Musical Compositions by W. Edwards Deming

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Guest post by John Hunter, founder of

Dr. Deming encouraged organizations to respect the whole person; he recommended encouraging education even if it was not directly related to the employee’s job or potential jobs with the organization. In his own life, he pursued interests beyond those he is well known for, one of those lifelong interests was music. His mother was a musician.

W. Edwards Deming enjoyed composing music; he focused on liturgical pieces. Although he heard his compositions played and sung many times, one of his proudest moments occurred on 3 April 1993. An evening dedicated to his music and sponsored by the Ford Motor Company was presented by the Washington Civic Symphony at Constitution Hall in Washington, D. C. It was entitled, “W. Edwards Deming:The Man and His Music.”

He wrote a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner using the same words with different music. Dr. Deming’s comments on his composition:

Why do we need a new tune for our national anthem?
1) The usual well known tune is unsingable; it embraces more than an octave and a half.
2) It is irregular. It spoils the beautiful poem by Francis Scott Key, which is in regular triple metre.
3) It is an English drinking song, and a poor one at that.

Those thoughts echo a familiar sentiment, change the system in order to make success more likely. Rather than blaming those that can’t succeed with the existing system, change the system (change the song to make it more singable).

Musical Compositions by W. Edwards Deming

I Bow My Knees Unto the Father (1935)

view of sheet music

Benedicite, Omnia Opera
The Song of the Three Holy Children (1936)

Benedictus Es, Domine (1938)

Mess du Jardin de Gethsémani (handwritten, March 1971)

Missa Reginae Caeli (handwritten, 1976)
Kyrie Eleison
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
Gloria Tibi
Sanctus & Benedictus Qui Venit
Agnus Dei

Look Thou Upon Me (handwritten, undated)
Words from Psalm 25

The Star Spangled Banner (1985, 1991)

Missa Spiritui Sancto (17 March 1989)
Mass to the Holy Ghost
Kyrie Eleison
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
Benedictis Qui Venit
Agnus Dei

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