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Margaret's book:

In April 2017 Margaret Brandman's 'Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac' song cycle performed by Baritone Martin Cooke and the composer, was aired in two half-hour programs on Sydney radio station FINE MUSIC 102.5 FM. The DVD of these songs is now available. View the Performance and Recordings page for details.

September 2017: Margaret travels to Prague for a concert performance of her 'Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac' song cycle by the Prague Mixed Choir at 7.30pm on the 14th of September in the concert hall of the Czech Music Museum. The choir will be recording the cycle for PARMA recordings. View the Performance and Recordings page for details.

Three new art songs in the collection titled 'From the Mountains to the Sea' for Mezzo-Soprano or Baritone voice and piano are now available. View the page for From the Mountains to the Sea for details.

Sensations recorded in the Czech Republic by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra has been receiving a great deal of international airplay since it was released in May 2016. View the Performance and Recordings page for more information.

'Warm Winds in Havana' suite for Saxophone Quartet and Percussion, recorded in Cuba last year, has been on air on many Jazz Radio programs around the world and was featured on radio HRT Croatia on April 10th this year. ABRAZO compilation CD.

 

Contemporary Organ Method

Musical aspects covered

STAGE 1
Interval Reading within the five-finger hand-position

  • The simplified interval language (same, step, skip, skip-plus-one, jump) which makes incorporating intervals, direction and timing in one process easy.
  • Reading without looking at the hands
  • Playing by feel
  • Developing the ear by having to listen for the intervals for correction
  • Transposition
  • Awareness of combined direction for both hands: up, down, in, out, same or oblique.

For novice musicians, the preparatory book, the Junior Primer, presents tunes which have matching intervals in both hands. In the Contemporary Organ method the reading material, although beginning with music using matching intervals, moves on to present music using mixture of intervals between the hands.


Preparatory techniques for enhancing reading and encouraging speed-learning, include finger-tracing and a preparatory talk-through, allowing the student to identify the whole view of the music which includes intervals, direction and counting. For instance observing that the music for both hands is stepping up or skipping out. The student is then encouraged to say these aspects out loud while playing, which ensures security.

When the two-part music for the manuals uses varying intervals students should say - mix out or mix down and so on. Once the piece has been rehearsed and the student knows the mixture intervals, then the process should be streamlined so they are saying direction and counting only.
The layout of the pieces in the book is based on proportional notation for easy understanding of timing.

N.B. The use of the Contemporary Theory Primer alongside the practical materials facilitates the reading of intervals and understanding of the timing concepts. In this book the student learns to write and recognise intervals very quickly and to understand timing through the use of colour-coding and clapping.

STAGE 2
Introduction of Scales and Chords

  • For hand-position changes
  • To learn scale pathways on the keyboard
  • To learn key signatures and the cycle of fifths
  • To find chords in root position

STAGE 3

  • Extension beyond the five-finger position using the larger intervals: sixths, sevenths and octaves.

STAGE 4
(a) Chords in Inversions, Block and Broken forms.
(b) Primary Chords in Major Keys and the Chord Table
(c) Chord progressions using the Primary Triads I, IV, V

  • How to find chords on the written music
  • Chordal analysis of pieces
  • Twelve-Bar Blues

STAGE 5
Playing in major keys via scale pathways and interval reading

  • using the key signature in the original sense of the word, as a 'key' to unlock the puzzle
  • hand-position changes along pre-learned scale pathways

As a bonus, the book also includes arrangements of three popular tunes, for students to enjoy their newly learned skills.