By Sound and Music

Music for Young Players

Curated by Duncan Chapman sing the British Music Collection as source and inspiration

Read

Balloon Music Cover (2017-01-30) by Duncan ChapmanSound and Music

Music for Young Players

A series of pieces from the 1960's and 70's from the British Music Collection curated by Duncan Chapman 

Introduction text 1 (2017-02-03) by Duncan ChapmanSound and Music

Introduction text 2 (2017-02-03) by Duncan ChapmanSound and Music

pupils-of-st-annes-girls-school-southampton-extracts-from-the-series-music-for-young-players-univer-s (1968) by UE / John HosierSound and Music

UE promotional record sent to schools
00:00

Gavin Bryars, Pre-Mediaeval Metrics (1970) by Gavin BryarsSound and Music

Codes

Dashing Away (1977) by Alan BrettSound and Music

Dashing Away by Alan Brett is an example of a type of "code score". The effect of the piece is created by the addition of simple elements.

Alan Brett, Composition for scratch orchestra 1 & 2 (1971-01) by Alan BrettSound and Music

Alan Brett was also active in the Scratch Orchestra (along with several other composers who have pieces in this series). This is one of the text scores he made during this period.

Stockhausen, Stockhausen, 1978, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more

The notation of Dashing Away has a strong resemblance to Stockhausen's "Plus/Minus" notation. This is part of Stockhausen's Spiral from 1968

Gavin Bryars, Pre-Mediaeval Metrics (1970) by Gavin BryarsSound and Music

Pre-Mediaeval Metrics : Gavin Bryars. Another piece in the BMIC collection that uses a very similar method of composition. Two sounds, one long one short.

PLG (1970) by Park Lane GroupSound and Music

Performing 

The Music For Young Players pieces were intended to be a performance repertoire. Elis Pehkonen (composer of "My Cats") had a percussion ensemble at Cirencester school (he succeeded Peter Maxwell Davies) that toured extensively in the UK,  Europe and Australia and even appeared on Blue Peter. 

Aquarelle piano part, Brian Dennis, 1969, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more

Aquarelle (Dennis) (1969) by Brian DennisSound and Music

Aquarelle, Cirencester Percussion Ensemble 1970
00:00
EM instructions, Vic Hoyland, 1966, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more

Many of the pieces have special notations for extended effects. This is from the instruction page for EM by Vic Hoyland

EM (1970) by Vic HoylandSound and Music

Part of Vic Hoylands "EM"
00:00

D Bedford, An exciting new game for children of all ages (1969) by David BedfordSound and Music

Games 

Several of these pieces are in the form of games. Compositions in the form of games have long been a popular and accessible way of engaging young people in the creation of new music.

Soundtrack, Trevor Wishart, 1990-01, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more

This game is from Trevor Wishart's "Sounds Fun" also in the BMIC collection.

Balloonmusic 1, David Bedford, 1975, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more

David Bedford's Balloon Music1 for any number of players from 2 to 1000 each with 2 Balloons, a pin and their voices.

Ensemble "die reihe" - David Bedford: "Balloon Music 1", From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more
Honeywell (groups), Howard Rees, 1973, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more

Honeywell by Howard Rees is for three groups of young musicians and is conducted by holding up cards instructing the players which material to play.

H Rees, Honeywell instructions, Howard Rees, 1973, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more

Like much of the contemporary music of the day Honeywell is an "Open form" composition with the exact order of the material left to the performers.

Caves (1975)Sound and Music

Journeys 

"Journey pieces" are one way of creating a sense of movement and continuity. Howard Skempton's Caves is a good example of this.
"Wander along the path between the caves at your own speed, pausing within the caves for an indefinite period".

FOG (1973) by John PaynterSound and Music

John Paynter's Fog is described as a "sound picture for an average class of any age". The score is a mixture of conventional and new notations and includes elements of material devised by the performers.

Traffic Mobile (1975) by Keith StubbsSound and Music

Mobiles 

One of the chapters in Brian Dennis's book "Projects in Sound" is devoted to musical mobiles. Some of these pieces are included in the Music For Young Players series. This is "Traffic Mobile" by Keith Stubbs. 

Traffic Mobile (directions) (1975) by Keith StubbsSound and Music

Traffic Mobile uses a rotating mobile suspended in the middle of the room to control the music with instruments grouped into different types.

Harmony mobile (1975) by Brian DennisSound and Music

Harmony Mobile by Brian Dennis is concerned with manipulating sets of pitches using a rotating mobile as a "conductor".

Shrapnel" Raindrops (1975) by Hugh ShrapnelSound and Music

Hugh Shrapnel's Raindrops also explores sets of pitches in a ways similar to Terry Riley's In C from 1964 and also parts of Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning written for the Scratch Orchestra (Hugh Shrapnel was a founder member) in the early 1970's

Musik-LK 13 HFG - Hugh Shrapnel "Raindrops", Hugh Shrapnel, 2017-02-02, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more

Honeywell (fragment) (1973) by Howard ReesSound and Music

Media

Several of the Music for Young Players pieces were featured in BBC radio and TV broadcasts for schools. This video is of Brian Dennis and some of his students in the 1969.

Video missing

Honeywell (groups) (1973) by Howard ReesSound and Music

Links and further explorations

Elis Pehkonen
Vic Hoyland

Radio 4 programme The School is Full of Noises about similar work (from Jon Savage)

Full of Noises

David Bedford

SAM_BMC_Lockup, From the collection of: Sound and Music
Show lessRead more
Credits: Story

Many thanks to
Harry Cooper (Sound And Music)
Davide Cavagnino (Google Cultural Institute)
Ann Clayton (Heritage Quay archive centre)
Elis Pehkonen (Composer) for an interesting afternoon exploring his archive and sending me the recording of Aquarelle
Vic Hoyland (Composer) for recordings
Keith Stubbs (Composer)
Sid Stovoid (record collector)
David Ashworth, Bruce Cole, Nancy Evans, Judith Robinson, Andy Visser

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.