The Cryptomusicology Project

Crytpomusicology is a large-scale work in progress. It’s a collection of 24 pieces for solo acoustic guitar, each inspired by the legend of a paranormal creature.

The collection is dedicated to my dad, Marvin Gore (1923-2015), a lifelong fan of horror and the supernatural. I premiered the first four pieces on May 23rd, 2023, which would have been dad’s 100th birthday. My plan is to release five additional four-piece videos in the coming months, to be followed by a proper album release. If you’d like to receive updates, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

So far I’ve released two volumes of four pieces each.

The performances include notes about the monsters and the music, with tech details at the end of each video.

You can download the scores for these pieces in standard notation and tab here:…


The Key Structure

One of my musical goals is to write in all 24 major and minor keys. That might not be especially remarkable for many instruments, but since guitar so heavily favors some keys over other, that introduces interesting musical challenges (and many opportunities for surprising dissonance).

Classical music fans may be familiar with previous “all 24 keys” compositions, notably the two volumes of J.S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. In each volume, Bach worked through the keys chromatically, starting in C major:

  • #1: Prelude and Fugue  in C Major
  • #2: Prelude and Fugue  in C Minor
  • #3: Prelude and Fugue  in C Sharp Major
  • #4: Prelude and Fugue  in C Sharp Minor
  • #5: Prelude and Fugue  in D Major
  • (etc.)

But I migrate around the circle of fifths in the manner of another great “all keys” work, Frédéric Chopin’s Préludes, Opus 28. Also starting at C major, Chopin introduces each key signature in major, followed by a piece in the relative minor. Then he adds an accidental, providing a major and minor piece in the new key signature:

  • #1: Prelude in C Major
  • #2: Prelude in A Minor
  • #3: Prelude G Major
  • #4: Prelude in E Minor
  • #5: Prelude D Major
  • (etc.)

I follow the same scheme, except I introduce each key signature with a minor key piece because … monsters!

Like so:

  • #1: Sasquatch At Large (A Minor)
  • #2: Mokele-Mbembe (C Major)
  • #3: La Canción de La Llorona (E Minor)
  • #4: The Flight of the Mothman (G Major)
  • #5: Wendigo’s Ground (B Minor)
  • #6 Waltz for Nessie (D Major)
  • #7 Spring-Heeled Jack (F# Minor)
  • #8 Conan Doyle’s Fairies (A Major)
  • (etc.)