Don Robertson's Musical Kaleidoscope

Video Scores

Follow-Along Scores

Learning to compose, further understand and perform pre-composed music begins with a study of the actual music notes, the scores (also called charts) that contain the written record of the music itself.

In the world of Musical Kaleidoscope, we are developing what we call follow-along scores, videos that feature the score pages along with a performance of the music itself, so that the student, or the enthusiast, needs not try to keep up with the music from one source, while trying to keep up with a printed copy of the score at the same time.

Study Scores

Musical Kaleidoscope features scores that are intended for a deeper study of a music composition: the sectioning of the work, the harmonic structures, melodic development, and so on. You will find examples by clicking on the button ->

Follow-Along Scores

World 1

Example 1 – Sinatra: I Get Along Without You Very Well (4 minutes)

This is the score for the great arranger Nelson Riddle’s arrangement of the song “I Get Along Without You Very Well” sung by Frank Sinatra on Capitol Records and released in 1955.

Example 2 - Gabriel Yared - Two Cues from Cold Mountain (3 minutes)

Two beautiful cues from the 2003 motion picture Cold Mountain: “Ada Plays” and “Without the Words”.

Example 3 - Gospel Songs from the Redback Hymnal (1 hour )

The Church Hymnal (commonly called the “red-back” hymnal because of its red cloth hard cover) is the classic repository of Southern Gospel songs. Here we feature great performances, some live and some recorded, along with the ‘scores’ (the pages from the hymnal).

World 4

Example 4 - Tuneful Classics from the Romantic Era (1 hour)

     This show is a combination of live performance on the left side of the screen and follow-along score on the right. Featured are colorful light-classical treasures from the Romantic Era. First is the “Donna Diana Overture” composed by the Austrian composer Emil von Reznicek in 1894. Old-timers remember it as the theme song for the American television series Sergeant Preston of the Yukon from 1955, during the final year of the 15-year era in popular music where tunes from 19th-century romantic classical compositions were adopted and adapted in popular music.
     Next are two famous selections from the “Hungarian Dances” by Johannes Brahms. No. 5 is based on the csárdás “Bártfai emlék” (Memories of Bártfa) by Hungarian composer Béla Kéler; Brahms mistakenly thought it was a traditional folksong. This orchestration by Albert Parlow was recorded by the Boston Pops in the United States and was popular during the 1940s. “Hungarian Dance No. 6” follows. The fourth piece is the first of two “Romanian Rhapsodies, Op. 11” composed for orchestra by Romanian composer George Enescu in 1901. This lively setting of traditional folk-dance styles is an interesting orchestral study. Following is another lively composition with a great orchestration, España by the French composer Emmanuel Chabrier in 1883.
     Finally, we have two great Russian compositions, the Russian Easter Overture by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the “Polovtsian Dances” by Alexander Borodin, both composed during the 1880s. The later is the original orchestration with choir, not the purely instrumental concert version mostly heard today.

Example 5 - Richard Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Act 2 (1 hour)

Performance by the Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele conducted by Horst Stein in 1984. The live performance is on the left, and the score is on the right. The production is by Wolfgang Wagner with Hans Sachs sung by Bernd Weikl and Veit Pogner song by Manfred Schenk.

Example 6 - 17th Century German Sacred Music (25 min)

This is a dual follow-along score, with the live performances on the left and the scores on the right. We begin with the great German composer Dieterich Buxetehude’s Ad Pedes from the cantata cycle Membra Jesu Nostri, performed by Capella Angelica, followed by compositions from two German composers who were friends: Christoph Bernhard, with Herr, nun läsest du deinen Diener in Frieden fahren performed by Ensemble Pygmalion, and Matthias Weckmann with Es erhub sich ein Streit, performed by the Ricercar Consort.

Example 7 - Giovanni Paolo Colonna - Dixit Dominus (18 min)

We hear from Bologna, with the magnificent Dixit Dominus (Psalm 110) from Giovanni Paolo Colonna’s Psalmi ad Vesperas of 1694 (Vesper Psalms, Op. 12, for 3, 4, and 5 solo voices and instrumental ensemble, some with optional parts for a ripieno choir), performed by the Houston Chamber Choir and Festival Orchestra, directed by Robert Simpson.

Study Scores

Musical Kaleidoscope features scores that are intended for a deeper study of a music composition: the sectioning of the work, the harmonic structures, melodic development, and so on. You will find examples by clicking on the button ->