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The Composers' Series

A Musical Missionary: The Life and Music of Dulcie Holland

By Rita Crews and Jeanell Carrigan

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Biography of Dulcie Holland co-authored by Rita Crews OAM and Jeanell Carrigan AM

This wonderful Australian woman composer deserved to have her life and music celebrated much earlier, not twenty years after her death. But now it is been written by two musicians: one who knew Holland and had the opportunity to discuss her music with her; and one who has come to know Dulcie Holland from playing many of her remarkable compositions. Fortunately, there are detailed interviews available, giving a very good insight into Holland’s thought processes and providing an absolute wealth of information​.

Holland was such a modest woman that she probably would have thought her music - and her life - was not worth writing about. She was always described as having an engaging and outgoing personality. She considered herself to be first a pianist, then a composer and thirdly a teacher, but composed music well into her eighties.
Her compositions, numbering at least 330, included music in all genres except opera, though her musical play Jenolan Adventure, was certainly a work of drama for the stage. Documentary films, chamber music, works for orchestra, instrumental solos, many keyboard works and at least thirty songs are all part of her immense contribution to Australian composition.

She is undoubtedly best known for the numerous musicianship and theory textbooks that she wrote over many years. Even the catalogue listing at the National Library mentions that “Holland’s name became synonymous with music theory in Australia.” Despite the obvious advantages of being the Australian expert on music theory, it has meant that Holland herself and some of her more serious compositions have been overlooked by musical critics.

It is a tragedy that a biography and discussion about Holland’s music has taken until now to be written. She is certainly a composer who deserves to be celebrated. In her own words:

But after many years of writing music, simply because I had the urge to do so, I have reached the strong conclusion that music is greater than the sum of all those who contribute to it, and that instead of adding to the volume of music that has been composed, it would be much more valuable to make new converts for music, to share my enthusiasm for it with those possibly as yet unaware, and to stimulate them to find out more of its mysteries and delights. I have had first-hand opportunities to observe how young people develop, how their tastes may be formed, and their imagination fired, and ultimately how their lives can be enriched by a knowledge and love of music. To encourage others along these lines has become my mission in life, and I dare to hope that my influence for good may continue long after my earthly life ends, thus adding significantly to the quality of life in at least one small part of this world.

Composing is very difficult. It needs a lot of concentration and dedication to get things just right. I feel I’m a missionary in music in a way. [Dulcie Holland. 'Contemporary Music Review', 1994, Vol. 11]

ISBN 9781876829643

Composers' Series, The - Volume 1(a) Piano Solos (de Cairos-Rego)

By Iris de Cairos-Rego

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Iris de Cairos-Rego

There are many composers who lived in the early part of the twentieth century in Australia whose music has been scattered and largely forgotten. Even if their music was published it is long out of print and might be found in several libraries in the original publication or in archives but is often very difficult to trace and is almost never available from one source.

In The Composers' Series each volume will contain biographical notes about the composer, editorial and performance notes about each piano composition, the scores and recordings. While its aims are to present a comprehensive portrait of the composer and their piano music this will sometimes be impossible as some scores have certainly been lost forever and only a mention can be made of those works.

More comprehensive biographical notes are within the volume.

22 piano solos from 1924 to 1957 are represented in this collection and includes  a recording by Jeanell Carrigan of all works.

Researched and edited by Jeanell Carrigan

Volume I(a) - Iris de Cairos-Rego:

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ISMN 9790720214446
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As part of 'The Composer's Series' many of these works have been recorded by Jeanell Carrigan on a CD Reverie (Wirr 106) available here

Composers' Series, The - Volume 1(b) Piano Duets (de Cairos-Rego)

By Iris De Cairos-Rego

Regular price $25.00 Sale

Iris de Cairos-Rego

Piano Duets Bushland Sketches (composed 1938):

  • Picnic, c.1'30
  • The Koala's Story, c.1'00
  • Kookaburra, c.2'30
  • Twilight, c.2'00
  • Vesper Hymn, c.3'00

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Researched and edited by Jeanell Carrigan

Volume I(b) - Iris de Cairos-Rego


ISMN 9790720214542
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Composers' Series, The - Volume 1(c) Chamber Music (de Cairos-Rego)

By Iris De Cairos-Rego

Regular price $100.00 Sale

Iris de Cairos-Rego

String Trio for violins and cello.  Composed 1912-1959

These chamber works have now been recorded  and are the only known recordings of any of the works. The CD is included with the hard copy purchase.

Violin 1: Goetz Richter
Violin 2: (for both quartets only) Li Gu
Cello: Minah Choe
Piano: Jeanell Carrigan

  • Folk Dance, c.2'00 audio
  • The Old Stone Bridge, c.2'25 audio
  • Trio in A Minor, c.26'00
    (i) Andante Moderato audio
    (ii) Allegretto Moderato audio
    (iii) Andante Tranquillo audio
    (iv)  Allegro audio

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    Researched, edited and recorded by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume I(c) - Iris de Cairos-Rego

    ISMN 9790720214719
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    Composers' Series, The - Volume 2(a) Piano Solos (Hesse)

    By Marjorie Hesse

    Regular price $45.00 Sale

    Marjorie Hessie

    13 piano solos from 1932 to 1966 are represented in this collection and includes  biographical notes about the composer, editorial and performance notes about each piano composition, the scores and a recording by Jeanell Carrigan of all works in the hard copy.

    Hesse’s compositional output almost completely consists of piano compositions which are mostly pedagogical works written for juveniles. Many of these were utilised by the AMEB and were almost all published.Original publishers included Augener, Allans, Leeds, Palings and Nicholson’s. Hesse being an experienced teacher knew which elements to exploit in her compositions to instruct students in the best technical methods.

    More comprehensive biographical notes are within the volume which also includes a CD of all the works.

    Researched and edited by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume 2(a): Marjorie Hesse

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    ISMN 9790720226675
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    As part of 'The Composer's Series' many of these works have been recorded by Jeanell Carrigan on a CD Reverie (Wirr 106) available here

    Composers' Series, The - Volume 2(b) Educational Piano Works (Hesse)

    By Marjorie Hesse

    Regular price $45.00 Sale

    Marjorie Hessie

    41 pieces for solo piano  are represented in this collection and includes  biographical notes about the composer, editorial and performance notes about each piano composition and the scores.

    Marjorie Hesse was a performer, but like many performers earned the bulk of her income from teaching, and later examining, piano students. The bulk of her compositions are for students – mainly those she taught herself - and those works are dedicated to individuals by name. She wrote for students of different levels of attainment and her works all had a pedagogical focus. The focus was sometimes a technical one but often was aimed at increasing musical or tonal awareness. The works in this volume have been ordered by difficulty level beginning with the very basic works for piano.

    Researched and edited by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume 2(b): Marjorie Hesse

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    ISMN 9790720226682
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    Composers' Series, The - Volume 2(c) Piano Duets (Hesse)

    By Marjorie Hesse

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    Marjorie Hessie

    5 pieces for piano duets are represented in this collection and includes  biographical notes about the composer, editorial and performance notes about each piano composition and the scores

    Researched and edited by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume 2(a): Marjorie Hesse

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    ISMN 9790720226699
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    Composers' Series, The - Volume 3(a) Piano Solos (Parker)

    By Kitty Parker

    Regular price $40.00 Sale

    Katharine "Kitty" Parker

    7 piano solos composed between 1925 and 1936).

    The compositions for piano number only seven works. There are the Four Musical SketchesA Patchwork of Shadows, Down Longford Way, The Red Admiral and One Summer Day, of which Down Longford Way has been the most successful; A Water Colour and Nocturne, published in 1925;[ and the Arc-en-Ciel, otherwise known as a ballet waltz for piano.  Arc-en-ciel would lend itself very well to being orchestrated, as it is a work with dense harmony and several waltz sections, while Nocturne and A Water Colour are exquisite examples of piano writing of the 1920s. Nocturne is similar in style to that of John Field or Fauré and explores the timbre and colour of the piano wonderfully.

    The piano works are absolutely exquisite to play. All use chromatic, late romantic harmony and are technically and musically demanding. They are delightful sketches which create visual images of the titles and can be used to develop sensitivity and tonal awareness.

    This volume  contains biographical notes about the composer, editorial and performance notes about each piano composition, the scores and recordings.
    Included is a recording by Jeanell Carrigan of all works in the hard copy volume.

    Researched and edited by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume 3 - Kitty Parker

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    ISMN 9790720226491
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    As part of 'The Composer's Series' many of these works have been recorded by Jeanell Carrigan on a CD Reverie (Wirr 106) available here

    Composers' Series, The - Volume 4 Piano Solos (Bourne)

    By Una Bournne

    Regular price $45.00 Sale

    Una Bourne

    23 piano solos from 1897 (aged 5 years) to 1927 are represented in this collection and includes  biographical notes about the composer, editorial and performance notes about each piano composition, the scores and a recording by Jeanell Carrigan of all works in the hard copy.

    Una Bourne’s compositions are almost entirely for piano. Most of the works were published but there are several unpublished works held in archives by the State Library of Victoria. These include compositions transcribed by her elder sister Margaret, suggested by Una Bourne when she was five years old and are six small airs, all in C major, which appear, despite the different time signatures, like variations on each other. The six Airs appear in this publication exactly as transcribed by Margaret Bourne with no editing or dynamics added by this editor. Other works in the archives are also three songs: The War March (Fight for our Motherland); Anxiety to which she wrote both words and music and A Cloudless Night (song) words and music by Una Bourne (1922).

    Unpublished piano solos also found in the archives include three more difficult works:
    Valse Lente (unpublished)
    Menuet (unpublished)
    Papillons (unpublished)

    Researched and edited by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume 4: Una Bourne

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    ISMN 979072022705
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    As part of 'The Composer's Series' many of these works have been recorded by Jeanell Carrigan on a CD Reverie (Wirr 106) available here

    Composers' Series, The - Volume 5 Piano Solos (Kahn)

    By Esther Kahn

    Regular price $45.00 Sale

    Esther Kahn

    23 piano solos from 1894 to 1949 are represented in this collection and includes  biographical notes about the composer, editorial and performance notes about each work, the scores and a recording by Jeanell Carrigan of all works in the hard copy.

    As one of he first music therapists in Australia, Esther Kahn’s music was very successful in the treatment of her patients and as music therapy was fundamentally important to her as a composer it is possible to understand why her compositions have been written in the style in which they exist. The piano works are very formally structured – mostly in a basic ternary form with some of the waltzes in rondo form. They stay within a tonal structure of tonic and dominant keys with the contrasting sections almost always in a dominant or relative major/minor key. The phrases are always of a symmetrical length – either two, four or eight bar structures. As Esther’s pieces were written to be played by a pianist of her, or her students’ technical standard, they are of a medium to challenging level of difficulty without pandering to pedagogical compromises.

    Level of difficulty - intermediate to advanced


    Researched, edited and recorded by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume 5: Esther Kahn

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    ISMN 9790720227405
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    Composers' Series, The - Volume 6 Piano Solos (Rofe)

    By Esther Rofe

    Regular price $45.00 Sale

    Esther Rofe (1904 - 2000)

    14 piano solos composed between 1927-1938

    By all accounts Esther Rofe was a “character,” a “battler”. A prodigiously talented child she showed determination and resolve in all that she undertook. Rofe considered herself a narrative composer. She was inspired by the fact that her father had about two thousand books and she always was an avid reader.
    like many of her contemporaries Rofe studied composition and orchestration with Fritz Hart and A. E. Floyd. She had started writing music at about age seven, her first composition was written about a storm, though there was not much opportunity to study composition in Melbourne at that time for a child. Her teacher, Harold Smith, helped her with harmony and counterpoint and her mentor Alberto Zelman gave invaluable advice about orchestration and arranging. From approximately aged nineteen Rofe took private theory lessons from Dr A. E. Floyd organist and choirmaster at St Paul's Cathedral. When she was fourteen Rofe joined the second violins of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under direction of Alberto Zelman.
    Rofe had the opportunity to play with some great artists of her time as a member of the violin section, including Una Bourne, Dame Nellie Melba and Mischa Elman.

    Level of difficulty:  mostly intermediate grades

    More comprehensive biographical notes are within the volume which also includes a CD of all the works.

    Researched, edited and recorded by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume 6: Esther Rofe

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    ISMN 9790720227672
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    Composers' Series, The - Volume 8(a) Piano Solos (Hutchens)

    By Frank Hutchens

    Regular price $45.00 Sale

    Frank Hutchens (1892-1965)

    14 piano solos for advanced students, composed between early 1930s and 1960s.  The volume includes a CD of these works.

    Hutchens was an extraordinary teacher, who taught at the NSW Conservatorium for almost 50 years and his writing for the piano is always pianistic. These compositions for piano are quite extraordinary in that despite being based on very natural hand positions, and therefore very comfortable to play, they give the impression of being challenging works. This is the case even for the simpler pieces. His musical language could be described as impressionistic, occasionally late romantic, and he uses compositional elements found normally in the music of Impressionistic compositions: unsymmetrical phrases, whole tone scales, unresolved dissonances, and the harmony, while basically tonal explores chromaticism.

    This volume of piano solos is unique as until now there has been no collection of his works. Despite having written over fifty piano compositions they had been published as single items and no compilation had existed. This volume includes the more difficult and challenging works. Volume 8 (b) is designed to present works of approximately fifth to eight grade standard and Volume 8 (c) has elementary to grade five pieces.

    More comprehensive biographical notes are within the volume which also includes a CD of all the works.

    • Weeping Mist
    • Gavotte Brillante
    • Ballade
    • Vienna Interlude
    • Fairy Ships"The Voyage
    • Sea Music
    • The Surfer
    • Sea Fantasy
    • Waltz
    • Prelude
    • Toccata
    • Serenade
    • Lullaby on a Hidden Theme

    Researched, edited and recorded by Jeanell Carrigan

    Volume 8: Frank Hutchens

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    ISMN 9790720231105
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