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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.

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.


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.

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;

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.

Recent Answers

2015-10-26 Music Theory:

Hi Iván    Thanks for contacting me. By an odd coincidence I have just been writing about one of your Argentinean composers - Astor Piazolla. A visiting Swedish orchestra played some of his wonderful music

2015-10-18 walking bass line:

I don't know what you mean by crotchets.    Jazz, Blues and possibly some select Broadway and Pop music might use a walking bass line.    You are correct in assuming it doesn't work if the piano and the

2015-10-17 walking bass line:

Hi Andrew and thank you for contacting me through    What you are doing by walking a bass line is using linear harmony. You are connecting one chord to the next chord through a line of

2015-10-12 Quality:

Hi James :    In short ..there's no objective criteria in any of the arts. Regardless of how much training or background you might  have, your reaction to a given creative endeavor will in the end

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

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