Video tutorials!

Here are the first five of a series of short video tutorials on Indian classical music -  If you subscribe to the channel on youtube you'll get a notification of when the following videos are published.


Piano music inspired by the Chinese pipa

New - Pipa Dreams in Imperial Garden (April 2018) for solo piano, is an attempt to capture something of the essence of the Chinese lute. The pipa is a strummed and plucked, pear-shaped instrument, with four strings (typically tuned A D E A), characteristically using frequent fast tremolo with all of the right fingers repeatedly plucking… Continue reading Piano music inspired by the Chinese pipa

The creative process behind the Indian raag compositions for piano  Published 10 April 2018 Composer John Pitts explains the creative process behind the Indian raag compositions for piano solo in his new book “How to Play Indian Sitar Raags on a Piano” So, please indulge me with this imaginary scenario:1) A sitar player in India who also happens to love European classical music. He… Continue reading The creative process behind the Indian raag compositions for piano

The intense pleasure of improvising Indian raags on a piano An article first appearing on Agustín Manuel Martinez's blog 1 November 2017. Many of the readers of Agustin’s blog will have first-hand experience of the great joy of playing the piano. Those who improvise, or who play around with little musical ideas of their own, or who compose, or who play around with blues or… Continue reading The intense pleasure of improvising Indian raags on a piano

Revelling in the moment

An article first published here: As a pianist, I’ve always loved the actual sound of the piano. It is a very personal instrument. I’m not knocking the usefulness of an electric keyboard, but for me nothing beats the responsiveness and the intimate resonance of a real piano, with the unstruck strings reverberating in sympathy with the played keys. Intimate, because the physical sound is at its most absorbing up close and personal.

The story of the book

An article about the story behind the book, originally published here: In this guest post, John explains how his fascination with Indian raags began, leading eventually to his new book….. My fascination in Indian raags (also spelled raga/rag) was sparked back in 1994-95 during a gap year in Pakistan before going on to study… Continue reading The story of the book

The author

John Pitts is a British composer and teacher living in Bristol.  He studied at Bristol and Manchester Universities, and composes mostly chamber music, especially for piano solo/duet/duo/triet – stylistically melodic, motoric, motif-driven, folk-inspired, jazz-tinged, post-minimal impressionism.  His virtuosic pieces for two pianists (7 Piano Duets & Triets inspired by music from around the world and… Continue reading The author