Do you play the cello? Know someone that does? Please pass this on.


Some readers will know that a cello solo composition I submitted for a competition was performed in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. This was not my first work for cello, I began to appreciate the qualities of sound the cello brought to an ensemble in the early 1980s. 

Fred Parry (cello) and I (percussion) worked for a few seasons in the orchestra with Max Jaffa in Scarborough. The library of arrangements and edited orchestral sets was based around the Palm Court Trio sound of violin, cello and piano with the other orchestral instruments adding colour and body to the overall sound. I appreciated Max Jaffa’s virtuosity and tone on the violin but more interesting to me was the sound of the cello or more specifically the sounds that Fred Parry, cello and bow could create. 

A request for some music for the beginner cellist came in a few weeks ago and this got me thinking about the instrument, the sounds, the music that I had written and recorded and how these could be incorporated in an accessible format. The Cello Sessions – Take 1 was written, collected, re-recorded, edited, printed and is now ready to order (£7.60 including VAT and P&P in the UK) via the home page of the website If you want to listen to my interpretations of how the music could sound the whole album is available (£2.00) at

I enjoyed listening through the many compositions I have and deciding which would best suit the instrument and standard of performer. What it has revealed is there are a number of different books with a similar character, for the beginner student, that I can put together. Watch out for The Guitar Sessions – Take 1, The Flute Sessions – Take 1 and 12 Xylophone Solos which I will be publishing in the next few months.

Thank you to John for the enquiry and I hope Daniel enjoys the music, the personal dedication and continues to enjoy the cello. Another special thank you to Fred for the sounds and Max for putting us all together in the right place at the right time.  If there are other instruments that you would like to feature in a similar way then please tell me and I will see if I have any suitable compositions.

© Peter R. Birkby 2014


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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