My name is Gary Ewer. I received my B.Mus degree in Music Composition from Dalhousie University in 1982, and then continued studies with various composers at McGill University. My career has been mainly in the teaching of music at all levels of education from grade school through to university: music theory, ear training, composition, arranging and orchestration. I’ve also conducted choirs, orchestras and bands. My compositions, mainly for choirs and orchestras, have been composed for, and performed by, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), Symphony Nova Scotia, The Elmer Isler Singers, and many others.
Pop Meets Classical
Through my high school years, my main interest was in pop music; Genesis, Yes, and Chicago were my main influences. My university training was largely Classical, but far from abandoning my interest in pop, I saw how, on many levels, pop songwriters and Classical composers were all attempting to do the same thing: compose musical works (though in very different styles) that take listeners on a coherent musical journey.
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting – The Ebooks, and the Blog
My interest in the relationship between the pop and Classical worlds eventually led me, as a university instructor (2005), to write a text for songwriters (“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”), a comprehensive eBook that teaches the intricate details of songwriting technique, using hit songs to demonstrate each concept. In that sense, it analyzes the inner workings of popular music in much the same way a Classical musician would analyze a symphony: by showing writers what works, why it works, and how to use those same kinds of ideas in their own music.
Do you have Gary’s Songwriting eBooks?
“Creative Chord Progressions” takes you beyond the same I-IV-V-I progressions you’ve been using, and gives you lots of new, interesting, innovative and unique progressions. Use them as is, or change them to suit the song you’re working on.
Click on “Buy Now” below to take advantage of this limited-time offer: Eleven songwriting eBooks for $37 USD. Or click here to read more about Gary’s songwriting eBooks.
In 2008, I started The Essential Secrets of Songwriting Blog, and that’s the site you’re visiting right now. To date there are over 1600 articles on every aspect of songwriting: how to write chord progressions, melodies, lyrics, and touching on related topics such as copyright, instrumentation, writer’s block and more.
I am also the author of the hardcopy book “Beating Songwriter’s Block: Jump-Start Your Words and Music“, published by Backbeat Books, a subsidiary of Hal Leonard Corporation.
I’ve recently finished a senior instructorship at Dalhousie University to devote myself to composition and trumpet playing, and to do more writing, including maintaining this blog. I’m currently the conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia’s Education Outreach program that brings the symphony to young students across our province.
If you’d like to contact me directly, I’d like to hear from you. My email address is: gary [at] pantomimemusic [dot] com.
I use Twitter to send out songwriting and other music tips, as well as to keep people up to date with my music activities and observations. I’d love to have you follow me!