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b. 1926 - d. 11 January 2000

Photo of Barney Childs(12k)


Biographical Information

Dutton Dictionary of Contemporary Music
New Groves Encyclopedia of Music

Educational Background

  • Deep Springs College 1943 - 44
  • University of Nevada 1947 - 49 BA
  • Oxford University 1949 - 51 BA (hons.) 1951 MA 1955
  • Stanford University 1951 - 54 Ph. D. 1959

Current Teaching Position

Professor of Composition and Music Literature,
University of Redlands 1974 -

Principle Composition Teachers

  • Leonard Ratner
  • Carlos Chavez
  • Aaron Copland
  • Elliot Carter

Comment on the Compositional Process

    I guess its just a process of letting ideas for sounds and gestures grow and interact and proliferate, getting them down in sketch and working with them at the same time as they are growing, and slowly (alas, these days very slowly) revising and shaping and fixing by a kind of process of successive approximation to what my inside ear wants to have happening.
    Often in the early stages, given some sketch, I have no idea where this will show up in the final piece, or if it will show up at all: as I try to convince my students, starting at the beginning and writing on from there is often apt to leave one in a seven measure blind alley: artists seldom begin painting in the upper lefthand corner of the canvas.

Archived Compositions

Any Five (1965)
for unspecified combination of any five
of the eight parts provided:
2 wind, 2 string, brass, keyboard,
percussion, or voice

Blazer (1987)
for solo snare drum
(see The Noble Snare, Vol. 2)

Jack's New Bag (1987)
for 2 percussion, flute, trumpet,
trombone, viola, cello,
2 keyboard, and double bass

Lanterns and Candlelight (1975)
for marimba and soprano voice accompaniment
(text based on Orlando Gibbons: 'The Cries of London')

Out Back of the Drum Shop (1979)
for solo snare drum

Seven Quiet Studies, 7 etudes for solo percussion (1979)
suspended cymbal, snare drum, 2 small drums,
2 tom toms, bass drum

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