Hugh Shrapnel
Experimental Music Catalogue
experimental music since 1969

Hugh Shrapnel

for information on works not available or available through other publishers, write to the EMC or


Solo Piano


4 Pieces (1966). 8 mins.

Memories of Childhood (1968). Duration free.

Cantation I (1970; pub. in Michael Nyman, Experimental Music- Cage and Beyond ). 10-15 mins. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Lullaby (1970; pub. In Experimental Music). 5 mins.

L'Echelle (1971). 3 mins.

Last Aria (1972). 3-4 mins.

4 Vignettes (1972, revised 1994). 8 mins.

Ayreshire Fling (1973); also for harpsichord. 3 mins.

4 Preludes (1986-91) 8 mins.

Childeric St. Waltz (1989). 4 mins.

Dusk (1989). Prelude to the song The Lover and the Rose (John Maharg). 5 mins.

Drifting (1989). 3 mins.

Autumn Pieces (1989-90). (2 pieces- Prelude & Storm). c.18mins.

For Cornelius (1992). In memory of Cornelius Cardew. (See also Ensemble). 3 mins.

The Children of Stare (1994). After a poem by Walter de la Mare. 6 mins.

Cat Preludes (1994). Basking; Prowl; Siamese; and mouse; Asleep; Curtain. (Pub. by Music Now). 12 mins.

Dusty Dreams (1995). Postlude to Cat Preludes. (Pub. by Music Now). See also instrumental works. 4 mins.

Sunset (1995). 4 mins.

4 Twilight Preludes (1995-98). 8 mins.

Longing (1998). 4 mins.

Fromewater (1998). 5 mins.

1st Piano Set (1999-2000). 10 short character pieces c.20 mins.


Multiple Pianos


Variations for 2 pianos (1968) c.10 mins.

Cantation II (1970). Any number of pianos. Duration free (c.30 mins- 4 hours). In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Music for Pianos (1972). 2 or 3 pianos. 10 mins. (Verbal notation, see Prose Collection).


Piano Duet


Polka (1977). 4mins.

East End (1975-81). 10 mins.

Scenario (1980-83). 15 mins.

Bank Holiday (1992). (See also under Ensemble). 12 mins.

South of the River (1993-4). Suite in 6 movements: Oxleas Wood ; East St. Market; Papillon Walk; Vanbrugh Castle; Ladywell Fields; Deptford Broadway. (Pub. by Music Now). 30 mins.

Chinese Bells (1998). In memory of Brian Dennis. 4 mins.


Solo Instrumental

Variations (1984-5). Solo viola. c.20 mins.

Two Pieces (1984). Clarinet and piano. ( Pub. by Forward Music). 10 mins.

Soliloquy (1989). Cello and piano. 12 mins.

After 4 Years (1991). Solo vibraphone. c.15 mins.

Unity (1991). Flute and piano. (Pub. by Music Now). 15 mins.

Ouagadougou (1992). Trombone and percussion (including vibraphone). c.18 mins.

7 Canons (1992) In memory of John Cage. Two percussionists c.20 mins. ( any non-pitched percussion instruments)

Dusty Dreams (1995) arr. for viola and piano (1998).

Byways (1997). Tuba and double bass ( or bass clarinet and 'cello). 12 mins.

West Pier (1997). Euphonium and 2 electric keyboards. 12 mins.

Calypso (1998). Violin & viola. 3 mins.

4 Love Sonnets (1999). (Based on 4 Maharg songs-see Vocal Music).

Violin and piano. c.12 mins.


Prelude on BACH (1966). Flute, string trio and piano. c.3 mins.

String Quartet (1966). c.10 mins.

Mobile (1966-7). Flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, horn, trombone, violin, viola, 'cello & piano. Duration free (c.5-15 mins).

Chamber Music in 6 parts (1968-72). 3-10 melody instruments. Verbal & graphic notation. Duration free (c.5-30 mins).

10 graphics (1969-70). For any forces/duration.

String Quartet (1970) c.45 mins.

Anthology (1970). 2x5 foot verbal/graphic score. For any forces/duration.

Circular Music (1970). Verbal and graphic notation. Any number and kind of melody instruments (not more than 20). Duration free (c.5-20 mins.)

Prose Collection (1969-72). Prose pieces for indeterminate sound sources for various forces (including untrained musicians): Space-Time Music; Waves I & II; Projectiles; One Minute; Shadows; Sing; Silence; Tripos; Accompaniment; Tone Poem; Floorboard Music; Houdini Rite; Music for Pianos; Flit; Erasure. (All highlighted titles are included in OEMC0007: Verbal Anthology.

Bells (1970). Any number and kind of tuned metal percussion &/or pianos, harps zithers etc. Duration free (c.5-15 mins.) In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Raindrops (1970). Any number and kind of tuned & untuned percussion, guitars &/or other plucked strings. (See also under Children's Music). c.5 mins. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Carousel (1970). 1 keyboard & any number and kind of melody instruments. Duration free.

Round (1970). 2-4 keyboards. c.5 mins. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Chorale (1970). 2-4 reed or electric organs. c.10-20 mins. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Ambroise Farman's Melody (1971). 2 reed (or electric) organs, 2 toy (or digital ) pianos. c.5 mins. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

The Golden Valley (1971). 4 reed (or electric) organs. c.5-10 mins. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Two Landscapes (1971). 4 reed (or electric) organs. c.10-15 mins.

4 Toy Pianos (1971; version pub. by Forward Music under title Oakley St.) Original manuscript version in PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Any 4 keyboards (preferably toy pianos). c.10-15 mins.

Steps (1971). Any 4 keyboards. (Pub. Forward Music). Duration free (c.5-10 mins).

2nd Chorale (1971). For 4 reed (or electric) organs. c.45 mins.

Signature (1971). For any number and kind of keyboards. c.30 secs. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Carolina Moon (1971). For 2 toy pianos (or digital keyboards), reed (or electric) organs. c.5 mins. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

Untitled Music (1972). 4 reed (or electric) organs and bells. Duration c.30-45 mins. In PTO0008: Hugh Shrapnel PTO Anthology, published by the EMC.

3 Pieces for Wind Sextet (1985-7): Medieval Dance; Pastorale; High St. Flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone. 9 mins.

It's A Long Way From Gatwick (1980-88). Flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, trombone, piano & bass (or 2 Eb clarinets, 2 violas, vibraphone & piano). 3 mins.

Triamena (1992). Flute, viola and vibraphone. 8 mins.

Bank Holiday (1992). Flute, viola, vibraphone, digital keyboard. 12 mins.

For Cornelius (1992). Flute, viola, vibraphone and piano. 3 mins.

Saxophone Quartet (1993). 10 mins.

3 Pieces for Bells (1995): "Ikaria"; "Ring Out Wild Bells"; "The Willow". Handbell choir & descant recorder (or flute). c.10 mins.

3 Pieces (1996): "Loose Ends"; "Amethyst"; "Electric Gale". 3-4 digital keyboards & optional) descant recorder (or flute), trumpet, vibraphone. c.12 mins.


Vocal Music

The Azanian People Will Win (1977). Solo song (with chord symbols). c.3 mins.

A Naxalite in Birmingham (1980). For female vocals and rock group. 4 mins.

Three Philip Larkin songs (1980-88): "Cut Grass"; "Solar";"The Trees". Contralto or baritone and piano. 10 mins.

Money Barons (1983). For voice, optional chorus, oboe, alto sax, viola, 'cello, piano. c.4 mins.

Mean Streets (1984). Voice, optional chorus, rock group (with sax). c.4 mins.

That April day (1987). For soprano solo and chorus (ssaatb). Poem by John Maharg. c.8 mins.

The World Contract'd (1987-8). Song cycle for tenor, flute, clarinet, cor anglais, horn, vibraphone, harp, violin,viola, 'cello, bass. Settings of Suckling, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Yeats and Shelley. c.20 mins.

The Lover and the Rose (1987). For soprano and piano. Poem John Maharg. 3 mins.

The Ghost (1990). Part song for saatb; poem by Walter de la Mare. c.4 mins.

Love's Secret (1990 rev. 1995). Baritone and piano. Poem William Blake. c.3 mins.

thr(ee) cummings songs (1992). Soprano and viola. 8 mins.

3 Poems of Edward Thomas (1992-98): "Thaw"; "The Hollow Wood"; "The Dark Forest". For baritone and piano. 8 mins.

A Sonnet Upon Sonnets (1996). A round for 2 sopranos and 1 tenor. Poem Robert Burns. c.2 mins.

War Games (1996). Children's opera for soloists, chorus and flexible instrumentation. Text by Brendan Beales. c.1-1/2 hrs.

A Pretty Little Picture (1997). A Scena for tenor or baritone and piano; poem by Brendan Beales. c.4 mins.

3 Robert Burns songs (1997-8): "Fall of Fyers"; "Cares O' Love"; "To a Gentleman". For baritone and piano. c.8 mins.

Love Sonnets of a Building Worker (1998-2000). Song Cycle of 10 songs. poems by John Maharg. For tenor and piano. c. 30 mins.

2 Songs from Africa (2000): "The Pomegranate" (Rabearivelo); "Capital" Wole Soyinka). For contralto and vibraphone. c.5 mins.

Music for Amateurs/Children

Piano Album (1985-99). 25 short pieces suitable for amateur adults or children. (Approximate grades 3-6).

Beginners Pieces for Guitars (1993). 10 short pieces ranging from very easy upwards. Pub. in beginner's guitar volume Twang by Musicworks.

7 Pieces for 2 descant and 2 treble recorders (1993).

8 Creatures (1988-1998): Duck; Elephant; Pony; Camel; Goldfish; Skylark; Bear; Chicken. Short piano pieces approx. grades 2-5.

Raindrops (1970). See under Ensemble. Simplified version for children. Pub. by Universal Edition.


Hugh Shrapnel was born in Birmingham in 1947. He studied composition with Norman Demuth and Cornelius Cardew at the Royal Academy of Music from 1966-69 winning the Lady Holland Prize for composition. His fellow composition students at the R.A.M. included Edward McGuire, Christopher Hobbs and Brian Ferneyhough. Together with other students they formed a new music ensemble giving landmark performances of Cage, Stockhausen etc. as well as their own compositions.

In the late 60s under the influence of Cardew, Shrapnel became interested in experimental music and was an active member of the Scratch Orchestra and other groups of the time including the Promenade Theatre with composers John White, Christopher Hobbs and Alec Hill. He is featured in Michael Nymanís book Experimental Music- Cage and Beyond (recently republished by Cambridge University Press) and in the John Vinton Dictionary of 20th Century Music.

In the 1970s he taught music at schools in London and Birmingham.

Throughout the 70s and 80s he became increasingly drawn to the various musical traditions of the people, both in this country and abroad, including rural folk, musichall and jazz, which has made an indelible imprint on his own music.

In the 1980s and 90s he taught composition and song writing in evening classes at Goldsmiths and Sutton colleges and also conducted workshops in experimental music in community centres in Kings Cross and other parts of London in his own music.

Over the years Shrapnel's music has been widely performed both in this country (including performances at the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room) and abroad.

From 1994 he was composer in residence at Musicworks in Brixton, London. In 1992 he founded the Redlands Consort, a flexible ensemble specialising in new English Music. He has worked in partnership with composer and pianist Robert Coleridge for many years, putting on many concerts of their own, and other contemporary music.

A very successful concert of his music was presented at the Blackheath Concert Halls in May 1996. In 2000 2 concerts of his music were given at the Edinburgh Society of Musicians with music by Ronald Stevenson and Eddie McGuire; he also particpated in workshops organised by leading Suzuki specialist and pianist Mary McCarthy .

For orders of, or enquiries about the music in this catalogue, please contact the composer. Address: 27A Shooters Hill Road, Blackheath, London SE3 7AS. tel. 020 8858 7123. Email

A CD of his music South of the River was brought out by Music Now in 1998 consisting of the suite South of the River, Cat Preludes and Unity performed by Sarah Walker, Robert Coleridge and Francesca Hanley. The CD has a CD-ROM feature containing a lot of biographical details on the composer and in-depth information on the music as well as background visual material. It is available from the composer or direct from Music Now .

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