Norwich Baroque

The 5th Losh-Atkinson Historic Sounds Composition Competition

It's time to launch year 5! If you have entered before, please do again... if you haven't and fancy a challenge then go for it! This year there is a new twist to it.....
Here we go.... year 5..




Norwich Baroque is keen to widen the appreciation of Baroque music by challenging composers to experiment with the sounds and styles of the 17th and early 18th centuries to produce a work with a distinctive 21stcentury flavour.

Composers of any age, nationality or background are invited to compose a new piece for the British early music ensemble, Norwich Baroque (Patron: Michael Chance).

The works will be judged by a panel comprising:

- Dr Simon Heighes – music historian, broadcaster, writer and honorary friend of Norwich Baroque.
- Jim O’Toole – violinist and director of Norwich Baroque.
- Dr Jonathan Girling – composer and musical director

Following the closing date, a shortlist of no more than 4 works will be selected by the judges. These works will then be performed live before the judging panel, at the annual Friends Reception in Spring 2018, and the winner will be selected.

The winning work will then be premiered by Norwich Baroque in June/July 2018


- This year the brief is to set as few or as many lines as you wish from Christopher Smart's poem 'For I will consider my cat Jeoffry' (part of Jubilate Agno written between 1759 and 1763).

- The composition should be scored for soprano and a four-part string ensemble comprised of about 12 players, including continuo. (The entire poem is at the end of this page).

- Entry is open to composers of any age and from any country.

- The composition should last between 5 and 8 minutes in length

- The composition should demonstrate knowledge of, but not be constrained by, Baroque approaches to harmony, form, orchestration and text setting.
- Rather than pastiche, the composition should demonstrate originality of ideas to create a 21st century work with baroque roots.


- Application forms can be obtained from Norwich Baroque via .There is no charge for entering. Upon request for an application form a 6 digit identification number will be issued, and must be used thereafter on submitted works as the only form of identification to ensure anonymity in the judging process. The person receiving the entries and dealing with administration will have no part in the judging process.

- The closing date will be 1st April 2018. Ideally, entrants should produce their composition using computerised publishing software, and send a bar-numbered full score as a pdf to Norwich Baroque at the email address above.

- A sound file (a sibelius, midi or mp3) would also be welcome.

- Entries received after the deadline of 1st April 2018 will not be considered.

- All composers will be contacted by e-mail early in May 2018; the composers of up to 4 short-listed works will then be asked to send a pdf of a full set of bar numbered performance parts to the same e-mail address
- Entries will not be accepted from Members of Norwich Baroque, their close relatives or relatives of the judging panel. “Members of Norwich Baroque” are defined as people who have played more than once for the ensemble.


The short-listed works will be judged on the following criteria:

1. Skilled use of compositional techniques
2. Innovation of composition/ideas fused with awareness of effective writing for soprano and early music ensemble.
3. Potential player/singer and audience enjoyment.

- The winning composer will be informed following the final judging/play through at the Friends reception in Spring 2018. (date tbc)


- The prize offered is a £500
- The winning composition will be premiered at the Norwich Baroque concerts in June/July 2018
- The winning composer will be interviewed for Bar Lines, the quarterly news letter of Norwich Baroque
- The winner will receive a complimentary set of tickets for the concert for up to 4 people (some assistance with travel costs and accommodation may be provided).

Copyright and permissions

• By submitting your composition, you grant Norwich Baroque, free of charge, permission to use the work for future performances, always credited to you

• Copyright will remain with you after the premiere and the aforementioned permission is non-exclusive.

• All entries, including composers’ details, may be used in publicity campaigns post competition.

• Any competitor under the age of 18 who wins the competition and therefore travels to the performance must be accompanied by a responsible person aged over 18.

• Norwich Baroque reserves the right to
1. cancel or adapt the competition if unforeseen circumstances arise
2. vary or change the prize details
3. disqualify any entrant who breaches the rules or who commits a fraud, at any stage.

• Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and agree to be bound by them by entering the competition.

Personal data

• The personal data of the entrants will kept secret from the panel until after the winner has been chosen. The works will, until then, be identified solely by a 6 digit Identification number known only to the entrant and the person receiving the compositions.

• Personal data will not be passed to any third party without the composer’s permission.

JO’T/SH/JG/JS Aug 2018


from Jubilate Agno By Christopher Smart

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having consider'd God and himself he will consider his neighbour.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.
For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For he is of the Lord's poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually—Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.
For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.
For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in music.
For he is docile and can learn certain things.
For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.
For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.
For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.
For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
For the former is afraid of detection.
For the latter refuses the charge.
For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.
For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
For he killed the Ichneumon-rat very pernicious by land.
For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.
For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.
For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For, tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
For he can swim for life.
For he can creep.