Note: This is an archival version of the Piano Etudes web site. You can still create your own versions of the etudes (if you have Flash installed), but some features such as the etudes gallery, sharing, and exporting to MP3 may not work. The Piano Etudes performance score (PDF) is available here. A screencast introducing the project is available here.

Inspired by the tradition of open-form musical scores, I composed each of these four piano etudes as a collection of short musical fragments with links to connect them. In performance, the pianist must use those links to jump from fragment to fragment, creating her own unique version of the composition.

The pianist, though, should not have all the fun. So I also developed this web site, where you can create your own version of each etude, download it as an audio file or a printable score, and share it with others. In concert, pianists may make up their own version of each etude, or they may select a version created by a web visitor.

I wrote Piano Etudes for Jenny Lin; our collaboration was supported, in part, with a Special Award from the Yvar Mikhashoff Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project. Special thanks to Turbulence for hosting this web site and including it in their spotlight series and to the American Composers Forum’s Encore Program for supporting several live performances of this work. I developed the web site in collaboration with Akito Van Troyer. Piano Etudes is dedicated to my wife, Leah Epstein.

Jason Freeman

Click on an etude below to begin creating your own version:

I: Observing Squirrels

While writing this etude, I faced some writer’s block and often stared out the window of my home office, marveling at the acrobatic agility and acorn-munching expertise of the dozens of squirrels outside.

II: Learning to Dance

The pitch material for this etude is loosely drawn from the music for the first dance at my wedding.



III. Reading a Poem

This etude expands upon a musical passage I originally wrote for a setting of a poem by Mark Strand.




IV. Trying to Be Hip

This etude began with a cheesy techno bass line I used to demonstrate sequencing software in my computer music class.