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How Alan Menken Channels Chopin and Brahms in “Beauty and the Beast”

Yup. We’re talking about the music for *this* scene.

I watched the 2017 version of Beauty and the Beast recently with some friends of mine. Being the music nerd I am, the film got me thinking about its theme song. The more I studied it, the more my admiration for it grew.

Alan Menken’s music is straightforwardly diatonic and repetitive, but that simplicity disguises the Classical thought that underpins it. What makes this song deeper than your average pop tune?

Read on.
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Boise State Visit

2017 in Review

Welcome to the end of another year! It’s been a great one for me. Let me share the highlights below.


Just listen —

Pieces Written or Premiered

Places Went

  • Residency at Boise State University
  • New Music Gathering at Bowling Green State University
  • Fresh Inc. Festival in Wisconsin/Illinois
Sam Richards, myself, and Jared Knight up the canyon from Boise
The composers at Fresh Inc 2017

Most viewed blog post

Four-bar phrases in Mozart’s Sonata K. 332, movement 1.
Four-bar phrases in Mozart’s Sonata K. 332, movement 1.

“Why 4-bar Phrases?”
“The four-bar phrase has had a bad press in our time,” writes Charles Rosen. But for all the denigration, four-bar phrases are ubiquitous. Why? (Continue reading)

Coming in 2018

  • A new piece for Collage New Music
  • My dissertation piece for sinfonietta
  • A new setting of “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”
  • And more!

Thank you all for sharing the joy of music with me. I wish you all the best in 2018!