Compositions by Paul Cooijmans

© 1982-present Paul Cooijmans B.
Full copyright information

General information

Brief biography of the composer

Paul Cooijmans was born in 1965, Lieshout, the Netherlands. Although interested in theoretical physics, cosmology, and chemistry as a child, at age 15 he began composing and playing guitar as an autodidact.

From 1986 to 1993 Cooijmans studied composition and guitar at the Brabants Conservatorium, Tilburg, Netherlands. During that period he discovered a method for correlating musical structures to geometrical objects, thus modeling our perception of music.

A Netherlandic version of this brief biography is here.

The information listed

The following facts may be given for a composition:

Scores

For information regarding the availability of the score of a particular composition, contact the composer.

Very early work

op. (unnumbered), 1980-1982

14 rock songs, never played in public. Writing these helped to acquire the skills needed to form and lead a rock band and compose its repertoire.

op. -3, 1982-1983

Rock songs for the band Catweazle. Titles:

Animal
Introduction (played before "Words")
All through the U.S.S.R.
I am sure
Sunday afternoons
Have a coke and a smile
The story of Jim and Joanie
Girls

Video of "Animal"
Video of the guitar part of "Animal" as played in 2021
Video of the guitar part of "All through the U.S.S.R." as played in 2022
Video of the Intro of "Words" as played in 1984
Video of the Intro of "Words" in the classical guitar version of 2021
Video of the Intro of "Words" on electric guitar (2023)
Some of Catweazle's studio recordings of 1984 and 1985 can be heard in this video.
Some of Catweazle's studio recordings of 1984 and 1985 can also be heard in this video.
The last Catweazle recording (1987) can be heard in this video.

op. -2, 1983-1985

Other songs and instrumental pieces. Titles:

One night
Those who lie on the green grass — Video of this piece
Jan met de pet — Video of this pieceVideo of guitar part of this pieceNetherlandic text — Later submitted for the Eurovision Song Contest of 1993; not chosen but performed in a parody on the Contest on television in 1992.
Killer Joe
Untitled jazz piece #1 (1984) — Video of this piece
Untitled jazz piece #2 (1984)
Paradise lost
Doubts

op. -1, 1983

Composition, title of which can not be displayed as it is the scream of a maggot
guitar
3:00
Video of composer playing this piece
Video of this piece

op. 0, 1985

Composition, title of which is to remain a secret
guitar
1:30

Video of composer playing this piece on classical guitar
Video of composer playing this piece on electric guitar
Video of this piece

Early guitar compositions

op. 1, 1982

Absurd composition in plusminus B flat
guitar
1:35
Video of this piece being played by the composer in 2021
Video of this piece being played by the composer on electric guitar in 2023
Video with this piece as background
Video of this piece with some improvisation, as played after the lecture on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of The Glia Society in 2007

op. 2, 1984

Composition, dedicated to Pietje
guitar
1:30
Video of this piece, with photos of the parakeet Pietje

Note: The original Pietje was a canary who became very ill and got better after hearing this composition.

op. 2a, 1987

Composition, dedicated to Pietje - Part II
guitar
2:20
Note: This was composed in 1987 and then forgotten for more than a quarter of a century, to be rediscovered in the mid-2010s.
Video of this piece played on classical guitar by the composer
Video of this piece played on steel-string guitar

Video of Part I and Part II played consecutively by the composer on classical guitar with appearance of Pietje

op. 3, 1985

Composition, dedicated to apathy
guitar
1:12
Video of performance of this piece in extended version
Video of this piece

Note: This theme is used in the "Fugue, dedicated to apathy", op. 11. The dedication to apathy relates to the apathy, passivity, and complete lack of initiative observed by the composer in users of marihuana and hashish — nowadays called "cannabis" — that are the hallmark of this with the political left so popular drug, and appear to be lifelong and irreversible. This composition was originally an improvisation during an ensemble rehearsal on 7 July 1984, during which the composer observed apathy in the other musicians.

op. 3a, 1987

Composition, dedicated to apathy
melody + chord symbols (for improvisation)
Duration undefined

op. 4, 1987

The knock on the gate
guitar
2:25
Video of the composer playing this piece
Video of this piece
Note: The title refers to a short story by Franz Kafka.

op. 4a, 1987

The knock on the gate
melody + chord symbols (for improvisation)
Duration undefined

op. 5, 1987

I wonder; why do I hate myself?
4-part setting, instruments undefined
4:30
Video of this piece
Note: This is a waltz. Few have been able to keep their feet still under its sweet sounds.

op. 5a, 1987

I wonder; why do I hate myself?
4 guitars
4:30

op. 5b, 1987

I wonder; why do I hate myself?
4-part setting, instruments undefined + 3 voices, percussion, piano
4:30

op. 5c, 1987

I wonder; why do I hate myself?
guitar
4:30
Video of this piece

op. 5d, 1987

I wonder; why do I hate myself?
melody + chord symbols (for improvisation)
Duration undefined
Video of his piece played by the composer on guitar

op. 6, 1988

First, Second, Third, and Fourth miserable Paul Paulmans blues
1 or 2 guitars
7:25
Note: The titles of these four polyphonic (canonic) pieces were inspired by a heard radio interview with someone named "Paul Koemans" (or "Coemans", one can not hear the difference on the radio), who hated his name so much that he legally changed it to "Paul Paulmans". Once in the 1980s, after the composer had played the First miserable Paul Paulmans blues at a party, someone gave the composer a five-cent piece and left the room.

In the early 1990s, the composer met someone who was actually called "Paul Paulmans", but forgot to ask whether it was the same as the aforementioned.

Each of the four pieces consists of a succession of canons following a blues scheme. In the Third, it concerns a crab canon.

Video of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth miserable Paul Paulmans blues being played by the composer (2021-2022 recordings)
Video of the First miserable Paul Paulmans blues being played by the composer (2022 recording)
Video of the Second miserable Paul Paulmans blues being played by the composer (2021 recording)
Video of the Third miserable Paul Paulmans blues being played by the composer (2022 recording)
Video of the Fourth miserable Paul Paulmans blues being played by the composer (2022 recording)

Video of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth miserable Paul Paulmans blues (1998 recordings)
Video of the First miserable Paul Paulmans blues (1998 recording)
Video of the Second miserable Paul Paulmans blues (1998 recording)
Video of the Third miserable Paul Paulmans blues (1998 recording)
Video of the Fourth miserable Paul Paulmans blues (1998 recording)

op. 7, 1988

Composition, dedicated to medieval witch-burning
melody + chord symbols (for improvisation)
Duration undefined
Video of composer playing this piece

op. 7a, 1988

Composition, dedicated to medieval witch-burning
guitar
2:30
Video of this piece

op. 8, 1988

Fourth composition in B flat
Guitar
3:50
Video of the composer playing this piece on classical guitar
Video of the composer playing this piece on electric guitar
Video of this piece (1998)

Note: This was composed during the winter Olympics of 1988, where Netherlandic skater Jan Ykema won silver on the 500 metres.

op. 9, 1988

Composition, dedicated to total absence of expression
1 or 2 guitars
3:55
Note: This composition, which follows a classical form type as used in sonatas, was written while watching the television series "Ti-ta-tovenaar".
Video of this piece (1998)
Video of the composer playing this piece on classical guitar (2021)
Video of the composer playing this piece on electric guitar (2024)

Exercises in polyphony

op. 10, 1987-1989

Christ lag in Todesbanden (Motet in Renaissance style, 2-part, in e Frygian, 1987)
Allein Gott (Motet in Renaissance style, 2-part, in a Aeolian, 1987)
O bone Jesu (Motet in Renaissance style, 2-part, in g Dorian, 1987)
Agnus Dei (Motet in Renaissance style, 2-part, in d Dorian, 1987)
Asperges me (Motet in Renaissance style, 3-part, in g Dorian, 1987)
Kyrie (Motet in Renaissance style, 3-part, in G Myxolidian, 1987)
Sanctus (Motet in Renaissance style, 2-part, in C Myxolydian, 1988; second half is a crab canon on Hosanna) — Video of this piece

Ricercar #1 in Renaissance style (3-part, in e Frygian, 1987)
Ricercar #2 in Renaissance style (3-part, in d Dorian, 1987)
Ricercar #3 in Renaissance style (3-part, in g, 1987) — Video of the three ricercars

Canon, 2-part, in d Dorian (1987) — Video of this piece
Fugue #1 in Baroque style (2-part, in a, 1988) — Video of this piece
Fugue #2 in Baroque style (3-part, in g, 1988) — Video of this piece
Fugue #3 in Baroque style (4-part, in C, 1989) — Video of this pieceVideo of the three baroque fugesVideo of fugues #2 and #3
Chromatic Fantasy (1989) — Video of this piece

Note: These exercises were graded with a "9", on a scale from 0 to 10 (where "10" is traditionally reserved for God, and "9" for the teacher), at the conservatory where the composer studied at the time.

More early guitar compositions

op. 11, 1988

Fugue, dedicated to Apathy
Video of Paul Cooijmans playing this composition in 2021
Video of Paul Cooijmans playing this composition in 1993
Guitar (solo or duet)
7:00 - 9:00

Note: The dedication to apathy relates to the apathy, passivity, and complete lack of initiative observed by the composer in users of marijuana and hashish — nowadays called "cannabis" — that are the hallmark of this with the political left so popular drug, and appear to be lifelong and irreversible.

op. 12, 1989

Composition for 1 or 2 guitars
1 or 2 guitars
5:00
Note: This is a suite in three parts: Prelude, Waltz, and Jazz.

Video of composer playing this suite
Video of Prelude and Jazz from this composition

op. 12a, 1989

Composition, dedication to total absence of compromise
2 guitars
2:40
Note: This is based on part 3 ("Jazz") of op. 12, Composition for 1 or 2 guitars. It includes improvisation using a twelve-tone sequence.

op 12b, 1990

Two jazz/improvisation pieces for education purposes. Titles:

Anti-blues — Video of this piece (trumpet and double bass)Another video of Anti-blues (classical guitar)
Tja — Video of this piece (panpipes, steel-string guitar, double bass)Another video of Tja (classical guitar)

Compositions for various instruments

op. 13, 1989

First to third composition for piano
piano
3:20

Video of First to third composition for piano

op. 14, 1989

Composition, dedicated to saying "Aha" in a monotone voice
8 saxophones (2x sopr, 2x alto, 2x ten, 2x bar)
5:00
Video of this piece (live recording)
Video of this piece (studio recording)

To buy score and/or parts of op. 14, go to publisher Donemus, section Music publications, and search for "Paul Cooijmans" or the Netherlandic title (Compositie, gewijd aan het met toonloze stem zeggen van: Aha).

op. 15, 1989

Composition for string orchestra
string orchestra
2:00

op. 16, 1989

Slow bossa nova for flute, electric guitar and piano
flute, electric guitar and piano
5:00

Video of this composition

op. 16a, 1989

Slow bossa nova for marimba and piano
marimba and piano
5:00

op. 17, 1989

Composition, dedicated to wondering why one hates oneself
4-part setting, instruments undefined + 3 voices, percussion, 2x piano
10:00
Notes: With Netherlandic text; This composition was awarded the second prize in the composition contest of the Brabants Conservatorium, 1990.

Video of Parts 1 and 4 of this composition

op. 17a, 1989

Composition, dedicated to wondering why one hates oneself
symphony orchestra
7:00

op. 18, 1990

The punishment
brass band + electric guitar
11:00

op. 19, 1990

Collection of words and sentences, never to be uttered in my presence on pain of having one's tongue ripped out without anaesthetic
choir + guitar
17:00
Note: Netherlandic text. Strange enough, no choir has been found willing to perform this yet.

Video of a guitar solo passage from this piece (classical guitar)
Video of a guitar solo passage from this piece (electric guitar)

op. 19a, 1990

A silent enjoyer
4 voices (vocal canon)
Duration undefined
Note: Netherlandic text.

op. 20, 1991

Paul Cooijmans
symphony orchestra
14:00

op. 20b, 1991

Coral and crab canon
Guitar
2:30
Video of this piece played by the composer on classical guitar
Video of this piece played by the composer on electric guitar

op. 21, 1991

"Easy introduction" to the art of advanced music-making
4-part setting, instruments undefined + 3 voices, percussion, piano
3:45
Video of middle part of this piece

op. 21a, 1991

That is a long story and the sting is in the tail…
choir
1:00
Note: Netherlandic text from "Alice in Wonderland".

op. 21b

Ick ging op eenen morgen
choir
1:00
Note: Netherlandic text. Existing melody.

op. 21c, 1991

That is a long story and the sting is in the tail…
guitar
1:30
Note: Instrumental version of op. 21a.
Video of this piece

op. 22, 1991

Composition, dedicated to the singing of a very strange little bird
Video of a performance of this composition
treble recorder + guitar
6:00
Note: This title was inspired by someone who, surprisingly, had called me a "strange bird".

op. 23, 1992

A Treatise on the neddiH dlroW of Intervals

op. 24, 1992

Composition for 3 instruments
Flute, sopr. sax + clarinet
6:00
Video of a practice recording of this piece

op. 25, 1992

Invention
2x picc, 2x fl, 3x clar, bassoon, bassclarinet, guitar
1:30

op. 25b, 1992

Invention
Guitar
2:30
Video of this piece

op. 26, 1992

Invention for 8 instruments
fl, hb, cl, bassoon, hrn, trp, trb, double bass
9:00

op. 26a, 1992

Invention for 8 instruments
Fl, sopr. Sax, CL, ten. Sax, hrn, trp, trb, double bass
9:00

op. 27, 1992

The distance
soprano + guitar
7:00
Note: Netherlandic text from op. 23 (Netherlandic version).

op. 28, 1992

Canon voor 1 tot 11 guitars
1 to 11 guitars
Duration undefined

op. 29, 1992

Etude
1 to 35 guitars
1:00

op. 30, 1993

String quartet
String quartet
11:00

op. 30.1, 1993

Senza speranza
Guitar
2:30
Video of this piece

op. 31, 1993

Eppur si muove
3-part women's choir
3:10
Notes: Italian text, with optional piano accompaniment.

op. 31b, 1993

Eppur si muove
guitar
4:45
Video of this piece on classical guitar
Video of this piece on electric guitar

op. 32, 1993

The compromise
sopranino recorder/alto recorder, tenor recorder/bass recorder, soprano, percussion, guitar
11:00
Practice recording (1993) of the guitar part of this piece

op. 32a, 1993

Intermezzo a 2 voci
Video of this piece
soprano + guitar
2:00
Note: Text by William Shakespeare: If music and sweet poetry agree. This is 2-part polyphony between voice and guitar.

op. 33, 1993

Signals for 3 trumpets
3 trp
3:13
Fragments of this piece are in this video

op. 34, 1993

Self portrait in 3 colours
picc/fl/altfl, bass clarinet, perc, piano
16:00
Video of Part I of this composition
Video of Part II of this composition
Video of Parts I, II, and III of this composition

op. 34a, 1993

2-part setting of "Mijn hertze en can verbliden niet"
picc, bass clarinet, perc
1:00
Video of this piece

op. 34b, 1993

2-part setting of "Mijn hertze en can verbliden niet"
guitar
2:00
Video of this piece

op. 35, 1994

Ut!
Video of this composition
mezzo-soprano + guitar
2:30
Note: Netherlandic text concerning a memory from the cradle at nine months old.

op. 36, 1994

Hidden triangles
Fl, CL(La), vl, vc, vib, pfte
6:12

op. 36a, 1994

Diverge and converge
guitar
1:30
Video of this piece

op. 37, 1994

Fugue on "Mijn hertze en can verbliden niet" (unfinished)

op. 38, 1994

Psychometric Saxophone Quartets (unfinished)
Saxophone quartet

Note: This was to consist of 22 parts, whereby a personality test (interest test) would be filled in beforehand by the musicians. The results of the test would determine which of the parts would be played and in what order.

op. 38a, 1994

Psychometric guitar suite
guitar
7:00
Video of Part 1: Abstract thought
Video of Part 2: Military
Video of Part 3: The outdoors
Video of Part 4: Sports
Video of Part 5: Travel
Video of entire suite (all five parts)

op. 39, 1994

For who loves truth, the garrote called life is daily tightened a turn
Video of this piece
Guitar + attributes
11:00
Note: This was actually composed by an algorithmic system called "The Graduator", which got its input from a test for advancedness in guitar playing that was the composer's first psychometric instrument. The algorithm had to be executed by hand.

op. 39a, 1994

The Graduator Items (unfinished)
Guitar

op. 39b, 1994

Composition, the title of which cannot be displayed here as it is the sounding music itself.
Guitar
Note: guided improvisation.
Video of a sample performance this piece

op. (unnumbered), 1995

Educational pieces:

Blues (guitar)
4-part setting of Greensleeves (3 recorders and guitar)
4-part setting of Scarborough fair (4 guitars)

op. 40, 1996

Dante's Discordion
2 accordions
6:00
Note: Guided improvisation; no actual notes notated.
Video with live recording of this piece

Later work

op. 41, 2004

Glia Society Canon
Harpsichord (or any instrument or combination of instruments that can play it)
1:45
Note: This 3-part polyphonic piece was written for the animation on the Glia Society web site; see there for a video of this piece.

op. 42, 2007

Organoid antiphon on Animal
Guitar or two guitars
4:25
Note: This uses the bass line from the song "Animal" from op. -3.
Video with live recording of this piece

op. 43, 2014

Flight of the rose
Guitar (one to three guitars)
Note: This is a fugue.
4:30
Video of this piece being played
Video with other recording of this piece as background

op. 44, 2015

Gelazer op een g-snaar
Guitar (one or two guitars)
5:15
Note: This is a polyphonic composition in medieval and Renaissance style, consisting of a theme, organum, cantus firmus, and ricercar.
Video of this piece
Video of this piece being played by the composer

op. 45, 2022

Reptilian variations on the theme of apathy
Guitar
5:00
Video of this piece being played by the composer

op. 46, 2022

Reptilian absurdity in plusminus B flat
Guitar
3:00
Video of this piece being played by the composer

op. (unnumbered), 2023

Guitar adaptations of themes of television series:

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler? (Dad's army)
Meet the gang (It ain't half hot mum)
The Black Adder

op. 47, 2024

36525
Guitar
3:00
Video of this piece being played by the composer

Paul Cooijmans is the copyright holder of all of the compositions, performances, and recordings on this web page. Paul Cooijmans is the sole owner and administrator of the copyrights held by Paul Cooijmans; that is, Paul Cooijmans is not affiliated with copyright organizations such as BUMA-STEMRA or SENA, and those organizations are therefore legally not entitled and not allowed to administrate copyrights held by Paul Cooijmans, or charge money for publication of the materials in question. Paul Cooijmans owes no payment to anyone or any organization for publishing the music of Paul Cooijmans as done on this page.