About me

Website launch party 2015

Website launch party 2015


Right, confessions straight away, my name is Alan and I’m a civilian. A musical civilian.

I’m not a professor of musical theory, an opera singer, or even a piano teacher. I’m an amateur, just like you. That might be a good thing, that might be a bad thing.

We’re just going to have to find out.


In this website, I’ve tried to approach music from its most basic principals. With the mindset of a child. That means constantly asking the annoying question why? It also means not accepting the easy temptations of jargon as an answer.

It’s easy to lob in a technical term, a Sonata Form here, Ternary form there. Sure there are terms that professionals use, and need to use. But the trouble with jargon is that it can gives you the illusion you understand something, when all you’ve done is stick a word label over the idea.  Why?

I’ve tried to maintain that simplicity and essentialism when writing this website, distilling knowledge to something that is simple and easy to understand.

That should mean this website, even though it goes fairly deep into some matters, should be accessible to all.


Wish I played piano better

wish I was better

I do have some experience of music.  I had piano lessons up to teenage life, and played guitar in school and college bands. I sing in a couple of music groups and a choral society. I still tinkle (should that be struggle?) on the piano, and occasionally commit gentle dmage to some violin sonatas with a violinist friend.

By trade I’m an editor working in Film & TV. I’ve always been an avid devourer of knowledge and culture, but music has always held the most special place for me. And classical music holds a special place inside that special place. I’ve never met anything like classicla music. It gives so much, and the more you go into it, the more you get out. It’s that gift that keeps giving.


Each of the pieces on this course have been close to my heart for decades now. Over the years, they have revealed more of their beauty, their background, and in some cases their secrets. It has been a fascinating voyage of discovery for me, and this website is my attempt to rationalise and describe that pleasure for you.


I’ve been working on this site for a few years now, but it is only a young child. Please help me develop it: get back to me with your thoughts and feelings, whatever they may be.


I really hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have. But however it goes, please do let me know. I’m at the stage where feedback is required!

Alan, 2017