Categories
Albums Recordings

Looking Ahead track notes

Looking Ahead

The third track in our album Sampler

The album and audio samples available wherever digital music can be found

This track is one of 3 tracks where I was experimenting with brass instruments. Please leave a comment if you like this liner notes or I may not include liner notes for all of the tracks.

For this track I used Native Instrument’s Session Horns utilizing various of the brass articulations available. I used key switching in the midi files to switch between articulations.

The rhythmic comes from the Heavyocity Kontakt instrument Damage. My notes don’t tell which instrument(s)/patch(es) were used. On that track, in addition to cutting off some low end with an EQ I also used the Native Instruments Supercharger compressor with a modified drumbuss preset. I also used some sort of riser in a few spots.

I used some EQ on all the tracks, except the master buss. It was mainly to remove unneeded low end and in a few cases a high-shelf. I used reverb on the risers. I used a Computer Music magazine version of the Acon Digital Reverb. I used the Large gothic cathedral preset, with of course, modified to fit the sound.

On the master bus, for mastering purposes, I used the Lurssen mastering console. I started with the default classical preset and made changes to fit the sound I wanted.

Categories
Albums

Engergizing Daydreams track notes

Energizing Daydreams

The 2nd track from our album Sampler

This is part of my continuing series providing what are essentially liner notes for the tracks on my album. Please leave a comment if these liner notes are of interest or I may be inclined not to do notes for all the tracks on the album.

There is a piece of software out there that professionals I’ve run across don’t like to admit they use. Or maybe they don’t want others to find out how helpful it can be. From an educational point of view, it is an excellent way to learn about many aspects of popular music styles. That program is Band in a Box. It would not surprise me if many pieces of music out there aren’t straight from the program with little more than simple mixing added.

For those that don’t know, Band in a Box, from PG Music, lets you enter the chords symbols and structure of a piece of music, choose a style and press play. Depending on the style selected (and other factors) one will then hear either recordings of live musicians playing based on the chords or midi instruments playing whatever instruments & software you’ve assigned Band in A Box to play. All in whatever style you’ve selected. What is heard, again depending on the style, are drums, piano/pads, guitar(s), bass and strings/brass/other. You can export, depending on the style, either audio files of each instrument (stems) or midi files of each instrument (and sometimes a combination of them) as well as an audio of the stereo mix. This program is light years ahead of similar iOs apps I’ve run across.

For this track I chose a midi only style – a style that only creates midi notes. I exported the midi tracks. I took the midi files created by the program, loaded them into my DAW (Reaper) and adapted, changed or added to those files. I then bounce the midi instruments to audio files and mix and master as usual.

The bass part is a cello like patch from the Novo expansion pack 1 by Heavyocity. For the drums I used the Afro Shop Kit in Battery 4 from Native Instruments. The piano part I used the Emotional Piano from Soundiron with Solid Bus Compressor from Native Instruments. For the pad part I used Soundiron’s Mercury Elements Amb F with Solid Bus Compressor. For the string part I used Spitfire audio’s Bernard Herrmann composer toolkit Studio Orchestra patch, long articulation. For the melody I used Exhale from Output with Solid Bus compressor and Replika XT Tape 30fps Delay.

I typically make modifications to any default patches in the above instruments. I did not keep detailed enough notes to know exactly what changes I made to the patches. For the strings, I duplicated the audio track (after bouncing from midi) on another channel. I then panned the original string channel hard left and the new one hard right pitching the left down in pitch ever so slightly and the right one up ever so slightly in pitch. This helped to give the strings a wide sound.

As with the first track of the album, I used a master folder on which any effects or mastering plugins went. All the tracks mentioned so far route to it. I then sent some of the master folder to the reverb track (in this case, not part of the folder). I used the RC48 delay unit from Native Instruments modified from the Small Church reverb preset. On the master folder I put the Solid Bus Compressor from Native Instruments with a modified mix glue preset.

It doesn’t look as though I did anything on the master bus for mastering purposes. Between what Band in a Box does and what the midi instruments I chose do, there wasn’t much need to anything special with the mastering as I did on many of the other tracks.

This track I suppose is about the most mainstream, pop sounding of any of the tracks on the album, with the exception of maybe one other piece.

Hope you enjoyed this track and the notes. Questions and comments are welcome.

Notes about the rest of the tracks will be in future articles if I get enough feedback from those of you reading this.

Categories
Arranging Church Music Organ Music Sibelius

New Sheet Music

Christmas Organ Selections II

I have a new sheet music Organ Collection available. This contains selections of Advent and Christmas titles.

Available at: https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20753754

Away In A Manger [MUELLER]
God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen
He Is Born [IL EST NSTE]
In The Bleak Midwinter [CRANHAM]
Joy To The World [ANTIOCH]
O Little Town Of Bethlehem [ST LOUIS]
The Babe of Bethlehem
The First Nowell
The Snow Lay On The Ground
What Child Is This [GREENSLEEVES]

There are a variety of styles represented. This and volume 1 will provide you with plenty of selections to choose from during the hectic Advent and Christmas season.

In addition to the link above (which takes you to the SheetMusicPlus website, my main distributor), a listing of all my available music can always be found at my website, JamesGilbertMusic.com

All of the typesetting for this collection was done using Sibelius.

Categories
Albums Reaper Recordings

Beginning The Adventure (Album track review)

Sampler

Beginning The Adventure

(This is the first of a series of articles about the tracks in my new album Sampler)

The album is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon MP3

The first track is called Beginning The Adventure. As a side note, I have to say that coming up with titles for my music is probably one of the most difficult aspects of composing I have. I always start with the music first and since there are no lyrics in my music, it makes sense. The last thing I do is come up with titles. Since I needed something a bit upbeat to set the mood, this track seemed appropriate, although I did give consideration to the “trance” like track “Exciting times,” but I thought “Beginning The Adventure” was a better choice.

I probably should have included Heavyocity in the name of this song. As best as I can tell, I only used Heavyocity products on this recording.

As I do most of my recordings “in the box,” that is, in my computer the sounds come from various software sound libraries, software based instruments and in rare situations, something from a loop. Some of the sounds I used were from synthesizers or modeling software that creates the sound as you go. Some were from samples of real recordings of acoustic instruments

This piece started out as my experimenting with the Heavyocity Gravity expansion pack “Vocalise.” There are 3 tracks that utilize some of the phrase menus. They are “A Phrase MV sus” (twice) and the C minor phrase menu. As I experimented I realized it would make a good piece, even for listening (as so much music I run across these days sounds like background music to a video or game and only useful for that, not listening). I also utilized Heavyocity’s NOVO strings at the very beginning for the low filtered sound that gradually comes in and helps set the mood. I don’t keep very good notes so I don’t know which patch it is. The low bass lick that comes in just before the voices start is from Heavyocity’s Aeon Rhythmic using the Synthocity preset. Underneath the vocals is the Heavyocity Aeon Rhythmic patch Falling Filters. The rhythmic pulse throughout comes from Heavyocity’s Aeon Rhythmic

I’m not big on using hundreds or even dozens of tracks to make a piece of music. The Heavyocity material frequently has 3 channels of sounds in one preset and offers a wide choice of effects all within the software avoiding the need to do a great deal of processing in my DAW. So, I only ended up with 7 tracks. I use “Reaper” as my DAW of choice. All of the original 7 tracks were MIDI tracks. I “freezed” the tracks once I had the sound I wanted. “Freezed” (or should it be “froze”?) is the term Reaper uses, in this case, to turn a MIDI track into an audio track. It renders the midi instrument into an audio file. It’s like in the old days of recording, committing to tape the take you best liked of live performers. The nice things is that in Reaper it is very easy to “un-freeze” (no they don’t call it “thaw”) the track if you don’t like it. (You do loose the edits you’ve made to the audio file, if any, but that’s kinda the point in “un-freezing” it).

Since there were so many processing and sound sculpting options in the software instruments – and I did process the default patches – I did very little processing in Reaper. In fact I only used two effects prior to the stereo bus. One was the Native Instrument/Soft Tube emulation of the Lexicon RC48 reverb. I modified the Grainy Echoes preset using a Random Hall and setting it on effect rather than reverb. Since this was on its own bus it was 100% wet. I used the send amounts to balance how much reverb each of the 7 tracks got. You may hear other reverb sounds but those come from the individual instruments themselves. I then routed the reverb to both the stereo bus (0 db) and to a delay bus (at -23db). I used the built-in ReaDelay that comes with reaper. I modified the basic ‘5-tap ping pong’ delay. Each tap was 1/4 of an eighth note after the other, panning left/right and getting softer. That went straight to the stereo bus.

In Reaper there is always a “master mix” channel. (See photo above). Other than a hard limiter (to prevent accidental or hidden clipping) I don’t put anything on it. Instead I setup a folder, the parent folder being the final stereo mix. The 7 music channels and 2 effect bus channels feed into it. Since I was having to master my own material, I put an EQ on this channel with a high-pass filter removing unneeded low end. I then added the IK-Multimedia mastering plugin “Lurssen Mastering Console.” I started with the EDM preset and modified to get the sound I was after. For this album I opted to mix everything using the TR5 Metering plugin from IK Multimedia for an average mix of -16 LUFS (which is the level at which many online streaming services prefer tracks to be and is a broadcast industry standard).

And that’s the details on that piece.

Categories
Albums General

New Album

New Album

Album cover

It’s been nearly 3 years since I released an album so I thought it was about time to release a new one. This one is a sampler of various styles of music I compose, arrange or record. Some of it is available in sheet music from my website.

Look for it June 1, 2018 on iTunes, Amazon MP3, YouTube Music, Spotify and more.

I plan to post some details in the upcoming weeks about various tracks.  Please consider buying a copy of the whole album or individual tracks or stream it on Spotify.

Many of the titles are available in sheet music form at his website. Those that aren’t rely too much on specific computer sound libraries to be played by acoustic instruments. Three titles are based on brass quintet arrangements, but of course added to for the recording. One piece is based entirely on the results of fractal math formulas. Another one, the all percussion piece, Very Confused, uses a Beethoven piano sonata as the source rhythm but then highly manipulated. Another piece is based on a 12-tone instrumental ensemble piece. Yet another piece is more like modern trance music, but with James’ own twist. A couple came about as a result of experimenting with various sound libraries. Waiting and watching found its origins from music written on an iPad using NotateMe while in a doctor’s waiting room! While every title might not be for everybody, there is something here that you will like.

Categories
Albums Arranging General Organ Music Piano Lessons Reaper Recordings Sibelius Website News YouTube Videos

May 2018 update

Current news

I’m always looking for subjects to write about here or tutorial to do on YouTube. Please use the comments section to give me some ideas.

I’ve not shown a map of where people are buying and performing my sheet music for some time, so here’s the latest (as of Mar 31, 2018)

I’m making some changes to the music catalog. Rather than offer individual keyboard arrangements, I’m only selling collections. I have 8 piano solo collections available. As time permits I will remove organ solos from the catalog and only offer collections. It is easier to manage collections.

I have no plans for anything on YouTube at the present time. This is for two reasons: 1) Nobody who watches my videos on YouTube has bothered to let me know what they want to see and 2) YouTube no longer allows me to monetize my channel and nobody who watches my videos has donated anything to keep it going.

As always, check the sheet music catalog for new titles. At least once a month, sometimes more often there are new titles.

After 15 custom arrangements for a single client I must be doing something right. If you have a beginner/intermediate instrumental group or a church orchestra in need of arrangements, let me know so I can write it for you.

I’m always “playing around” with my various sound libraries and live instruments in my home studio. Look for at least one new album out this summer, if not two.

I continue to teach piano lessons locally and over the internet. So, no matter where you are in the world I can teach you. I can also tutor on composing, arranging, music theory and more. Drop me a note if you are interested.

Categories
General Sibelius YouTube Videos

Sibelius Sound Set Editor Introduction

Sibelius Sound Set Editor

I put together a brief video showing an introduction to the Sound Set Editor and how you can use it to support virtual instruments

Categories
Arranging Church Music Organ Music Website News

New Additions to the Catalog

New Additions

The sheet music we have available is in a variety of styles for just about every imaginable combination of instruments. Some were written & used in church; some were written for teaching and educational settings; some are just fun to play and some would make great background music in a video.

I’ve added the following Solo Organ titles to the catalog recently (March 2017):

Down At The Crosshttps://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20707177 — A good piece for Lent or Communion

Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Dayshttps://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20707178 — Another excellent piece for use during Lent

The Lily Of The Valley https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20707179 – An upbeat, fun to play setting of this tune.

There Is A Fountain https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20707180 — Another piece well suited for Lent or Communion

To see all the titles I have available (currently around 1,000) visit https://jamesgilbertmusic.com/catalog.php

 

Categories
Arranging Church Music Organ Music Website News

Feb 2018 Sheet-Music additions

More additions to the catalog

Here are the latest additions to our sheet-music catalog. Including sheet-music and individual audio tracks, we approach a total of 1,100 titles available.

Breathe On Me — A setting of the hymn tune NOVA VITA for orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20701580

Come Down, O Love Divine — An arrangement of this hymn tune for solo organ — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20701582

Memoriam — Based on the original piano solo, this piece is for solo orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20701584

Now Thank We All Our God — A setting of NUN DANKET for solo orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20701581

Once In Royal David’s City — This Christmas time piece is part of our Any Size Church Orchestra series. Playable by as little as 1 orchestral instrument and keyboard or a full concert band or full orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20701585

Onward Christian Soldiers — A setting of this very popular hymn. Part of our Any Size Church Orchestra series. — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20701590

Visit our Catalog Page to see all of our titles and recordings.

Categories
Arranging Other Sibelius

Sheet Music Plus for Composers/Arrangers

A “Kindle like” publishing platform for musicians

In case you did not know it, SheetMusicPlus.com has been operating a self-publishing platform similar to the way Amazon allows book authors to publish material for their Kindle.

I’ve been using it since Jan 2016 to sell all the titles I have available and have been quite happy with it. (I also should add that SMP is my go to source for printed music since there are no music stores within driving distance of where I live).

The following article explains it much better than I can and includes some videos to help Sibelius users although anyone who can create a PDF file of their music can participate. Their ArrangeMe option, discussed in the article is a great opportunity for arrangers.

http://www.avidblogs.com/sibelius-users-sell-music-today-millions-worldwide-smp-press/

In addition to Sheet Music Plus, ScoreExchange.com out of England also allows you to sell your music for free. They are very geared toward Sibelius users, allowing them to upload Sibelius files directly to them. I also have many of my titles there, but unfortunately, they are not as well known as SMP. JW Pepper music in the USA has a publish option for composers/arrangers that has a startup fee but also makes titles available to customers in printed form and is geared toward the educational market. I’ve not tried them.

Are there any other similar services I didn’t mention?  Any pros/cons anyone would care to discuss? Please comment.

Categories
Arranging General Recordings

Results of my contest entry

Did they even listen to my entry?

So, a few posts ago I mentioned that Spitfire Audio was having  a contest that I had entered. The one and half minute video was provided by them. Contestants had to write music to fit the video. It didn’t matter what sound libraries we used, it was “the composition that mattered.” Given the winning entry, which isn’t a bad musical competition, I wonder if my entry made it to them?

Nobody has ever called me a bad looser, but in this case, I just don’t get it. Were they more interested in the mixing/mastering than the music matching the video or what? The whole contest was a bit odd. The entry method was emailing the final audio (a large sized file) which could have easily ended up in their spam folder or deleted. It’s never safe to email something so big. We also had to send a link to our music synced to their video. I did that. They never confirmed whether they got my entry nor did I ever see it (or any other entries) posted on their SoundCloud site as the rules said they would. They also did not announce the winner on their website, but instead at the following Facebook page. Not everyone uses facebook. Here’s the winner:

https://www.facebook.com/SpitfireAudio/videos/10155715880575412/

The problems I have are:

The composition is little more than a 1:15 tension builder. It doesn’t resolve the tension. When I’m looking to buy a sound library, this music doesn’t do it for me.

The music doesn’t fit the video. It in no way enhances or supports the visuals we see. (Some comments on their facebook page agree with me here).

It is so repetitive to the point of almost being boring.

When it switches from graphics to the control room, why no change to draw the viewer, who may have turned away while watching on their phone, tablet or PC, to the change?

When we see a large horn section, I have trouble hearing any horns. The only thing in the video are horns yet there are no obvious horns in the music.

The same thing when we see flutes, trumpets and a timpani player feverlishly bangs on the timpani, we don’t hear flutes, trumpets or timpani. Why not? It would be an excellent way to showcase the product and its multiple capabilities instead of hearing essentially the same thing we’ve heard from the beginning.

When the woman is showed at her computer using Albion, why not give us something electronic? Movie soundtracks aren’t all symphonic orchestra are they?

The biggest thing that bothers me is when she plays a C on her keyboard (after seeing that she has a string sound loaded up) we don’t hear a C, not even a note in the C chord, nor are strings featured. What happened to matching the music to enhance the visuals?

Any how, here is my entry. I know it isn’t perfect. The mixing and mastering need some work and it probably would have helped to layer in some more sounds to what is there. I would really like some comments as to why my attempt was not as good as the winner.

Categories
Music Theory Other Piano Lessons YouTube Videos

Playing from a Leadsheet (revisited)

Playing from a Leadsheet

for solo pianists

 

Back in 2014 I did a tutorial video on YouTube titles How to play a Leadsheet on solo piano. A followup to it is below.

The video pretty much tells all you need to know to get started playing a leadsheet. One correction is that the D7/F chord on the first line should be a D7/F#. The following description and addition may help in learning to play a leadsheet.

The video shows three different renderings in addition to the original sheet music. The 1st, with just the bass root note in the LH can be a starting point for a walking bass. Imagine a scale based on that root note but not changing any notes from those already in the key signature. Play the 1, 2, 3 & 5 notes or 1,3,5,7 in a measure with one chord. For example, “F G A C” or “C E G B or Bb depending on taste.”

The 2nd sheet music simply shows the block chord with all the notes we could use to harmonize the leadsheet. It is mainly for illustrative purposes. I would never play a leadsheet with just root position block chords.

The final example is the most like one might play. The examples, with the harmony spread between both hands and with rhythmic variation show various rhythmic possibilities for the accompaniment/harmony. However, there’s too much rhythmic variation going on. The last two lines could be played “as is” but the first two lines have, because it is illustrative and not practical, a variety of rhythmic styles.

The next step in leadsheet playing is to listen or look at sheet music of various styles of music similar to the one you are learning. Try and use the rhythmic patterns and harmonic voicing in those examples in your own playing. Leadsheets, after all, are not meant to be a final arrangement. They are there to remind you of how the piece goes and give you just enough information so you can play it such that a listener is reminded of the song.

This is just a starting point to playing from leadsheets.

Bonus points if you recognize what the featured photo shows (besides a leadsheet).

Categories
Arranging Church Music Organ Music Website News

New Sheet-Music

New Sheet-Music

I’m trying to compose or arrange more music than I usually do. Since I am a church musician, the obvious music to write is music of a utilitarian nature. That is, write music I can use or that another church musician can use. Click on the link for each title to see sample pages and listen to sample recordings.

Onward Christian Soldiers    For Solo Organ https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20688328
When recently called upon to play for a memorial service as part of a regular church service, this title was requested (on organ). Surprisingly with my hundreds of organ titles I’d purchased over the years and arrangements I’d written, I did not have an arrangement of this for organ. I needed something that could work as a less marching, military sounding piece, so I put this together.

Breathe On Me [NOVA VITA] For solo piano https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20688329
This was a title scheduled to be used one Sunday morning so I decided to write an arrangement to use in that service.

Memoriam For solo piano. https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20688330
For the same mentioned memorial service I needed something during communion. The congregation likes me to play the communion music on piano. For you music theorists or those that are good at analyzing music, see if you can figure out the relationship with “On Eagle’s Wings” that a soloist sang earlier in the program. (Good luck with that).

TO GOD BE THE GLORY Piano hymn accompaniment https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20688331
From time to time our church likes to have a service with only piano and a bit more gospel oriented music. They also like alternate harmonizations or accompaniments during hymns. I adapted this from a similar organ hymn accompaniment also available in my catalog.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross  for Orchestra https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20688327
I have a few versions of this title for different instruments. As a popular title I decided it would be good to have an orchestra/large ensemble version as those titles have always been popular

Categories
Uncategorized

Creating Music for a Trailer

Creating music for a trailer

In late December 2017, Spitfire Audio, a London based music software company announced a contest in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its Albion 1 software. The contest was to compose and record the music for a promotional trailer for the 10th anniversary version. Any software library was fair game. What was important was the composition, not the libraries used to make it. Here is my effort in the competition.


I hope you enjoy it and I’m hoping it will win. Once I know one way or the other, I’ll update this.

Categories
Arranging Church Music Kindle Organ Music Other Piano Lessons Recordings Website News YouTube Videos

Year 2017 in Review

Goodbye to 2017

To start the blog being moved to this location, I thought I’d start with an article reviewing the past year, 2017, and my musical efforts.

Personally, two things impacted me more than anything else.

First, Hurricane Irma impacted where I live more than other hurricanes in the past have. (I went through Andrew in Miami in 1992 and 3 storms in 2004 here in North Florida). Took probably a month to two to get back to normal. Even now, at least one major highway is impacted due to flooding.

Secondly, I had a USB hub short-circuit or something. It ended up frying the USB ports in my desktop. I had to replace the computer and go through the tedious process of reinstalling software and customizing things to my liking. Of course, the unexpected expense was not welcome.

Most exciting for me (or terrifying I suppose) was one day when I was practicing before my piano students arrived at the church in Micanopy. I saw police go by outside. The short story is that there was a credible bomb threat against two churches in town and a device was found by the propane tanks at the opposite end of the church from where I was. I left the building. A few of my students got to review theory down the street at the library. The crude device would never have gone off let alone caused any serious damage.

Throughout the entire year I released 51 new arrangements or compositions. I performed as a solo pianist three times. Once for a public concert featuring TV & Film music. The other two were for private parties. I played the organ for several funerals this year – more than usual and for at least 3 of them I knew the deceased.

I continue to play for church services at an Episcopal church in Micanopy, FL. It is a good, steady gig at a church that actually sings, sometimes in 4-part harmony, and appreciates music from Gregorian Chant to praise/worship music. (Although they lean more toward the older music than newer).

I continued to coordinate the Concert Series for the above mentioned church. The 2017/2018 series will have 8 concerts, all high-quality performers.

My piano lessons locally and via the internet continued to go well, although I am always wanting more students.

My parent’s cat, featured some years ago in a YouTube video with original music died. He was around 15 years old.

A review of all my music compositions and arrangements follows:

January through March

I released 2 new arrangements and adapted 2 original compositions.
I did one arrangement for a Toronto, Canada church/school for a Reformation celebration.

I’ve also been working with a church in Houston arranging material for their all-volunteer band/orchestra that consists of mostly 12-18 year olds.

Abide With Me — A 12/8 flowing arrangement for solo piano of this familiar piece with large ending. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20407440?aff_id=104230

Was Lebet, Was Schwebet (O Worship The Lord in the Beauty of Holiness) — This was originally a custom arrangement for a Canadian school as they planned to celebrate the anniversary of The Reformation. A hymn accompaniment for Brass Quintet and organ. Suitable for any accompanying of congregational singing. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20407433?aff_id=104230

Missles of October — An original piece, originally for instrumental ensemble. Here adapted for solo piano. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20407445?aff_id=104230

Christ is Made The Sure Foundation — An original piece, originally for choir. Adapted for solo piano. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20441509?aff_id=104230

April through June

During this period I released 19 arrangements or compositions.

All People That On Earth Do Dwell — An unaccompanied setting of All People That On Earth Do Dwell for Soprano, Alto and Tenor or 3-part choir. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20456550?aff_id=104230 Popular Title

BROMLEY (O Trinity Of Blessed Light) — An instrumental hymn accompaniment of this hymn tune. It is intended to be played by any combination of instruments (with keyboard). It consists of two verses of the hymn, each in a different key with a modulation between the two. Parts provided for C, Bb, Eb, F, Alto Clef and Keyboard instruments http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20456546?aff_id=104230

Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross — A contemporary blues, jazz style arrangement of this gospel hymn, Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20456548?aff_id=104230

Amazing Grace, How Sweet The Sound — The popular tune NEW BRITAIN, best known as Amazing Grace here arranged for solo piano. This is a fun, upbeat piece with hints of contemporary and classical music. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20441507?aff_id=104230 Popular Title

Celtic Postlude — When this piece was written, it was popular to have church services that focused on or used Celtic music. This piece is a modern interpretation of an Irish style of music. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20441506?aff_id=104230 Popular Title

Piece in F minor — A piece for concert band in F Minor. An upbeat, almost dance-like piece. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20441502?aff_id=104230

Praise The Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him    — The hymn tune HYFRYDOL has been set to many different lyrics. Besides this one “Praise The Lord, Ye Heavens Adore Him,” the title “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” is well known. This is a fun, upbeat piece to play. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20441508?aff_id=104230

Amazing Grace    — A setting of the hymn tune NEW BRITAIN, best known as Amazing Grace. For Orchestra. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20441503?aff_id=104230 Popular Title

Nearer My God To Thee    — A setting of the hymn tune BETHANY, best known as Nearer My God To Thee. This is the song the band on the ship Titantic played as the ship slowly sank after hitting an iceberg in 1912. For orchestra. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20441504?aff_id=104230 Popular Title

The Star-Spangled Banner — An arrangement of the US national anthem, also known as The Star-Spangled Banner. For Orchestra. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20441505?aff_id=104230

Awesome God — For Woodwind Quintet. A full arrangement of this popular praise and worship piece.  http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20440218?aff_id=104230

Brass    Bridge Over Troubled Water — For Brass Quintet. An arrangement of this popular Simon and Garfunkel tune. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20436729?aff_id=104230 Popular Title

Crazy — For String Quartet. A country, bluesy setting of this piece made popular by Patsy Cline. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20436742?aff_id=104230

Day By Day — For String Quartet. A classical piece in the style of Mozart. Based on the hymn tune BLOTT EN DAG (Day by Day). http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20436745?aff_id=104230 Popular Title

Fairest Lord Jesus — An arrangement for Brass Quintet of this classic hymn. Also known under the title Beautiful Savior. Hymn tune: ST ELIZABETH     http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20436743?aff_id=104230

Halleljuah Chorus (from The Messiah) — A setting of the chorus from The Messiah, for woodwind quintet. A popular, highly requested title, great for any group. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20436751?aff_id=104230 Popular Title

Jesu Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Bach) — For Brass Quintet. This popular piece, often heard at Weddings or Christmas time is from BWV 147. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20436744?aff_id=104230

Prelude in E minor (Chopin) For String Quartet. An arrangement of this popular Chopin piece. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20436747?aff_id=104230

The Sound Of Silence — For Woodwind Quintet. A setting of this popular Paul Simon piece. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20440215?aff_id=104230

July through September

The God Of Abraham Praise — An arrangement of the hymn The God of Abraham Praise for SATB choir with piano accompaniment. Hymn tune name: LEONI. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20520291?aff_id=104230

Waiting and Watching — An original composition for orchestra. A minor, reflective piece. For Orchestra. Many parts are doubled so it can be played with a smaller than average group. Piano reduction provided. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20520293?aff_id=104230

LAUDATE DOMINUM (O Praise Ye The Lord) — An instrumental hymn accompaniment of this hymn tune. This is designed to be played by any combination of instruments with piano. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20520292?aff_id=104230

ST GEORGE’S WINDSOR (Come Ye Thankful People Come) — An instrumental hymn accompaniment of this hymn tune. This is designed to be played by any combination of instruments with piano. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20472175?aff_id=104230

There Is Power In The Blood — A new setting of this favorite gospel hymn. For solo piano. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20472177?aff_id=104230
Popular Title

There Is Power In The Blood — A fun to play arrangement of this audience favorite. For Orchestra. There are many doubled parts in this arrangement which means it can be played and sound just as good without all the listed instruments. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20470069?aff_id=104230
Popular title

A Mighty Fortress — A rhythmic piece inspired by the hymn tune EIN’ FESTE BURG. For orchestra. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20467078?aff_id=104230

Amazing Grace — For Piano Duet. An upbeat, rhythmic setting of this all time favorite hymn. Hymn tune: NEW BRITAIN. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20467079?aff_id=104230
Popular Title

Near The Cross — A blues, jazz setting of this lesser known hymn tune. A fun and very different setting for SATB choir with piano accompaniment. Small choirs can sing the piece in unison or two-parts. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20465376?aff_id=104230

October through December

Once In Royal David’s City — For Solo Organ. A favorite Christmas hymn arranged in a meditative style. Hymn tune: IRBY.

There’s A Voice In The Wilderness — For solo piano. For Advent and Christmas. This arrangement is a majestic and festive setting great for a Postlude or Prelude during Advent. Hymn tune: ASCENSION

Now Thank We All Our God — For Solo Organ. A contemporary, upbeat setting of this hymn. Hymn tune: NUN DANKET

SAGINA (And Can It Be) — For organ accompaniment of congregational singing. Hymn tune: SAGINA. Most common lyrics are to the title “And Can It Be.” Alternate harmonization and descant.

Thou, Who At Thy First Eucharist — For Solo Organ. The melody by Orlando Gibbons in the style of a modern chorale prelude. Hymn tune: SONG 1.

At Calvary — For Woodwind Quintet. This popular hymn arranged for woodwind quintet.  http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20666098?aff_id=104230

I Come With Joy — For solo piano. An arrangement of this popular tune. From the Southern Harmony collection, the hymn tune LAND OF REST is often set to the lyrics of I Come With Joy,  a piece often used for communion. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20666093?aff_id=104230

I Remember You — For Solo Piano. An original composition, arranged and adapted here from the original choral piece. This piece could be appropriate for any spot in a church service, school program or recital. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20666095?aff_id=104230

Irma’s March — An original composition for orchestra. A march like feel, a sense of forward motion throughout. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20666091?aff_id=104230

Kyrie from Missa De Beate Virgine — For Solo Organ. An arrangement of this piece by Josquin Desprez. From one of the earliest Renaissance settings of the Mass. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20666092?aff_id=104230

Rejoice, Ye Pure In Heart — For String Quartet. An arrangement of the popular hymn. Tune name: Marion. A fun, syncopated arrangement. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20666097?aff_id=104230

Amazing Grace — An arrangement of the hymn tune NEW BRITAIN – Amazing Grace – for SATB choir with piano accompaniment.    http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20657604?aff_id=104230

Amazing Grace — For String Quartet. A lively, fun to play setting. Hymn tune: NEW BRITAIN. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20657616?aff_id=104230

Amazing Grace — For Woodwind Quintet. An arrangement of the popular hymn. Hymn tune: NEW BRITAIN. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20657617?aff_id=104230

EVENTIDE (Abide With Me) — An instrumental hymn accompaniment designed to be played by any combination of instruments along with piano (or organ). http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20657609?aff_id=104230

NEW BRITAIN (Amazing Grace) — An instrumental hymn accompaniment designed to be played by any combination of instruments along with piano (or organ). http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20657611?aff_id=104230

NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND (Savior of the Nations, Come) — An instrumental hymn accompaniment designed to be played by any combinatoin of instruments along with piano (or organ). http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20657613?aff_id=104230

SLANE (Be Thou My Vision) — An instrumental hymn accompaniment designed to be played by any combination of instruments along with piano (or organ). http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20657615?aff_id=104230

This Is My Father’s World — For SATB, unaccompanied choir. In addition to rich harmonies, the piece ends with a flowing descant. Hymn tune: TERRA BEATA. http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20657606?aff_id=104230

Please check back often. I plan to be more active with the blog than I was last year.

Categories
Uncategorized

News (March 2016)

Monthly (quarterly?) post

Posted on by

News

I know I’ve been a bit behind in regular posts here and on my YouTube channel. You can also follow me on Twitter @JGSheetMusic

Arrangements

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been arranging some copyrighted material for distribution via SheetMusicPlus. I have some new titles available including “Crazy”, “Hawaii Five-O Theme”, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “Fly Me To The Moon.” Mostly for solo piano but also a string quartet. Visit my SheetMusicPlus page to see all I have available.

Custom arrangements

I recently finished a custom instrumental arrangement for a church group in the Houston, TX area. The group consists of ages 11-18 with a few adults. This makes a total of four I’ve done for them. They’ve all been well received. I’m available to arrange or compose anything for any combination of instruments or styles. Drop me a note if interested. Here’s a video of the group playing my first arrangement. Remember, they are beginners.

MIDI files

I continue to provide MIDI files for a Lutheran church to use in their services. I send the files over the internet. They hook their computer up to the organ, select the registration they want, hit play and that’s their accompaniment to congregational singing and also some background music during communion. Any midi capable instrument (piano, synthesizer or organ) can be used to play the files.

Website

I continue to post new arrangements and compositions to my website, JamesGilbertMusic.com

Piano Lessons

Of course, I’m still teaching piano lessons locally. I can also teach via the internet if you aren’t in the area.

Church music

Being a church musician is a great way to have a steady gig as a musician. The small, rural parish church I play for had to give up its choir last November due to only 3 or 4 people (all inexperienced, non-musicians) showing up. But for Easter and weeks leading up to it we had some soloists sing in addition to some extra material from me. I offer consultation on how to make the most of your church music program and/or help in accompanying congregational singing – from a single pianist up to a large praise band or orchestra.
Is there anything in the way of tutorials or general information you’d like to see here on this page or my YouTube page.

Categories
Church Music General Other YouTube Videos

Concert Band Arrangements

Sorry it’s been since March (nearly 6 months) since I’ve last posted. As mentioned in the last post, I’ve been doing custom arrangements for a client that’s reached about 10 titles. Plus I’ve been working on series called “Any Size Church Orchestra series” of arrangements for church groups that never know from week to week who will be there. These arrangements, now available at my website, are playable by a wide combination of instruments.

But, today I want to feature my Concert Band arrangements. I will let the demo videos speak for themselves. (Please remember, these are demos from computer software and not mixed. I have neither the time to mix them nor money to hire a real band).

PS. If you’re in the Gainesville, Ocala area on October 16, 2016 I’m giving a solo piano concert featuring TV & Film music. It is at 2pm at the Church of the Mediator in Micanopy, FL.

The following YouTube video is a playlist of demos of all the titles I have.

 

Categories
Arranging Church Music General Other Website News YouTube Videos

Monthly (Mar 2016) post

News

I know I’ve been a bit behind in regular posts here and on my YouTube channel. I probably use Twitter more than anything so if you want to know the latest, follow me there. (@JGSheetMusic).

Arrangements

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been arranging some copyrighted material for distribution via SheetMusicPlus. I have some new titles available including “Crazy”, “Hawaii Five-O Theme”, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “Fly Me To The Moon.” Mostly for solo piano but also a string quartet. Visit my SheetMusicPlus page to see all I have available.

Custom arrangements

I recently finished a custom instrumental arrangement for a church group in the Houston, TX area. The group consists of ages 11-18 with a few adults. This makes a total of four I’ve done for them. They’ve all been well received. I’m available to arrange or compose anything for any combination of instruments or styles. Drop me a note if interested. Here’s a video of the group playing my first arrangement. Remember, they are beginners.

https://youtu.be/9MVXF_Kw7oA

MIDI files

I continue to provide MIDI files for a Lutheran church to use in their services. I send the files over the internet. They hook their computer up to the organ, select the registration they want, hit play and that’s their accompaniment to congregational singing and also some background music during communion. Any midi capable instrument (piano, synthesizer or organ) can be used to play the files.

Website

I continue to post new arrangements and compositions to my website, JamesGilbertMusic.com

Piano Lessons

Of course, I’m still teaching piano lessons locally. I can also teach via the internet if you aren’t in the area.

Church music

Being a church musician is a great way to have a steady gig as a musician. The small, rural parish church I play for had to give up its choir last November due to only 3 or 4 people (all inexperienced, non-musicians) showing up. But for Easter and weeks leading up to it we had some soloists sing in addition to some extra material from me. I offer consultation on how to make the most of your church music program and/or help in accompanying congregational singing – from a single pianist up to a large praise band or orchestra.

Is there anything in the way of tutorials or general information you’d like to see here on this page or my YouTube page.

Categories
Arranging General Website News YouTube Videos

New and Unique music demos

New Music

As most readers of my blog know, I am distributing my compositions and arrangements via SheetMusicPlus Digital. It’s kind of like an Amazon Kindle author self-publishing service for composers & arrangers. They recently made arrangements with the rights holders of nearly 1,000 copyrighted songs to allow someone like me to make arrangements of those songs, without having to get permission. SheetMusicPlus collects payments for the copyright owner. I took advantage of the beta testing phase and tried my hand at 5 different titles. In the month or two they have been available, sadly only two titles have sold, but I’m hopeful as time goes by more people will find out about them and more will sell. The publisher sets the price based on the instrumentation.

You can view all the pieces I have available at my Music Catalog

In alphabetical order.

Awesome God is a handbell arrangement of what is typically a ‘praise’ chorus sung by congregations. Here’s a demo:

https://youtu.be/TJ5htotisr8

Billie Jean, the Michael Jackson hit, arranged in a quasi-classical style for orchestra. I think this would be a great hit with a high-school, college or community orchestra.

https://youtu.be/y5OaNh4d4h4

Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) is the most unique. I told someone about the beta test and they suggested this song. I asked them what instruments I should arrange it for. They said Mandolin, Cello and Drums. So I did. Surprisingly, this was the first arrangement purchased. If I could set the price I’d set it at about half of what it is.

https://youtu.be/rMxNmDEK3DA

The Lord’s Prayer. The traditional Malotte setting. I’ve never seen this arranged for anything but 3 octave handbell choir so I did a 5-octave title.

https://youtu.be/P2WExEQ36os

Sound of Silence. The very popular Simon and Garfunkel piece from the 1960’s. I’ve never found a piano arrangement of this that had any sort of “wow” factor. I’ve tried to add some elements that a piano player will like to play.

https://youtu.be/WU4OOBUcxBE

I’ve had people abusing the comment capability here so I turned comments off. I still welcome comments. Contact me via my website JamesGilbertMusic.com and I’ll post the most interesting comments in future blogs.

Categories
Arranging General Other

Where my music is being used

Map of my music usage

Updated Dec 2015. The point in the northeast of Greenland represents all the sales where people did not give their location.

Here’s a map showing where in the world my sheet music has been purchased via my distributor SheetMusicPlus.com. It only covers from March 2014 – October 2015. I plan to update it a few times a year.

Categories
General Other

Piano Concert results

Thanks for those that attended the movie & TV themed concert I did on Oct 25, 2015. The audience request section was more popular than I thought it would be. I got stumped on a couple of requests I didn’t know.This might become a regular/annual part of our concert series. I was able to “stump the audience” a few times with a few pieces nobody could guess. Prizes were handed out to those who could guess the hard ones. In addition to the audience participation sections I played a variety of TV and movie music spanning the years from Casablanca up to more current titles.

Categories
General Other YouTube Videos

Storm aftermath

A little diversion from the usual. We had a little storm go through the area Aug 3, 2015.  It resulted in the flooding of the building shown at the end of the video. The video is at half-speed from its filming. The music is an original composition & recording of mine.

 

Categories
General Music Theory Piano Lessons

Using iPad apps to learn Piano

Does anyone use the iPad or other computer software to help them learn to play the piano?

I asked this question at my tumblr blog – which I have just to have a presence on tumblr. (Usually I post blog content here and link to it on tumblr, but this time its the opposite).

Read my thoughts on using an iPad to learn to play the piano.

Categories
Albums General Recordings Website News

New Album available

So I have nothing better to do than teach piano, compose music & record albums. Oh, and perform from time to time. And of course, I have no idea how to publicize it (and all my efforts at learning how haven’t worked). Here’s my my 10th album. Variegated Plate.

Categories
Albums Arranging General Other Reaper Recordings Sibelius Website News

Variegated Plate

Wonder what this might be?

Coming soon...
Coming soon…

var·i·e·gat·ed
ˈver(ē)əˌɡādəd/
adjective
1) exhibiting different colors, especially as irregular patches or streaks.
Botany: (of a plant or foliage) having or consisting of leaves that are edged or patterned in a second color, especially white as well as green.
2) marked by variety.

Think definition number 2. Coming soon…….