Symphony Nova Scotia

Midweek Update

I’m in the middle of a very busy week, so I’m not going to get to write a songwriting post until next Monday. This week I’ve been conducting Symphony Nova Scotia as they do some school concerts in various schools in Halifax.

I always love doing these concerts, because for many of the students we perform for, they’ve never heard a symphony orchestra perform live — it’s their first experience hearing live orchestral music.

Also, a good number of these students are beginners in their school’s band or string program, so for them, they’re hearing their instrument being played professionally, also, at least in may cases, for the first time.

Here’s something else I love about doing symphony concerts for young children: they haven’t locked themselves into a favourite genre yet. For them, if it’s good, it’s good. They’ll cheer as loudly for Mozart as they’d probably cheer for any pop singer you can name.

In this series of concerts, the overall theme is happiness, and how composers write music that manages to make us feel cheerful. I’ve got one of my own tunes on there, an arrangement of various Nova Scotian folk songs called “Nova Scotia Is My Home”, and if I can, I’ll see if I can sneak a recording of it and post it online sometime soon.

If you’d like to have a listen to some of the other music we’re playing, you can find these pieces on YouTube: “Rigaudon”, from Ravel’s “Tombeau de Couperin”, “Juba Dance” By Florence Price, “Romanian Polka” by Bela Bartok, and “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin.

I’ll get back to writing songwriting articles next Monday. In the meantime, I hope you’re all having a great week, and that your songwriting is going well!

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter.

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook bundle includes several chord progression eBooks, including “Chord Progression Formulas”, as well as a Study Guide. Discover the secrets of great songwriting!

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  1. Hi Gary,
    First off, I wanted to say how much I appreciate your song writing e-book and music theory courses…both are brilliant and every songwriter should buy them in my humble opinion. I really enjoy your weekly updates too and wanted to comment on your last mid-week update as it has sparked a thought process that I have been having for some time now. Let’s be honest. most of today’s modern music is pretty bland and that is basically because songs use primarily 4 chords, often repeated and re-moulded within a standard Verse-Pre-Chorus structure. This particularly seems to work for people like Ed Sheeran who has gained a massive popularity for his style of bland pop. I totally agree with you that we, as songwriters, should look for different ways of structuring our chords…. but why is bland pop so successful today? Why have we gone from ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ to ‘inane-again’ repetitive music? Are we writing for a vastly different audience today which has lower expectations? I would be interested to know how your young audiences react to classical music. Any insights from you or anyone would be gratefully received!

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