Featured Presentation

       Woman Dancing Inside the Old House (video with solo piano 4'30")  

 I wrote Tranquil Deviation (see below) and then compiled short videos (with permission) and edited them to make this video

            with my music.  See it at https://youtu.be/FIa2hArbqz8

You can print and perform any of my music for free, but if you do I'd love to hear about it.


Contact me for pdf of the individual parts (free) if they're not included below.

Contact:  raulkottler@gmail.com

Unaccompanied Viola:

Viola and Piano:

Viola Duet and Quartet:
  • Viola Duet: Alla Firenze (two violas - 3'40")  "see"  Scrolling score: https://youtu.be/dlYHi70brGo
  • Viola Duet: Left Coast Stagger (two violas - 2'35") "see" Scrolling score is at https://youtu.be/NXu_BirtfCo
  • Viola Duet: Maghreb (two violas - 4'05") "see" Scrolling score is at https://youtu.be/1hzOqTKBZuw
  • Viola Duet: Prairie Dance (two violas - 2'20")  "see"  Scrolling score: https://youtu.be/JjEOqTAZab0
  • Viola Duet: Prairie Lament (two violas - 3'02")  "see" Scrolling score: https://youtu.be/UzcM0mSjy54
  • Viola Duet: Reflection (two violas - 3'24")  "see"  Slow is not always easy.  All these double-stops are possible but some may be awkward, in upper positions, and need great finger agility.  That's why musicians have been called "athletes of the small muscles."   Inspiration for this piece?  My electric toothbrush.  It vibrates at about 261 Hz.  That's C4, aka middle C.  Many of my melodies present themselves to me as I'm brushing my teeth.  So for two minutes twice a day I hear the middle-C drone and I hum along to it.  Thus the C drone in this piece.  Lucky it's convenient for the viola string setup.  Finale/Garritan does a good job, but it would sound better by competent real musicians. See/hear the scrolling score at https://youtu.be/IgonQRlvavo
  • Viola Duet: Sprint (two violas - 2'20")  "see" Scrolling score: https://youtu.be/k1KaGSLaUmg
  • Viola Duet: Vectors (two violas - 3' 01")  "see"   Caution: May cause toe-tapping (at about measure 60).   A little bit country and a little bit rock&roll. Score at https://youtu.be/9XlwfgSqdOI
  • Way Leads On to Way (two violas plus piano - 3'36") Just as "...way leads on to way..." in Robert Frost's poem, measure leads on to measure in music.  The composer chooses the path: Which note? Major or minor? Change key? Accelerate? etc.  The performer "plays" that path in their unique way. "see" Scrolling score https://youtu.be/dUDQzrMLQOs
  • Violas on Broadway! (four violas - 7'3") "listen" "see"  It's an overture to an as-yet-unwritten musical, previewing the themes to be heard in more detail later.  The individual song titles appear on the score.  I've attempted to distribute the leads among the four instruments.  So, to promote equality and avoid the hierarchy associated with a number sequence, I've identified the four parts as Do, So, Re, and La rather than one through four.
  • Viola Quartet: Scamper (four violas - 2'00")  "see"  Two minutes of extreme concentration and precision.  Visual interest as well as aural, as shared pitches bounce among the instruments.  Scrolling score at https://youtu.be/S8edq7Ia2zY

String Quartet:


  • Acylindrical Helix (flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, trumpet, horn, timpani, strings - 5'14")  "listen" "see"  A helix has a constant angle to the horizontal.  "Acylindrical" indicates it has no fixed center axis.  This piece resolves to a-minor throughout (analogous to the constant angle) but it has time, tempo, and instrument variance (analogous to no fixed center). 
  • Adventitious Buds (flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, two horns, trombone, tuba, timpani (four kettles), piano, strings - 7')  "listen"  "see"   They're the little buds that grow below a wounded or cut branch. Metaphor for perseverance, tenacity, regrowth after tragedy.  Also new friends made after a loss (best buds, hey bud how ya doin', buddy can you spare a dime).  Inspired by William Carlos Williams' The Locust Tree in Flower.  The sharp, short chords indicate injury but at least one instrument continues its sound through the insult.  New instruments enter in small clusters, slowly consolidating the ensemble.  Mysterious unorganized rumblings permeate as the underlying tissue regroups.  Further wounds test the organism.  Piano's regular sixteenth-notes coordinate progress.  Tympani solo announces a breakthrough.  Yet another trauma, but a quick cure precipitates the final major chord.   You can also see the scrolling score at YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3bv55xsNLc&feature=youtu.be
  • Aurora (Dawn) (flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, trumpet, horn, timpani, strings - 3'12")  "listen" "seeA lone flute gently signals the impending sunrise.  Soft lower strings awake with minor harmony.  Oboe objects.  Other woodwinds argue groggily.  Brass complain.  Tympani tries to referee.  They all finally resolve and exult as the sun appears.  Intensity rises as the sun soars to a new day!  (Um, maybe that description is a little too dramatic.)
  • Bonneville (string orchestra - 3'24")  "listen" "see"  I wrote this after seeing a documentary on the salt flats.
  • Misadventures 'neath a Cloudless Sky (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, tympani, strings - 4'54") "listen"  "see" The rambunctious introduction punctuated by bass pizzicati and percussive outbursts leads an array of feisty phrases until the tympani demands calm.  The pleasant melodies in the second half are ultimately overcome by the intro's dissonant reprise.
  • Thomas: Call and Response (orchestra - 6') "see" The scrolling score is at https://youtu.be/cxf1BTaUjpU
    Snake River (string orchestra - 4"25") "listen" "see"  After a visit to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming in 2008.  Don't let the chorale-like intro fool you; this snake will bite!
  • March (string orchestra - 3'25") "listen" "see"  I always wanted to be in a marching band, but they didn't have violins in the marching band.  So I wrote this, even though it will be hard to march while playing it.  Ojai Sinfonia played this in Nov '08 (while seated).
  • Old Garden (string orchestra - 4'40") "listen" "see" Ojai Sinfonia played this in Nov '08.
  • Jocularity (string orchestra - 3'52") "listen" "see"  Listen for contrasting melodies in different keys.
  • White Keys (string orchestra - 2'57") "listen" "see

Solo Piano

  • As Was (3'9") "listen" "see"  Scrolling score https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlqmXhRT_xU
  • Bevanesque (5'11") "listen"  "see"  Bevan Manson is a great pianist and composer; both jazz and classical. Here's a piece in which I try to blend jazz and classical, inspired by one of his recent recitals. It's being performed here by Finale 2010b through the Garritan Steinway VST. 
  • Hyperbole (3'48") "see"  How do you pronounce it?  See/hear scrolling score at https://youtu.be/Cty7VjnnHkA.
  • Hypnotherapy (piano and bass. 3'40") "see"  See/hear scrolling score at  https://youtu.be/oKH6pwn8fpY 
  • Lantana (4'12")  "see"  Scrolling sore at https://youtu.be/vNOe0_ZCU9g
  • Off Kilter (2'50") "see"   Somebody said the only true jazz is improvised jazz.  Somebody else said composition is slow-motion improvisation.  I don't have the chops for real-time improvisation, so here's my slow-motion improvisation played up-to-speed by Finale on a Garritan Steinway.  See/hear the scrolling score at .  
  • Sandune (3'20")  "see" See/hear scrolling score at https://youtu.be/3g1AoyE9WrE
  • Tango Pa' Mis Primos (2'44") "listen" "see"  Para mis primos estudiando piano en l'Argentina. ¿Pero mirá, ché, que no te lo hice facil, eh?
  • Tranquil Deviation (4'35") "see Jazz-ish.  See/hear the scrolling score at https://youtu.be/xszRkBrDsy8.


  • Be My Honey(bee) (SATB, tuba - 2'17") "listen" "see"  scrolling score: https://youtu.be/sQ5I8wB_y8s  A jazzy tune for choir and tuba.  Performance suggestion:  Tubaist tubist Tuba player can wear a bee costume (a la John Belushi), or at least the antennae.
  • Brief Time in a Vast Space (mezzo-soprano and classical guitar - 9'11")  "listen" "see
  • Horse_ebooks (solo alto voice and piano - 2'01") "listen" "see"   This is a work-in-progress pending authorization from the lyricist.  Check out twitter.com/Horse-ebooks.
  • Kubla Khan (SATB - 4'24") "listen" "see" scrolling score: https://youtu.be/SH__dnOu89Y  My music to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem. 
  • Until We Met (SATB - 3'17")  "listen"  This is performed by Trovatori. "see"  A love song for choir.
  • Observations on the Ventura Pier (SATB choir and string orchestra - 7') "see" "lyrics"   I previously wrote the string quartet "The View from the End of the Pier" and subsequently expanded and added lyrics.  You won't hear actual words being sung (just ahs) so look at the scrolling score at https://youtu.be/lvPQMrMD66Q.  The sustained tones about two minutes in are background while kids shout out various sightings.  This might go well as a multi-media event accompanied by pictures of the pier and its surroundings. 

Other chamber music

  • After the Trout (violin, viola, cello, bass, piano - 5"03')  "see" Also, hear and see the scrolling score: https://youtu.be/Wnl-gN8iCpw   It's the same instrumentation as Schubert's famous quintet, so as long as you're already on stage, go ahead and play this "after the Trout."
  • Alliance (violin and viola - 2'20") "see"  Scrolling score: https://youtu.be/5tB-oVKkr4A 
  • BC&SQ#1 (bass clarinet and string quartet - 5'25") "see"  Scrolling score: https://youtu.be/kLzP1KDd0fc
  • Calle Florida (violin and piano - 4'00") "see"  scrolling score at https://youtu.be/8SxHwjMVNH4
  • Cello Duet: Prairie Dance (two cello - 2'20")  "see"  See/hear the scrolling score at https://youtu.be/QMuLolbtQ_k
  • Flourish and Flow (two trumpets plus tymp - 4'5")  "see"  See/hear the scrolling score at https://youtu.be/YqDGZDaJqwk
  • Into Dense Air (Pierrot ensemble: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano - 5'40')  "see"   Scrolling score:  https://youtu.be/1b2ItBE0NJY
  • Katrina's Request (vln 1, vln 2, vln 3, vln 4, vla, cello - 2'53") "listen" "see"  Katrina requested something with solos for each fiddle.  Ventura College Chamber Group played this in December 2010.
  • Maroon (violin and cello - 2'07") "listen" "see"
  • Pittosporum (piano, bass, drums - 4'54") "listen"  "see"    How do you pronounce Pittosporum?  You'll hear options at about 3'15".  It's a pretty shrub with a funny name.  
  • Prairie Dance (bassoon duet - 2'20") "see"  Scrolling score at https://youtu.be/UcvVtUY9H-I
  • Sorta Kinda Gypsy-ish (violin and cello - 2'48") "listen" "see"  I believe the title is self-explanatory.
  • Spirit of the 18th Century (cello and piano - 3'25")  "see"  Scrolling score: https://youtu.be/nKwBQSH3wVs
  • Tango Para Dos (violin and cello - 1"56") "listen" "see"  The same Tango as the quartet, but arranged for violin and cello.
  • Tear for Two (violin and cello - 2'11") "listen" "see"  
  • Violin Duet: Prairie Dance (two violins - 2'20")  "see"  See/hear the scrolling score at https://youtu.be/2keaPUxO_uM
  • Waiting for Cello (two violins and one viola - 3'20") "listen" "see"  Sometimes the cellist is late for string quartet rehearsal.  The rest of us can play this while we wait.

 Miscellaneous (not music)

  • Good Grief, Raul!  "see"  Not a composition.  Well, it sort of is.  The teacher gave us a melody and we had to harmonize it and analyze the chords.  That which looks like a European seven is actually an "F" (and not the musical note F!).  I transferred to mechanical engineering soon after this.
  • High Flyin' Flag "see" Not music, but a prize-winning essay I wrote about a childhood musical experience.  Teachers have such a huge influence on us.
  • In the Piano "see" Not music, but a short story I wrote where a Chickering has a major role.
  • Stringmobile - not a composition, but a picture of a decorative use for used strings.  "see".  Cuerdas viejas need not die.  They can evolve from performance art to visual art (and thereby stay out of the landfill).  As the assembly hangs in my office, I see color, texture, form, space, shape, and line, plus the added value of memories of performances (including a few wrong notes) continuing to resonate.  And, like a stalactite, it grows every year, as it’s augmented by the veteran Dosorela string quartet retired from my viola.  (I originally wrote: "Hanging in my office, I see..." but that may have been misconstrued.)
  • Raquel's Interview  "listen"  Not a composition, but an interview with my mother about early days of the Tango.

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