Abram M. Plum

(b. 1925, Oskaloosa, Iowa – d. 10 May 2002, Bloomington, Illinois).

American composer of mostly chamber, choral, vocal, piano, and carillon works that have been performed in Europe and North America.

Mr. Plum studied composition with Philip Bezanson, Philip Greeley Clapp and Richard Hervig at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he earned his PhD in 1962. He also studied composition with Luigi Dallapiccola in New York, New York in 1956–57 and studied electronic music during several summers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

His music has been performed in France, the Netherlands and the USA.

He was also active in other positions. He founded the studio for electronic music at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington in 1971 and designed ear-training programmes for the computers Apple II and Apple IIGS, Hearing Melodic Patterns and Chordelia.

He taught composition, electronic music, music theory, non-Western music, and piano at Illinois Wesleyan University from 1965–91, where he then retained a part-time appointment as a staff accompanist from 1991–2002.





Four Mosaics, 12 winds, 1980–81

WA, flute, harp, string orchestra, 1992

Prelude and Fugue, string orchestra, 1995


Fantasy for Clarinet and Piano, clarinet, piano, 1964–65

Trio for Oboe, Cello and Piano, oboe, cello, piano, 1967

Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, bassoon, piano, 1968

Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, clarinet, viola, piano, 1969

Ceremonial Music, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 1969

Caprice, viola, piano, 1971

Five Proclamations, trombone, piano, 1975–77

Three Lyric Pieces, cello, piano, 1976–77

Sonata for Two Violas, 2 violas, 1977

Sonata for Two Flutes, 2 flutes, 1977

Nocturne, 2 violins, 1979

Three Pieces for Guitar, guitar, 1980

Sonata for Tuba and Piano, tuba, piano, 1980

String Trio, violin, viola, cello, 1982

Two Movements for String Quartet, string quartet, 1985

Two Movements for Woodwind Quintet, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1985

Dialogues, clarinet, marimba, 1986

Eight Scenes for Bass Trombone and Synthesizers, bass trombone, synthesizers (1 player), 1990

Piano Quartet, violin, viola, cello, piano, 1991

Ricercar à 6, any 6 players within a specified range, 1991

Duo for Violin and Marimba, violin, marimba, 1992

Two Pieces for Clarinet and Guitar, clarinet, guitar, 1993

Suite for Unaccompanied Viola, viola, 1993

Fantasia, 4 viols, 1993 (also version for string quartet, 1993)

Two Movements for Trombone Quartet, 4 trombones, 1993

Duo for Clarinet and Cello, clarinet, cello, 1994–95

Shadows, string quartet, 1995

Tapestry, flute, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, 1995

Fantasy on 'The Western Wynde', flute, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, 1996

Idyll, alto saxophone, cello, piano, 1996

Niobe, string quartet, 1997

Four for Four, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, 1997

Soliloquy, trombone, piano, 1999

In a Garden, flute, clarinet, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 1999

Aria and Dance, baritone saxophone, piano, 2000

Nocturne, soprano saxophone, piano, 2000

Conversations, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 2000

Romanza, clarinet, French horn, 2001


Three Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson (text by Ralph Waldo Emerson), mixed chorus, piano, 1993

Friends (text by Jane Nygood Plum), children's chorus, piano, 1994

De Profundis (text by Lafcadio Hearn), mixed chorus, 1994

The Caged Skylark (text by Gerard Manley Hopkins), male chorus, piano, 1994

Four Epigrams (text by William Blake), mixed chorus, 1995

Spring (text by William Blake), mixed chorus, piano, 1995


The Young Dancer (text by Leslie L. Brown), mezzo-soprano, flute, cello, piano, 1976

Six Songs to Seventeenth-Century English Poets, soprano obbligato, tenor, piano, 1979–80

Mirage: Five Poems by Christina Rossetti (text by Christina Rossetti), soprano, viola, 1993

Mutation (text by William Cullen Bryant), soprano, piano, 1994

Meg Merrilies' Songs (text by Sir Walter Scott), alto, piano, 1994–95

Inscapes: Five Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (text by Gerard Manley Hopkins), baritone, piano, 1997

Three Poems by Christina Rossetti (text by Christina Rossetti), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1998

Three Poems by Thomas Hardy (text by Thomas Hardy), baritone, piano, 1999


Toccata, 1951–52

Music for Beginners, 1964–65

Seven Reflections, 1968

Fantasy, 1980

Three Pieces, 1987

Lebewohl: Four Meditations on a Motive by Beethoven, 1991

Three Landscapes, 1992

Walking Music (after themes by Charles Ives), piano 4 hands, 1993

Sonata, 1993

Eight Jewish Folksongs, 1993–94

Scottish Suite, 1994

Music at Twilight, 1995

Lydian Lullabies, 1995

Eight Pieces in C, 1995

Phrygian Phantasy, 1995

Mountain Music, 1996

Four Idylls, 1996

Three Scottish Folksongs, 1996

Study in Porcelain, 1996

Kokoro, 1997

Niobe, 1997

Three Miniatures, 1997

In a Dream, 1998

Two Hebrew Songs, 1999

Fresco, 2000


Five Pieces, 1976–77

Six Variations on 'Watkins Ale', 1988


Constellations, 1997

Paean, 1997

A Ground, 1999

Waves, 1999

Fantasy on 'Kol Nidrei', 1999

Prelude and Fugue, 1999

Fantasy on 'Aus tiefer Not', 1999

Idyll, 1999

In Dulci Jubilo, 1999

Crystals, 1999

In Nomine, 2000

Sonorities, 2000

'Ding! dong! merrily on high', 2000

Bells among the Clouds, 2000

Mysterium, 2000

Passacaglia, 2001

Epilogue, 2001


Valse romantique, fixed media, 1975

Chrysalis, fixed media, 1976


Mutation. Janis Sabatino Hills, soprano; Leonard J. Lehrman, piano (Capstone Records: CPS-8623)

Three Landscapes. Jeffrey Jacob, piano (New Ariel Recordings: AE001)