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Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/Experts

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Dr Colin

I can answer questions from students of "classical" composing, arranging, notation problems and music theory, writing for instruments and voice and writing music for education. I can answer questions about orchestration but I do not cover questions about pop or rock music, pop song writing or electronic music.

I taught for many years in UK up to "A" level theory and composition. I have spent many years in music education, initially (like everyone else) as a teacher. Then I moved on to advisory work (teaching teachers!) and also lectured, giving many workshops for teachers in developing music education skills and techniques. For a time I worked as a teacher-lecturer at London University's Institute of Education and eventually worked full-time as a Music Education Adviser to schools in part of London, offering advice on music education and curriculum development.

Phil Kelly

I`m a semi-retired professional music arranger with over thirty five years in all phases of the commercial music production business. I can try to answer questions regarding music arranging, theory, orchestration , and/or composition for most acoustic ensembles .( jazz band or orchestral ) I can try to offer suggestions about studio music recording procedures and some basic MIDI applications , too. In the course of my career I`ve worked with such artists as Doc Severinsen and the old Tonight Show Band, Bill Watrous, Buddy Greco, John Gary, Mel Torme, Julius LaRosa, as well as the Pop programs of the Fort Worth, Dallas, North Carolina, and Houston Symphonies, as well as library music material for ABC, ESPN, and NFL Films.


I am a professional musician, I can play by ear, I arrange music write music, teach music in the public school system, and teach privately. My father was a school music teacher, and I have written three volumes for teaching beginning string players, taking them from scratch to high school level. I have performed in a local production of Music Man (musical) with celebrities John Davidson/Susan Watson and have my masters degree in education. I retired from the classroom in 2004 with 38 yrs. experience-now still substituting for music- and writing arr. for my cello trio(with two audio cd's and one dvd of a performance) I have directed church choirs and am principal cellist in our local community orchestra. I really love to arrange music for the groups I perform in and sing and have music in my life every day. A day without music, is a mistake, like having a day without sunshine.

Clare Redfarn

All aspects of the academic/theoretical side of music, including harmony, counterpoint, elementary composition, history, harmonic analysis, aural training, sightreading - the lot! Please note I'm not primarily a composer so I can't help with composition beyond what's required for Grade 8 theory or A'level. And don't ask me about psychoacoustics or music psychology as I have no knowledge of, nor interest in, either subject.

Penny Nichols

I can answer all kinds of questions regarding singing techniques, practice, performance, vocal recording technique and harmony vocal arranging.

D C DowDell

D C DowDell will answer questions about Jazz improvisation, composition, chord voicing, scales and modes, practice techniques and ear training. Professor DowDell also enjoys discussions on Jazz musicology and the evolution of style.

D C DowDell is a professional Jazz pianist/composer who currently teaches online Jazz studies at A Passion for Jazz!. Professor DowDell has been teaching music for over 30 years at 2 major universities, several community colleges as well as accepting students for private study.

Bill Pere

Can answer questions on : Technical aspects of lyric and music compostion; How to give and receive objective critique; Arranging and production; Concrete vs abstract imagery; Use of metaphor; Rhyme techniques; Song Structure; Collaboration; Songwriter Associations; Promotion; Guitar technique; Music Business;

Recent Answers

2015-09-30 Baroque:

Dear Hank,    Thanks for contacting me again. Heavens! It's a long time since I saw this piece! First, let's look at the title, because it gives a a clue to what it's all about. The word "musette" can

2015-09-26 learning jazz:

Hi Andrew and thank you for contacting me through    Look at the tune & not make the same statement that has been made a million times. The objective of Jazz is not only the finished product

2015-09-22 vocals:

Hi Andrew;    Figure out where your lowest note that you can sing is and find it on the piano. Then find the lowest note in the song and match your lowest note to that note in the recording then change

2015-09-22 analysis:

Hello again Hank,    First of all, my apologies that you've had to wait so long for my response.  My e-mail account was closed by mistake and it's taken me nearly three weeks to get it back.    Of course

2015-09-21 parallel fifths:

Dear Andrew,    Thanks very much getting in touch. I can understand the problem here. I have seen some music text-books that explain the rules concerning parallel fifths but they forget to explain that

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