Music for Piano by Howard J. Buss

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Compositions and Arrangements:
Grading Scale:
I-II: Easy
III-IV: Intermediate
V-VI: Advanced
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Piano Music

   Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.

Solo piano

Piano in chamber music - trios

Piano in chamber music - quartets

Piano in chamber music - quintets and larger ensembles


Solo piano  Works are listed in alpabetical order, durations are in parenthesis:


Celestial Visions for piano by Howard Buss coverCELESTIAL VISIONS (1993) for solo piano by Howard J. Buss is in 3 contrasting sections. The first is characterized by vibrant tone clusters and powerful exclamations juxtaposed with gentle harmonics and delicate arpeggiated figurations. The lyrical central section gives way to a lilting 12-tone toccata. (8’)
Grade V.  Score Sample.pdf   -  YouTube video

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3; Excerpt 5.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press


La Sonata modello coverNew! LA SONATA MODELLO “The Template Sonata” for solo piano by Howard is dedicated to pianist Dr. James Helton. The music traverses a wide rage of moods and sonic atmospheres. Buss designed a template of meter changes derived from the numerical series in mathematics codified by the medieval Italian mathematician, Leonardo Fibonacci. Buss states: “This metrical template was at times useful, but often seemed arbitrary and counter to the thrust and development of the musical material. My challenge was to find a way to work with the template while using its rigidity to spark creative solutions. Although the music evolves within the template, my ultimate goal was that the listener be unaware of the structural underpinnings and simply enjoy the beauty of the music.” (9’22”) Grade V-VI.
Score Sample: Excerpt.pdf - Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press


Tocata and Retro-Invention coverTOCCATA AND RETRO-INVENTION for solo piano by Howard J. Buss was written fo University of Arizona piano professor, Dr. Rex Woods. The titles of the two movements of this composition form a kinship with the toccatas and inventions of the Baroque era, but with a modern twist. They capture the spirit of the earlier forms, rather than the actual compositional procedures.
(9’) Grade V.  Score Sample: Excerpt.pdf

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press


Keyboard in chamber music - trios
Works are listed in alpabetical order, durations are in parenthesis:      (Top of Page)


Concertante coverNew! CONCERTANTE for trombone, tuba and piano by Howard J. Buss is dedicated to trombonist Tom Brantley and tubaist Joseph Alvarez. In this one-movement composition the trombone and tuba are treated as equal partners as they traverse a wide variety of sonic atmospheres. Energetic and sometimes fiery sections surround a beautiful and lyrical central part.
(8’40”) Grade V. - Score Sample: Excerpt.pdf

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



Concertante for euphonium, tuba and pianoCONCERTANTE for euphonium, tuba and piano by Howard J. Buss. In this one movement composition the euphonium and tuba are treated as equal partners as they traverse a wide variety of sonic atmospheres. Energetic and sometimes fiery sections surround a beautiful and lyrical central part.
(8’40”) Grade V.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3

This work is also published in a version for euphonium, tuba, and orchestra.

Music available from Cimarron Music Press


 Constellations  cover
CONSTELLATIONS for
flute, piano, and percussion (1 or 2 players) by Howard J. Buss is inspired by the awesome grandeur and beauty of the cosmos. The forward thrust, narrative quality, and ambience of the music suggest the musicians are on a wondrous journey exploring a series of varied and colorful star systems. The juxtaposition between agitated chromatic passages and tonal, focused sections is analogous to the experience of viewing up-close, seemingly chaotic space "debris" (dust, rocks, gas, etc.) as contrasted with the beauty and exquisite organization of star systems viewed from afar. (13’15”) Grade V-VI.  YouTube performance

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



CONTRASTS IN BLUE (2001) for trumpet, trombone and piano by Howard J. Buss is in 2 movements: Evening Shadows and Summer Sea. The music is evocative of the imagery suggested by the titles of the movements and of the musical “blues” as well. The themes of shadows and water also suggest a kinship with the impressionist style of 100 years earlier. (15'30") Grade V-VI. 
Sound Samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2A.mp3; Movement 2B.mp3

  - Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



CONTRASTS IN BLUE for oboe, bassoon, and piano by Howard J. Buss is in 2 movements: Evening Shadows and Summer Sea. The music is evocative of the imagery suggested by the titles of the movements and of the musical “blues” as well. The themes of shadows and water also suggest a kinship with the impressionist style of 100 years earlier. (15’30”) Grade V.
Score samples: Movement 1.pdf; Movement 2.pdf

Sound samples: Movement 1 - Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3

Movement 2 - Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3;

Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



DESERT ODYSSEY (1997) for clarinet, bassoon, and piano by Howard J. Buss. Because the continuous development of material takes the form of a chain of episodes, the music suggests a journey through the spectacular and awe-inspiring landscapes of the desert Southwest. Beautiful, lyrical sections contrast with dramatic passages.This work was was commissioned by The International Clarinet Association and was premiered at ClarinetFest 1997 by Marguerite Baker (Levin), clarinet; Richard Meek, bassoon; and Jennifer Garrett, piano. (11’ ) Grade V.
Sound Samples:Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt.mp3

Hear on YouTube.

Score samples (score in C): Excerpt 1.pdf; Excerpt 2.pdf; Excerpt 3.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



FANTASIA (1988) for flute, clarinet, and piano by Howard J. Buss. The musical material in this vibrant work moves gradually from the contemplative opening to an intense and driving finish. "The writing is fresh, and the music is full of vitality and vivid imagination. A fabulous sonic journey.” - The Atlanta Constitution. (7’30”) Grade V. - YouTube Video
Sound Samples:
Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



FLORIDA TABLEAU (1987) for clarinet, trombone, and piano by Howard J. Buss was commissioned by the Florida State Music Teachers Association and is in 3 movements: The March of Progress, Pastorale and The Eternal Sea. The first features dramatic contrast between lyrical lines in the winds sounding over a hard-driving piano accompaniment. Pastorale paints a sonic portrait of rural Florida's vast pasture lands, forests, lakes, and the Everglades. The Eternal Sea, features turbulent sections, one can easily imagine great waves crashing on the shoreline. “A curious musical blend of the old and the new, much like modern Florida itself.” - The Orlando Sentinel
(16’40”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Mov.1.mp3; Mov.2.mp3; Mov.3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



IMAGINATIONS(2012) for horn, trombone, and piano by Howard J. Buss. Ranging from lyric tenderness to powerful (and sometimes fiery) technical displays, the 2 movements, Contemplative and Auspicious, explore a wide range of sonic atmospheres and moods.
(13’) Grade V-VI.
Sound Samples: Movement 1: excerpt 1.mp3; excerpt 2.mp3;

Movement 2: excerpt 1 .mp3; excerpt 2.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



Jazzical #5 coverJAZZICAL #5 for euphonium, tuba, and piano by Howard J. Buss, was written for Gail Robertson and Stacy Baker for ITEC 2016 juxtaposes technical and spiritual elements of jazz and classical music. (7’30”)
Grade V. - Sound Samples: Excerpt_1.mp3, Excerpt_2.mp3, Excerpt_3.mp3

Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



NIGHT FLIGHT (1999) for piccolo, clarinet & piano by Howard J. Buss provides exciting contrasts between lyrical and technical sections. It was commissioned for the 1999 National Flute Association Convention and was premiered at the event by Rebecca Arrenson, piccolo; Robert Price, clarinet; and Paula Peace, piano.
(9’) Grade V-VI.
Recorded by Lois Herbine, piccolo; Allison Herz, clarinet; and Charles Abramovic, piano on Crystal Records CD "TAKE WING" available at www.crystalrecords.com/flute.html#CD713.
Sound samples: Sample#1.mp3; Sample#2.mp3; Sample#3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



PASSAGE TO EDEN (2001) for clarinet, horn, and piano by Howard J. Buss. This colorful work is in 4 connected movements. The mood of the first is of ominous significance, as if one was preparing to embark on an arduous journey. The music is lyrical, yet contains an undercurrent of tension and anticipation. The second features a contrapuntal dialogue between the clarinet and the horn over a driving ostinato in the piano. The third movement has an easy flowing vitality. There is a silvery brilliance to the music with a hint of nostalgia. The interweaving melodic strands grow increasingly romantic in quality and then, quite suddenly, give way to a developmental passage which builds in intensity and expectation. The finale is spirited and jubilant in character. (12') Grade V-VI.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



REMEMBRANCES (2000) by Howard J. Buss was composed following the death of the composer's grandmother. Rather than being a somber memorial or musical epitaph, this composition is a celebration of life. The work finishes in a spirit of buoyant optimism. (8’) Grade V.

version for clarinet, cello & piano Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3;

  - Excerpt 3 .mp3-  Score sample: Excerpt.pdf - Music available from Cimarron Music Press

version for flute, cello and piano Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3;

  - Excerpt 3.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf - Music available from Cimarron Music Press

version for trumpet, cello and piano Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3;

  - Excerpt 3.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf - Music available from Cimarron Music Press




REVERIE (1992) for clarinet, viola and piano by Howard J. Buss was commissioned by Luis Rossi and the Trio de Buenos Aires. It was premiered by this ensemble in Madrid, Spain at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in 1994.This work is rewarding for the performers and audience alike. (10’30”) Grade V.
View on YouTube

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



ROMANCE AND CAPRICE (2004) for flute/piccolo, alto flute, and piano by Howard J. Buss. The hauntingly beautiful first movement is followed by a dramatic “tour de force”. (9’40”) Grade V-VI.
Sound samples:   Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3

Score samples: Movement 1.pdf; Movement 2.pdf - View on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



Serendipity Suite_coverSERENDIPITY SUITE (2016) for trumpet (Eb, Bb, and Bb piccolo), trombone, and piano by Howard J. Buss was composed for trumpeter Brittany Hendricks and trombonist Bruce Faske. The work is in 3 movements: Auspicious Moon, Slow Dance, and Excursion. The composition is designed so that the trumpeter uses an Eb trumpet in the first movement, a Bb trumpet in the second, and a Bb piccolo trumpet in the third. Included is an alternative trumpet part so that the work can be performed exclusively on a Bb trumpet. (12’40”)  Grade V.
Score sample (score in C) Excerpt.pdf

Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3, Movement 2.mp3, Movement 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



Sonic Tapestries cover SONIC TAPESTRIES for violin, alto sax, and piano by Howard J. Buss was written for Drs. Rachael and Stephen Fischer for the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance Conference. The three movements explore a diversity of moods and intriguing musical atmospheres and textures: Variegated, Pensive, and Cosmopolitan Strands.
(11') Grade V.
Sound samples - Movement 1: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3;

Movement 2: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Movement 3: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf

   - YouTube video

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



TENNESSEE SUITE (2001) for flute, viola, and piano by Howard J. Buss is based upon the composer’s visit to the Smoky Mountains, in four movements: Mystic Dawn, Treetop Capers, Cades Cove, and The Trail to Abrams Falls. Written for Dr. Shelley Binder. (13’) Grade V.

Sound Samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3; Movement 3.mp3;

Movement 4.mp3

Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press 



TRIO LYRIQUE for horn, bassoon and piano by Howard J. Buss was composed for the 2013 International Horn Symposium. The overall character of the music is lyrical, and it gradually evolves from a contemplative and mystical opening to a spirited finale. Although written in one movement, this work is divided into several major, contrasting sections set off from one another with metric modulations.
(10’) Grade V. View on YouTube

Score Sample.pdf - Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



Visitations from the Dark coverVISITATIONS FROM THE DARK for alto sax, bass clarinet, and piano by Howard J. Buss was written for Drs. Barry McGinnis, Karl Kolbeck, and Sarah Masterson for the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance Conference. The three movements traverse a wide diversity of moods and sonic atmospheres ranging from the mysterious, to soaring, spirited, and playful passages: Mirages, Midnight Messenger, and Sprites. (11’20”) Grade V.
Sound samples - Movement 1: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3;

Movement 2: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3;

Movement 3: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpt.mp3  -  YouTube video

Music available from Cimarron Music Press


Keyboard in chamber music - quartets   Works are listed in alpabetical order, durations are in parenthesis:    (Top of Page)


INTO EACH LIFE (1997) for flute, cello, piano, and one percussion by Howard J. Buss was commissioned by The Florida Flute Association and the Brannen-Cooper Fund as a tribute to Albert Tipton. This work is in two main sections: the first juxtaposes lyrical and turbulent passages. The second takes the form of a joyous fugue. The instrumentation includes vibes, orch. bells, cymbals, tam-tam, bongos, wood block and tambourine. (11’) Grade V.
 Score Sample.pdf;  Percussion Set-up Chart.pdf

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3    -   YouTube video

Music available from Cimarron Music Press



JAZZICAL #4 (2012) for horn, trombone, tuba and piano by Howard J. Buss . The composer states, “It was not my aim to create a specific hybrid style by synthesizing jazz and modern classical music; rather, my intent was to systematically strip away the fundamental elements of jazz to explore at what point the music ceases being jazz and becomes classical. The style of this work is the resultant this procedure. Because the subject of what constitutes jazz (there are so many kinds) is so complex, depending upon the background and views of the listener, the music will sound jazzy (in varying degrees) to most, and mostly classical to others." (12’45”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt_1.mp3; Excerpt_2.mp3; Excerpt_3.mp3; Excerpt_4.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press


Keyboard in chamber music - quintets and larger ensembles (Top of Page)

THE BIG BANG (1992) for 6 percussion and piano by Howard J. Buss. This work in 2 movements is a musical representation of the “Big Bang” theory of the creation of the universe which contends that our ever-expanding universe began as a colossal explosion at a single point in space. During the first movement, The Creation, all musical development grows out of an initial blast of sound. Waves of sound mass gradually crystallize into definite pitches leading to the formation of the natural harmonic series. 12-tone fragments intertwine and gradually coalesce into perceptible melodies. Midway the “spark of life" is introduced in an abrupt shift of musical activity. The animated second movement, Dance of Life, is a joyous celebration of life. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: suspended cymbals, brake drums, cowbells, temple blocks, tam-tam & sand blocks; Perc. 2: Orchestra bells, roto toms & triangle; Perc. 3: Flexitone, timpani, wind chimes, bongos & thunder sheet (or a large tam-tam); Perc. 4: Xylophone, suspended cymbal, bass drum, and tubular bells; Perc. 5: Marimba, anvils metal pipes may be substituted), tambourine, finger cymbals & triangle; Perc. 6: Vibes, tubular bells shared with player 4, snare drum, suspended cymbals & tam-tam. (18’) Grade V.
Sound Samples, First Movement: Sample 1A.mp3; Sample 1B.mp3; Sample 1C.mp3;

Sound Samples, Second Movement: Sample 2A.mp3; Sample 2B.mp3; Sample 2C.mp3

YouTube videos: The Big Bang: I. “The Creation” and The Big Bang: II. The Dance of Life

Music available from Cimarron Music Press


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Howard J. Buss, Composer       

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