This is where you can try out sound and score examples of experimental, minimal and systems, and postminimal music. These ‘freebies’ have been donated by their composers or approved for use. Try them, and if you like them, come buy more from these composers through us — we send out yearly royalties for every item sold. Or gift us, to keep the EMC going!

Bandcamp tracks

You can listen a limited number of times to all the EMC Bandcamp albums and singles, but several have been donated by their composers. Try out:

  • Chris Hobbs, Sudoku 26, for John White on his birthday (EMC-110)
  • Michael Parsons, Tenebrio (EMC-107)
  • Christopher Hobbs, Sudoku 104 (EMC-105)

All on our Bandcamp page.

Cornelius Cardew, ed. Nature Study Notes

This is the real deal: a pdf facsimile of the original pre-Scratch Orchestra document, Nature Study Notes. Nature Study Notes is a collection of Improvisation Rites, a classification of music document that should set the scene for improvisation rather than act as a composition, per se. These 152 wonderful little text, graphic and other scores represent music from the scene around Cornelius Cardew from May to late 1969, a period that began with the premiere of Paragraph 2 of Cardew’s The Great Learning, through the founding of the Scratch Orchestra itself. These notes are classified like a school botany field trip booklet, and include compositions and Rites of all sorts. The original document, published by the Experimental Music Catalogue at the end of 1969, was collected and edited by Cardew and appears in his rather gorgeous hand. Cardew prefaced Nature Study Notes with the words, ‘No rights are reserved in this book of rites. They may be reproduced and performed freely’.

  • Nature Study Notes: contact us by email for this item, due to misuse by bots….

The Famous EMC John White Drinking and Hooting Download

Oh, this is a really cool download. Drinking and Hooting Machine is possibly John White’s most famous experimental Machine piece: loved by many, surprisingly lovely in performance, despite the rather silly instruments. For an account of performances on the web, with an evaluation of performance practice, do see our EMC Blog Video Watch series, here, here, here, here, and here. For the score itself, look just below. Please tell John that you’ve downloaded it, by emailing us, or contacting us through Facebook.

The Famous EMC Michael Parsons Pieces Download

Michael Parsons has given — yes, GIVEN — us a couple of his pieces from the late 1990s, with the idea that they should be taken up by as many people as possible. The first piece we’ve got is a pdf of a verbal piece called Pentachordal Melody. It’s really cool: the score reminds us of some of the pieces in Samuel Beckett’s systemic novel Watt. We also have his Rhythmic Canons. They’re great fun to play or to study! Please tell Michael that you’ve downloaded it, by emailing us, or contacting us through Facebook. Here they are:

The Famous EMC Word Pieces Download 

Chris Hobbs has put together a new edition of his Word Pieces 1966–1970 and has insisted that they be offered for free download on this site. No amount of argument can persuade him otherwise, so until he comes to his senses, here goes. Word Pieces 1966–70 contains all of Chris Hobbs’ pieces from the original EMC Verbal Anthology, plus a few more. You don’t get the lovely original facsimile typewriter script of the original, nor do you get any of the other swell pieces in the Verbal Anthology. What you do get is a computer-set version of all these pieces, as Chris really wanted them to look. Here’s a free copy, which you can get by clicking the link below. And do let us know if you ever play them. Here’s the email and Facebook contacts.

The Famous EMC Clarinet Download 

Experimental music in Britain has been enriched by the talents of clarinet players like Ian Mitchell, providing a rich and varied repertoire for the instrument.  A good example of this work is Christopher Hobbs’ piece Why Not?, which he wrote for Ian Mitchell. Ian was touring schools throughout Britain and asked if Chris could write him a piece which would show what the bass clarinet could do.  Chris said, ‘Why Not?’

‘Why Not?’ is a short characteristic piece for bass clarinet.  Ian says that this piece would be suitable for auditions and other situations in which the player may like to show off his or her technique and range.  This piece could also be worked up for a university recital or as a fun encore piece.  Ian is offering a special deal on this recording if you purchase from him directly: see the edge of the world.

You can receive a free copy of the score to ‘Why Not?’ simply by clicking the link above. All we ask is that you send us an email if you play ‘Why Not?’ as we’d really like to know what happens to it!!!

Free Hobbs Aran ringtone! 

We were casting around for some holiday entertainment some years ago and thought we might do something to jazz up those handmaidens of modern life, the mobile phone.  So jingly, so jangly, and so bereft of real art music!

For those of you who have downloadable-ringtone phones, this mp3 might be your answer.  This piece can be properly heard on EMC102: Promenade Theatre Orchestra: Live at the Orangery, and in a slightly different version, on Ensemble Pieces (Obscure Records).  It uses a found system, a knitting pattern for an Aran sweater, to determine the note-to-note procedure, and yes, it repeats.

Be the first person on your train to have this ringtone.  But don’t answer it — let it ring and let everyone share in the joy! Once you’ve got an Aran ringtone, tell us about it and where you use it by email and Facebook.