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Christopher Norton


Born: 1953


Christopher Norton was born in New Zealand in 1953. He began composing at the age of 14, and, by the age of 16, had an orchestral work performed and broadcast. Having completed an honours degree in music from Otago University, Dunedin, in 1974, Chris met with some success as a pianist in New Zealand, playing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and broadcasting on the Concert Programme. At the same time, he was teaching music in local high schools, beginning to freelance as a composer and arranger, and had also started to play keyboards in a rock band, having becoming interested in jazz and pop.

Coming to the UK in 1977 on a University Scholarship, he studied composition at York University with Wilfred Mellers and David Blake, writing a variety of pieces, including choral works, orchestral pieces, piano music and musicals. While playing in various bands, Chris started to experiment with combinations of styles that crossed the divide between his classical background, and more contemporary popular styles.

His earliest publications were with Universal Edition in London, and included Carol Jazz- improvisations on Christmas tunes-and Sing’n’Swing, for choir, piano and percussion. In 1983, Chris was signed by Boosey & Hawkes and the first of the Microjazz series appeared – music which appealed greatly to children and teenagers but was sufficiently rooted in the classical tradition to be useful as teaching material. The series has expanded over 30 years to include music for all of the major instruments with piano, ensemble books and midi file backings. It is now the biggest selling music series for Boosey & Hawkes, with over a million sales to date.

Norton's other publications with Boosey & Hawkes include the Essential Guides to Pop, Latin and Jazz Styles, the Rock, Country, Latin and Jazz Preludes series, and the Christopher Norton Concert Collections. In 2007, Frederick Harris Music published Christopher Norton Connections for Piano, a collection of 180 new, original piano pieces in popular styles. Novus Via Music Group have published his American Popular Piano course, a series of learning resources teaching the piano, created with editorial oversight from Scott McBride Smith. He has more recently created the Micromusicals series – short, curriculum-based musicals for children aged 5-11.

Christopher Norton is now well established as a composer, producer, arranger and educationalist and has written stage musicals, ballet scores, piano music, popular songs and orchestral music as well as jingles and signature tunes for TV and radio. He has lectured all over the world on aspects of his work and likes to integrate traditional teaching methods with aspects of modern technology. He has also found time to produce huge numbers of albums for the gospel market, with releases worldwide selling in excess of 1,000,000 units.

Composed (41)

Candles and Crowns

for SATB choir and piano, 10m

Carol Jazz

for piano, 15m

Childrens Voices

for solo voices, semi-chorus and SATB choir, 15m


for piano

Every Instrument

for treble voices and piano, 2m

Forest Piece

for piano, 2m

Four Short Pieces

for piano, 4m

Go-Getters; Us and Them; Under the Bedclothes; Inner Space

signature tunes for various ITV programmes

Harry's Rag

for classical guitar, 3m

In Praise of Music

for treble voices and piano, 2m

Lavender's Kind of Blue

for piano, 10m

Microjazz - Piano Duets 1

graded piano duets in popular styles

Microjazz 3

for piano, 36m

More Microjazz 1

graded piano pieces in popular styles

Music in the Air

for treble voices and piano, 2m

Music makes me feel it more

for treble voices and piano, 2m

None other Lamb

for unison choir and organ, or unaccompanied SATB choir, 3m

Piano Concerto

for piano and small orchestra, 20m

Poems of Sin and Death

for SATB choir and piano

Prelude and Tango

for solo guitar

Quartet for Three Violins and Piano

for three violins and piano, 10m


for four violins and piano, 10m


for treble voices and piano, 2m

Rock Preludes

for piano, 12m

Rock Preludes 2

for piano

Safe in the hands of God

for unison choir and piano

Setting of NZ Liturgy

for choir, organ and guitar, 20m

Sing 'n' Swing

for 2-part choir and piano, 15m


for cello and piano

Song for Don

for trombone and piano, 4m

Songs from the Psalms

various songs

Spring Song

for piano

St Nicholas Mass

for SATB choir and organ

Stepping Out

for oboe and piano, 8m


for piano, 5m 15s

The God of heaven thunders

for SATB choir and piano

The majesty of mountains

for SATB choir and piano


for two violins and piano, 10m

Trio for Clarinet, Bassoon, and Piano

for clarinet, bassoon and piano