On a personal note I had a bit of a scare on Sunday, Sept. 2. I play organ for a local rural church. Short story is I passed out about 15 minutes before the service. Fortunately it turned out to be a case of dehydration. I mention this as a word of warning to those who might have done like I did. I use to drink a gallon or more of tea (and that’s it) in a day. (Maybe an occasional soda). As one gets older, the body cannot tolerate caffeine as well and it tends to dry one out. In trying to figure everything out I’m happy to say I have a very healthy heart, good lungs and am not diabetic. I did of course take it easy for a while.
Since I’ve had no comments about my liner notes for my album Sampler I will no longer be writing any more. Suffice it to say the rest of the songs were done very similar to the previous tracks. If interested in the rest, drop me a note or comment. And thanks to all who read this blog. Please share it and my website with others. I have opening for piano students or music software tutoring via Skype.
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.
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 via Skype. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Among other things I’ve been working on a new video tutorial series for those new to or inexperienced with Sibelius 7. I’m calling it Sibelius 101. I’m trying to keep the videos short and faster paced so you don’t have to spend too much time on any single video. Rather than go through every feature, I’m focusing on the options that will help you get things done in as efficient manner as possible. I’m also showing tips and practical ways of doing things.
Part 1 covers the basics of Sibelius with regards to setting up the program and where to find things that you may want to adjust to your like.
Part 2 covers basic note entry. How do you get notes into Sibelius. Several ways of entering notes in step-time is shown. Mouse entry, computer keyboard entry and midi/external keyboard input.
Part 3 covers real-time entry and basic note editing. How to use your midi keyboard to enter notes is shown. Some tips for cleaning up your played notes are shown too.
Part 4, 5 & 6 cover various topics about editing your notes once you get it into Sibelius. I talk about how to use voices including converting existing voices to other voices, copying and pasting notes, adding intervals above and below existing notes and more.
The whole series is now available – 11 parts in all – see the Playlist at the top of this page to view the other 5 videos. You can also visit our YouTube Channel to see all the videos. I also have separate videos about other Sibelius topics available on the YouTube site.
If you have some time, please listen to my music on iTunes (Click here)
This is a followup to my previous blog about sheet music apps for the iPad.
My favorite and the app I use the most for viewing sheet music is still forScore. If you don’t like it, another good one is unrealBook.
In addition to creating music, I also teach lessons, mostly piano, but also composition & theory lessons. Here are some apps I find useful for one or more of my musical endeavors, whether teaching, performing or creating. Some of these will also work on the iPhone while others are only for the iPad.
dbVolume – not really music, but it measures the db level of any sound source.
FinaleSong – If you use the Finale notation program, you might find this useful. (I wish there was a similar free app for Sibelius)
iRig MIDI recorder – This app could be a lot better but it allows you to record MIDI using the iRig MIDI adapter. If you could move existing midi files from your computer to it via itunes I’d find it helpful. I find that the iRig MIDI adapter tends to slip out of the iPad if there’s the least bit of motion in the iPad or the midi cables. But for free, it’s helpful if you don’t need a full-blown midi sequencer or DAW just to record MIDI.
iTalk Record and Pocket Wave – for recording my piano students during lessons to give them more feedback about their playing. The built-in camera app is good for video of performances.
MIDI Monitor & MIDI Wrench – for troubleshooting midi connections
miniSynth2 – a nice 2 Oscillator synth with some nice features
Musical Terms – a dictionary of musical terms, with an option to hear an Italian speaker say them. (I forget if it just does Italian).
Pitch Invasion – a neat video arcade game that helps teach ear training
SampleTank Free – Another disappointment from IK Multimedia, but I guess for free I shouldn’t expect more. A 4-track only (even in the full paid version) sequencer. Contains a variety of sounds & loops. Can use with or without the iRig MIDI adapter. But really, only 4 tracks and again no way to transfer midi files from my computer to the app? Decent if you need to put together a sequence and you don’t have anything else to use.
Sound Brush – An interesting way to compose music. Useful for teaching purposes.
TouchOSC – If you use a DAW or musical instrument software (like Reaktor), this is is nice. It turns your iPad into a hardware controller. Depending on how you set it up and what you’re trying to control, you can use OSC or MIDI for the controlling. It is easy to design your own control templates. Since you already spent a lot of money on the iPad, why spend more buying a hardware controller when this can pretty much do what you want for around $5?