Christopher Hobbs

(b. 9 September 1950, Hillingdon, Greater London).

British composer of mostly chamber and piano works that have been performed in the Americas and Europe.

Mr. Hobbs studied composition with Cornelius Cardew and percussion with Patricia Brady at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1967–69. He earned his PhD by Published Work at De Montfort University in Leicester in 2002.

He is also active in other positions. As a performer on a variety of instruments, he was a member of the Scratch Orchestra from 1968–71, AMM from 1968–71, the Promenade Theatre Orchestra from 1970–73, the Hobbs–White Duo from 1973–76, and the Hartzell Hilton Ensemble from 1987–89. As a pianist, he has played his own music, as well as the music of Erik Satie, including the première of the complete version of Le Fils des étoiles in 1989. He founded the Experimental Music Catalogue to distribute new music in 1969 and has served as its publisher since 1969.

He taught at Drama Centre London from 1973–91 and has taught on a part-time basis at De Montfort University since 1985.

In addition to the works listed below, Mr. Hobbs has written much music for stage productions and several songs.


E-mail address:

Website (Experimental Music Catalogue):



The Mountebanks (operetta in 2 acts, libretto by Sir W. S. Gilbert), 1976


The Arnold/Wolf-Ferrari Orchestra Book, 1969–70


Harp Star-Pieces, harp, 1967

Trio, 2 violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, 1968

Music for the Crumbling Cookie 12, any ensemble, 1968

55 Endings from 66 Choral Improvisations in 8 Major Keys, flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, bassoon, trombone, viola, double bass, 4 reed organs, 1971

Out of Exercise 2, flute, oboe, English horn, bass clarinet, tuba, 2 double basses, 2 toy pianos, 2 reed organs, 1971

Pìobaireachd Exercise, flute, 2 oboes, clarinet, bassoon, trombone, viola, double bass, 1971

Exercise for Percussionists, any number of percussion, 1974

RondoFantasia, 2 flutes, bass clarinet, trombone, harp, 2 violins, viola, cello, piano, 1974

Soft Saxon Systems, 8 psalteries, piano 4 hands, 2 glockenspiels, 6 percussion, 1974

Six Preludes and Five Chorales, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 1975

Sonatina, tuba, piano, 1975

Preludes, tuba, piano, 1975

Symphonic Dances I, toy piano, reed organ, percussion, 1975

Symphonic Dances II, tuba, piano, reed organ (+ percussion), 1975

Twelve Sketches, tuba, piano, 1976

Sonatina, bassoon, piano, 1976

Study for Solo Percussion, 1977

Orangerearrangement, flute, percussion, 1977

Recitative, bass clarinet, celesta, vibraphone, percussion, 1979

Three for Redlands, 2 flutes, oboe, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, 2 pianos, vibraphone, 1979

Still Life, and Moving, tuba, piano, percussion, 1979

Still Life, and Moving (Detail), tuba, piano, percussion, 1979

Sextet, flute, oboe, clarinet, tenor saxophone, bassoon, French horn, 1980

Seventeen One-Minute Pieces, string quartet, 1980

Swiftly to Virginia, E-flat clarinet, piano, 1981, revised 1991

The Wide Open, alto saxophone, French horn, trumpet, piano, organ, tam-tam, 1981

Rites of Passage, clarinet, piano (+ tam-tam), 1982

The Only Game in Town, 2 electronic keyboards, 1983

Back Seat Album, synthesizer, fixed media, 1983

Footlight and Fancy Bound, alto saxophone, vibraphone, fixed media, 1984

Four Studies in Shadow, bass flute, bass clarinet, bassoon, 1984

Four Pieces, 2 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, bassoon, trumpet, 2 trombones, piano, 2 percussion, 1985

Four Pieces, tuba, electronic keyboard, 1986

A Short Set, flute, oboe, clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, bassoon, vibraphone, tubular bells, 1986

Movement, flute, 2 clarinets, alto saxophone, bassoon, trombone, piano 4 hands, 1986

Fanfares, 2 E-flat clarinets, 1987

Gothic Swing, 2 E-flat clarinets, 2 violas, piano, vibraphone, 1987

Second String Quartet, 1987

Another Part of the Forest, 2 E-flat clarinets, 2 violas, piano, vibraphone, 1988

In Other Parts of the Forest, 2 pianos, harmonium, 1989

Five Pieces for the Ensemble 'Live Batts!', 2 electronic keyboards, 1990 (its five sections may be performed separately: Batt Jogg; The Batts of the Delectable Mountains; Batt Scrapps; Batt Flapp; Batt Fancie)

Five Pieces for Casio MT-750, synthesizer, 1990–91

Strong Intending, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, electronic keyboard, 1991

Tōkyō Games, clarinet, electronic keyboard, 1991

Figuring on Nervous Drums, percussion, 1992

Sonatina, flute, piano, 1992

Seventeen One-Minute Pieces, bass clarinet, synthesizer, 1992

A Window Opened on a Distant World, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, piano, 1992 (also version of one section as Stately, and Rather Remote, 2 pianos)

Why Not, bass clarinet, 1994

Scherzo and Lyric, E-flat clarinet, piano, 1991–95

No One May Ever Have the Same Knowledge Again (text from an anonymous source), any number of voices/fixed media, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, vibraphone, percussion, 1996

Six Duos, tuba, double bass, 1997

Starscape, vibraphone, string quartet, 1997

Après A. E. L. S., mezzo-soprano, soprano recorder, soprano saxophone, trombone, electric guitar, viola, double bass, piano, marimba, 1998 (section of L'Auteur se Retire; may be performed separately)


Two Watt Settings, 4 male voices, c. 1970

Sono Cantusque Congrua (text from an anonymous source), 4 male voices, 1994

Après Gesualdo (text from an anonymous source), 5 mixed voices, 1996 (section of L'Auteur se Retire; may be performed separately)


The Castle Keep (text by Franz Kafka [English translation]), 1–10 amplified speakers, 1970

Four Morgenstern Songs (text by Christian Morgenstern), baritone, piano/piano 4 hands, 1975

In the Silent Void (texts by poets from China [translated by Arthur Waley]), baritone, viola, piano (+ percussion), 1981

Five Morgenstern Songs (text by Christian Morgenstern), baritone, piano, 1984

Conspicuous Consumer (text from an anonymous source), mezzo-soprano, 2 flutes, trombone, viola, piano, 1988 (also version for soprano, piano, 1997)

Drei Lieder aus 'Der Struwwelpeter' (text by Heinrich Hoffmann), mezzo-soprano/baritone, piano, 1990

Extended Relationships and False Endings (texts from digests of soap operas), any number of amplified speakers, bass guitar, piano, 2 percussion, 1992–93


The Remorseless Lamb, 2 pianos, 1970

Czerny's 100 royal Bouquet Valses, arranged for Such as cannot reach an Octave, any number of pianos, c. 1970

Out of Exercise 3, 1971

Pretty Tough Cookie, 2 pianos, c. 1972

Piano Pieces 112, 1973 (its sections may be performed separately)

First Duet Set, 2 pianos/piano 4 hands, 1974

Second Duet Set, 2 pianos/piano 4 hands, 1975

Sonatina No. 1, 1975

Sonatina No. 2, 1976

Alleluia, 2 pianos, 1977

Sonatina No. 3, 1977

Sonatina No. 4, 1977

Sonatina No. 5, 1979

Sonatina No. 6, 1980

Sonatina No. 7, 1986

Piano Pieces, 1991

Stately, and Rather Remote, 2 pianos, 1992 (version of section of A Window Opened on a Distant World)

24 Preludes, 1992

A Compendium of Games, 2 pianos, 1994 (one section may be performed separately: Changes, piano)

Fifty in Two Thousand, piano (+ synthesizer, percussion), 2000

L'Auteur se Retire, 1996–2003 (its 16 sections may be performed separately: Après Chopin, 1996; Après Debussy, 1996; Après Schubert, 1996; Après Scarlatti, 1996; Après Sweelinck, 1996; Après Gesualdo, 5 mixed voices, 1996; Après Schumann, 1996; Après J. S. Bach, 1996; Après Grainger, 1996; Après Beethoven, 1996; Après Couperin, 1996; De Satie après Cage, 2 pianos, 2003; Après Rachmaninoff, 1996; Après Schoenberg, 1996; De Schoenberg après Busoni, 1996; Après A. E. L. S., mezzo-soprano, soprano recorder, soprano saxophone, trombone, electric guitar, viola, double bass, piano, marimba, 1998)

Reflections on 'Hotter than that', 2007


Christmas Piece for Organ, Volume 1, organ 4 hands, 1967–68

Christmas Piece for Organ, Volume 2, organ 4 hands, 1969


Home, fixed media, c. 1970

Come on, Get it Together, Chaps!, computer, 1988

Changes 1, computer, 1988

Changes 2, computer, 1988

Sudoku 125, computer, 2005

The Power, computer, 2006

The Plause, computer, 2006

Number Piece 4, computer, 2006

Sudoku 2647, computer, 2006

The Mill, computer, 2007

Sudoku 4867, computer, 2007

Sudoku 6897, computer, 2008

Sudoku 98131, computer, 2009

Sudoku 13233, computer, 2010


One Note, 1966

Voicepiece, 1967

To All Who Live in Simple Unpretentious Houses – (Composition, Feb 10 1968), 1968

Song 1, 1968

Measuring Means, 1968

The Glory of Highland ScotlandTour 47 – (Composition, Sep 3 1968), 1968

Song 2, 1968

Walk Event, 1968

Too Soft to Touch, but Too Lovely not to Try – (Composition, Dec 16 1968), 1968

Higgins' Eternal Ink – (Composition, Dec 25 1968), 1968

Shortly before Midnight, c. 1968

125 Questions for Pianists, 1969

Two Compositions, 21 May 1969, 1969

The Friesian Cow, 1969

Can You Hear Me, Mother?, 1970


Aran, toy piano, reed organ, percussion

The Back Gate of Kiev, 4 reed organs

Climax Hit-Off, 4 toy pianos, 4 reed organs

Dufay Accompli, 4 toy pianos, 4 reed organs

French Lady Gives Strict Counterpoint Lessons, 2 toy pianos, 4 reed organs

G Major Machine, 4 reed organs

He's My Guy (text from an anonymous source), 4 speakers, 4 reed organs

Imitation Roll-Off, oboe, clarinet, trombone, percussion

MacCrimmon Will Never Return, 4 reed organs

Mastery of the Beat, 4 reed organs

Out of Exercise 1, 4 toy pianos, 4 reed organs

Oxford Street Walk, oboe, clarinet, trombone, any drum

Rhythm Walk, percussion

Sad Lost-F Mantra, 3 toy pianos, woodblocks

Scriabin Readymade, 4 toy pianos

Straight off the Top, oboe, bass clarinet, trombone

Trio, 3 percussion

12-bar Blues Machine, 4 toy pianos

Two Doomsday Machines, 4 pianos/reed organs

Two 15th Century Roll-Offs, 4 toy pianos, 4 reed organs

With the Ascending Modulation, His Fame May Rise, 3 reed organs, percussion

Woman Has Naught to Do with Fame (text from an anonymous source), 4 speakers, 4 reed organs

Working Notes, 3 toy pianos, reed organ


Another Exercise, 2 percussion

Daughter of Luna, 2 toy pianos (both + reed organ, percussion)

A Fair Lick, 2 percussion

Festival Machine, 2 reed organs (both + bell metronome)

Heavy Viking Systems, 2 percussion

Intermezzo 1, 2 toy pianos (both + percussion)

Intermezzo 2, 2 toy pianos (both + percussion)

Knight's System, 2 percussion

Lincoln E. Moses Comes down from the Mountain, 2 percussion

A Mother's Son, 2 percussion

Mummers are Coming, 2 toy pianos (both + reed organ)

Number Piece 1, 2 percussion

Number Piece 2, 2 percussion

Number Piece 3, 2 percussion

Preludio alla Reminiscenza, bassoon, toy piano (+ reed organ)

Slow Swing, tuba, toy piano (+ reed organ)

Steady Pace Journey, 2 percussion

Systemic Mettle, 2 percussion

Timpani Studies, 2 percussion

Village Organist Roll-Off, 2 toy pianos (both + reed organ)