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The musical compositions of Richard Burdick

Opus 160:

Free trio no.1
for Tuba, trombone and horn
(November 24, 2009)

Three scores

August 27th 2010: Richard Burdick write about his free music:

"My free music series, which now includes:
opus 160, Free Trio no.1,
Opus 167 Free Trio no. 2,
Symphony Number Free (3)
and I have two movmement uncatalogued for two instruments and keyboard. (work still in progress January 2010)

This "new" free music style is a re-visit of the compositional style in which I was writting in the late 1970's. I am find that they are neo-impressionist and are quite enjoyable to play. The audience reactions have been favorable, even with suggestions or comments about sutable for jazz festivals.

The basic idea is the the musicians follow the score and interact in a similar way to music in standard notation, but for the most part, the tones are not specified, they are just graphic. Higher and lower, longer or shorter and often in traditional rythyms."

I feel that this free sort of music could help youngsters learn ensemble and get a quick feel of what it is like to be a real musician, not so much hindered by their instruments.


Free Trio no. 1 page 1

Starts with actual specified tones and moves to freedom:




I am happy to provide this score for free. Just e-mail me with the e-mail address you will find at the bottom of the page, and tell me you want to be on my e-mail list and ou want the pdf. of this piece of music.



The Electrm Brass trio premiered this work May 9th 2009 here is the performance:

Movement 1

Movement 2

Movement 3

Movement 4


The rules change a little for each picee but here are the basics:

Free Music


1) There shouldn’t be any predetermination of notes before playing any of my free music works, unless specific notes are written.

2) The choice of tone is free, but should follow the rising or falling shape or graphic location of the note placement on the paper. If it is written in rhythm, all standard metric emphasis’ apply.

3) Sometimes there is normal notated music this is played normally. The free trio score is in C. For horn in F  the hornist needs to read up a fifth.

4) Sometimes the notes are written out of meter and notated as note heads with horizontal lines showing length. The lengths are relative and when this type of notation occurs, one must pay extra attention to the ensemble and play in turn as noted in the score.

4) Don’t try to play the same tones if there is a repeat, but do follow the same shape of phrase.

5) If there is a “free” section it is free, but you shouldn’t really play any solos just blend in and play a few phrases or a bunch of little musical shapes.

6) Occasionally there is an interval suggested such as: 1/2 = a half step and 5 = a perfect fifth as in the end of the 2nd movement of the free trio horn part.

7) a “Q” in the part means that instrument cues the other players about the change.


A) Most likely a group will need to rehearse this music more than something in standard notation.

B) Your feelings and moods as a musician affect the music. Please perform this with positive intent: be happy, enjoy what you are playing, revel in the expression and freedom you have.


This score is no longer free, thank to those who have teken the special offer.
Please support living composers!


These works have an exciting sense of discovery about them, since they are different each time!


This work is registered with ASCAP as # 2721222