Cover design by Margaret Brandman
and Sam Hewitt ( Firestorm lettering)

Firestorm Symphony
Orchestrated in 2009 by Mark Saliba under the direction of the composer.


Firestorm is a three-movement work depicting the atmosphere and feelings during the summer of 1993-94 during which time the composer lived in the forested Blue Mountains, west of Sydney and experienced some of Australia’s most severe and terrifying bushfires. The piece was inspired by a dream which came to the composer’s mother, accordionist Else Brandman, shortly after the bushfires.

The composer herself fought a bushfire at her house in Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains in 2001.

The orchestral version of this piece is dedicated to the victims of the 1993-94, 2001 and 2009
fires in NSW and Victoria.

For more information including production notes and sample tracks, please visit the Firestorm Symphony page.



Binna Burra Dreaming
For 'cello and piano.

Binna Burra Dreaming for 'cello and piano is a contemporary, yet listenable work.

The title of the work is taken from the aboriginal name for 'where the beech tree grows'. The work is in one movement and through-composed in several sections in various modal minor tonalities and varying time signatures. The piece begins with a cello figure representing the sound of a digeridoo chanting 'binna burra'. The 'beech tree grows' motif appears throughout the work in different guises. Apart from the melodies, there are intriguing rhythms and contemporary jazz harmonies.

For more information including performance notes please visit the Binna Burra Dreaming page.

Binna Burra is available from the Australian Music Centre. RRP $26.70


Lyric Fantasy - For Piano and String Orchestra (published by Furore Music- Germany) Furore Edition 2567.
ISMN: M-50012-362-0
Click here for more information


Undulations - For String Orchestra (published by Furore Music- Germany) Furore Edition 2508

This work was performed in June 2006 by the Sydney Sinfonietta in the Uzton Hall , Sydney Opera House.


    " We are a chamber orchestra in Switzerland called Da Chiesa. We are about 20 string musicians. For this Christmas or December 1996, we'll give four concerts with the same program. We are very proud to play your music - Undulations, in these four concerts. They'll all take place near Lausanne, in Switzerland,. We enjoy very much your music and just wanted to congratulate you."

    Best regards, For Da Chiesa Chamber Orchestra - Natalia Hasler

Click here (TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE) to hear a sample of Undulations performed by the "Da Chiesa Chamber Orchestra". (226kB .au format)

  • I Ching Sounds for Orchestra 



Spirit Visions

Spirit Visions was composed after a professional meeting in 2002 between the composer, Margaret Brandman and Sydney organist and clairvoyant Robert Goode who was performing at Sydney Town Hall at the time and for whom Margaret had done a musical arrangement.

This expansive melody with lush chords was originally inspired by the tone colours of the Sydney Town Hall organ on which Robert performed and Margaret, through good fortune, was given an opportunity to improvise upon.

Beginning with the largo theme in a major key, the piece explores several variations in tempo,
rhythmic feel, mood and key, providing topics of musical conversation for the two performers.

Following the slow and majestic opening theme, Sections D, E and H introduce a syncopated bass line which lends a Latin American feel to these sections of the piece.

The Latin American harmonic element is reinforced at Letter E where the work modulates to the tonic minor (parallel minor). There is then a transition to the dominant minor key at Letter G, where the mood becomes pensive before the piece takes off at Letter H into a lively Latin American romp. There is a final rounding out of the piece with the return of the main theme in the tonic key at Letter I followed by a short coda at bar 122.

On the 17th of December 2009, the work was premiered by duo pianists Jenny Hammond and Frank O’Brien at a concert at the Joan Sutherland Centre in Penrith NSW.

The work has been recorded by the composer Margaret Brandman and Sydney based pianist and and jazz musician Marcello Maio.

For more information including sample page and sample track, please visit the Spirit Visions page.

To Purchase a copy of Spirit Visions, click here.


Christmas Favourites


  • graded Christmas tunes with a fresh approach


The Blues and Boogie-Woogie

  • 12 original compositions demonstrating Boogie-Woogie patterns for the left hand, Blues chords and blues melodic patterns, Swing time feel and notation.

Contemporary Modal Pieces


  • 21 Original pieces written with contemporary writing techniques; modal, pentatonic, whole-tone and serial pieces each piece descriptive of an Australian native animal. eg. The Albino Koala, the Wombat, Squirrel Glider,The Emu.

It's Easy to Improvise

" the fun way to learn

how to bring single

line tunes with chords

to life, and how to

embellish melodies

and/or create your own"



    • 5 original pieces for piano.
    • Each piece demonstrates the sounds of a standard four-note chord -
      • Dominant 7th (Weaving)
      • Major 7th (Beaming)
      • Diminished 7th (Dreaming)
      • Major 6th and Minor 6th (Gliding)
      • Minor 7th and Half-Diminished 7th chords (Gleaming)

'Ms Brandman further excels in delightful solo collections such as DREAMWEAVING.'

-John Peace, lecturer and performer, UK EUROPEAN PIANO TEACHER'S ASSOCIATION Piano Journal October 1994




Original concert work for piano



Original concert work for piano. In memory of Bill Evans

Piano solo commissioned by Selma Epstein

'Margaret Brandman is a very respected Australian composer... We did her ANTICS FOR FLUTE AND PIANO here. She wrote a piece for me to play in New York, SONORITIES. Very avant-garde, but very beautiful.'

-Selma Epstein, pianist, scholar, author, publisher, Director Chromattica U.S.A.

This work was performed and recorded by the late Australian concert pianist Aaron McMillan, on his 'Arc of light' CD released in 2007. The CD features works of Australian contemporary composers.

Six Contemporary Pieces

Works in varying styles for piano:

Badinarie 1 and 2, Invention, Tango Tranquille, Sunshowers on the River. Mini-Suite


Three Concert Pieces for Piano : -

  • Winter Piece - for Left Hand alone
  • Churinga - original concert work arranged for piano
  • Arioso - Jazz arrangement of Bach's arioso




Three Sketches

 Original concert work for piano

1) Intrada 2) Blue Interlude 3) Sea Breeze Sway



Static Ripples - Minimalist work


Three Sketches - 3 movements



Firestorm - 14 minute concert work

Sax Quartet


1) Images - Soprano Sax and Piano

  • Click here (TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE) to hear a sample of Images. (236kB .au format)

2) When Spirits Soar - for Alto Sax and Piano
Furore Edition 301. ISMN: M-50012-801-4

review From Viva Voce – a publication of the Frau und Musik archiv- Frankfurt , Germany -July 2002 Translation from the German

Lucky discovery by Susanne Geiger:

I would like to introduce …..discoveries from the area of chamber music for woodwind instruments. I recommend the following: The Australian composer Margaret S. Brandman composed a beautiful piece ‘When Spirits Soar" for Alto or Soprano Saxophone and Piano in 1997. A rare and exquisite arrangement (composition).

Born in 1951 M.S.Brandman received her musical education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Piano and Clarinet, and studied composition at Sydney University.

In the prologue she writes: " the soaring melodic lines and the relaxed approach achieved created by moving away from fixed time-signatures, entrains the listener to breathe deeply resulting in a feeling of well-being."

Apart from the peaceful and wide ranging melodies for the Saxophone, accompanied by a prudent piano part, the composition includes lively rhythmical episodes. However it presents itself as indeed a meditative, tuneful piece which creates a feeling of well being also for the participating musicians.

3) Saxophone Quartet - (3 movts) Published by Furore Music Germany. Furore Edition 199 ISMN: M-50012-099-5

"As leader of the Sydney Saxophone Quartet, I am well aquainted with this work as we performed it at a recital at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

It is beautifully printed on thick paper with a glossy cover with a modern design. It is very clear with markings and dynamics all making good sense musically.

It is a rewarding and enjoyable piece to play, not technically difficult, but very interesting indeed, being a modern work combining jazz, contemporary and contrapuntal effects including the use of odd times and swing jazz. Grade 7-8 AMEB could handle it nicely."

Neville Thomas . OAM




Antics - Flute and Piano (3 movts) -Included in AMEB syllabus

Flights of Fancy - Flute and Piano (3 movts) -Included in AMEB syllabus




Permutations - Clarinet and Piano




The Optimum Number - Four front line and four rhythm section.

in 7/4 with a 3/4 section for improvised solos.
Published by Furore Music- Germany. Furore Edition 200




Songs of Love and Desire -song cycle of six songs in contemporary serious style
lyrics by Desiree Regina - see the jump list for details and audio

Music for Single Swingers - scat vocal and piano (2 movts)

More and More - solo song and piano in the style of a jazz standard

For Choir .No.1 - four part vocal