Dave Soldier

Classical Works

a list of pieces for players with classical backgrounds and / or conventionally written scores

For the scores, go here.

Opus 1
Sequence Girls (1985, 8 min)

string quartet and trap set drums

Opus 2
Three Delta Blues (1986, 9 min)

string quartet
from songs by Robert Johnson, Skip James, and Charlie Patton
alternate duo from Muddy Waters

Opus 3
String Quartet #1 The Impossible (1987, 25 min)

string quartet and trap set drums

Opus 4
Duo Sonata (1988, 30 min)

violin and cello

Opus 5
To Spike Jones in Heaven (1989, 7 min)

accordion and tape (or CD)

Opus 6
Hockets & Inventions (1990, 30 min)

solo organ
or solo Piano (2010)

Opus 7
Utah Dances (1990, 15 min)

saxophone, clarinet or flute

Opus 8
The Apotheosis of John Brown (1990, 40 min)

narrator, soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, vln solo, strings, bass, harpsichord, percussion
text adapted from Frederick Douglass

Opus 9
Ultraviolet Railroad (1991, 25 min)

9a. Double concerto for violin and cello,
the orchestra of the Brahms double plus piano
violin, cello solo: 222(in Bb) 2 - 423(i1 bs trmb) - tymp, perc, piano, strings

9b. Piano trio version, (Tonight Welcome the Ultraviolet Starlight Trio to {insert venue}
9c. String quartet version version, opus 29 (Betonia, where I fell into a trance) (2022, 8 and a half minutes)

Opus 10
Smut, a.k.a., Chorea Lascivia,  (1991, 30 min)

sop, mezzo, bass, tpt, trmb, 2 electric guitars, 2 perc
Latin homoerotic medieval lyrics

Opus 11
String Quartet #2, Bambaataa Variations (1992, 30 min)

11a. prepared string quartet (bobby pins hair brushes, combs)
original version for Ken Butler's amplified T-square string quartet,
11b. concerto grosso version for prepared string quartet and string orchestra

Opus 12
Mark Twain's War Prayer (1993, 30 min)

tenor, bass, gospel choir (with robes), and chamber orchestra;
1,1,1,1 + 1 trumpet, 2 French horns, 1 trombone, strings, 1 double bass, 1 el. bass, electric organ, 2 perc

12b for singers and church organ
text adapted from Mark Twain

Opus 13
Sontag in Sarajevo (1994, 11 min)

accordion, violin (or clarinet), cello (or bass), guitar (or any chordal instrument, including keyboard)

Opus 14
Ice-9 Ballads (1995, 30 min)
narrator, baritone, 3 sopranos, 3 vlns, mandolin, harp, harmonica, cl, alto sax, guitar, tromb, bass, keyboard, gyli (aka balophone), drums
lyrics by Kurt Vonnegut

Opus 15
The People's Choice Music

The Most Wanted Song (1997, 5 min),
with Komar & Melamid) lyrics Nina Mankin
soprano, baritone, electric piano, synth, piano, 3 guitars, e bass, trap set, bass drum, vln, cello, double on sop and tenor sax

The Most Unwanted Song (1997, 25 min)
with Komar & Melamid) lyrics Nina Mankin
soprano, children's choir, accordion, bagpipe, banjo, flute/piccolo. harmonica,
organ/ synth/ tuba, harp, 2 bs drums

Opus 16
Naked Revolution, an opera in the socialist realist style (1997, 60 min)

2 mezzo, countertenor, tenor, baritone, bass, chorus (3,2,2,2),
oboe, cl, accordion, piano, guitar, synth, 2  violin, cello, string bass, perc
with Komar & Melamid and Maita di Niscemi, libretto

Opus 17
East St. Louis, 1968 (1999, 8 min)

17a. viola and CD
17b. verstion for string quartet and CD
17c. version for synthesizer and CD (2009)

Opus 18
A Soldier's Story (2002, 30 min)

book by Kurt Vonnegut
two male speakers, tenor, bass, soprano, vln, trmb, tpt, ctr, cl, bs, bass, guitar, perc

Opus 19
Clever Hans (ballet) (2005, 20 min)

violin, cello, and harpsichord

Opus 20
The Complete Victrola Sessions (2010, 1 hour, collection of 12 pieces)

20a. Violin & Piano
(optional percussion, including a gong, one pieces uses prerecorded track by Meade Lux Lewis)
20b. Nocturnes, four of the pieces for piano solo

Opus 21
Five Little Monsters (2010, 6 minutes, 5 pieces)

21a. string quartet & drums score / listen
21b. piano score / watch
21c. accordion

Opus 22
Variations on Chopin's Minute Waltz (2010, 30 min)

piano, electronics, some playable and some probably not

Opus 23
String Quartet #3, The Essential (2011, 35 min)

string quartet (cowritten with Brad Garton, who programmed the EEG headband software)
after Schoenberg's Second string quartet, second movement
optional EEG headbands

Opus 24
Dean Swift's Satyrs for the Very Very Young (2011, 40 min)

Twelve pieces for mezzo or baritone with flute, viola, and harp

Opus 25
Organum, Book I (2011, 30 min)

Five pieces for solo organ

Opus 26
Fractals on the Names of Bach & Haydn
(2011, 5 min)


Opus 27
Letter to Gil Evans (2012, 12 min)

pianoOpus 28
girl with a hat in a car (2012, 12 min)


Opus 29
Letter to Skip James (1987/2012, 12 min)


Opus 30
Thung Kwian Sunrise (2012, 6 min)
For orchestra
arranged from an improvisation by the Thai Elephant Orchestra
with Richard Lair and Wade Ripka
 fl, ob, cl, bsn, horn, tpt, trmb, perc, piano, strings

Opus 31
Phong's Solo (2012, one and a half minutes)
arranged from an improvisation by Phong of the Thai Elephant Orchestra
the original version is on the CD Elephonic Rhapsodies and was transcribed by Wade Ripka

Opus 32
SamulNori: Rain, lightning, wind and clouds (2013, 6 min)
orchestra (1 fl, 1 picc, 1 oboe, 1 Eng horn, 2 cl, 2 bsn, 4 horn, 2 tpr, 3 trombone, tuba, harp, strings, 5 typmpani, 4 percussion)

Opus 33
The Eighth Hour of Amduat (2015 60 min)
improvising soloist, mezzosoprano, mixed choir (9 members), clarinet, trombone, tuba, harp, guitar, 3 percussion, solo violin, string quartet, electronics

Opus 34
LeWitt Etudes (2015)
Fifty architectural designs for musicians who play in any style or none

Opus 35
Stuff Smith's Unfinished Concerto (2017, 14 minutes)
Transcription and arrangement for Stuff Smith's working concerto from 1963

violin, piano, string orchestra (2,2,2,2,/2,2,2,/typmani/strings)

Opus 36
Jaelo (2017, 9 minutes)

for solo piano or piano and string orchestra

Opus 37
Vienna Over the Hills / Six Violins (1986/2017, 11 minutes)

Six or more violins

Opus 38
Calo' (2020, 28 minutes)

solo violin

Opus 39
Motet: Harmonies of the World' (2021, 17 minutes)
soprano, 2 altos, tenor, baritone, bass: composed according to instructions from Johannes Kepler in the year 1619
Optional version with continuo: keyboard, bass instruments, addtional instruments as available

Opus 40
Laudato Si' (2022, 28 minutes)
Choir (SATB) and piano
setting of St. Frances of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures
version in the original Italian
version in English (with chord symbols)

Opus 41
Symphony #1 "The Ganesha" (2022, 11 minutes)
percussion, harmonica, 3 string bass
a transcription of the Thai Elephant Orchestra, in a form that can be played by human musicians

Opus 42
Eggleston (2023, 3 minutes)
solo piano

List of "classical" works by instrument


solo piano s
Belvedere (1984, 6 minutes)
Letter to Skip James
(1985, 4 minutes)
Fanny Brice
(2009, 4 minutes)
Hockets & Inventions (12 pieces) (2010, 30 minutes)
Five Little Monsters (2010, 7 minutes)
Fractals on the Names of Bach & Haydn (2011, 4 minutes)
girl with a hat in a car (2012, 12 min)
Letter to Gil Evans (2012, 12 min)
Phong's Solo (2012, 90 seconds)
Jaelo (2017, 9 min)
Eggleston (2023, 3 min)

solo organ
Hockets & Inventions (twelve pieces, 1990, 30 minutes)
(five pieces, 2011, 30 minutes)

solo violin
Calo' (2020, 30 min), six pieces for solo violin
Chorale: a boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim (2009, 3 min)
Duo for violin & Meade Lux Lewis
(1990, 4 min)

multiple violins (at least 6, can be doubled by additional strings as desired)
Vienna over the Hills / Six Violins (1986/2017, 11 min)

solo woodwind (flute, clarinet, oboe, or saxophone)
Utah Dances (1990, 12 min)

solo bass flute
Little Andre (1986, 3 min)

solo viola
East St Louis, 1968 (1999, 9 min) with CD

solo violin or clarinet
Duo for violin (or clarinet) & Meade Lux Lewis with CD

To Spike Jones in Heaven (1989, 9 min) with CD

The Complete Victrola Sessions (2010, 1 hour)
12 pieces of violin and piano

Duo Sonata for violin & cello (1988, 20 min)

Sontag in Sarajevo (1994, 11 minutes)
for accordion, violin, guitar, cello

Clever Hans, a sonata for violin cello harpsichord: also ballet version (2006, 14 minutes)

Tonight Welcome the Ultraviolet Starlight Trio to {insert Venue} (2013, 12 minutes, Opus 29)
for piano, violin & cello (piano trio)

String Quartet, #1, The Impossible (1990) with drum kit & conga
String Quartet #2,
(1992) for a set if quartet instruments designed by Ken Butler, revised for prepared quartet
String Quartet #3, The Essential (2009)
with electroencephalograms, written with Brad Garton
Betonia, where I fell into a trance (2022)

shorter quartet pieces:
Sequence Girls (1985, 7 minutes)
Lonesome Train (1989, 6 minutes)
Sojourner Truth
(1990, 7 min)
Five Little Monsters
(1984, 7 minutes)
If I had it to give (I'd give it to him)
Michael Callen
East St. Louis, 1968
Prelude (1984)

arrangments for string quartet, some with extra players/vocalists:
Here Comes the King
(arrangement of Raymond Scott)
Paris 1919
(arrangment of John Cale)
Water Babies
(arrangement of Wayne Shorter)
Bo Diddley
(arrangement of Bo Diddley)
(arrangement of Robert Pete Williams)
In Time
(arrangement of Sly Stone)


The People's Choice (Most Wanted and Most Unwanted Music) for large mixed ensembles, with Komar & Melamid, lyrics by Nina Mankin, based on poll results on musical preference
The Most Wanted Music (soprano, baritone, el guitar, synth, violin, cello, bass, drum, soprano/tenor sax)
The Most Unwanted Music (soprano, child choir, bagpipe, tuba, banjo, synthesizer, harp, harmonica, bass drum, organ)

The Apotheosis of John Brown (text from Frederick Douglass)
soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone
baroque string orchestra, violin solo, harpsichord, percussion

Chorea Lascivia (aka Smut)
soprano, alto, bass, 2 electric guitars, trumpet, trombome, 2 percussion

Ice-9 Ballads (with Kurt Vonnegut) (30 min)
4 singers and chamber orchestra with balophone, harmonica, guitar, violin, harp, 3 violins, mandolin, electric organ, bass

A Soldier's Story (radio play, with Kurt Vonnegut) (25 min)
narrator, 4 singers, violin, trumpet, trombone, guitar, cello

Naked Revolution (1997, 1 hour)
with Komar & Melamid, libretto by Maita di Niscemi,
socialist realist opera with soloists, chorus, chamber orchestra

War Prayer (30 min, text from Mark Twain)
vocal soloists, orchestra
alternate version for singers and church organ

Seguiriyas (2014, 10 min, co-written with Pedro Cortes)
for flamenco singer and string orchestra

The Eighth Hour of Amduat (2015, 60 minutes)
chamber opera, with Egyptologist Rita Lucarelli

Motet: Harmonies of the World (2021, 17 minutes)
motet for six voices (soprano, 2 alto, tenor, baritone bass) a capella or with continuo written with instructions from Johannes Kepler in 1619

Laudato Si' (2022, 30 minutes)
choir (SATB) or vocal quartet with piano (optional jazz instruments)
lyrics by St. Francis of Assisi, English and Italian versions



Double concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra
Ultraviolet Railroad

Marching Band with Elephant Orchestra
The Pastorale Symphony, 1st movement

Thung Kwian Sunrise

Bambaataa Variations, concerto grosso for prepared string quartet and orchestra

SamulNori Overture

Stuff Smith's Unfinished Concerto for violin and orchestra

Jaleo for piano and string orchestra

Shorter scored pieces without opus numbers

Little Andre (1986, 3 min)

for bass flute

Five Little Monsters (7 min, 1985)

string quartet and drums (1985)
piano solo piano version (2010)

Sojourner Truth (1989, 6 min)

for string quartet

Lonesome Train (1989, 6 min)

for string quartet and trap set drums

If I had it to give (I'd give it to him)

Michael Callen

Arrangement of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony

for high school marching band and Elephant Orchestra:
including giant marimbas, drums, box string bass, and harmonicas

Prelude (1984)

for listening (see also SCORES webpage, which has recordings of many pieces):

Hockets and Inventions
I wrote Hockets and Inventions (1987-1989) to explore how polyphonic music of the Ars Nova might evolve. They are progressively more complex and each in two or three parts that can be played by any instruments, here by the great Walter Hilse on the Aeolian Skinner organ.

listen to the entire series (about 30 minutes)

or single movements:

1. Hocket I Jordan
Invention 1
Hocket II Fuelgen
Invention 2
Hocket III Neville
Invention 3
Hocket IV Otto
Invention 4
Hocket V Roscoe
Invention 5
Hocket VI Resolution
Invention 6

solo woodwind
Utah Dances (1990), baroque dances as a 90th birthday present for Otto Luening. Can be played by any solo woodwind and performed here by Michael Swartz on alto sax.

hear the entire series

or single movements:
1. Jig
2. Fugue in one voice
3. Cortijo 
4. Allemande
5. Forty-niner and double

The Forty-niner is a social dance performed in the "checkerboard" region of northeast Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. It's named from a vaudeville group that played the Kiowa reservation in Oklahoma: the barkers yelled "come see the gals of forty-nine!"

violin and cello
Duo Sonata (1989) played by Laura Seaton and Erik Friedlander on violin and cello.


Tribute Electric

Ultraviolet Railroad (1986)
double concerto for violin and cello and orchestra
performed by Mark Feldman and Erik Friedlander; Richard Auldon Clark, conductor, Neil Kirkwood piano soloist
1.Betonia, where I fell into a trance
2. Rapture
3. I'm going upstairs, I'm to take off all my clothes

viola and tape
East St. Louis, 1968
(1999) Memories of my early life as a viola player exploring my home town. Played by Richard Auldon Clark on viola, Dave Soldier synthesizer and harmonica, found tapes and electronics

East St Louis, 1968

violin cello and harpsichord
Clever Hans (2005) six variations based on the Grimm's fairy tale, and written for a ballet by Freefall. Here's the concert version played by Rebecca Cherry on violin, Karlos Rodriguez on cello, and Michael Mizrahi on harpsicord.

Clever Hans

accordion and ensemble
Sontag in Sarajevo
for accordion (parts for standard or Strad accordions both on the scores),
chordal instrument (guitar, piano, or other),
treble melody instrument (violin, clarinet, trumpet, etc.),
bass instrument (cello, bass, trombone, tuba, bassoon, etc.).

Fluor Phosphor Lumen and Candle
Dance for the Tetragrammaton

Performed by Regina Carter, violin; Anne de Maranis, accordion; Dave Soldier, guitar; and Dawn Buckholtz Avery, cello

for accordion and tape (or orchestra)
To Spike Jones in Heaven
(1989) for accordion and tape, performed by William Schimmel. This piece can be performed with orchestra (but never has been).

To Spike Jones in Heaven

Romances From the Second Line
(1986) Le Belvedere portrays Ravel's ghost wandering his home. I was influenced by New Orleans piano music. Performed by Christopher O'Riley.

1. Easy Street
2. Letter to Skip James
3. Le Belvedere
4. Die Heiterkeiten
5. Tillie's Puctured Romance

Duo for clarinet and Meade Lux Lewis
A feature for clarinet from Ice 9 Ballads, from an incident in the book that the piece is meant to accompany
Duo for Clarinet and Meade Lux Lewis

chamber group

Chorea Lascivia (Smut)
(1992) for chamber group and singers
two electric guitars, percussion, trumpet, trombone,
Soprano, mezzosoprano, bass voice
In the early 90’s members of Congress including the late Jesse Helms that only modern art extolled homosexuality. We need to bring back a classical education in this country where you read Plato and Sappho! Chorea Lascivia, nine gothic rock songs, with mostly homoerotic Latin lyrics by medieval monks is dedicated to to Robbert Mapplethorpe and David Wojnarowicz.

1. Dum Caupona Verterem
2. Ad Puerum Anglicum
3. Odalisque in the Seraglio
4. Miser, Miser
5. Graffiti from a 9th century manuscript
6. Quodlibet
7. Parisius Paridi
8. Letter to Ausonius

Performers: Tiye' Giraud, Wilbur Pauley, Napua Davoy - Vocals, Ben Neill - Trumpet, Dave Soldier & Bob Bannister - Guitars, Samm Bennett, Jim Pugliese- Percussion, Drums; Rob Bethea - Trombone; Richard Auldon Clark - Conductor

here is an alternate arrangement of Letter to Ausonius for two soprani, clarinet, viola, and cello played by Sequitur.

Ice-9 Ballads
For chamber orchestra and singers. Ice-9 Ballads are songs for chamber orchestra with lyrics from Cat's Cradle and narration by Kurt Vonnegut

Annihilation Life
Dyot Meet Mat
Nice Very Nice
119th Calypso
Duo For Clarinet and Meade Lux Lewis
14th Calypso
Mona's Funeral Music
Big Tyrant

performed by the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Richard Auldon Clark, conductor, featuring Jimmy Justice, Tiye' Giraud, Napua Davoy, and Janeice Thompson, vocalists

Ultraviolet Railroad
double concerto for violin and cello and orchestra
performed by Mark Feldman and Erik Friedlander; Richard Auldon Clark, conductor, Neil Kirkwood piano soloist
1. Betonia where I fell into a trance
2. Rapture
3. I'm going upstairs, I'm going to take off all my clothes

The Apotheosis of John Brown
a cantata for baroque orchestra, setting of Frederick Douglass, conducted by Richard Auldon Clark

The Apotheosis of John Brown

My first meeting with Capt. Brown (1947)
War in Kansas (1856)
His capture and execution (1859)
My escape to England from United States Marshals
The beginning of the end (1847-1859)
John Brown a fisherman (1860)

Robbie McCauley, narrator; Jason White, Mary Lee Kortes, Napua Davoy, Gilbert High, vocals; Laura Seaton violin, Gwendolyn Toth, harpsichord