor and then a short modulation over to A minor introduces the canonic variations on the simplified variant Folias progression in A minor as presented in Version 1 below. Finally, there is a modulation back to D minor, with theme presented one more time and then the piece ends.
PDF Score.
Guitar 1
Guitar 2

01/24/2015: Variations on Folias of Spain, for two guitars.The theme and variations are done as canons.
PDF Score. This is a slightly unorthodox, simplified version of the Folias chord progression to faciliate the treatment of the variations as canons. I plan to insert this as an interlude between some variations of the orthodox Folias. Stay tuned!
Parts available upon request.

01/02/2015: String Quartet in Eb, Second Movement Ogg)
PDF score.
This 2nd movement is based on a single 16-bar canon phrase, which is a double canon in the sense that the two lower instruments imitate the 2 violins at the interval of a perfect fourth below and after two measures. The basis canon phrase is heard at the end.

12/14/2014: String Quartet in Eb, First Movement
PDF score.

11/30/2014: Invention in C for Piano. PDF.

12/29/2013: New wind quartet (MP3), (Higher Quality Wave File (130 MB)) composed yesterday, 12/28/2013. In B blat major, first movement only. Three themes. First one is linear with counterpoint, but not in imitative counterpoint. Second theme is more song/dance-like with appegiated melody (at my wife's suggestion) with imitation. It also uses a trick to emulated triple meter in 4/4 time. Third theme is short ending theme, rhythmic and childlike.
PDF Score.

09/08/2013: Coming Sept. 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm: The Allen Folk Festival! Featuring 3 Penny Acre bluegrass combo from Arkansas. Also, yours truly is teaming up with Kevin Vaught and Dennis Brown of Allen to provide some Texas folk music to warm up the crowd before the headliners. We will be playing some old Texas favorites like "Down by the Brazos" and "Deep Ellum Blues." Admission is free! So, if you are anywhere near Allen, TX, come out to the festival and have a good time (and sing along on "Deep Ellum Blues." Article coming soon in the Allen Image (pg. 26) magazine. Also, here's some history on Deep Ellum.

08/11/2013: Arranged a folk tune to perform with the Keltic Dead: "When You and I Were Young, Maggie". Also started a new page where you will find these kinds of arrangements: Folk Tunes.

07/07/2013: Composed a new piece for solo guitar, A Study for Guitar in A major.

05/25/2013: Composed a new canonic study for solo guitar in G major. It is written here as a duet, but I ensure you it is playable as a solo. This is part of project I've been contemplating and sort of working on for years. I am compiling a set of contrapuntal studies for solo guitar in all keys to help the intermediate and advanced players develop their skills in playing two-part and three-part counterpoint.
Canonic Study in G for Solo Guitar (PDF). Happy Memorial Day! Say a prayer for the country for which these brave men and women gave their lives.

03/16/2013: Happy Birthday, Grandson Felix!! The big boy turned two today.
Also, I just moved to Plano, TX to take on a new job and was introduced at work to a guy who is a real mover-shaker in the North Texas Irish music scene. His name is Shaun Young and his website is here: Keltic Dead. He has sent me some of his music and we are going to get together soon to see if we can do some music together. Also, last night I learned that music is alive and well in Allen, TX. The Allen Public Library puts on cultural events for free at their civic auditorium and I heard Hailey Sandoz, the Fiddle Dancer playing with Joseph Carmichael on guitar. They were both awesome and the crowd loved the treat at the end of their set when Hailey strutted her stuff. Joseph is a very good guitar player and does some nice things throwing in 9th chords and minor 7ths as alternate harmonizations of otherwise fairly traditional-sounding Irish melodies. Irish music has come a long way since I was involved with it in the 1970s. I think the Riverdance phenomenon had something to do with it. Now there ares all kinds of fusion going on with jazz, country and rock influences. I love how good ole American syncopation has made its presence felt in modern Celtic music. Hailey and Joseph are really exciting to see and hear. Also on the bill was the group Needfire. Joseph plays flutes and tin whistles with this band, and they really show the power of Celtic-centered fusion. Even the bass player was doing some awesome Celtic riffs on his electric bass. I am very pleased to see that Celtic music is alive and well in North Texas!

01/05/2013: New fugue for two guitars. Tried using more chromaticism.
Chromatic Fugue for Two Guitars: MP3 | Chromatic Fugue for Two Guitars: PDF
Here's a version for a single harp:
Chromatic Fugue for Harp: MP3 | Chromatic Fugue for Harps: PDF

12/30/2012: Year end clean-up: I have several new works composed this year that I haven't yet posted to the web site. I'll try to get caught up today. Here's a two-part invention in C for piano with a happy little theme based on a two-measure strict canon phrase followed by a two-measure appendix (German: Anhang or Nachsatz). The canon is at the sixth below with imitation occuring after one quarter note. The four measures are revealed at the end from measures 60-63:
Two-Part Invention in C for Piano: MP3 | Two-Part Invention in C for Piano: PDF

After You've Gone, the standard jazz tune by Creamer and Layton: I've added my own bass line and also wrote a variation, all for piano. It's a fun piece. You should hear how Art Tatum plays it to be really impressed and humbled.
After You've Gone: MP3 | After You've Gone: PDF
Here's another variation that follows a loose, canon-like structure from measure to measure:
After You've Gone (Canon): MP3 | After You've Gone: PDF

Another invention in expanded tonality (see below). By expanded tonality I mean a key expanded both clockwise and counterclockwise on the circle of fifths. In C major that would mean adding both a sharp and a flat, or two sharps and two flats. The idea is that C is still the tonal center for the initial thematic phrase, but it is allowed to make use of any tones from the flats to the sharps:
Invention for Piano in Expanded C: MP3 | Invention for Piano in Expanded C: PDF

Some experimentation with contrapuntal chromaticism: A Chromatic Canon for Piano: Chromatic Canon for Piano: MP3 | Chromatic Canon for Piano: PDF

All Creatures of Our God and King: This is a traditional Christian hymn to which I've written a bass part. The mp3 file features the bass part alone first, and then the upper voice as well. It was intended as an ear training exercise for me while commuting to work. All Creatures of Our God and King: MP3 | All Creatures of Our God and King: PDF

07/14/2012: String Quartet in E-flat Major, 1st Movement. The first movement of a string quartet I began writing this week while on vacation in New York visiting our daughter Josi Stone, her husband Yoshi Stone, and their most adorable son, our grandson Felix Raul Stone.

PDF Score

05/23/2012: Saw Dennis Prager this evening at a book sigining in Ontario, California. Presented him with a copy of the score to my symphony, the first movement of which is dedicated to him. Here's a link to the symphony: SymphonyNr. 1 in B Flat -- All Four Movments. And here's of picture of Dennis looking at the score:

05/06/2012: Invention for Piano in Expanded C. Another semitonal, neo-baroque invention. Expanded C means the key of C major with f sharp and b flat thrown in, thus expanding both clockwise and counter clockwise on the circle of fifths. PDF

04/24/2012: Fugue in A minor for piano. More like a three-part invention than a fugue. But what is new is that I am trying once again to break out of the diatonic prison into what I would call semitonal music. It is not atonal, but it is not diatonic. Somewhere in between. Inspired by Sergei Prokofiev.

04/01/2012: Solo guitar piece on Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days, composed and played at Mass last Sunday, 3/25/12. PDF.

03/31/2012: Composed a trio for guitar, mandolin and soprano saxophone. Since my version of Finale doesn't have sampled instrumentation for mandolin and soprano sax, I used violin and clarinet. The mandolin can use tremolo on the long notes. Score
Soprano Sax
String Bass (doubles the guitar)

03/14/2012: Opened up a Music Store on Amazon! Carroll's Music, specializing in music composition tools.

03/09/2012: Added a composer resource page. Here you'll find links to books on various aspects of compostion. I also shortened all the mp3 files on this page to samples 30 sec in length. The downloads were killing me on bandwidth. I'll make some of the full length mp3s available for sale somewhere on the net.

01/29/12: Completed audtion videos:

01/16/12: Working on some audition recordings for son Peter. Peter is trying to get a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music's Five-Week Program in this summer. He is working on three pieces. "Scrapple from the Apple", a Charlie Parker tune, "Do You Know What It Means (to miss New Orleans)", and "Take 5". We made our first recordings of these three yesterday with the Sepulveda Jazz Project. The MP3s are here:
Scrapple from the Apple
Do You Know What It Means
Take 5
Ultimately, we are going to marry the audio and video together and post them for Berklee to judge. Much thanks to Jen Lindsay and Doug Freyre for donating their time to help us with this project.

12/15/11: A revision to and recording of my arrangement of God Rest You Merry Gentlemen for solo guitar. I've modified the guitar music to make it slightly easier to play. This is now Rev. A.
Ogg(sounds better than MP3)
MP3 (Slightly more distorted than the OGG file. I use the lame encoder to generate MP3s from Audacity recordings and encoder sometimes lives up to its name.)

12/7/11: A jazz arrangement of "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" for solo guitar. It's funny how these things come about. I was listening to Oscar Peterson's version of this tune and enjoyed the opening bass solo. So I wanted to something like that for Doug Freyre, our bassist in the Sepulveda Jazz Project, which I did this morning. I harmonized it with some jazz chords. Then I wanted to see what it would sound like as a guitar solo, so I transposed it up a couple of octaves, made a few minor adjustments and wrote a second part, a bass line to go under the jazz melody and voila, there it is: PDF
Enjoy! Here's slightly faster version: "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" at 160 bpm.

12/2/11: Second two-part YABLI (yet another Bach-like invention) for two guitars (or solo guitar, although I haven't yet checked its playability). This one is in F major and 9/8 time.
Guitar Duet (Score)
Guitar 1
Guitar 2

11/26/11: Happy Thanksgiving! Here is a YABLI (yet another Bach-like invention) for two guitars (although it can also be played as guitar solo) in E minor. I've also arranged it for piano, transposing the upper voice up an octave.
Guitar Duet (Score)
Guitar 1
Guitar 2

10/16/11: Finale screen capture video on YouTube of "Fantasy in D for Three Guitars, Revision A,

10/08/11: Fantasy in D for Three Guitars, Revision A, dedicated to Jan Schijvenaars, guitar afficionado and owner of This revision includes a statement of the theme alone at the beginning in the lower register, corrected slurs (and more of them), some grace notes, some improvements in modulation, and cautionary accidentals.
PDF Score
PDF Guitar 1 PDF Guitar 2 PDF Guitar 3

9/29/11: Fantasy in D for Three Guitars, dedicated to Jan Schijvenaars, guitar afficionado and owner of
PDF Score
PDF Guitar 1 PDF Guitar 2 PDF Guitar 3

9/28/11: Divertimento for Wind Quartet in C
PDF Score

9/12/11: Some of my guitar compositions have been featured at, a site dedicated to modern composers for the classical guitar.

8/3/11: Sepulveda Jazz Project is playing Friday Aug 5th at It's a Grind Coffee House, 4245 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807 as part of the Bixby Knolls First Friday Art Walk and Expo. The band starts at 6 pm.

6/29/11: Sepulveda Jazz Project is playing Friday July 1st at Elise's Tea Room, 3924 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807 as part of the Bixby Knolls First Friday Art Walk and Expo. The band starts at 6 pm.

5/29/11: Happy Memorial Day, especially to all you veterans! Thank you for your service to our country. May our citizens behave in a manor that is worthy of this great blessing! Here's some fun stuff: Some pickin' and grinnin' in the Kitchen at the Concord Hotel with my guitarist friend Jay Dover (I'm playing the mandolin.)
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Sweet Georgia Brown
Cattle in the Cane
Billy in the Lowground
Flop-Eared Mule.

4/22/11: Good Friday. In commemoration of our Lord's Passion and Death for the salvation of the world, I've written a piece for string orchestra: Meditation for Strings. You'll note that this is WMA file. I am just having much better luck with WMA files than with MP3 files. But here's MP3, just in case.
PDF Score | OGG

4/1/11: Happy Feast of Fools! "For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men." 1 Corinthians 1:25.
Here's a Wind Trio in G Major for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon. This is more or less a study of canon phrases and contrapuntal texture in the three parts. Seems to have an almost rennaissance feel but with more modern harmonies.
PDF: Score | Flute | Oboe | Bassoon

3/23/11: YABLI (Yet Another Bach-like Invention) in C major. The theme was built on a canon idea which is not heard until the end. For keyboard.


3/21/11: Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday: To honor him I've written a little invention on his name B-A-C-H which in German music translates into Bb-A-C-B natural. This motif is presented in several different ways with counterpoint. Happy Birthday, Sebastian!


3/16/11: Happy Birthday Felix Raul Stone, born this day to my daughter Josephine Stone and her husband Yoshi Stone. Congratulations! Here is a little musical offering for the newborn: An arrangement of the Charlie Parker / Dizzy Gillespie tune “Anthropology”. This is only two parts, although I've included the transpositions here for various other melody instruments.


Flute Clarinet/Soprano Sax Alto Sax Violin Guitar String Bass

2/26/11: Fantasy for Wind Quartet in E flat. For flute, oboe, clarinet, and basoon.


Flute Oboe Clarinet Basoon

2/10/11: Nocturne in A Flat for Piano. It was dark outside when I composed it (sometimes early morning, sometimes at night), so I called it a nocturne. I apologize for the length. Like Pascal said, if I had more time I'd make it shorter.


1/20/11: Invention in A Major for Two Guitars. This is an attempt to escape the diatonic straightjacket and explore wider tonalities. It still needs some polishing, some dynamics (so that the simulated human playback on the computer will interprets things better – otherwise, I generally don't like to intrude on human performers' prerogatives in this area), and to be analyzed for playability.


Guitar1 PDF | Guitar 2 PDF

1/17/11: I'm experimenting with canon forms. Here's a YABLI that is actually a two-part canon. It is not entirely strict, it allows the voices to be free at the ends of phrases. It's a two-part canonic invention for piano in G major.


1/2/11: Happy New Year! Yet another Bach-like invention (YABLI) to start off the new year. This is in D major, in 9/8 time. The audio files are playing at 120 bpm. Although it starts out and develop like a Bach invention, this one finishes in a very classical vein with Haydn-like coda.


12/26/10: Merry Christmas! Here's a little piece I started last night and just finished this morning. I had to drink a Coke late last night to be awake enough to drive the family home from Grandma's. Being fully awake from the Coke when I got home, I decided to write some music. Here's the result: A Pastorale wind quartet in C major. Instruments are flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon. PDF Score. OGG.

12/18/10: SATB arrangement of “On Jordan's Bank”. Different key than the fantasy below, since I needed to fit the ranges of the human voices. Key is E-flat. SATB + piano accompaniment.


12/17/10: Fantasy on "On Jordan's Bank". A little Advent offering. "On Jordan's Bank" is a traditional Advent hymn. Here I took the melody and expanded the duration of each note by a factor of 2. Since the hymn is originally in half notes, this expansion yielded a series of whole notes. I then harmonized it as whole notes, adding a bass line. From there I varied both lines using typical diminution techniques and then tweaked it until both lines sounded melodically acceptable. PDF. OGG.

11/27/10: Waltz in G Minor. A Chopinesque waltz. Originally intended to write an exercise for myself to practice the key of G minor, but it turned into a decent enough piece to share. PDF. OGG.

11/10/10: You guessed it! Yet another … oh well. Invention in D. (Ogg version) PDF

11/09/10: YAYABLI (Yet Another YABLI). Maybe there is a 12-step program for this disease of inventionitis that I seem to have this week. This one's in B-flat. (Ogg version). PDF. Dedicated to my first grandson. My daughter Josi is expecting a boy. Just found out today. Hurray!

11/08/10: YABLI (Yet Another Bach-like Invention MP3) for piano. (Ogg version) PDF

What can I say! I love composing these Bach-like things! It is so much fun!

10/04/10: String Quartet in G Major: Fourth movement: Allegro (Ogg file). This is played at 120 bpm. This final movement of the String Quartet in G is in 6/8 time. Very contrapuntal and baroque. Help, I'm a baroque composer stuck in a 21st century body! Here are PDFs of the

Score, Violin1, Violin2, Viola, Cello.

I am starting to upload Ogg Vorbis files now because the sound quality seems better than that of the MP3s produced by Audacity's lame plug-in. Here's the lousy (lossy) MP3 for comparison.

08/29/10: String Quartet in G Major: Third movement, Largo. This piece has a haunting, recitative-like theme in the first violin with ostinato bass. The ostinato and the theme serve as Canti Firmi for the remainder of the piece, with the exception of the Coda, in which the voices modulate to a climax ending with the D7, the dominant seventh chord of G major, in preparation for the finale to be written in the original key of G major. The ostinato duties are shared by the cello and viola and sometimes the second violin. PDF Score.

Parts of Third Movement: Violin1, Violin2, Viola, Cello.

08/27/10: String Quartet in G Major: First and second movements. First movement is Allegro Moderato and second is a minuet. A third movement will be produced next week. PDF of first movement. PDF of second movement.

Parts of First Movement: Violin1, Violin2, Viola, Cello.

Parts of Second Movement: Violin1, Violin2, Viola, Cello.

08/10/10: Study in C. A two-part, contrapuntal study. Just exploring wider tonalities. PDF.

08/02/10: Fugue in E Major for 3 Guitars. This is an arrangement for three guitars of the 3-part fugue below (originally in C for piano). This was inspired by hearing the San Francisco Guitar Quartet over the weekend in San Francisco and by talking to Mason Fish who is currently playing with the SFGQ. Mason plays a 7-string guitar, the extra string being a lower A string. I allowed the lower notes of the fugue to hit that string and I transposed everything to the key of E major to brighten it up, since the guitar can have an otherwise dark sonority. Although the piece is in E major, it sounds more like E minor when it kicks off. But it is certainly centered on E major. Here's the PDF score and the individual parts: Guitar 1, Guitar 2, Guitar 3.

08/01/10: 3-part Fugue in C for piano.

PDF file

07/29/10: A 2-part study for piano. I call my pieces “studies” when I don't know what else to call it. This is sort of like an invention. It is very contrapuntal. PDF.

03/11/10: A Cosmic Lullaby. Lyrics by Ellen Driesbaugh and music by yours truly.
PDF Score.

02/14/10: Happy Valentine's Day. I made this arrangement of Richard Rodgers “My Funny Valentine” for my wife Leandra.

Score (PDF) | Flute (PDF)
Violin (PDF) | Alto Sax (PDF)
Guitar (PDF) | Bass (PDF)

12/31/09: Happy New Year! Here is a little simple two-part arrangement of "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen". The main melody is in the lower register while the flute plays a descant line.
PDF: Piano
PDF: Alto Sax 1
PDF: Alto Sax 2
PDF: Clarinet in Bb 1
PDF: Clarinet in Bb 2
PDF: Flute
PDF: Guitar
PDF: Violin

11/29/09: A jazz piece for violin and guitar in AABABA form called "Two Minutes to Five". MP3
Guitar part | Violin part

11/28/09: Some variations on the famous Folias de Espana theme. For string quartet in D minor. These are "loose" variations in that I allowed myself to modulate to other keys and to insert a parallel major version of the Folias chord progression. I was inspired to write this after seeing the marvelous website at dedicated to the folias theme.


PDF Score

11/08/09: Here's an arrangement of a Chopin Mazurka for two guitars and mandolin. I did this for a Dutch trio with mandolinist Sebastiaan de Grebber, guitarist Tom Edskes and guitarist Saskia Spinder. Here's a link to Sebastian playing solo mandolin. For the Chopin Mazurka here are the PDF files:
Guitar 1
Guitar 2

09/19/09: I'd like to call attention to the release of a CD of a friend of mine: Jennifer Lindsay, a fantastically talented violinist, singer, composer. She played violin with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Her CD debut can be found at Sinfonia Records. Jen and I are working on a duo of traditional jazz tunes to play at Michael's Ristorante in Long Beach. Stay tuned for announcements.

08/03/09: Study in D for Guitar. This is the second of a series of studies for the guitar.
PDF Score

07/28/09: Study in C for Guitar. This is the first of a series of studies for the guitar that I'm working on. As typical for me, I am leaving the fingering and the dynamics up to the performer. I leave the dynamics up to the performer because I believe that dynamics should be up to the performer and should be pulled out of the inner energy of a piece. As far as the fingering is concerned, I am simply too lazy to go look up in the Finale manual how you do fingering for guitar music. I'd rather spend the time composing than fingering. Sorry!
PDF Score

05/14/09: Wind Quintet in A for my oldest son, who is 28 today. Happy Birthday, Chris!
PDF Score

05/12/09: Song for Denis, dedicated to the memory of Denis Bonin, the brother of a friend of mine. This is a song without words for clarinet and piano.
Clarinet Part
Piano Part

03/12/09: Didactic Variations on a Song by Cole Porter: "What Is This Thing Called Love?". A set of variations written primarily for my budding saxophonist son Peter Carroll. They are only meant as exercises to teach the art of improviation. Included are versions for alto sax, soprano sax (or clarinet) and violin (or mandolin). This is still a work in progress. I have yet to convert the .wav files to .mp3 files and upload to the site. But that should happen real soon now!

02/22/09: Introduction to Counterpoint This is the beginning of a small book I am writing to teach my son Peter Carroll the art of counterpoint. This is just the very beginning, there are no examples of melodies or counterpoint phrases in this book as yet. But I'll keep updating the website as the book grows in content.

02/03/09:  Symphony Nr. 1 in B Flat -- All Four Movments.

02/02/09: Symphony in B Flat: First Movement. The symphony in B flat is now complete with the addition of this first movement. This movement is dedicated to Dennis Prager, a man whose intellect and values I admire very much.
This first movement has two main themes. The first is slightly homophonic while the second is decidedly contrapuntal and is presented in a fugal manner. The meter 6/8.
PDF Score I will set up a separate web page in the coming days to feature all the movements of this symphony together.

12/27/08: Symphony in B Flat: Allegro. This will be the fourth and last movement of the symphony I've been working on this year (see other links below). As of now I have three movements more or less completed.
PDF Score

12/27/08: Holy God, We Praise Your Name. The lyrics of this hymn are familiar to most Catholics (except that I changed the 'Thee' and 'Thy' to 'You' and 'Your'). The music is new. It is sort of a morning meditation for me. As St. Augustine says, "He who sings well, prays twice." The score setting is SATB plus piano.

11/05/08: Over the Rainbow, an arrangement for wind quartet of the famous Harold Arlen tune.
PDF Score

10/27/2008: Blues in the Day. This is a little experiment in a minor blues for guitar and sax. The following MP3 file features the sax playing only against a single guitar playing block chords. This may give you a clearer picture of the harmony:
Blues in the Day with Guitar Block Chords.
Guitar PDF
Guitar2 PDF
Alto Sax PDF

07/26/2008: Symphony in B flat -- Minuet. This is the third movement of the Symphony in B flat and is dedicated to my wife on our wedding anniversary, which is today! The main theme of this minuet is taken from the familiar Gaelic song "Morning Has Broken" of which a version was recorded by Cat Stevens in the 60s. It is also sung as a hymn in many Catholic churches in the English speaking world. Also included is a second theme built as a trio performed mainly by flute, oboe and basoon and used as a modulation device; a trumpet variation of the main theme; an oboe version of the theme in a minor key (which I think works quite well); a cello and contrabass statement of the theme with temolo string accompaniment; a trumpet call for the ending using the intervals of a fourth reminiscent somewhat of the Andante movement (see below); and then a restatement of the "Morning Has Broken" theme before fading out.
PDF Score

07/05/2008: Symphony in B flat -- Andante. This was written as a wedding present for Josi Carroll and Yoshi Stone who were married on July 3, 2008. Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Stone!
This piece is planned to be the second and main movement of a symphony in B flat that will have three additional movements. The instrumentation (11 instruments) was chosen to be identical to that of Mozart's Jupiter symphony. Speaking of planets, I would dub this one as a Mars and Venus symphony (not intending, mind you, to presumptiously place myself in the same exalted league as Wolfgang Amadeus -- but if the instrumentation setting was good enough for Wolfi it's certainly good enough for me), because of the two main themes, one dramatic and male in nature in a minor mode, while the other theme is more light-hearted and femaile in nature in a a major key. I reconcile them and combine them towards the end and add some additional, syncopated counter subjects, with obvious matrimonial symbolism. More on the symphony and Yoshi and Josi on the Intrumental page.
PDF Score

07/05/2008: Wer Nur Den Lieben Gott Laesst Walten. This is J.S. Bach's harmonization of a chorale melody. Here I have arranged this for flute, violin, bassoon and cello in G minor.
07/05/2008: Were You There. An arrangement for guitar of the traditional Good Friday piece "Were You There".
02/25/2008: "Let Us Go to the House of the Lord", a very simple gathering song that can be used at the beginning of a liturgical service. Dedicated to the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri.
Violin / Vocal / Chords
Guitar Accompaniment.

02/19/2008: Santa Ana Conditions, updated with Alto Sax part and an intro + coda suggested by my friend, guitarist Ruth Parry. This is a wave file, since my mp3 converter was turning out inferior quality files.
Guitar PDF and Sax PDF.
BTW, Ruth plays with a group called Sound Anatomy.

02/18/2008: Russian Sailor's Dance. This is an arrangement of a popular Russian tune. The arrangement here is for flute, clarinet, violin, alto saxophone, guitar and string bass. The band Bridge plays this with an accordion as well and the mandolin in place of the violin. BTW, Bridge is playing next Sunday evening (2/24/08) as the "featured band" on open mic night at the Claremont Folk Music Center. We will be playing the Russian Sailor Dance.

02/10/2008: Santa Ana Conditions, a guitar piece in AABA form, using jazz chord progressions, but otherwise fairly classical. In Southern California we often get warm, dry windy weather we call Santa Ana conditions. We had such conditions this weekend, so I named this piece accordingly.

02/08/2008: A Fugue for Piano in C Major

01/12/2008: Fugue in D major for solo guitar. Has a Bach-like feel to it. For Dr. Andy Podolsky.
Here's an mp3 file that combines both the prelude and the fugue so that you can hear the two together in succession. Both prelude an d fugue require the 6th string to be tuned down to D.

12/29/07: Prelude in D Minor for solo guitar. For Dr. Andy Podolsky. This is the prelude to the fugue above in D major.

12/24/07: Mi Hijo y Yo -- A Guitar Duet (MP3)
PDF See the Instrumental page for extraced parts.

12/16/07: The Guadalupe Quintet MP3

This is a quintet for three strings (violin, viola, cello) and two woodwinds (oboe and bassoon). I call it the Guadalupe Quintet because I began writing it last week on December 12, 2007, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.