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Nonsense pieces

Thanks for all the senseful nonsens answers, here's a compilation:

- This is an hilarious piece, published by Sylvian Glickman's outfit
(hildegard press). The texts are by Jack Prelutsky:
Jumping Jacks, opus 29
Stefania Maria de Kenessey
(b. 1956)
Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens
Try Never to Tickle the Twickles
I Am A Ghost Who’s Lost His Boo
We’re Four Ferocious Tigers
Mother Goblin’s Lullaby
Today I’m Going Yesterday

- Check out Three nonsense songs (Edward Lear poems) by Matyas Seiber.
They are tricky, but audience effective.

- If you are interested in something for women's voices you might take
a look at "The Rattlin' Bog", arranged by Michael Braz and published by
Hinshaw, HMC-1487.

- These aren't nonsense pieces, but might tie into your program: Riddle
This, by William Bergsma. This is a set of three pieces (two are The
The Egg) on riddle texts. Charming, fun, a bit challenging.

- Try Irving Fine's Alice in Wonderland Suite, especially "Father
William" and "The Lobster Quadrille" (words by Lewis Carroll). They are
published by Witmark and should be in print. We perform them often and
always get a chuckle.

- I think that Sam Pottle's setting of "Jabberwocky", (or any setting
for that
matter) is generally considered a nonsense poem.

- "Water Makes One Dumb" (Wasser Macht Mann Stum" by Haydn

- I'm not sure what you mean by "nonsense," but there are two pieces for
speech choir by Ernst Toch that are always well-received, and they are
silly and somewhat "nonsenical."One piece is entitled, "Geographical
Fugue" and the other is entitled, "Valse."

- I believe there is also an SATB setting of Benjamin Britten's setting
of the
British folk song, "Oliver Cromwell."

- I'd recommend "Vier Galgenlieder" by Finnish composer Erik Bergman.
This work is composed to the poems of Christian Morgenster and is
published by Edition Fazer, Helsinki. Have fun!

- I'm a student teacher, and my supervising teacher happened to be
reading this over my shoulder. He suggests the Grasshopper Opera.
His email is keebler1997(a) His name is Ray Ellis.
Hope that helps!

- I've a nice piece of music called Tfal - Maltese for "Children" by
Prof. Charles Camilleri. Its nonsense and the lyrics go "So Ma Ti Ka
Do". When my choir sang it at a concert organised by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs at the Manoel Theatre - the national theatre of Malta
last January, they got a standing ovation. My choir sang it is the SSAA
version. However I also have it is SATB version.

- Search on either ChoralNet or MUSICA for the word "nonsense" and
you'll get many possibilities.

-Guido Krawinkel

on September 4, 2005 10:00pm
look at Richard Rodney Bennett's set of three pieces: Of Pygmies, Palms and Pirates, Oh Here It Is and There It Is, and Dwarf in Battersea. They are well written, with piano four hands accompaniment.
on June 27, 2006 10:00pm
A few classics:

Barnyard Cogitations by Brand

A little nonsence Robert Starrer

Rondes Folke Raabe
on March 28, 2007 10:00pm
some fine nonsense music by John Kilpatrick. Visit his site on You'll find sound samples and the music itself to download. A few examples: "My briefcase", an autobiografic story about his briefcas that was stolen from his car (in fact his wive's car (in fact his seccond wive's)) and everything around this event. "The purple Cow" and other music on text from the Burgess Nonsense book.

We're planning to perform the briefcase in May and some other works beginning of next year.

Enjoy the music (which is really good) and the nonsense.

on April 3, 2007 10:00pm
N'oubliez pas que Goffredo PETRASSI a compose Six NONSENSE sur les textes d'E. LEAR (traduit en italien) Edition Suvini Zerboni (Milano - ITALY)
Very funny and veru difficult !
on November 25, 2007 10:00pm
I would like to buy or borrow a copy or copies of "The Grasshopper Opera" any ideas where that might be?

Randy Kilpatrick
on July 26, 2008 10:00pm
The Grasshopper - Tragical Tale, was written by Innes Randolph, and arranged by a New Albany, Indiana native, Joseph W. Clokey. The copy I have was printed by C. C. Birchard & Co., Boston, and is marked $.50. Ha!
I have not checked on line but you might find a current publisher. It might be out of print. It's fun to do.
on January 25, 2009 10:00pm
I, too, am in search for a copy (copies) of the grasshopper opera so that I might bright glee to my tiny part of the world. Any ideas?