Donut Music (Guitar)

Roger M. Aldridge

About this work:

Donut Music is an extended piece for solo jazz guitar.  
Program notes:

Donut Music came into being thanks to guitarist Keith Calmes asking me to write a full-length composition for him and a stroke of inspiration from a line in a story written by my granddaughter Eillonwy Aldridge: "Sitting in a dark room, eating a chocolate donut". Hearing that line (as told by my niece Caitlin Sherwood) I immediately thought, "What a great idea for a piece of music!" Drawing upon this imagery, the music represents streams of thoughts, memories, images, and feelings as one's life is contemplated over a donut.

The composition is in 9 movements (or bites). The movements have varied lengths, from miniatures to developed pieces, and a diversity of roots-based musical styles including blues, Appalachian, tango, jazz, and samba. Miniature compositions have been an interest to me for many years. With Donut Music's imagery of streams of thoughts and memories, it gave me an opportunity to have several miniatures with the longer pieces. The miniatures represent random and quickly changing thoughts.  Above all, this piece is meant to be fun and playful -- especially, in how old and new styles are juxtaposed.

The score has optional improvisation in movements 2 (blues), 7 (tango), and 9 (samba). Performers have a considerable amount of freedom to shape this music to their vision and personal style.

In addition to being performed on solo guitar, the score can be easily adapted for other instrumentation such as piano and small ensembles.

Donut Music was premiered by Keith Calmes on April 28, 2012 in Swarthmore, PA.

Music video link:

This performance is by Keith Calmes. The composition is on Keith's CD All We Know Is Now. It is available at itunes, cdbaby, and


Year composed: 2012
Duration: 00:08:00
Ensemble type: Solo instrument, non-keyboard:Guitar (Classical/Acoustic)
Instrumentation notes: The score can be easily adapted for other instrumentation.

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