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Description of David Luebbert's tunes Show me the tune descriptions
All compositions, ©1996-2008, David Luebbert. All rights reserved
349 compositions listed 
10-14-02 Song
This is the piece I wrote on October 14, 2002. I waited a few weeks to see if I still liked it, before I submitted it. Here it is.
3-14-18 melody with triplets
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4-18-07 Short Bell Melody

I used the two chord sequence that Bill Evans repeats in "Peace Piece", transposed that down a major 2nd, and pasted it behind the original chords, to create this four chord sequence. I guessed that this might give attractive soundings results.

Then I used a new version of the Workscore Composer, selected the Short Bell rhythm pattern as my rhythm source, and repeatedly pressed the "Improvise New Idea" button under the "Improvise Idea" tab, deleting the results until good ideas appeared. Then I pressed the "Insert Rest At End" button under the "Enter Rests" tab until a half bar or more of time had elapsed and started the next idea.

It took about 10 minutes to invent this entire 8 bar melody.

The improvisor code adds copies of the original chord sequence to the end of the score to ensure that there is enough harmony available to generate the next idea, so I had to discard that extra stuff before posting.

4-8-02 melody
I wrote most of this on April 8th but left the last five bars incomplete. Finished this the evening of July 8th between 9pm and 9:15pm as the sun was setting while sitting on a camp chair in campsite F-201, Madison Campground, Yellowstone National Park.

Here's the score.

6-24-07 chords
6-26-03 First Try
This was my first attempt to write a melody for an ascending progression which uses 7(b9) chords followed by minor or major chords a half step higher.

Printable GIF image of the score for this tune .

6-27-03 Second Try
Second attempt to compose a melody on an ascending chord progression which uses 7(b9) chords followed immediately by minor or major chords.

Printable GIF image of the score for this tune.

7-1-07 Tune
Created this using a chord progression I invented on 6-24-07.
7-11-02 Yellowstone
Composed the evening of 7/11/02 while camping in Yellowstone National Park.

Here's the score as a printable GIF image.

7-19-02 Colorado Springs To Boulder
I found the chord progression for this the morning of 7/19/02 while waiting to depart our hotel in Colorado Springs. Completed the tune as we drove to Boulder later that morning.

Here's the score rendered as a printable GIF image.

9-22-16 Melody derived from chordal then scalar tone matrix
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A Month Ahead
This one acquired its title by accident. When I first write a tune, I give it a name on my computer that identifies the date on which it was created. The day after I wrote it, I realized that I had mistyped the creation date so that it looked like the tune was yet to be written a month from now.

Accented 7 against 5
This is a polyrhythm study, that runs a 7 beat cycle against a five beat cycle, with accented hits appearing in each rhythm voice.
An energetic West African dance rhythm. It's really fun to dance to. In 4/4 time.

This song has the feeling of an aerobatic plane doing maneuvers. The first half was composed in a few minutes in February. The last half I did this morning, June 6, 2001.

Here's the score.
Always You Come Home
This song uses the Cuban Mozambique rhythm repeatedly then ends with a break, where to my ears the tune comes home.

An everchanging idea
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Everytime you decide to click on this Tunetext button, a new five chord sequence will be generated, and a new melody will be built on top of it, following rules that are expressed as operators that are recorded inside the URL that is stored within this tunetext.

Angled And Mitred
A very fast, angular tune that seems to flow smoothly as though the joints between phrases had been mitred.
Appalled After Lunch
Composed 7/8/95

As Summer Blows Away

As I wrote this, summer was departing from the Pacific Northwest for 2006, most likely not to return. The mood caused by  that weather change is in this piece.

Printable GIF image of the score for this progresssion.

As Viewed By Eagles
I wrote this while vacationing on San Juan Island in early July 1996. While I was composing this I was watching three or four bald eagles wheel around in the sky above the field I was watching. After I was finished I realized that I had picked up the rhythm of their soaring motions and mimiced it in the tune.
Printable GIF image of the complete score for this tune.
Melody was composed in the early 80's. I didn't know how to write a chord progression for it then. I found it in manuscript over Labor Day Weekend in 1999 and wrote the chord accompaniment.

Baby's Waltz
I invented this melody back in 1982 after I had picked up my son Greg from daycare and was driving in Lincoln, Nebraska to pick up my wife from work. Seventeen years later (September 1999) I found the manuscript where I wrote it down and composed accompaniment for it.

Balanced Dancing
This one starts out with one bar of uncoordination at the beginning. After that the dancer gets his balance and starts rolling. At the beginning of the piece's second half, he takes a big breath and finds something wonderful. Composed 12/18/97.

Balanced Dancing - mp3 performance
Base Runner
I wrote the first half of this tune, while I was watching my son Greg's Boy Scout troop play a softball game in the spring of 1991. The second half of the tune was written by my son Mathew a few months earlier in February, 1991 when he was almost three years old. I typed in a chord progression and let him scribble an eighth note melody over it using Vox. I later figured out that these two melodies complemented one another,that they broke into four parts like the four base path runs of a home run, and that they felt like a brisk run around the bases.

Beautiful Chains
Named for the chain of chords used here which travels entirely around the cycle of fifths, changing the chord root for every chord. I was mighty pleased with it after I composed it. Then I spent the next hour searching for a melody to fit the progression and discovered how constrained I was by a progression that moves as quickly as this one does. The title memorializes the problems I had writing it. Composed in the Spring of 1996.

Beauty Bells
Wrote this around Christmas time in 1993. Happened to use a Quick Time bell patch for the melody while I was composing it. Liked it so much, I called it Beauty Bells.


I copied the chord changes invented by Terry on Saturday that he posted to "Harmony Projects". I followed  the Excerpt Service link at the bottom of his posting, selected his seven bar progression using the controls in the Excerpt page, and pressed the "Add Excerpt Chords" button at the bottom of the page to copy the selection into my empty workscore.

.I did that copy operation at 3:18pm today. By 3:40pm, I had completed this melody line.

To invent this, I chose the "Shuffle-Reverse Shuffle" rhythm pattern and then did "Insert Rest At End" twice to find the beginning attack in the first bar where I wanted the first phrase to begin. I did "Improvise New Idea" to generate a possible first phrase. That phrase created a phrase that ended in the middle of the second bar. I didn't like any of those 2nd bar notes and deleted them by counting how many there were, filled that number in the Delete control group and pressed the Delete button to blow those notes away.

I inserted more spaces, then did Improvise New Idea repeatedly, deleteing what was generated each time until I found something I liked for the second phrase. Again I had to delete notes at the end of the phrase thatI disliked.

For phrase number 3, I tried different combinations of the triplet rhythm patterns scaled by a factor of 2, doing Improvise New Idea and then deleteing inappropriate stuff at the end of the generated phrases.

For the next two phrases, I switched to different rhythm patterns that had duples in them, doing Improvise New Ideas with appropriate Deletes. The last little two notw phrase, I switched the duration to eighth note and used Enter Next Scale Tone twice. The last note didn't seem like it was placed on a satisfactory ending note, so I used "Transpose lst note a half step" up and down a few times till I found the pitch I liked.

At the end I had to delete seven chord from the end of the score, because "Improvise New Idea" replicates the existing chord progression and pastes  another copy of that at the end of score when the improvisor code needs to invent a phrase that is in danger of exhausting the existing chord progression.

Also had to add the last seven beats of rest by doing Insert Rest At End.

Begun Again
This is an eleven minute effort that again uses Terry's Beginnings changes.
Believe In Miracles
The second time I used Vox for productive labor back in 1988, the only thing working in the program was its automatic chord voicing function. I found a sequence of three chords that I liked very much in about 30 seconds. I decided to fracture each whole note chord into eighth notes and see what the chord voicer would do to the fragments. The voicing pattern used in this tune popped out about a minute later. I loved it and named it "Miracle" since it seemed miraculous to me that I was able to find something I liked so much in such a short period of time. It seemed too difficult to write a melody that would fit something that was flying by so quickly, so it just sat on my hard disk. I got my nerve up this summer(1996), whacked this melody out in two hours. Believe in Miracles.

Bembe Shango (130 bpm)
A Bembe is an Afro-Cuban rhythm used in Santeria rites to evoke different Orishas of the Yoruban pantheon. Bembe Shango honors Shango, the Yoruban Orisha of Lightning, Thunder, Drums, Dancing and Yams. Musically, this rhythm (like other bembe rhythms) is fascinating, because it can be played at many different tempos and still sound wonderful. Most musical ideas must be played in a narrow range of tempos, usually a 30 or 40 beat range to sound their best. If you play them too slow or too fast, they lose their savor. Bembe Shango sounds great when you play it at 70 beats a minute and equally amazing at 600 bpm, nearly a factor of 10 range of tempos. It changes it's character and sounds like a different rhythm at the different tempos. In usual performance, it seems to be performed at a tempo between 120 and 200 bpm.
To learn more of Shango, see Shango
To learn more about the Bembe ceremony, see Bembe: The Rhythm of the Saints
Bleak Slopes
Found this brief chord progression in the spring of 1996, with a very bleak aspect. The melody reminds me of bleak mountain scapes I've seen in the Washington Cascades. Think of the Kendall Catwalk under twelve feet of snow. Composed spring of 1996.

Blue Idea 11/24/97
Invention on a blues progression. Composed 11/24/97

Blues 8-9-07

A blues I composed so that I could demo Workscore's and SongTrellis Tunetext URLs for a video on the SongTrellisWorkshop channel on

Perform the piece with swing via this Tunetext URL.

Bonus Days
The early part of this one has a Spanish feel in chord sequence which made me think of someone bravely meeting his fate. Then I thought of author Raymond Carver dying of cancer and writing his poem where he says the last ten years of his life were pure gravy. If we're lucky, every day we live can be a bonus day. Composed summer of 1996.

Braided Cascades
This one has a progression where the chords change at unexpected times. After I got used to it, the scintillating melody reminded me of water tumbling down a cascade in separate braids that rejoin occasionally. Composed spring of 1996.

Bubble Wall
The melody of this one jets out in a way that reminds me of the way cetaceans blow bubbles while they circle around to herd a school of fish that they intend to dine upon. Composed in August of 1996.

By Ear
Composed 11/21/99.

C triad close position in Octave 4
Caught in Currents
The chord sequence that accompanies this piece repeats three times during its course. The phrase that begins the piece twists and turns at breakneck speed and feels like someone barreling through rapids on a wild river. At the end of each wild run there's a short interlude of calm water before you're sucked out into the wild part of the stream again. There's always a different way to get caught.
Changed Life
This piece has a very interesting structure. The initial eight bar melody uses a 6/8 bell rhythm through most of the melody. The second eight bars repeats this identical melody with an upward modulation. If you don't pay attention, you may not notice that everything is playing in a new key. At bar 16, the tune abruptly marches into 4/4, a monstrous rhythmic modulation. Similar melodic and harmonic ideas happen here, giving the idea of the same life lived in a new more active mode. Composed spring of 1996.

Composed 10/22/00 while on a flight home from Nebraska.
An Afro-Cuban rhythm played at Carnival. It has lots of parts so that anyone who drops in can play along.

Complete minor cycle Perfect 5th descending
Cool 200 - Cymbal
Cool 200 - Hi Hat and Tom Tom
Cool 200 - Shekere
Cool 200 - Timbales
Cool 300
Crab's March
The melody reminds me of a crab's quick regular steps. The harmony has an alien feel to it also. Finally, if this is a march, it's not for bipedal creatures like us. You might need a crab's complement of feet to keep up. I think this was done 1994.

Crossroads Demo 1-26-06
Composed this with Zack Graves watching while at a Crossroads Geek Dinner in 10 minutes time using Workscore Chord Entry and Workscore Composer.
Cycles of 5th descending
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Dancing Amid Stars
This was maybe the third or fourth thing I ever composed, so it must be from 1980 or 1981. The harmonies in this one seemed pretty alien to me at the time, which gave me the idea of being out in space. The melody slowly builds up momentum in triplets towards the end which I visualized as a spinning dance. Dancing Amid Stars.

Dark July
Composed on one of those dank dark days that we get in Seattle, even in July. Periodically, the sun comes out for a look and then submerges again. Composed July, 1995.

David's City
This is a two voice polyrhythm exercise. It sounded busy like a cityscape to me. If it was a city, it sounded like a nice place so I claimed it for my own.
Composed spring of 1996

Deep Breaths Only
A kind of anxious sounding melody. If you felt this way, your doctor or counselor would give you the title as a recommendation. Composed spring of 1999

Composed 4/23/00.

Demo 11/18/97
Found the first phrase of this melody while demoing the SongTrellis application at Donn Bennett's Drum Shop while my son Mark was taking a lesson. Composed 11/18/97.

Everything is distracted during this tune. The harmonies are vagrant and wander all over the place. When there is a melody, it's changing directions in uncomfortable ways. Composed August, 1996

Ditch Leaper
The chord accompaniment of this one gallops at the beginning like a horse getting ready to leap over a ditch in field. Composed spring of 1996.

Composed 6/14/00. The twists and turns of the melody remind me of children playing dodgeball. There's a strange hesitation at the end of the last bar of the first repeat that sounds to me like the target sucked in his gut just as the ball went whizzing by.

Doidice Tonematrix improvisation
This is a 32 measure improvisation on the chords of Djavan's Doidice that I invented this morning. These chords were lifted from a Tunetext form that had been launched via the Excerpt Service page for Doidice, which was accessed through the Doidice chord listing in The Changes.

I should be able to add a button to the Excerpt Service that launches a blank Tonematrix page that plays an excerpted chord progression as a background sound that is synced to the a Tonematrix whose melody loop is guaranteed to fit those chords.

This demonstrates how a sizeable original composition can be sculpted using the facilities provided by the SongTrellis Tonematrix page.

In this instance, a 16 measure tonematrix is broken into 4 measure segments. When you click on the tonematrix image to launch its animation, you'll see that the animation flows from one submatrix to its successor and then wraps back to the beginning of the first when all have been visited.

The 16 measures of the tonematrix generates one melody for the first 16 measures of harmony, and then generates a different but similar melody for the second half of the progression.

This posting also demonstrates how the Tonematrix interface has been extended to handle changes of chord in mid-measure. Until recently, a tonematrix would only change its pitch set at measure boundaries, which caused it to ignore mid-measure chord changes.

Click on matrix image to perform this tonematrix

A tune written in 1987 with a droll character.

Dununha variation
Variation of one of the Dununha djembe parts I invented this morning.
Early Toddle
This tune has a childlike quality to it that reminded me of a toddler taking his first delighted steps. Composed spring of 1983.

Earthly Beauty
I love this song. I wrote it late on a Saturday afternoon with an amazing golden light blazing thru the window falling on my piano. About an hour after I finished this, right at sunset, I wrote Gold Light, another of my favorites. This version uses a 9-bar A section, a 9-bar B section, returning to the A section (ABA form). If you repeat the A section twice, the following lyric can be sung with the tune.

Earthly beauty
Always escapes us
flies to blue sky
vanishes out in the night.

Over green earth
As the sun sets
under star light
Singing her song in the night

(singer silent during B section, listening to song)

Earthly beauty
Always escapes us
flies to blue sky
vanishes out in the night

Song was composed in July of 1981.

Easy Hop
I composed this on saxophone late one evening in 1981. It sounded best when played with an easy swing feel. I tried to enter it as a SongTrellis score years ago but it felt totally wrong played with straight eighth note figures. Once I got SongTrellis to swing passages within scores in 1998, this piece sounded correct when expressed as a MIDI file. Finally typed it in an hour on Labor Day, 1999

Eiderdown Line (10/7/00)
Tune written on the changes of Eiderdown. Composed on 10/7/00.
Eight bar idea 2-27-07
Eight Measures 2-22-10
Exceedingly strange melody with drum accompaniment. There's a two bar eruption of a fast flurry of notes several bars ftom the beginning that give the tune its name. Finished 1/27/97.

Evening 3/31/01
What I found when I explored the chord cycle Cmi7-Dmi7-F7sus-Bb7(#5) on the evening of 3/31/01.
Example 2-15-2010
Example piece 7-7-06
Composed during a demo of the Songtrellis Composer
Exercise on G7,G7,A7,B7
Test score 3-8-18
Click on music to play

Experiment of the Day: 12-20-2012
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Explore Again
I liked the chord progression I found for the piece Balanced Dancing so much that I wrote a second tune on those changes the next day. Composed 12/19/97

Found Inside The Wood
This song has a very irregular chord sequence supporting it. When I composed it, I thought of how a wood sculptor can take an irregular tree branch and find his scuplture inside of it. The process of finding this melody amidst its progression seemed similar.
Four fresh new chords
Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “pathArgs” hasn’t been defined. For this button I've used the anychd chord generation operator four times in succession. If you look at today's Public ideas and check the time stamps, you'll see that I found a new harmony idea that I thought was a keeper for nearly every minute I used this page.

In a minute's interval I was able to audition 5 or 6 ideas so that I could find a keeper.

Freeze Tag
This one reminds me of children playing freeze tag. The melody runs around and then freezes for a second as the tagger catches another runner and freezes him.

Fresh melody 2-1-06
This is the melody I invented on the Evening 2-1-06 changes I just posted.

Composed using the Improvise New Idea, Insert Rest At End, Delete Last Idea, Enter Next Note On Scale, and Enter Notes on Pitches operators of the Workscore Composer.

Some of the rhythm patterns that contributed included hemiola, shuffle-reverse shuffle, and triplet, many times lengthened (slowed down) by a factor of 2.

Full Deflection
I hear this tune swinging back and forth like a child on a swing. With greater and effort the child manages to get the swing to go farther and higher till he gets maximum deflection. Loop this tune to get the full Sisyphean effect. Composed in 1999.

Full Swing
Full drumkit swing rhythm at quarter note = 170 bpm.

Garden Dream Walk

This tune has a wistful, dreamy quality about it. After I wrote it, it brought to mind someone slowly walking about a late summer garden, absorbing all the beauty around, realizing it will all die soon. I almost called it "Beautiful Wonders, Dying".

Here's the score.

Ghost Limbs
We feel the loss of the thousands of our brothers and sisters lost in last week's mass murder, and the loss of an extraordinarily vital part of a great city as an amputation. And just as many amputees still feel their lost limb, we still feel the presence of those we have lost.
Gold Light
Composed at sunset right after I wrote Earthly Beauty. This also has a lyric. July, 1981

Gold light
It shines
Then it dies out
Then night
glides in
and it's darkness

Then the stars
Blaze in the black
And the moon glows white above
And we gaze in the cold
We wait for warmth again.

Gold light
It shines
Then it dies out
Then night
glides in
and it's darkness

Great Divisions
This tune reminds me of Dr. Seuss' The Great Butter Battle. A strange disturbed melody repeats twice and then a series of strong chords divides the tune in two, like a wall. On the other side of the wall the chord sequence used at the beginning of the tune plays backwards although the melody used there is very similar to that used in the front section. Kind of like groups that would fight because one eats bread with the other side up and the other with the butter side down. Spring of 1996.

Green Shoot
I attempted to let the child I once was see through my eyes and hear with my ears as I wrote this. Entitled Green Shoot in his honor.

GIF image of the score for this piece

The tune has an amiable feeling like a friendly greeting. Composed 10/29/96

Gun Metal Skies
Composed in February, 1996 during a trip to Tucson. There was storm hitting California that day and the cloud sheet was shining metallicaly overhead.

Half Bell
This is a twelve bar blues with a very interesting rhythm. The melody uses an African bell pattern throughout. During the first chorus the rhythm accompaniment divides each bar in three while a pattern that uses half of the melody's bell pattern plays. In the second chorus, each bar is divided into 4 against the half bell. During the third chorus, everything comes together, with the half bell simultaneously divided into 3 and into 4. Composed summer of 1996.
Half Bell - rhythm part
Extracted rhythm from the tune Half Bell.
Happy Rain
I'm incredibly pleased with this one. This one uses polyrhythms (contrasting rhythms layered on top of one another) in a very interesting way. To me, the interlocking melodies sound like rain falling in a very sprightly manner. Composed in the spring of 1996.
Harmony 1-30-2011
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Hi-Hat and Ride
Swing pattern with hi-hat and ride cymbal.

Hiding From Headlights
This one reminds me of children running around in the dark, hiding behind bushes whenever a car drives by on the street next to them. Composed Summer 1996

Hip Wiggle

Composed this morning, 10/11/02. This is a complete arrangement, with full rhythm accompaniment (and a thought out ending). I wasn't thinking of hips and their wiggle until I invented the rhythm accompaniment after the melody was finished. The rhythm also brought to mind an accordian sound which explains the instrument eventually chosen for the main melody. I wrote the melody originally using the standard MIDI violin patch.

Here's the lead sheet.

Hip Wiggle - rhythm part
This is the extracted rhythm part for the tune Hip Wiggle.
Hobby Horse
The melody of this one rocks like a small child rocking on his rocking horse. Try it! It will take you back! Composed summer of 1996.

I Know That I Can't Agree
Thelonious Monk wrote a lot of songs where the rhythm of an important phrase in the tune comes from a spoken phrase that he was thinking about. Think of I Mean You or Well You Needn't. For some reason, I thought of the phrase I Know That I Can't Agree and a few minutes later wrote a musical phrase that matches the way I say that. The last interval in the phrase is a flatted fifth, a discordant interval which musicians in the Middle Ages called the "devil in music". The tune changes meter every few bars also in keeping with the idea of disagreement. Despite all of the disagreeing going on, I really love this one. My son Matt claims I play this too much when I'm noodling around on piano. Composed in 1981 or 1982.

Idea 2-16-2010
Idea 2-19-2010
Idea 3-8-06
Ideas from Bird's Yardbird Suite over random harmony
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I took the last 8 measures of Charlie Parker's solo on Yardbird Suite and encoded that melody using the new Tunetext Melodic Motion operators. Then I extracted that Tunetext specification and pasted that into the melody voice of a Tunetext score whose Chord voice regenerates with different chords everytime the Tunetext is refreshed.

The chords that generate are many times quite dissonant so many times the melody that is generated is quite dissonant. Despite that, I was able to find different renditions of the idea as I refreshed this page, which resolved nicely at the last instant. As I discovered these, I submitted them to today's Public Ideas list.

In the interval between 10:23pm and 10:29pm, six scores were generated that I thought were keepers.

Improv from 8/19/96
This is a Vox improvisation on the chord sequence to the tune "Striding Up Si". The chord accompaniment is played using a very fast bell pattern. I don't remember anymore what I specified for Vox to generate the melody, but the results are cool.

Improv On Blue Daniel changes

This is an improv on the "Blue Daniel" changes in 4/4. The meter of "Blue Daniel" is 3/4.

This was another 10 minute effort with my Workscore. I'm going to save this to my Mac using the Download link, open it with SongTrells Editor For Mac, apply a swing feeling to the melody and submit a swung version of this.

Improv on Blue Daniel Changes (swung)
Improvisation 4/21/00
Improvised on 4/21/00.

Improvisation on Giant Steps

Improvisation composed using the improvisation module of the SongTrellis music editing application several years ago. Found it this afternoon (5/10/00) and cleaned it up for public consumption.

Hear Giant Steps chord progression alone.

Improvisation: All In C #1
All In C is a piece I wrote in about 10 minutes late on Election Day in November, 1992. Nearly all of the chords used for this tune's chord sequence have a C root while the type of chord used varies every bar. A few months later I used Vox's Improvisation generator to make this piece in real time. The melody uses the West African Acpala rhythm while the chord accompaniment uses Mozambique.

Improvisation: All In C #2
This improv was also generated using Vox's Improvisation generator. It was created a few minutes after improv #1. This one will take you on a very wild ride. It starts out as a blistering march, rhumbas for a few bars, does an impossibly fast Mozambique for two bars and finishes at a run in a Reggae rhythm to complete the cycle.

instant septuplets 12-8-05
Composed 3/23/98

Jet Lag
Aural expression of extreme jet lag. Think of a trip to the Orient and back. Nothing happens at the right time till you heal.

Page 1 and Page 2 of the score for this progresssion.

July Idylic
I found this the same afternoon as I wrote Dark July. This one has a dreamy, floating feeling. Composed July, 1995

Krasp Kraspson
My son Greg invented a persona, Krasp Kraspson, that he uses in the AOL roleplaying game "Gemstone". Krasp is a happy-go-lucky, wisecracking trickster. This is my portrait of Krasp.

Labor Days
Lake Of Wonders
This tune feels wonderful to me and keeps taking you to unusual places. Feels watery too, so it's the Lake of Wonders. Composed in 1994. Titled in 1996.

Last idea 4-14-07
Late Arrival
I composed the two parts of this tune five or six years ago and discovered they fit together two years ago. For some reason or another I never published it. Named in honor of its long gestation.

Late With Bugs
I wrote this on Wednesday evening in spring of 96, a "Workaholic Wednesday" while I was waiting for a new version of Microsoft Word to compile and link. I had a lot of bugs to fix that night and knew I was going to be staying up real late tracking them down.

Life Too Short

This tune mourns the loss of life that occurs whenever war overtakes human kind.

Here's the score for the tune.

Light In Darkness
A very slow tune with a very dark sounding chord progression. The melody rises up and sees light briefly at the end. Composed in the winter of 1987 or 1988.

This tune uses the melodic fragment that begins the famous pop tune "Never Let Me Go". Tony Williams used it also in his tune "Geo Rose". Anyway, since a limpet's mission in life is to never let go, it seemed appropriate to name this one Limpet. Composed 1/11/97

Luck Smiles
Composed fall of 1996. I guess I felt lucky to find this one.

From Wayne Shorter's JuJu album

Box notation for Ensemble Rhythm: Mandjiane


May 19th Blues
I found this while I was singing as I was walked to work at Microsoft the morning of May 19th, 1994. Whipped out my Mac, started Vox, and wrote the melody down. Did the changes a little later.

Melodious Thunk
This tune sounds like a relative of one of Thelonious Monk's tunes. Monk's wife Nellie would sometimes jokingly call him Melodious Thunk. Since the phrases in this two part melody end with a thunk, this one's name is Melodious Thunk.
Composed in August, 1999.

Melody 12-13-05 (4th of the day)
Melody 3-14-2018 via TM
Can’t find a sub-table named “0006077”.
Melody 4-27-2009
Composed this as I was testing out the new Workscore music editing page (

This still has a few glitches in the implementation, but is quite useable. If you get into an unexpected situation, you can always go back to the previous Workscore implementation ( or to an intermediate version I never published (

All of the versions operate upon the same copy of your workscore. Only the interfaces differ.

You can just change the last numeral of the Workscore Composer URL and then resubmit the newly edited URL to switch between versions.

Melody on Nigel's chords
Metallic Mboshi
A mettalic sounding version of the Mboshi rhythm.

Minor 3rd example
Just an example of a minor 3rd played up and then back down. To be used as an instructional example on Blues, Thunder, and Beauty.
Minor melody 1-26-06
Minor Melody 2-21-12
Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “pathArgs” hasn’t been defined.
Nameless Sorrows
Composed in 1999.

New 1/1/97 Irregular
New piece with irregular chord progression. Finished 1/1/97.

New 1/1/97 The first
First piece of 1997. Composed 1/1/97.

New 1/1/97 The second
Second piece of 1997. Composed 1/1/97.

New 1/1/97 The third
Third piece of 1997. Composed 1/1/97.

New 1/11/97 Improv on Fall
An improvisation I composed by hand on the changes of Wayne Shorter's composition Fall

New 1/11/97 The first
First composition for 1/11/97.

New 1/4/98
Composed 1/4/98.

New 1/6/97
Untitled piece composed on 1/6/97

New 1/7/97
Untitled composition composed 1/7/97

New 10/30/96
Another new untitled one. Feels pretty dark and then gets energetic at the end.

New 11/20/97
Composed 11/20/97.

New 11/21/96
My kids liked the early part of this melody as I was writing it. I don't know yet what I'll title it. Stay tuned!

New 12/15/00
Found this neat progression 8 bar progression and then composed this melody to go along.
New 12/2/00
I got interested in the sound of 7(#5) and 7(b5) chords after I did an arrangement of Booby Hutcherson's Little B's Poem. I wrote these chords and did an improv on them. If you try to sing this, take a deep breath first. The piece is 16 bars long. The first phrase is nine bars long and the second is seven bars.
New 12/30/96
This is the last thing I composed in 1996. Composed 12/30/96.

New 2/20/00
New 2/23/00
New 4/23/00 The second
Second composition for April 23rd, 2000.

New 4/24/99
The accompaniment for this tune is the chord sequence that Herbie Hancock invented as the introduction to the "502 Blues" on Wayne Shorter's Adam's Apple album. I composed the first phrase of my tune back in April 1999 and finished the rest of the line in September 1999.

New 5/12/98
Composed 5/12/98.

New 6/11/01

I invented these changes a few hours ago:
New sequence 6-11-01 gif:
You are listening to a melody I just invented that fits this progression.

Listen to the changes by themselves.

New 6/17/99
This tune is built on the same chord progression as the tune Wild Surmises which you can find elsewhere in this site. This one was composed a few hours after Wild Surmises on 6/17/99. No need to let a good progression go to waste.

New 6/29/98
Composed 6/29/98.

New 7-26-2010
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New 7-27-2010

Composed in an hour by repeatedly adding sequences of ch,s,r,ru and rd tunetext operators to a tunetext edit form page that was loaded with a chord progression that I selected. Each operator specifies a rule that adds one note or rest to the score.

Thischange log shows how the score grew as each set of new operators was added to the score. I would audition the results and decide what to change next depending upon what I heard during the last edit attempt.

I completed the score 57 minutes after I started.

Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “pathArgs” hasn’t been defined.

New 7/1/98
Composed 7/1/98.

New 7/1/99
Composed on 7/1/99

New 7/17/99
Composed on 7/17/99

New 8/16/00
I helped Albert Chiu write his first composition this afternoon, Song 8/16/00. I liked the progression we discovered so much that I wanted to write a melody of my own that used it.

New Moves
This is the newest tune as of the time I created this web site. I feel like I found a new way to move the melody and harmony for this one. Composed December, 1996

Printable GIF image of the score for this progresssion.

Newly composed self-varying Tunetext idea
Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “pathArgs” hasn’t been defined.
Nice one 11/3/96
This one needs a title also. Do you have any ideas?

No Guide
This past week I've added capability to the music editor to handle some of the more unusual extensions of chords, such as 6(add 9), 7(#11), 9, and mi11. Once I had them working in the app, I wanted to write a piece that uses these chord types in its progression. Since this was the first time I've written melody on this type of progression, I did not have much guidance from past experience to help compose this. Because of this, it's titled No Guide. Here's the score for No Guide.
Odd Harmony 7-29-2007
Old And Forgotten

In the third and fourth bar of this tune I inadvertently quoted from the old tune from the 1890's I Don't Want To Play In Your Yard (lyrics). I had heard it in Warren Beatty's film "Reds". It apparently made an impression.

This tune as far as I know had been totally erased from popular memory until Beatty's movie revived it briefly, so my tune which quotes it is titled Old And Forgotten.

Printable GIF image of the tune's score.

Old, Remembering the Young
This one made me think of an old person thinking back over his youthly history. At the end, a cherished memory leaps out, that he relives for a moment just as he originally experienced it. Composed 1982 or 1983. I can't remember ;-)
One Still Moment
This tune is real busy. The melody leaps around like crazy. There's an Afro-Cuban rhythm banging around behind that. However, In the third bar from the end everything is still for one moment. Composed in the spring of 1996.

Out Of The Tunnel
This is another melody invented on the changes of As Summer Blows Away, the composition I submitted on 9-18-2006.

I had the feeling that there were more interesting compositions that could be written on that harmony.

The intro, which repeats ever longer excerpts of the tune's initial phrase, gave me the impression of a crew breaking the wall between sections of a tunnel that were dug separately. When the main melody finally plays it feels like they have freedom to move. By time the end is reached, it feels like they've walked into open air.

Printable GIF image of the score for this progresssion.

Own Time
This tune is mostly in 4/4 time except for a one bar foray into 2/4 in the second bar.

The first half of the tune is triplet-ty and the last half uses quintuplets (divisions of the beat and of the bar by 5) extensively. Since I don't know of another piece of music that uses these rhythmic ideas in this way, the tune is called Own Time.

Here's the score for Own Time.

Play Near Battle
Tune composed 11/14/02. The playful melody line contrasted with the grim snare hits, brought to mind an image of children playing within sight of a battlefield.
The melody darts around like a porpoise riding the pressure wave in front of a ship. Composed spring of 1996

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Pulled Into The Car

The last four bars brought the title to mind. I remembered a high school friend who poured a beer out of an open car door and needed to be pulled back in before he lost balance and tumbled out. There's some feeling there of careening, losing balance and then regaining it with the assistance of a strong pull.

Printable GIF image of the tune's score.

Quick And Slow Poets
The melody has a slow part followed by an equal length fast section. Both sections use the same chord sequence, so the slow poet speaks first and then the fast one gives his version of the same experience. Composed summer of 1996.

RealTime - rhythm part
Rhythm part extracted rom the tune RealTime 9/15/00.
RealTime 9/15/00
I wrote this song to demonstrate how I compose a new piece of music using the SongTrellis music editor. I will be posting follow on messages to this thread which document how the piece evolved. I took a snapshot of it every 10 to 15 minutes as I composed it so I can show you how it started out as nothing and became a particular something.

Restored In Parts
This tune is a close relative of Ghost Limbs. It uses the same chord progression as that tune so it shares a melancholy emotional cast with Ghost Limbs. Despite that, it is quite active and has an optimistic tinge to it.
Rhumba 8/25/00
Composed 8/25/00. Begins with a long 5 bar first phrase, which is answered by a sequence of three shorter phrases. Chord sequence is a cycle of 4 7sus 4 chords(C7sus4, F7sus4, E7sus4, Eb7sus4) that repeats twice with each chord played for a bar. The sequence completes after the 9th bar where the entire cycle is crushed to fit into one-bar.

Rhumba Columbia
My friend Harrison Watts and I did this in Microsoft's Building 24 lunch room using Vox while we were eating Chinese food last year. He had just taken a lesson where this rhythm was being taught, so he wanted to hear if Vox could properly represent it. I typed it in and then transposed the different voices to form the harmonies that you'll hear.

Room Sitting
I was sitting around bored not doing much when I decided to write this. Composed in 1994.

Rub two chords together
Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “pathArgs” hasn’t been defined.

When this tunetext button was first created, it caused a Eb7(13) chord to be added to a tunetext score followed by a B7(b9B13) chord. Every time this page loads and anytime you refresh it, two different chords will be displayed within the button

Whenever you click on the button, two entirely new chords will be generated, each with a randomly chosen root and type, and those chords will be displayed and performed for you within a newly launched tunetext window.

If you click repeatedly on this button, you can audition many new harmonic ideas extremely quickly. If you don't like a result that comes up in these tunetext window, refresh the URL, and in a second or so later you'll have a new idea to listen to.

The tunetext for the chords: section of this button, invokes a new tunetext chord generation operator, anychd, twice in succession.

Running 8/27/00
Composed 8/27/00. I was demoing the music editor to some neighbors and found the first phrase. After they left I found the rest of the piece.

Score Beginning 1-19-2010
Seattle Software Song
Wrote back in the winter of 1985 shortly after I joined Microsoft while I was working on Mac Word 1.0. Everything felt really strange and the tempo kept getting quicker and quicker.

Secret Motions
Here's the challenge: try to learn the rhythm accompaniment. You'll feel like you've come across secret knowledge that you're not ready to absorb. Composed summer of 1996

Composed in 1982

Printable GIF image of the score for this progresssion.

Self Arrest
Composed in 1982 as unaccompanied melody. Finally composed chord accompaniment in September 1999. Has the feeling of someone walking on an ice field, slipping and then self-arresting with his ice axe just in time.

Sequential 11-19-15
A melody invented using this Tonematrix.
Seriously Deadly
This tune shares its chord progression with Jaunty and was composed the same afternoon. It amazes me that you can get such different moods out of the same material. Composed 3/23/98.

Seventh chords on all roots of C Major in strongest sounding
Short Melody on Bmi7-E6-AMA7
Shuffle #1
Skidding Home
A tune designed to give you the feeling of slipping while walking and driving on ice. Composed January, 1996.

Sleep Wanted
Wrote during a Workaholic Wednesday that stretched into a Workaholic Thursday morning. Done in pieces waiting for my Word builds to finish. Summer of 1996.

Slippery Eel Near Blues
I composed this 7/27/00. The chord progression for this begins like a blues and then takes a right turn that takes it away from the form. Instead of being a 12 bar form, this has a seven bar section a two bar link and a second seven bar section which echoes the first. So this is not a blues but has a lot of blues-like ideas. It's a near-blues.

The melody and its rhythm accompaniment are kind of hard to grasp at first. The melody wriggles about eel-like near the end of each section of the tune.

Slipping Past Cypress
Wrote this July 1996 while I was sitting in my car on a Washington State Ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island as it passed Cypress Island. It was a dark and chilly evening.

Slow Melody 2-23-2010
Slow Turns
I visualize a slow turning motion when I hear this. Composed in 1987, (I think)

Small Tune 7-24-2007
Result of testing the Workscore Composer for half an hour.
Song 6-29-06
Song 7-4-06
St. Val's
Composed evening of St. Valentine's Day, 1996

Straighten Crooked Paths
I composed this (the chord progression and melody) on 8/3/00 while I was sitting at one of the picnic tables in the Mt. Townsend campsite of the Camp Parsons Boy Scout camp on Hood Canal in Western Washington where I was camping with my sons and their Boy Scout troop. I wrote the rhythm accompaniment and bass line the evening of 8/7/00 after I returned home.

The chord progression is an experiment in using minor harmonies. It uses the sounds of major 6th, half-diminished 7th, 7b9, 7sus4, and minor Major 7th chords in unhackneyed patterns.

The melody line alternates phrases that use convoluted rhythms with answering phrases in a very fast but simpler rhythm. This brought to mind the idea of straightening a crooked path.

Strange Harmony 7-17-07
Striding Up Si
You can try running when you start up Mount Si, outside of North Bend, Washington but it is so steep it will make you change and lengthen your stride so you can get to the top. The view is amazing up there. Composed Fall, 1995

Stroke of Midnight
A cheeful little tune that stumbles along. Composed spring of 1996

Summer Grown, Winter Grown

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Composed in 1980

The Grand Tour
The early part of the tune strides along like someone on a walking tour seeing unusual sights. The tango part in the last half has a quality that feels grand to me, and reinforced the idea of taking a tour.

Printable GIF image of the score for this song.

The Shell Cracks Now
Composed on Easter Sunday, 1995
They've Disappeared
Composed in 1982 or 1983

This Enigma
Composed in 1995.

This is Mine Now
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I harvested one of the scores generated by my last posting, which stretched ideas found in a famous Charlie Parker solo over randomly generated harmony. I fixed two dissonances that occurred at the end of the two main phrases that were generated. Then I experimented with time shifting the melody that was generated.

I found that I liked it when it was shifted to the right by seven eighth note and then by three quarter notes with respect to the background harmony. With these transformations of the idea applied, it's starting to be hard to recognize that I rode on Bird's shoulders to find this new music.

I like this a lot when it's played in a loop.

Here's an animation for this score.

Three Parts

Three Vox
An awfully strange sounding three part thing. It sounds best played with guitar voices. Guitarists, beware! It'll probably cause your hands to seize up!

Thresher's Blade

The progression that is the skeleton of this piece is a two-bar chord pattern in 4/4 time that is repeated throughout the piece's entire duration. It alternates between onbeat and offbeat in a manner that is analogous to the alternation of on and off beats used in the 6/8 long bell and short bell patterns that are a part of many African ensemble rhythms.
TM Idea 9-22-16
Can’t evaluate the expression because the name “pathArgs” hasn’t been defined.
TM variations for Together
Can’t find a sub-table named “0006048”.
Toddler's Song
I wrote this in January or February of 1982 when my son Greg was just starting to walk. The tune brings to mind the stiff-gaited toddling of a little child.

Printable GIF image of the score for this song.


Printable GIF image of this tune's score..

Tonematrix 1-1-2019; 11:31:49 AM
Can’t find a sub-table named “0006100”.
Tonematrix 1-1-2019; 11:38:18 AM
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Tonematrix 1-1-2019; 12:15:49 PM
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Tonematrix 1-1-2019; 12:29:14 PM
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Tonematrix 1-10-2012; 2:43:01 AM

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Tonematrix 1-2-2012; 11:09:30 PM

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Tonematrix 1-2-2012; 11:46:08 PM

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Tonematrix 1-2-2012; 3:29:19 PM by David Luebbert

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Tonematrix 1-2-2012; 3:31:53 PM by David Luebbert

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Tonematrix 1-2-2012; 5:42:30 PM

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Tonematrix 1-22-2018; 10:06:50 PM
Can’t find a sub-table named “0006067”.
Tonematrix 1-6-2012; 11:30:38 PM

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Tonematrix 10-26-2013; 12:34:37 PM
An 8-measure tonematrix composition invented over chords I found decades ago.

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Tonematrix 10-26-2013; 12:38:07 PM

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Tonematrix 10-26-2013; 12:41:38 PM

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Tonematrix 10-26-2013; 1:02:14 PM

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Tonematrix 11-1-2016; 12:21:49 AM
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Tonematrix 11-1-2016; 12:28:41 AM
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Tonematrix 11-11-2018; 12:35:46 AM
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Tonematrix 11-17-2018; 5:28:14 PM
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Tonematrix 11-3-2013; 9:25:19 AM

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Tonematrix 12-12-2018; 11:57:36 PM
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Tonematrix 12-13-2018; 12:07:03 AM
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Tonematrix 2-26-2018; 11:47:19 PM
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Tonematrix 2-26-2018; 11:54:52 PM
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Tonematrix 2-7-2019; 10:49:17 PM
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Tonematrix 2-7-2019; 11:02:38 PM
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Tonematrix 2-7-2019; 11:18:21 PM
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Tonematrix 3-12-2019; 9:58:18 PM
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Tonematrix 3-13-2019; 11:09:30 PM
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Tonematrix 3-13-2019; 11:32:09 PM
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Tonematrix 3-21-2018; 1:33:04 AM
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Tonematrix 3-21-2018; 1:49:16 AM
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Tonematrix 3-22-2018; 11:10:00 PM
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Tonematrix 4-2-2019; 11:53:25 PM
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Tonematrix 4-3-2019; 10:47:00 AM
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Tonematrix 4-5-2015; 2:34:33 PM

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Tonematrix 4-7-2015; 8:17:05 PM
Experiment that uses chords of slightly varying durations in the chord progression specification so that the initial attacks of chords in the chord accompaniment line up precisely with the first voicings that sound in the melodic voice of each measure

Can’t find a sub-table named “0006004”.

Tonematrix 6-14-2013; 10:14:37 PM

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Tonematrix 6-14-2013; 8:30:05 PM

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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 10:43:09 PM
Can’t find a sub-table named “0006081”.
Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 10:48:37 PM
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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 10:53:01 PM
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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 10:56:19 PM
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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 10:58:37 PM
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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 11:00:40 PM
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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 11:06:45 PM
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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 11:12:55 PM
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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 11:16:55 PM
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Tonematrix 6-14-2018; 11:30:02 PM
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Tonematrix 6-15-2013; 10:18:28 PM

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Tonematrix 6-15-2013; 10:21:40 PM

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Tonematrix 6-15-2013; 9:37:08 PM

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Tonematrix 6-16-2013; 7:59:25 AM

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Tonematrix 6-26-2017; 11:08:02 AM
Can’t find a sub-table named “0006052”.
Tonematrix 6-26-2017; 11:36:38 AM
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Tonematrix 6-30-2017; 8:09:10 PM
Finished this one:

Can’t find a sub-table named “0006054”.

Tonematrix 7-15-2013; 6:14:48 PM

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Tonematrix 7-18-2017; 8:29:52 AM
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Tonematrix 7-31-2018; 4:53:39 PM
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Tonematrix 8-19-2017; 5:10:18 PM
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Tonematrix 8-20-2013; 6:56:46 PM

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Tonematrix 8-20-2013; 7:03:49 PM

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Tonematrix 8-20-2013; 7:05:57 PM

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Tonematrix 8-20-2013; 7:06:49 PM

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Tonematrix 8-20-2013; 7:10:34 PM

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Tonematrix 8-20-2013; 7:11:39 PM