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David Allum
United Kingdom, Bangor,

About David Allum

Born July 1942 , in Birmingham, England, I went to Moseley Grammar School in Birmingham 1952-1960. At the age of 11, I began to learn to play the violin and came on leaps and bounds under the skillful guidance of Gilbert Shufflebottom who was lead Viola in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra . In 1958 I played first violin in the Midland Youth Orchestra under Blyth Major and studied at t ... read more

About David Allum

Born July 1942 , in Birmingham, England, I went to Moseley Grammar School in Birmingham 1952-1960. At the age of 11, I began to learn to play the violin and came on leaps and bounds under the skillful guidance of Gilbert Shufflebottom who was lead Viola in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra . In 1958 I played first violin in the Midland Youth Orchestra under Blyth Major and studied at the Birmingham School of Music under Hannah Wisheart until 1962 when my family moved to North Wales. Also in 1958 onwards I ran a small band playing country and square dance music at various locations throughout the West Midlands. The band was called the Cole River Valley Group .
I eventually came to live in Bangor, and in 1968 I joined Bangor University Symphony Orchestra, under the conductor John Hywel, and played first violin there for 34 years. I began composing music about the year 2000 when I wrote the piece titled Caernarfon Bay and others. In 2010 my work Lament at the Gate of Teheran which is scored for full Symphony Orchestra , was given its first public performance which was well received by the audience who clapped for a good five minutes.

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The Baroque period in music

The Baroque Period (1600-1760), houses some of the most famous composers and pieces that we have in Western Classical Music. It also sees some of the most important musical and instrumental developments. Italy, Germany, England and France continue from the Renaissance to dominate the musical landscape, each influencing the other with conventions and style.

Amongst the many celebrated composers of the time, G F Handel, Bach, Vivaldi and Purcell provide a substantial introduction to the music of this era. It is during this glittering span of time that Handel composes his oratorio “The Messiah”, Vivaldi the “Four Seasons”, Bach his six “Brandenburg Concertos” and the “48 Preludes and Fugues”, together with Purcell’s opera “Dido and Aeneas”.

Instrumental music was composed and performed in tandem with vocal works, each of equal importance in the Baroque. The virtuosity that began amongst the elite Renaissance performers flourished in the Baroque. Consider the keyboard Sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti or the Concertos that Vivaldi composed for his student performers. This, in turn, leads to significant instrumental developments, and thanks to the aristocratic support of Catherine Medici, the birth of the Violin.

Common musical forms were established founded on the Renaissance composers principles but extended and developed in ways that they would have probably found unimaginable. The Suite became a Baroque favourite, comprising contrasting fast slow movements like the Prelude; Allemande, Gigue, Courante and the Sarabande. Concertos became ever more popular, giving instrumentalists the opportunity to display their technical and expressive powers.

Vocal music continued to include the Mass but now also the Oratorio and Cantata alongside anthems and chorales. Opera appears in earnest in the Baroque period and becomes an established musical form and vehicle for astonishing expression and diversity.

Increasingly, the preferred harmony is tonal and the system of keys (major and minor), is accepted in favour of modality. This lifts the limitations of modes and offers composers the chance to create ever more complex and expressive pieces that combine exciting polyphonic textures and dynamics.

Notation accompanies these developments and steadily we find that the accuracy of composers works becomes more precise and detailed giving us a better possibility of realising their intentions in performances of today.
My thanks to all who have recommended my music and to the loyal subscribers who have joined my network. I hope you all continue to enjoy my music

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The romantic period in music


As the Classical era closed Beethoven is the most notable composer who made such a huge contribution to the change into the Romantic Era (1780 – 1880). Beethoven’s immense genius shaped the next few decades with his substantial redefining of many of the established musical conventions of the Classical era. His work on Sonata form in his concertos, symphonies, string quartets and sonatas, goes almost unmatched by any other composer.

The Romantic era saw huge developments in the quality and range of many instruments that naturally encouraged ever more expressive and diverse music from the composers. Musical forms like the Romantic orchestra became expansive landscapes where composers gave full and unbridled reign to their deepest emotions and dreams.

Berlioz in his “Symphonie Fantastique” is a fine example of this, or later Wagner in his immense operas. The symphonies of Gustav Mahler stand like stone pillars of achievement at the end of the Romantic period alongside the tone poems of Richard Strauss. The Romantic period presents us with a vast array of rich music that only towards the end of the 19th Century began to fade.

It is hard to conceive of what could follow such a triumphant, heroic time in musical history but as we push forward into the 20th Century the musical landscape takes a dramatic turn. Echoes of the Romantic Era still thread through the next century in the works of Elgar, Shostakovich and Arthur Bliss, but it is the music from France we have title impressionism that sparkles its way into our musical consciences.

Debussy and Ravel are key exponents of this colourful movement that parallels the artwork of Monet and Manet. What we hear in the music of the impressionists harks back to many of the popular forms of the Baroque but in ways that Bach is unlikely to have foreseen. The tonal system transforms to include a wider range of scales and influences from the Orient allowing composers to write some of the most stunning works ever heard.

Both Ravel and Debussy composed extensively for the piano using poetry for inspiration. Their orchestral works are amongst some of the most beautiful and evocative pieces ever written.

In parallel, the Teutonic world began to undergo its own revolution in the form of the second Viennese school, led by Arnold Schoenberg. Disillusioned with the confines of tonality Schoenberg threw out the tonal system in favour of a new twelve-tone serial system giving each step of the chromatic scale equal musical validity. The result was serial music that was completely atonal and transformed the musical landscape almost beyond anything that had happened before.'
My thanks to all who have recommended my music and a warm welcome to all my new subscribers .
David Allum Bangor Wales UK

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The classical period in music

(Approx: 1730 – 1830)

The Classical Period of Music came in direct opposition to the Baroque. The complexities and frills of Baroque music were gradually replaced by music that was streamlined, uncluttered and with an increasing focus on musical development. Composers of the time looked back to the principles of the Ancient Greeks, for example, modelling their compositions on regular, measured principles. During this period the Concerto and Sonata became dominant musical forms as the developments in instrumental music and instruments, progresses. The Symphony as a musical concept is created from the ‘suite’ and orchestral music is truly formed. The orchestra itself grows in size to around 60 players by the end of the period.

As the build quality of instruments advances, the rise of the virtuoso performer/composer becomes a feature of the period. That, in turn, facilitates the evolution of ‘sonata form’ as a crucial musical structure that allowed composers to more fully explore and exploit their ideas. The Piano replaces the harpsichord as the preferred keyboard instrument leading the way to the abundance of wonderful solo sonatas, concertos and additional works for the instrument. Opera in both comic and tragic forms is commonplace with Italian as the principal language. The String Quartet becomes established.

Key composers: Mozart; Haydn; Gluck; Beethoven; Boccherini
Recommended listening Ricard Strauss The tone poems from the romantic period . Once again my thanks to all who have recommended my music and my thanks to all 1288 subscribers.
Dave Allum Bangor North Wales UK

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Happy New Year

I have Recently uploaded a new piece of music entitled Different Moods for your perusal. Have a
listen and let me know what you think of it. I am sorry that the ending is cut short because the original file was too big to upload on N1M.
In the meantime may I wish all my subscribers a happy and prosperous new year and my thanks to all who have recommended and supported me in my efforts.
Best regards to you all,
Dave , Bangor , Wales UK

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David Allum
2 years ago

Recommended listening

I would like to point you in the direction of some of my favorite classical works by various composers.
1 Mahler symphony no 2.
2 Shostakovitch symphony no 5
3 Bruckner symphony no 7
4 Ricard Strauss four last songs

I will give you more next time I write. My Thanks to all my subscribers for all your support.
All the best to all
David Allum

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