About Us

Peter Lawrence Alexander

Alexander Publishing was founded by Peter Lawrence Alexander (1950-2015) to train and equip composers, orchestrators and arrangers using a practical, no-nonsense, results-driven approach to learning music.

Peter Lawrence Alexander is the author of most of the books and courses you’ll find here at AlexanderPublishing.com. Peter's books on harmony and orchestration have been endorsed by winners of the Academy®, Grammy®, Emmy®, BAFTA®, G.A.N.G., Telly® and Ava Gold® Awards.

A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Peter earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Composition. He studied counterpoint with Dr. Hugo Norden at Boston University, and after a decade working in the advertising industry he moved to Los Angeles to pursue music full-time. Living in Los Angeles he studied orchestration with Jack Smalley, noted Hollywood orchestrator Dr. Albert Harris, and Arthur Morton who orchestrated for the renowned film composer Jerry Goldsmith.

For three years Peter worked as the music tech for film composer/songwriter Henry Mancini (Pink Panther theme, Moon River, The Thorn Birds and others), and understudied with film composer Jerry Goldsmith (The Mummy, Star Trek (various), Air Force One, Total Recall, and others).

Overcoming Adversity

A Polio survivor, Peter overcame the paralyzing effects of Polio well enough to letter in sports and become an accomplished drummer who toured with his own Big Band. But in his mid-Forties, Peter came down with Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS), a debilitating condition in which Polio comes back in later life. Tragically, the paralysis and pain of PPS put Peter in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and prematurely ended his career-path as an orchestrator and film composer in Los Angeles. Years of rehab allowed Peter to build up the strength to gradually start writing again, but because of the physical restrictions he faced, his primary focus became taking all the knowledge and experience he had gained and using it to train up others in music. His expertise earned him the respect of many composers, orchestrators and music educators.

Anyone who knew Peter would testify to the fact that he was a fighter. He never quit, no matter what difficulties life threw at him. Never one to feel sorry for himself, he was a constant encourager and supporter of everyone he encountered in helping them realize their creative goals.

Experienced Educator and Music Technologist

His experiences on the scoring stages of Los Angeles enabled Peter to coordinate the beta test teams for the Vienna Symphonic Library First Edition and Pro Editions. He also co-produced The Modern Symphonic Orchestra for E-MU Systems, a division of Creative Labs, makers of the famous SoundBlaster audio cards.

Because of his expertise in music technology, Peter was a long-time writer of the Music Technology & You column for Film Music Weekly published out of Los Angeles. He was also awarded Best Game Audio Article by the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) for his article on video game composing, published in Film Music Magazine.

With over 30 years in music education and publishing, Peter’s training approach came out of his research into how the great composers taught themselves. That’s why you’ll find classic revised and edited works by Fux and Goetschius among the titles on this site. Peter’s music books and courses are research-oriented and focus on how people learn best. The result of this approach is titles that train for results, and get results when you follow their step-by-step learning approach.

As Peter would say, "it’s not about music theory, it’s about practical learning and doing." Peter's books and courses are not written for professors; as much as possible they’re written to be accessible to all. This means you learn in a respectful orderly manner that talks you up not down.

Where Peter conforms with academia is in his agreement that there are certain things you need to learn as the foundation of your music education. Where he’s non-conformist is in the way he approaches the teaching of that material. For example, the Applied Professional Harmony series will get you doing exercises at home with sample libraries so that while you’re learning to build chord progressions, you’re also doing it with strings, brass, woodwinds, voices, synth sounds, and recording your work. This means that with one simple exercise, you also learn basics of arranging, recording and building your keyboard skills, too.

In short, flexible, focused creativity.

Music technology is blended in with many training titles, not for technology’s sake, but because when incorporated effectively, you get better results. At the same time, where needed, Peter has no problem whatsoever in telling you point blank to skip the computer and find a pencil with an eraser.

Everything Peter has created is designed to show you how far you can go with your music, and so, to inspire and encourage you to get there. Whether you’re a professional or someone learning for the fun of it, time is tight. Everything is organized for you to learn at your own pace, on your schedule. That’s why, starting in 2009, more original downloadable training was developed so that you can learn even if you’re commuting in a car or on the subway.

Maintaining the Legacy

Helping to train you properly in the craft of writing music became the life-long passion of Peter Lawrence Alexander. Since Peter's sudden and unexpected passing in 2015, this website along with Peter's books and courses are now maintained and updated by his wife, Caroline Alexander, as the Sole Proprietor of Alexander Creative Media in the UK - where she moved to be with family following her husband’s death. Caroline holds a Master of Arts Degree in Music Design for Film and Television and is committed to keeping Peter's music teaching legacy alive for future generations of composers, orchestrators and arrangers to learn from and enjoy.

So dive in, and enjoy the learning process!

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