Simon Parker's Music Composition Projects

Best Examples

Here are some of my better compositions...

I have started to perform some of the music, perhaps a part at a time on whatever instruments are handy. The results certainly sound better than the midi version from NoteFlight. Even if my playing is far from perfect.



I've recently started acquiring and reading the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett. I thought that some of the characters and scenes in the book might make a cool subject for a composition project, so I started writing a few for fun.

The Colour of Magic / The Light Fantastic


Moving Pictures

Small Gods

Lords and Ladies

The Tale of Amber and Jasper

In the novel "Moving Pictures", we are introduced to a troll named Ruby singing in a troll bar in Holy Wood. She is singing a romantic song about Amber and Jasper.

I reckon this is how it might go...

Sheet music is here. A PDF of the vocal part is here.

I couldn't find a troll to sing so I made do with my wife, Shari.

I played all the other instruments, which are all real.

Here are the Lyrics:

Here's a lesson for all you guys of granite
Listen to Amber's favourite sight.
On her mantelpiece, there's a half a troll
looking surprised, Jasper was on a roll.

You see Amber and Jasper, they had a thing
With shiny rocks and some lava ice cream.
But when she made him conglomerate stew
she rocked by his cave and what did he do.

He was sharin' 'round his stalagmite, with a
Cute little pink Sphaerocobaltite.
So thump thump thump. She broke her best club.
But now they both have him next to the grog.

Here is the bit from the book (page 99 on my copy):

There was a sudden silence from the combo in the smoke. One of the trolls picked up a small rock and started to pound it gently, producing a slow, sticky rhythm that clung to the walls like smoke. And from the smoke, Ruby emerged like a galleon out of the fog, with a ridiculous feather boa around her neck.

It was continental drift with curves.

She began to sing.

The trolls stood in respectful silence. After a while Victor heard a sob. Tears were rolling down Rock's face.

"What's the song about?" he whispered.

Rock leaned down.

"Is ancient folklorique troll song," he said. "Is about Amber and Jasper. They were -- " he hestitated, and waved his hands about vaguely. "Friends. Good friends?"

"I think I know what you mean," said Victor.

"And one day Amber takes her troll's dinner down to the cave and finds him--" Rock waved his hands in vague yet thoroughly descriptive motions "-- with another lady troll. So she go home and get her club and come back and beat him to death, thump, thump, thump. 'Cos he was her troll and he done her wrong. Is very romantic song.

I was quite pleased with the Upright Bass. I didn't have an expensive sample library with the Upright Bass sound in it, so I grabbed a coffee cup, a pencil, a paperclip, some sticky tape, a rubber band, and a pocket knife.

After calculating the correct hole size using a formula related to a helmholtz resonator and cutting it out with the pocket knife, I had the instrument I needed.

Here is a picture.

The Coffee Cup Bass

Unfortunately, the Coffee Cup Bass is almost impossible to play. So I sampled it and played through a MIDI keyboard.


This piece, I wrote to go with a little video I made.

Miscellaneous Stuff

The 30 Day Challenge

I was inspired to do something new for 30 days by a TED Talk by Matt Cutts. I decided to compose a tune each day for 30 days, each one based on a different emotion or feeling.

I found a list of emotions and feelings in an academic article that anayses such things, but I am getting the emotion I use each day from suggestions of my family and randomly selected from the list I have.

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