Songs

Contemporary classical music for Voice – a collection of modern song cycles, art songs, lighter songs, and song arrangements by composer David Avshalomov, including sound files and scores.
Listen
Score
Title
Voice
Accomp.
Dur.
Lyrics by
Year
view score The Ceremony of Innocence Bass-baritone piano 8′ Yeats The Second Coming 2000
Order This» Dramatic solo mini-oratorio about the mystical cycles of the millennia. Also available with orchestra with Ozymandias (as “Two Apocalyptic Songs”) Sound sample: Sung by the composer in concert, with Pamela Pyle, piano Lyrics» Notes»
The Ceremony of Innocence, trio B-bar piano, flute, viola 8′ Yeats The Second Coming 2001
Order This» Version with piano, flute, viola. Sound sample: Sung by the composer in concert Notes»
view score Chanukah Tonight! High voice piano 2’45 David Avshalomov 2011
Order This» Quick glimpse of the legend, tradition, and observance of the Jewish Festival of Lights.Exuberant syncopated setting building up to the bright celebration on the eighth night. (Also for chorus with piano or strings) Lyrics» Notes»
view score Chuck Niles (Oh, Yeah) Medium/Low voice Bass (opt. drums) 1′ David Avshalomov 2004
Order This» A short jazz tribute to the late great LA Jazz DJ, Chuck Niles, written right after he passed. Nobody loved the jazz more.
view score Come Here Lookin’ (for What It Is) Low voice Bass (or vocal bass), or guitar 3′ – 6′ David Avshalomov 2009
Order This» A simple tonal strophic song about nature, its human scars, and getting back to the way it was meant to be. Verses observing many mountain creatures, passionate summary ending. Lyrics»

Trebles

Solo

view score Goodnight Moon Med solo voice or Unison Treble Chorus keyboard (opt. flute) 3′ Margaret Wise Brown 1986
Request» A sweet, simple, tuneful setting of the classic children’s “nite-nite” book. Sound sample: Sung by the composer (in F). Also nice for unison treble chorus (candid recording: San Gabriel Valley Choral Company Kids Choir, Zanaida Robles, Director.)
view score Goodnight Moon (chamber version) Med solo voice or Unison Treble Chorus piano/keyboard, string quartet, flute 3′ Margaret Wise Brown 1986/ 2007
Request» Version with strings, piano/keyboard, flute. Also nice with unison treble chorus.
view score Hashkiveinu Low piano 5′ (Trad.) 1999
Order This» Romantic, dramatic full setting of the traditional prayer, commissioned by Cantor Shula Merton, Temple Beth El, Orange County CA. Key of C or Bb. Lyrics»
view score How Sweet it Was Low piano 6′ David Avshalomov 2008
Order This» Bittersweet ballad, regretful remembrance of a tempestuous, painful romance. Key of d. Lyrics»
How Sweet it Was (scored/chbr) Low piano. 2 opt. flutes, string quintet 6′ David Avshalomov 2008
Order This» Version with strings, piano, opt flutes,key of d or c.
view score I Dreamed I Saw Pete Seeger Medium voice Opt. guitar or banjo 1′ David Avshalomov 2014
Order This» A simple folk tribute to the shining light and musical inspiration of Pete, written right after he passed.
view score If You Want Peace (Work for Justice) Medium voice or group a cappella variable (short verses) David Avshalomov 2000
Request This» A simple A/B organizing/resistance song. Add your own verses for the situation at hand.
view score The Last Act Low piano 6′ Louise Bogan 2000
Order This» Slow, arch art song about the loss and remembrance of a lover Lyrics»
Purchase CD or tracks on CDBaby Meredith Songs (from the “BLUE SKY” album) Mezzo piano, or various scorings Meredith Kennedy 2008-2009
Set of lighter songs commissioned by my friend and collaborator Meredith Kennedy on her own charming and singable lyrics. All with nice hooks. (See individual titles below.) .mp3 accompaniment/practice files also available. Sound samples: Sung by Meredith herself.
view score Askendreya–ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr) Mezzo piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, high hand drums 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Haunting, bittersweet evocation of the past and present mystique of the city of Alexandria
view score Askendreya (w/piano) Mezzo piano, opt. hand drums 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Lyrics»
view score Black Beauty–ALBUM VERSION (scored) Mezzo piano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, bass guitar, drums, fiddle or viol 3:15 Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Happy, exuberantly flying song about the joy of riding a fine horse, rhythmic patterns stepping up from a trot through a gallop. Vocal harmony parts at end, board fade. Light faux-Country/Western flavor. Key of F
view score Black Beauty (w/piano) Mezzo piano 2′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Key of G or F. Lyrics»
view score Blue Sky–ALBUM VERSION w/vocal backups Mezzo, backups piano, opt. small shaker 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Devolving from exuberant joy at the beauty of life through wistful reluctance to leave a lover. Light pop/jazz harmonizations. With 8 backup voices SSAATTBB. Key of C or Bb.
view score Blue Sky with 12 backups Mezzo, backups piano, opt. small shaker 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Version with 12 backup voices SSSAAATTTBBB. Key of C
view score Blue Sky (solo w/piano) Mezzo piano, opt. small shaker 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Key of C Lyrics»
view score Dazzle Me–ALBUM VERSION (combo) Mezzo piano, bass, drums, Alto saxophone 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Slow bluesy version. Wink/nudge flirting with a charming, charismatic man. Key of Eb or F.
view score Dazzle Me (shuffle) (w/piano) Mezzo piano 2′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Easy shuffle version in G. Lyrics»
Dazzle Me (bluesy) (w/piano) Mezzo piano 2′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» view score Slow bluesy version. Key of F or G
view score Desert Snow– ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr) Mezzo piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, timpani, oboe 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Haunting memorial to the fallen solders of a far desert war, with impassioned antiwar climax. Key of g minor.
view score Desert Snow (w/piano) Mezzo piano 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Key of g minor or a. Lyrics»
view score Enchanted River–ALBUM VERSION Mezzo harp (or piano), opt. solo violin 2′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Sweet, simple Irish-folk-style tune about a river inviting the poet’s wanderlust, leaving a lover behind. Key of Eb or Db. Also available for SA chorus.
view score Ghostly Dancer–ALBUM VERSION (w/guitar) Mezzo acoustic guitar, 3 flutes (or synth keyboard), tambourine, finger cyms 4:30 Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Haunting tango about the perennial ghostly dance of a great solo dancer long dead. Key of e minor
view score Ghostly Dancer (w/piano) Mezzo piano, opt. tambourine 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Key of f minor Lyrics»
view score Lady Jezebel–ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr) Mezzo piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, electric bass, drums 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Simple song about womanly self-realization, opening up. Dreamy start and end, light rock middle. Key of d minor.
view score Lady Jezebel (w/piano) Mezzo piano 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Key of d minor or e. Lyrics»
view score Lakota Storm–ALBUM VERSION (scored/harp) Mezzo Hp, flute, opt. Plains Indian drum (or Taiko or Bodhran) 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Slow, haunting, folk-native setting of the legend of a great fallen warrior, modal style.
view score Lakota Storm (w/piano) Mezzo piano, flute, opt. Plains Indian drum (or Taiko or Bodhran) 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Lyrics»
view score A Minute after Midnight–ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr) Mezzo 2 violins, opt. viola, opt. cello, bass 2′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» The poet hangs on to a dissolving love affair, begging for “one last time,” over a simple tick-tock accompaniment. Key of g minor or f# minor.
view score A Minute after Midnight (w/piano) Mezzo piano 2′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Key of g minor. Lyrics»
view score Mr. Brown Eyes–ALBUM VERSION (scored/combo) Mezzo piano, drums/brushes, Bb clarinet, bass 2:45 Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» A light-hearted flirter, also a shuffle. Key of E or G.
view score Mr. Brown Eyes (w/piano) Mezzo piano 2′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Lyrics»
view score State of Mind–ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr) Mezzo piano, flute,2 violins, viola, cello, bass, shaker 3:30 Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Dreamy morning awakening to the lingering spell of an absent (imaginary?) lover.
view score State of Mind (w/piano) Mezzo piano 3′ Meredith Kennedy
Order Score» Lyrics» CA
view score A Mind of Winter Bar strings with harp; or piano 5′ Doris Avshalomov 1985
Order This» A nature song, slow/moderate/slow, relishing the sluggish awakening of Spring. Sound sample: Sung by the composer Lyrics»
view score Orchestra Song Operatic Soprano orchestra 2′ David Avshalomov 1989
Order This» Narrator’s final summary variation on the simple theme song for “Let’s Grow an Orchestra”, big aria ending. Sound sample: Sung by Gwendolyn Lytle in concert, with the Long Beach Symphony conducted by the composer Lyrics»
view score Our Civil rights Bass or Baritone piano 2’30 Thos. Jefferson 1993
Order This» Bitter, dignified elaboration of the relationship between religious choice and individual civil rights. Grim ending. Excerpted from Principles, (see Choral with Band). Lyrics»
view score Ozymandias Bass-baritone piano 8′ Shelley 2000
Order This» Dramatic, ironic narrative about the remnants of a proud empire. Also available with orchestra, with Ceremony of Innocence (as Two Apocalyptic Songs). Sound sample: Sung by the composer in concert, with Pamela Pyle, piano Lyrics» Notes»
SEE ON YOUTUBE (1-7)
CONCLUSION (8-9)
SONGS OF LIFE / SONGS OF DEATH Bass-baritone piano 22′ total Emily Dickinson 2000
Order This» (piano/vocal) Colorful, highly melodic double set of nine short songs on common Dickinson themes and motifs: snakes, nature, the sea, horses, trains, bells, love, sex, sublimation, hope, fear, insanity, pain, God, fear of death — and its acceptance. Ranging from hopeful contagious enthusiasm to morbid melodrama. The two sets can be performed separately. See individual titles below. Also available with orchestra. Sound samples: Sung by the composer in concert, with William Schmidt, piano All Lyrics» Note»
view score A Narrow Fellow in the Grass B-bar piano 1’45 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Nimble, ironic expression of instinctual fear of snakes — “zero at the bone”.
view score The Railway Train Bass-baritone piano 2’30 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Fast, evocative depiction of the power and fascination of this huge rolling machine.
view score Wild Nights Bass-baritone piano 1’30 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Fast, splashy outburst, dreams of abandon to wild open-hearted lovemaking, borne by sea metaphors — almost X-rated.
view score Wild Nights Med Voice piano 1’30 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Sound sample: Sung by Bunny Thornburgh in concert, with Pamela Pyle, piano
view score Hope is the Thing with Feathers Bass-baritone piano 2’20 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Irish-sounding ballad, simple, lyrical, touching slow melody. Key of C. (Also available with chamber scoring: piano or harp, flute, string quintet)
view score Hope is the Thing with Feathers High Voice piano; also version with piano or harp, string quintet, flute 2’20 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Key of Eb. Sound sample: Sung by Bunny Thornburgh in concert, chamber scoring version, with Pamela Pyle, piano; Jonna Newcomb-Carter, flute; Denali strings.
view score It Was Not Death Bass-baritone piano 3’30 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Frozen, helpless expression of paralyzing fear of death arriving with no evident cause – in broad daylight, over descending bell tones. Long slow arch with despairing end.
view score The Heart Asks Pleasure First B or Bar piano 2′ Emily Dickinson
Order This» Consoling, sweet hospice lyric suggesting a loved one slowly dying in hospital, in great pain, and the blessed liberty/privilege to die. Slow, long intensifying arch to the top and low ending.
view score I Felt a Funeral in My Brain Bass-baritone piano 3’30 Emily Dickinson
Order This» The horror of witnessing her own funeral – or losing her mind? Grimmest slow march with quotes from Chopin, Tchaikowsky, Mahler.
view score Tie the Strings to my Life Bass-baritone piano 1’45 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Brave song asking God for just a last glance and kiss of the hills, then she is ready to go. Gallant English-sounding melody over a cheerful lively galloping motif, inner moment of wistfulness, triumphant end. Key of D.
view score Tie the Strings to my Life High Voice piano 1’45 Emily Dickinson
Order This» Key of F. Sound sample: Sung by Bunny Thornburgh in concert, with Pamela Pyle, piano
view score Because I Could Not Stop for Death (Tango/Encore) Bass-baritone piano 3′ Emily Dickinson
Order This» Taut tango in ersatz ballroom-dance-of-doom style to match the arch, artificial politesse of the poem. Mock-solemn mood, melody and harmony traditionally sentimental.
view score Because I Could Not Stop for Death (Tango/Encore) Low Voice piano 3′ Emily Dickinson
Order This» Treble clef version for low voice.
view score Two Households Tenor/Baritone duet opt. guitar 2′ Shakespeare 2002
Order This» Quasi-Elizabethan setting of the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet. Written for my son Zack for a classroom presentation. Lyrics»
view score You Can’t Have It All Baritone piano or theater ensemble 4′ David Avshalomov 1986
Order This» Ironic series of philosophical clichés about desires and fulfillment, in light Kurt Weill simulation style. Sound sample: Sung by the composer Lyrics»
You Are the Girl Med piano 3′ David Avshalomov 1975
Order This» Love song, sheer devotion and infatuation. 50s ballad.
Songs from TEST OF FAITH soli, ensemble piano or small pit ensemble David Avshalomov 1982
Selected songs and choruses from a youth musical on the Spanish Inquisition’s persecution of the Marranos. (See individual titles below.)
“Barcelona” middle range unis chorus piano or small pit ensemble 2′ David Avshalomov
Order This» The people of Barcelona, including the Jews/Marranos, celebrate city pride in an up-tempo R&B-flavored ensemble number.
“People are Missing” middle range soli, 2-part chorus piano or small pit ensemble 3′ David Avshalomov
Order This» A worried Marrano child notices her friend has disappeared, the grownups pick up her fear. Light 70’s pop syncopated style, modal, ensemble number.
“Gone” low female solo, unis backups piano or small pit ensemble 3′ David Avshalomov
Order This» A distraught Marrano daughter mourns her suddenly-imprisoned family while the neighbors comfort her. Sad 1920s torch song.
“Shy” middle range duet piano or small pit ensemble 2′ David Avshalomov
Order This» Two shy youngsters separately express their mutual secret crush. Sweet slow simple melody, brief duet.
“Dungeon Ballet” instrumental piano or small pit ensemble 3’30
Order This» Grim passacaglia with wild buildup in dueling drumsets, synths, brass, for dance of carting Marranos off to the dungeon.
“To Save Your Soul” boy or girl alto piano or small pit ensemble 2′ David Avshalomov
Order This» The Grand Inquisitor relishes his work torturing people to confess and repent–before they die. Glam rock, electric organ solo. Sound sample: Sung by the composer

SONG ARRANGEMENTS

Listen
Score
Title
Composer
Voices
Key
Accomp.
Dur.
Year
view score Find the Cost of Freedom Steven Stills (A)ATB soli d minor a cappella 1’30 1970/2007
Order This» Simple a cappella transcription (Sound sample: sung by David A. and friends.)
view score Ghost Riders in the Sky Stan Jones Low solo, SAT backups d piano 3′ 1948/2007
Order This» One of my favorite Cowboy Songs. (Sound sample: sung by David A. and friends.)
view score On Top of Old Stewball (trad.) SATB soli C a cappella 3′ 2007
Order This» Folk Quodlibet sequencing, then overlaying four familiar folk tunes with related melodies. (Sound sample: sung by David A. and friends.)
(vocal score/piano reduction) view score SERGEANT PEPPER MEDLEY Lennon/McCartney TTBB chorus with Tenor, Baritone soli; (or vocal quintet/sextet) combo (or concert band) 14-16′ 1970-72
Order This»
(see BAND Works for full band score)
Fun transcription medley from the Beatle’s amazing first concept album. Created for and premiered by the USAF Band and Singing Sergeants, Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, Commander/ Conductor. Can be performed with men’s chorus and soloists, or with amplified solo quintet/sextet of good vocal Beatles imitators.
NJ 1. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Lennon/McCartney Recording: Orpheus Men’s Choir, Ridgewood Band, New Jersey G 1’30
NJ 2. With a Little Help from My Friends Lennon/McCartney E 2′
NJ 3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Lennon/McCartney A G 1’20
NJ 4. It’s Getting Better All the Time Lennon/McCartney C 1’45
USAF 5. She’s Leaving Home Lennon/McCartney Recording: USAF Band DC/Singing Sgts./Gabriel E 1’30
USAF 6. When I’m 64 Lennon/McCartney Db 1’45
USAF 7. Lovely Rita Meter Maid Lennon/McCartney E 1’40
USAF 8. Sgt Pepper Reprise Lennon/McCartney F G 1’25
9. A Day in the Life Lennon/McCartney G E (with concert band only) 2’15
view score Sixteen Tons Merle Travis Low solo, SAT backups c minor piano 4′ 1946/2007
Order This» Tennessee Ernie Ford version. (Sound sample: sung by David A. and friends.)
view score Venezuela John Jacob Niles Low C# piano 2′ 1918/2007
Order This» Possibly the most beautiful song melody ever. (Sound sample: sung by David A.)