During his musical development and -activities, Scheffer has had an apparent width in his compositions, which includes both ”Gebrauchsmusik”, educational works, musical experiments and research.

Photo: Per Anders Nilsson
The Lindblad studio, Gothenburg, 1991

In different periods, he has focused on different parts of the compositional operations and sometimes also on musical pastisches or arrangements for current ensembles and/or choirs. This text will primarily describe the approach of the more experimental and innovative compositions/works regarding compositional starting points.


Scheffer has, for a long time, worked with formalized structures in his compositions, but at the same time trying to achieve a personal approach that also involves a close contact with the sound and the musical dramaturgy. Story of tales (1995); a musical scene for baritone, percussion, piano and double bass, and Qui pro quo (1996-97) for solo percussion, bass clarinet in B flat and cello are examples of this.



Scheffer has distanced himself from an earlier expressive quality of the music for the benefit of certain repetitive elements. This is partly as a result of his use of ”montage” technique that treats music elements as ”objects”.
In the orchestral work En chantant (1994-95), this is particularly evident. There also plays the human voice a big role, as well as several works by Scheffer. The voice formants will namely be the basis not only for the harmonic construction, but for the whole conception.

Later years’ works of simplified structures (especially in the works ”Via Dolorosa”, ”fair play” and ”Tertia”), are explained by the composer in the following works comment of the saxophone quartet ”fair play” (2003).

Stockholms’ Saxophone quartet Photo: Ulrika Ljungberg

”In the piece ”Fair play” for saxophone quartet, I continued to develop my work with, as I call it, ”Reminiscens technique”. I have for a long period of time been interested in the listener’s role in the performances of contemporary music. Without compromising with my own aesthetic, sonorous, structural -and similar- values ​​I want to guide the listener through the piece in a way that makes you want to follow along in the development and not to ”give up”. ”Reminiscens technique” in this context means a kind of personal variation technique where similar musical progression resurrected with slightly different components in new figures. Slightly in the way that I feel that memory and perception works. I have previously, in my quest to achieve such a groundbreaking music as possible, distanced myself from every aspect of tonality, consonanses, scales, and chord sequences. So it was quite a surprise, I thought myself, when I found that one way to guide the listener could be using the above ingredients in a completely different musical context. At the same time, this approach was a necessary approach to change and renew my way of composing.”