Hilton Kean Jones


This site provides a catalog of my compositions with links to their scores and, for many of the pieces, links where you can stream recordings of them. It also has a blog that talks about my pieces, some random thoughts about life and music, and a series of posts about how to write music.

As you can see from my picture, I’ve been around a long time. 30+ years of my life were spent teaching composition students in a university school of music. Even longer was spent composing music myself. I never made it to “Rich and Famous,” but I did make it to “Writing Music I Really Believe In,” which is a worthy goal, and the one I wish for you if you are a composer.

Post Covid-19 slight change in purpose of website…

For 30+ years I was a college professor in music Composition and theory at the University of South Florida School of Music. During that time, I was expected to publish, which I diScreen Shot 2020-08-12 at 9.17.57 AMd, and to be active in my field, which I did as a freelance composer seemingly forever, the music director for the Super Pregame Show for 10 years, and as a part-time music director in a number of different churches. In “retirement,” I still work as a freelance composer and as music director at Lakewood United Church of Christ.

I’m fortunate that Lakewood UCC is allows me free reign to publish music posts on the church website during these times that the church isn’t having live services. As unfortunate as the world’s pandemic is, it has allowed me to express myself as a musician in a way that face-to-face, live music performance/direction does not. It also provides the churchgoers a link to things familiar to them that they used to be able to enjoy in person.

I haven’t posted on this site for some time, primarily because I’ve been so active with the posts I make for Lakewood. So, for a while, I’m going to put the original attention of this site–composition instruction–on hold and start posting the music I’ve been making during this pandemic. Eventually, I may get back to the notion of composition instruction, but for now, I’ll just be posting product: links to free streaming of sound files, on SoundCloud or video streaming at YouTube.

This product takes several forms:

  • audio-only SoundCloud links to…
    • original compositions by myself,
    • classical music,
    • hymns that people enjoy
  • music-videos YouTube links to…
    • original compositions by myself,
    • classical music,
    • hymns that people enjoy

I’ve learned that music video posts get a lot more “clicks” that pure audio from SoundCloud, which is where I keep most of my own music. That kind of makes me sad, because music shouldn’t really have to have visuals…but it’s my job to present the material in a way that people respond to. If that means YouTube, then it’s YouTube. Someday (echo: someday…someday…someday…) I’ll try to get it on an audio-only platform that people are more familiar with (Spotify? Pandora?). But, for now…YouTube and SoundCloud.

The videos are pretty homegrown but if I wait for perfection, I’ll be waiting a long time. I just thought you might enjoy seeing what one working musician is lucky enough to do for a job during a worldwide pandemic. And I’m not kidding about that, I consider myself VERY lucky because the responsibility of getting three recordings a week made and posted is keeping me sane during these times.

I’ve got a lot of backlog, so until I get current I will post one a day, then I’ll shift to only 3 a week.

The original version of this page then continued as follows…

A few words before you read on:

  • The posts on the website that talk about how to write music teach what I think you really¬†NEED to know. That doesn’t include a lot of the theoretical stuff you’re “supposed to know.” (Yes, those are sarcasm quote marks.)
  • In these posts, I hope to teach you how to write intuitive, non-intellectual music, like what you might hear as the theme for a movie.
  • Posts are in no particular order of importance. Skip around freely. I wrote them when I felt like writing them. Maybe someday I’ll organize them. All the posts about how to write music are under the How To category.

So if you’re okay with all that, then we’re good to go.

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