John’s Music Blog


Boléro is an orchestral piece of music by the French composer Maurice Ravel (1875–1937). It premiered in 1928 and is widely regarded as his most famous composition. It was originally written as a ballet piece. The music consists largely of a theme repeated over and over again. With each repeat, he simply adds more instruments! […]

The Waltz

Read this fantastic blog written by Piano Veloute on the history and enduring popularity of the Waltz from 18th Century Vienna to Comtemporary Music & Dance.

Happy Burns’ Night 2020

Robert (Rabbie) Burns, the Scottish poet and lyricist, was born on 25 January. 1759. Generally regarded as one of the most influential Scots of all time, his literary work is celebrated throughout the world. Portrait of Robert Burns, 1787 Burns is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic Movement and, after his death in 1796, […]

Max Richter Ticks All The Boxes

My first musical thrill of the New Year was to listen to Max Richter’s re-imagining of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, a Christmas gift from my son, Julien. Richter refers to his work as a re-composition and in many ways it is. Although one recognises the more familiar melodies of Vivaldi, it is no mere re-arrangement. For […]

Christmas Greetings

Thanks very much Anne for your guest article. Lovely to hear about your choir days and about your and Tony’s favourite Carols xx❤️ I have always loved Christmas. I remember one magical Christmas Eve walking with my older brother, Jim, through the deep snow to serve at midnight mass. It was my debut. I was […]

Home is Where the Heart is

I was born in Glasgow. Most of my forebears, however, were Irish immigrants who had come to Scotland due to the potato famines. I am proud to be Irish-Scots. The Irish worked in the mines, steelworks and factories in the late 19th and 20th centuries and, despite considerable poverty and hardship, contributed greatly to the […]

Willington, on the Banks of the River Trent

I live in Willington, a thriving village on the banks of the River Trent. There are so many beautiful walks along the river and the canal. As mentioned in my previous blog, these have provided me with many of my musical themes and ideas. There is a richness and diversity of fauna and wildlife as […]

My Musical Diary

Following the death of my wife, Michèle, in December 2010, I found that music and walking helped me greatly during the long hours of sustained grief. I felt I was in a bubble far from the world of people and events. Within this place, I found myself composing little pieces of music, my “rien du […]

The Beauty of Your Smile

The Beauty of Your Smile, original piano solo, a song for musical theatre by John McGuinness. This song needs some words – can you help?

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