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.

First Laureate, VII Dunaevesky Vocal Composition Contest 2020, Moscow (“Goodnight Moon”)

ListenScoreTitle VoiceAccomp.Dur.Lyrics byYear
view scoreThe Ceremony of InnocenceBass-baritonepiano8'Yeats The Second Coming2000
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, pianoLyrics»Notes»
The Ceremony of Innocence, trioB-barpiano, flute, viola8'Yeats The Second Coming2001
Order This»Version with piano, flute, viola. Sound sample: Sung by the composer in concertNotes»
view scoreChanukah Tonight!High voicepiano2'45David Avshalomov2011
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 voiceBass (opt. drums)1'David Avshalomov2004
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 scoreCome Here Lookin' (for What It Is)Low voiceBass (or vocal bass), or guitar3' - 6'David Avshalomov2009
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»
view scoreGoodnight MoonMed solo voice or Unison Treble Choruskeyboard (opt. flute)3'Margaret Wise Brown1986
Request»First Laureate, VII Dunaevesky Vocal Composition Contest 2020, Moscow
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.) Watch UTube Video of the book with the song.
view scoreGoodnight Moon (chamber version)Med solo voice or Unison Treble Choruspiano/keyboard, string quartet, flute3'Margaret Wise Brown1986/ 2007
Request»Version with strings, piano/keyboard, flute (in Eb). Also nice with unison treble chorus.
view scoreHashkiveinuLowpiano5'(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 scoreHow Sweet it WasLowpiano6'David Avshalomov2008
Order This»Bittersweet ballad, regretful remembrance of a tempestuous, painful romance. Key of d.Lyrics»
How Sweet it Was (scored/chbr)Lowpiano. 2 opt. flutes, string quintet6'David Avshalomov2008
Order This»Version with strings, piano, opt flutes,key of d or c.
view scoreI Dreamed I Saw Pete SeegerMedium voiceOpt. guitar or banjo1'David Avshalomov2014
Order This»A simple folk tribute to the shining light and musical inspiration of Pete, written right after he passed.
view scoreIf You Want Peace (Work for Justice)Medium voice or groupa cappellavariable (short verses)David Avshalomov2000
Request This»A simple A/B organizing/resistance song. Add your own verses for the situation at hand. Justice Choir Songbook Vol. 1 2017, featured song
view scoreThe Last ActLowpiano6'Louise Bogan2000
Order This»Slow, arch art song about the loss and remembrance of a loverLyrics»
Purchase CD or tracks on CDBabyMeredith Songs (from the "BLUE SKY" album) Mezzopiano, or various scoringsMeredith Kennedy2008-2009
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 scoreAskendreya--ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr)Mezzopiano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, high hand drums3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Haunting, bittersweet evocation of the past and present mystique of the city of Alexandria
view scoreAskendreya (w/piano)Mezzopiano, opt. hand drums3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Lyrics»
view scoreBlack Beauty--ALBUM VERSION (scored)Mezzopiano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, bass guitar, drums, fiddle or viol3:15Meredith 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 scoreBlack Beauty (w/piano)Mezzopiano2'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Key of G or F.Lyrics»
view scoreBlue Sky--ALBUM VERSION w/vocal backupsMezzo, backupspiano, opt. small shaker3'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 scoreBlue Sky with 12 backupsMezzo, backupspiano, opt. small shaker3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Version with 12 backup voices SSSAAATTTBBB. Key of C
view scoreBlue Sky (solo w/piano)Mezzopiano, opt. small shaker3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Key of CLyrics»
view scoreDazzle Me--ALBUM VERSION (combo)Mezzopiano, bass, drums, Alto saxophone3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Slow bluesy version. Wink/nudge flirting with a charming, charismatic man. Key of Eb or F.
view scoreDazzle Me (shuffle) (w/piano)Mezzopiano2'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Easy shuffle version in G.Lyrics»
Dazzle Me (bluesy) (w/piano)Mezzopiano2'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»view scoreSlow bluesy version. Key of F or G
view scoreDesert Snow-- ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr)Mezzopiano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, timpani, oboe3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Haunting memorial to the fallen solders of a far desert war, with impassioned antiwar climax. Key of g minor.
view scoreDesert Snow (w/piano)Mezzopiano3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Key of g minor or a.Lyrics»
view scoreEnchanted River--ALBUM VERSIONMezzoharp (or piano), opt. solo violin2'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 scoreGhostly Dancer--ALBUM VERSION (w/guitar)Mezzoacoustic guitar, 3 flutes (or synth keyboard), tambourine, finger cyms4:30Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Haunting tango about the perennial ghostly dance of a great solo dancer long dead. Key of e minor
view scoreGhostly Dancer (w/piano)Mezzopiano, opt. tambourine3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Key of f minorLyrics»
view scoreLady Jezebel--ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr)Mezzopiano, 2 violins, viola, cello, electric bass, drums3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Simple song about womanly self-realization, opening up. Dreamy start and end, light rock middle. Key of d minor.
view scoreLady Jezebel (w/piano)Mezzopiano3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Key of d minor or e.Lyrics»
view scoreLakota Storm--ALBUM VERSION (scored/harp)MezzoHp, 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 scoreLakota Storm (w/piano)Mezzopiano, flute, opt. Plains Indian drum (or Taiko or Bodhran)3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Lyrics»
view scoreA Minute after Midnight--ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr)Mezzo2 violins, opt. viola, opt. cello, bass2'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 scoreA Minute after Midnight (w/piano)Mezzopiano2'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Key of g minor.Lyrics»
view scoreMr. Brown Eyes--ALBUM VERSION (scored/combo)Mezzopiano, drums/brushes, Bb clarinet, bass2:45Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»A light-hearted flirter, also a shuffle. Key of E or G.
view scoreMr. Brown Eyes (w/piano)Mezzopiano2'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Lyrics»
view scoreState of Mind--ALBUM VERSION (scored/chbr)Mezzopiano, flute,2 violins, viola, cello, bass, shaker3:30Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Dreamy morning awakening to the lingering spell of an absent (imaginary?) lover.
view scoreState of Mind (w/piano)Mezzopiano3'Meredith Kennedy
Order Score»Lyrics»CA
view scoreA Mind of WinterBarstrings with harp; or piano5'Doris Avshalomov1985
Order This»A nature song, slow/moderate/slow, relishing the sluggish awakening of Spring. Sound sample: Sung by the composerLyrics»
view scoreOrchestra SongOperatic Sopranoorchestra2'David Avshalomov1989
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 composerLyrics»
view scoreOur Civil rightsBass or Baritonepiano2'30Thos. Jefferson1993
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 scoreOzymandiasBass-baritonepiano6'Shelley2000
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, pianoLyrics»Notes»
SONGS OF LIFE / SONGS OF DEATHBass-baritonepiano22' totalEmily Dickinson2000
Order Set»(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 scoreA Narrow Fellow in the GrassB-barpiano1'45Emily Dickinson
Order This»Nimble, ironic expression of instinctual fear of snakes -- "zero at the bone".
view scoreThe Railway TrainBass-baritonepiano2'30Emily Dickinson
Order This»Fast, evocative depiction of the power and fascination of this huge rolling machine.
view scoreWild NightsBass-baritonepiano1'30Emily Dickinson
Order This»Fast, splashy outburst, dreams of abandon to wild open-hearted lovemaking, borne by sea metaphors -- almost X-rated.
view scoreWild NightsMed Voicepiano1'30Emily Dickinson
Order This»Sound sample: Sung by Bunny Thornburgh in concert, with Pamela Pyle, piano
view scoreHope is the Thing with FeathersBass-baritonepiano2'20Emily 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 scoreHope is the Thing with FeathersHigh Voicepiano; also version with piano or harp, string quintet, flute2'20Emily 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 scoreIt Was Not DeathBass-baritonepiano3'30Emily 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 scoreThe Heart Asks Pleasure FirstB or Barpiano2'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 scoreI Felt a Funeral in My BrainBass-baritonepiano3'30Emily Dickinson
Order This»The horror of witnessing her own funeral - or losing her mind? Grimmest slow march with quotes from Chopin, Tchaikowsky, Mahler.
view scoreTie the Strings to my LifeBass-baritonepiano1'45Emily 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 scoreTie the Strings to my LifeHigh Voicepiano1'45Emily Dickinson
Order This»Key of F. Sound sample: Sung by Bunny Thornburgh in concert, with Pamela Pyle, piano
view scoreBecause I Could Not Stop for Death (Tango/Encore)Bass-baritonepiano3'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 scoreBecause I Could Not Stop for Death (Tango/Encore)Low Voicepiano3'Emily Dickinson
Order This»Treble clef version for low voice.
view scoreTwo HouseholdsTenor/Baritone duetopt. guitar2'Shakespeare2002
Order This»Quasi-Elizabethan setting of the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet. Written for my son Zack for a classroom presentation.Lyrics»
view scoreYou Can't Have It AllBaritonepiano or theater ensemble4'David Avshalomov1986
Order This»Ironic series of philosophical clichés about desires and fulfillment, in light Kurt Weill simulation style. Sound sample: Sung by the composerLyrics»
You Are the GirlMedpiano3'David Avshalomov1975
Order This»Love song, sheer devotion and infatuation. 50s ballad.
Songs from TEST OF FAITHsoli, ensemblepiano or small pit ensembleDavid Avshalomov1982
Selected songs and choruses from a youth musical on the Spanish Inquisition's persecution of the Marranos. (See individual titles below.)

(Instrumental version)
"Barcelona"middle range unis choruspiano or small pit ensemble2'David Avshalomov
The people of Barcelona, including the Jews/Marranos, celebrate city pride in an up-tempo R&B-flavored ensemble number.

(Instrumental version)
"People are Missing"middle range soli, 2-part choruspiano or small pit ensemble3'David Avshalomov
A worried Marrano child notices her friend has disappeared, the grownups pick up her fear. Light 70's pop syncopated style, modal, ensemble number.
view score"Gone"low female solo, unis backupspiano or small pit ensemble3'David Avshalomov
A distraught Marrano daughter mourns her suddenly-imprisoned family while the neighbors comfort her. Sad 1920s torch song.
"Shy"middle range duetpiano or small pit ensemble2'David Avshalomov
Two shy youngsters separately express their mutual secret crush. Sweet slow simple melody, brief duet.
"Dungeon Ballet"instrumentalpiano or small pit ensemble3'30
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 altopiano or small pit ensemble2'David Avshalomov
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


view scoreFind the Cost of FreedomSteven Stills(A)ATB solid minora cappella1'301970/2007
Order This»Simple a cappella transcription (Sound sample: sung by David A. and friends.)
view scoreGhost Riders in the SkyStan JonesLow solo, SAT backupsdpiano3'1948/2007
Order This»One of my favorite Cowboy Songs. (Sound sample: sung by David A. and friends.)
view scoreOn Top of Old Stewball(trad.)SATB soliCa cappella3'2007
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 MEDLEYLennon/McCartneyTTBB 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.
NJ1. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandLennon/McCartneyRecording: Orpheus Men's Choir, Ridgewood Band, New JerseyG1'30
NJ2. With a Little Help from My FriendsLennon/McCartneyE2'
NJ3. Lucy in the Sky with DiamondsLennon/McCartneyA G1'20
NJ4. It's Getting Better All the TimeLennon/McCartneyC1'45
USAF5. She's Leaving HomeLennon/McCartneyRecording: USAF Band DC/Singing Sgts./GabrielE1'30
USAF6. When I'm 64Lennon/McCartneyDb1'45
USAF7. Lovely Rita Meter MaidLennon/McCartneyE1'40
USAF8. Sgt Pepper RepriseLennon/McCartneyF G1'25
9. A Day in the LifeLennon/McCartneyG E(with concert band only)2'15
view scoreSixteen TonsMerle TravisLow solo, SAT backupsc minorpiano4'1946/2007
Order This»Tennessee Ernie Ford version. (Sound sample: sung by David A. and friends.)
view scoreVenezuelaJohn Jacob NilesLowC#piano2'1918/2007
Order This»Possibly the most beautiful song melody ever. (Sound sample: sung by David A.)