Categories
Arranging Church Music Other Website News

New Free Music available

Free Music

If you didn’t know it, my website has quite a few complete pieces available for download for free. There are also some free titles that would be of use to teachers or students, particularly as related to music theory. Unlike many free products out there, you don’t have to register, you don’t have to give me your email address. Just download what you want.  You’re welcome to click on the donate button found on several of my pages if you’d like to help me stay out of debt.

Click on this link https://jamesgilbertmusic.com/index.php/music-catalog/#free

The original descriptions from when they were sold:

Volume one: AMSTERDAM (Praise The Lord Who Reigns Above) – BLESSED NAME (Blessed Be The Name) – CONVERSE (What A Friend We Have In Jesus) – GALILEE (Jesus Calls Us) – MESSAGE (We’ve A Story To Tell To The Nations) – NEAR THE CROSS – SALVATION – ST THOMAS (I Love Thy Kingdom)- SURRENDER (I surrender all)- WEDLOCK (God Is My Strong Salvation) -Parts are included for treble clef C Bb Eb and F instruments.

Volume 2: AR HYD Y NOS- BRADBURY (Savior Like A Shepherd) – CRIMOND (The Lord’s My Shepherd) – ST DENIO (Immortal Invisible) – WEB (Stand Up For Jesus) – CRUSADER’S HYMN (ST ELIZABETH) (Fairest Lord Jesus; Beautiful Savior) – I AM THINE – MY SAVIOR’S LOVE (I Stand Amazed) – O HOW I LOVE JESUS – PROMISES (Standing on) – RESIGNATION (My Shepherd Will Supply). Parts are provided for treble clef C Bb Eb and F instruments.

Volume 3: AZMON (O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing); CWM RHONDDA (God Of Grace And God Of Glory); TOPLADY (Rock of Ages); JOYFUL SONG (Praise Him Praise Him); GORDON (My Jesus I Love Thee); HENDON (Take My Life And Let It Be); BUNESSAN (Morning Has Broken); LYONS (O Worship The King); PICARDY (Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence); In The Garden; Love Lifted Me. Parts are provided for treble clef C Bb Eb and F instruments.

Enjoy.

Categories
Arranging Church Music Sibelius

New Sheet Music

New Music

Available now at my website and SheetMusicPlus, are the following titles. For a list of all titles I have available, visit https://jamesgilbertmusic.com/catalog.php

Ancient Quandary — Orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20964252

Christ Is Made The Sure Foundation — Orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20964255

David’s Lamentation — Orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20964256

Heaven Above — Orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20964259

I Remember You, My Lord — Orchestra — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20964261

Open My Eyes – Organ — https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20964263

Is there a specific hymn tune you’d like to see arranged, and for what instrumentation? Let me know.

Categories
Arranging Church Music Organ Music Sibelius Website News

Recent additions (Nov 2018)

Late October additions to catalog and Soundcloud

Listen to my contribution to a collaborative effort with Spitfire Audio. (Alas it wasn’t selected as part of the song).

I added 3 new sheet music titles to the sheet music catalog (https://jamesgilbertmusic.com/catalog.php)

Two versions of the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah. One for solo organ and one for Brass quintet:

https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20928934

https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20928932

A solo organ arrangement of Beneath The Cross Of Jesus.

https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20928930

I have some instrumental ensemble (orchestra) titles coming soon. If you have any suggestions for what type of music you’d like to see me add to the catalog, please comment below.

Enjoy..

Categories
Arranging Church Music Sibelius

New Choral music (and personal update)

New Choral Music

I’ve released 2 new choral titles through my distributor Sheet Music Plus Direct. As with all my current arranging, I use Sibelius for the composing and layout.

First, an unaccompanied setting of Are You Washed In The Blood for SATB choir. See more details here: https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20804287

Secondly, an accompanied setting of Christ, Whose Glory Fills The Skies, also for SATB choir, although the first part only requires a 2-part choir. See more details at: https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/20804289

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 the internet.

Categories
Arranging Website News

Sheet Music: Collections vs. Singles

I’m taking a break from writing about the individual tracks on my new (July 2018) album. I will return to them.

I sometimes wonder if anyone is reading these blogs of mine, I’d love to know. With practically no comments or interaction from anyone about my blog, I’d love to hear from you in comments or the contact form on my website.

Earlier in 2018 I wrote that I was no longer selling my keyboard music as single titles but would instead be selling collections of my music. After experimenting with that for a few months I’ve decided to go back to selling titles individually. The benefits of  having only collections available were outweighed by administrative and organizational elements that the average buyer of sheet music probably isn’t aware of.  For example, keeping track of which titles are contained in which collection and which filenames are associated with those collections & individual titles.

Whether it be keyboard, bells, instrumental groups or solos, I’ve only ever had one collection sell well. That being my Huge Classical piano collection book. This is probably due to classical music always being more popular than sacred or popular music arrangements and that few of the titles in that collection are available elsewhere from me.

The thought occurs to me that maybe with digital music, people prefer to buy individual titles. Is it because the total price is cheaper? Is it because, unlike with collections, they don’t end up buying titles they don’t want. (That’s my reason for preferring singles to collections. I’ve quit buying Hal Leonard Jazz Piano Solo series books because I end up with too many titles I just don’t care anything about ).

I’d really love to see a discussion of what you like or what other musicians you know like. Are there other reasons why people don’t want to buy collections in digital form as much as singles? Or maybe I’ve got it wrong. Maybe people do like collections better than single sheet music.

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
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
Church Music Organ Music Website News

Sheet Music Plus distributing my music

New Distributor for my sheet music

If you are a musician I hope you’ve heard of SheetMusicPlus.com. If you want a piece of music, they probably have it.

SMP01
Click on the picture to go to my music on Sheet Music Plus

I’m happy to announce that they are now distributing my sheet music via their Digital Music section. As of this date I have over 300 titles available. As with my site, the music is available in digital form. You can either print out a copy or you can load it onto your tablet using their app.

In the short time my music has been available there, it has been popular. Please share this with your musician friends and take advantage of it yourself.

Click on the picture above to go to my music on SheetMusicPlus digital. I will be adding more sheet music and MP3 files to the site this year.

 

Categories
Albums Arranging Church Music General Recordings Website News

Website update

Website update

I’ve made some major changes to the website in the past two months. Visit JamesGilbertMusic.com to see all the changes.

More free music

In the process of getting rid of collections (see below), I decided to move several titles to the free category (listed at the bottom of the music catalog pages). As an example, all of the instrumental hymn improvisations are now available for free.

Singles – no collections

Most print publishers sell music in collections. Multiple titles contained within one book. Overall it is cheaper per piece for the customer. But, in my experience, the collection contains to many titles I didn’t want to buy but were forced to. When I first started the website, I only sold music as single titles. A little over a year ago (I think) I switched to collections for most everything. Thanks to your feedback, I’ve learned that online customers just want to purchase a single title.

Almost everything on the site is now available as a single title. What collections there are will disappear soon to be replaced by singles.

Albums, singles, EP and audio recordings in general

I’ve been an active contributor to SoundCloud and have announced my uploads via Twitter, this blog, facebook and the like. However, on the website, all I had was a link to my SoundCloud page. Those are mentioned on the website’s main page, but nowhere else. I’ve updated the sheet music catalog to include those in the listings with links to the two sites. For most of 2014 my recordings have only been available via online sources other than my website. For various reasons that is best for me and will continue to be that way. Those include Amazon, Spotify and Apple Music as well as various online streaming sites.

New titles

I’ve added several new titles to the sheet music catalog. Click on the New Titles icon to see all of them.

Categories
Arranging General Website News

Sheet-Music catalog update

Sheet Music Catalog update

I decided to make some changes to the website, specifically the sheet music catalog. There are some obvious visual changes on the main page of the catalog. I’ve done away with the text based listing of categories and substituted them with graphics. If anyone has any trouble reading the text in the graphics, I’d love to hear from you. Within each category, you can search for individual words. As you look at the listings you will find less. I’ve decided to follow the lead of major publishers by selling titles in collections rather than as individual titles. If, for example you wanted to buy several Organ Hymn Accompaniments (one of our most popular categories), you would spend more money than buying a single collection. Another change involves the mp3 files I have available. While still listed in the catalog, if you are interested in those recordings, the link to purchase will take you to CD-Baby where you can download mp3, FLAC or, in some cases, full physical CD albums. Finally, all the sample recordings have been modified to account for the multiple titles.

View the updated catalog here.

On my To-Do list are the following: Update the search engine; Add more descriptive explanations of the titles; and Re-do most of the sample audio.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on the changes, good or bad. Any suggestions are also welcome.

In addition to this blog, you can keep up with me on Twitter (@JGSheetMusic) or my YouTube page.

If you are a Spotify user, why not listen to my music there

Categories
Arranging Church Music General Organ Music Other Website News

Latest Additions to the Music Catalog (11/2013)

Here is a list of additions to the JamesGilbertMusic.com music catalog since the last listing of new titles.

We hope you will find these helpful. If you are looking for a specific arrangement of a piece of music or need midi files created for you, please contact us for details.

Fairest Lord Jesus (Woodwind Quintet)
A nice simple setting of this classic hymn also known under the title Beautiful Savior. Hymn tune: ST ELIZABETH. Instrumentation: Standard Woodwind Quintet (Flute – Oboe – Clarinet – Horn – Bassoon). Settings of this tune for Piano – Organ – Keyboard Trio and Orchestra are also available in this catalog.

Count Your Blessings (Keyboard Trio)
A catchy version of this gospel hymn for Keyboard Trio. Written with three synthesizers in mind this title can be used with various combinations of piano organ and electronic keyboards (synthesizers). A setting of this for solo instruments and orchestra is also available.

O Love, How Deep, How Broad (Organ)
An ornamented setting of this hymn tune DEUS TUORUM MILITUM. This will make for a great prelude or communion piece.

12-Tone Composition for 4 instruments (Instrumental Ensemble)
An example of a 12-tone (dodecaphonic) composition. This is for 4 instruments, any 4 instruments. Parts provided for C Bb Eb F and Alto clef instruments.

What Child Is This (Piano)
An arrangement for intermediate level of the popular tune GREENSLEEVES, best known as the Christmas piece What Child Is This? A setting of this title for orchestra is also available. The orchestra version was featured on my Christmas Album A New Old Christmas

What Child Is This (Orchestra)
An arrangement of the popular tune GREENSLEEVES, best known as the Christmas piece What Child Is This? This orchestra arrangement is also available for solo piano. Instrumentation: Flute Oboe Clarinet French Horn Trumpet Trombone Timpani Violin 1 Violin 2 Viola Cello Bass. This title was featured on my Christmas album A New Old Christmas

Nicene Creed (Modern Version) (Vocal/Choir/Congregation)
A setting of the Nicene Creed, modern translation. Designed for congregational use, this title can be use by a choir as well. For unison voices. This has been successfully used in church services.

BEECHER to HYFRYDOL (Love Divine, All Loves Excelling) (Organ Accompaniment)
A modulation from Bb to F and transition from the hymn tune BEECHER to the hymn tune HYFRYDOL. Try this with the first two verses of Love Divine, All Loves Excelling to BEECHER, the interlude, then the last two verses to the tune HYFRYDOL. Works quite well. For use with congregational singing.

Meditation on LLEDROD (Spirit Of God Unleashed) (Organ)
A meditation on this traditional Welsh tune from the 1850’s. A good prelude or communion piece.

Meditation on BLAENHAFREN (Organ)
A meditation on this Welsh hymn tune.

Moment By Moment (Instrumental Solo)
An adaptation of the flute duet found elsewhere in the catalog. This setting is for solo flute (or any treble clef instrument) and organ accompaniment. The organ part is easily adapted to be played on the piano. Parts provided for high and low C instruments Eb treble clef and Bb treble clef instruments. The following instruments would work well with this piece: Flute, Violin, Oboe, Recorder, Bb Trumpet Bb Clarinet Tenor Saxophone Alto Saxophone Eb Clarinet.

Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah (Handel) (Choir)
Probably the best known choral piece written. The Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah by G.F. Handel. For SATB (Soprano Alto Tenor and Bass voices) with piano accompaniment.

Love Lifted Me (Instrumental Descant)
An instrumental descant for this upbeat gospel hymn. Parts provided for C Bb Eb F and Alto Clef Treble Clef instruments.

In The Garden (Instrumental Descant)
An instrumental descant for this all time favorite gospel hymn. Parts provided for C Bb Eb F and Alto Clef Treble Clef instruments.

Christmas Meditation (Orchestra)
A setting of some traditional Christmas music with some original material. A setting for solo instrument with piano is also available in the catalog. Instrumentation: Flute Oboe Clarinet French Horn Trumpet Trombone Violins Viola Cello Double Bass Harp Timpani and Glockenspiel. The harp part can be played on piano.

YouTube Tutorial (Orchestra)
A short orchestra piece written for a YouTube tutorial about using Sibelius. Visit my YouTube channel for an audio sample. Instrumentation: Flute Oboe Clarinet Trumpets (3) Trombones (2) Violin (1) Cello (1).

New Gigue (Organ)
An original composition. A modern twist on the Gigue.

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Categories
General Other

iPad music apps – revisited

iPad music apps revisited

If you have some time, please listen to my music on iTunes (Click here)

One of the most popular articles I’ve written here on my blog has been about sheet music apps for the iPad. I wanted to do a followup letting people know what I’ve found most useful and what I use regularly for music in general.

forScore

This is my go to app. For viewing sheet music, this is the one. As a performing musician called upon to perform from sheet music and someone who plays far too many different titles to memorize everything, I need something to display my sheet music. This program is the hands down winner. The latest version (compatible with iOS7) adds some nice features. The only complaint I have is they have implemented non-standard html in their ‘console’ interface that allows you to manipulate your score database via your desktop browser. It won’t work with Windows 7 & the latest Chrome browser.  (Let’s face it, doing anything that requires typing on the iPad is a futile effort, particularly if you touch type).

MIDI related apps

One comment. I think the iPad has a long way to go before it can be considered a content creation device. It’s great for consuming content, but terrible for making it. If you have no choice but to make your creation of music recordings “on the go”, then you really have no choice. For me, it takes three or four times longer to do the same on the iPad, if I can do it at all, as it does on my home PC. Maybe, just maybe someone who has never used anything but the iPad can do it fast, but I doubt it. One also has little choice but to by external (expensive) hardware to use with the iPad in order to make it possible to do any creating of content. In that case, I might as well buy a laptop. And let’s not even talk about the terrible speaker that comes with the iPad. (I know, use headphones, but that’s just something else to have to carry and/or buy).

iRig MIDI – This program requires the over-priced iRig MIDI hardware interface that often slips out of the iPad. Good if you need to hook up an external midi device to your ipad (for playing in or playing out). Complaint, the app isn’t very good. You can’t transfer midi files from your computer to the app. Many midi files I’ve created and then transferred to my computer cannot be read by any software I own. But, when I play them directly into my computer and record them into those same software programs, it records just fine (but takes 10 times as long to do). ikMultimedia won’t fix the problem.

TouchOSC – I’m disappointed with this. I loved playing with it when I first got it, but 99% of the time, I don’t use it. I perform on an acoustic piano or organ so I have no need for using it live. When it comes to studio based production, I can do everything as efficiently using the computer mouse and keyboard. I never used a midi controller prior to having this, so maybe it’s just that I’m not use to controllers. If you are, then, given the very expensive price of the iPad, it makes sense to use it as a hardware controller rather than buying one. So for that, it’s good. For entering midi notes (like a pianist would on a regular synthesizer), forget it, you’ll be frustrated.

SampleTankFree – I’m told that professionals use it (and it’s paid cousin) to make tracks that go straight to albums or they export to a DAW. For me, it’s too toy or game-like and very limited to do anything serious with. I know the free version is a teaser for the paid version, but frankly, it’s not done the job. If you are never at home and never able to use a midi keyboard or computer to enter your music, then this might, just might work while you are away from them.

Piano Lesson or Educational software

I like the following. They all have their pluses and minuses.

Pitch Invasion (ear training)
QF Notes (note flash cards)
Dust Buster (for new piano students, young students)
PlainText (a plain notepad for entering notes about students or anything).

Other software worth mentioning

WavePad (basic audio recorder)
unrealBook (another notation program. Good for leadsheets)
dbVolume (a SPL db meter to tell you how loud things are)
TraktorDJ (lookup Traktor on the native instruments website. DJ software)

Software I have my eye on

NotateMe – Supposedly allows you to hand-write your music on the iPad and then transfer to your computer for importing into Sibeliius or Finale.

Thanks for reading. Please comment and let me know what you’re using.

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Any advertisements placed on this page have no affiliation with this blog. Personally, I never click on ads I see on a blog.

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Categories
Arranging Church Music General Music Theory Organ Music Other Piano Lessons Website News

Update post & Christmas Album announcement

I’m not sure if anyone actually reads this or not, but I hope someone does.

I wanted to let those that are interested know that I’m still around & busy with music projects. That’s one reason I’ve not posted in a while.

The main reason I’ve not posted is that I’m not getting any feedback or comments on any of my articles. My iPad apps article gets a bit of feedback, but there’s really nothing more I can say about music iPad apps. What else would you like me to write about?

I’ve been working much of the summer on music for my first ever Christmas Album. I’m looking at 10 titles, maybe 11 or 12. The styles will range from traditional, almost classical orchestral settings of carols to some rather eclectic electronic sounds. One will be pretty close to an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) version of Jingle Bells. Wait till you hear that. What could go wrong with a classically trained pianist & composer doing EDM?

You can now listen to three of my albums on YouTube.

The website is back to how it was pre-July 2012. My experiment with giving away my music and asking for donations ended earlier in the summer. My music is commercially competitive enough that I should be charging for it. After all, making a living as a musician is what I’m trying to do. I can’t eat if I don’t make money, so I’m back to charging.

For those that would like to help me and get something back in return, it would be most appreciated. See the how to help me page for details.

I’m still looking for a publicist, manager or agent to help me promote my sheet music, 6 albums and me as a musician.

I also have openings for anyone who would like to take lessons via the internet or here in the Gainesville, Micanopy, Ocala area of North Florida.

Feedback, comments. I need it.

Categories
Arranging Church Music General Music Theory Other Piano Lessons Sibelius YouTube Videos

Introduction to Music, Conclusion

Introduction to Music

for those wanting to become musicans, or improve their musicianship

Conclusion

I hope this Introduction to Music series has been helpful. While it is obviously not a comprehensive look at all there is to music notation and music theory, if you know this stuff, you have a great amount of tools to help you as either a performer or composer, no matter the style of music.

I have a number of YouTube videos that cover a range of music topics, some duplicating what was in this series, but many that go beyond this series. Here are a few below for you to take a look at.

To see and hear how I’ve used my musical knowledge, you can download any of my sheet music for Free at the website. I also have six albums (as of January 2013) available on Amazon, iTunes

If you would care to make a donation to help in my efforts with free content – blogs, videos and sheet music – your Donation is most appreciated.

Introduction to Piano Lessons and general music theory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRdYzYjxl5M
Introduction to Chords
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmezVWK0Ex8
A Review of iPad Apps of help for musicians
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7Ia92GaSrg
12-tone, Dodecaphonic Composition Overview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMayH_p5GS0
Scales and Modes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHhf7mB4180
Some Sibelius (notation software) Tips
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OouCZ-Uz0zM
Making another Arrangement using Sibelius
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yKV-GI-5KA
Making an Organ arrangement in Sibelius
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B49i8EtmS-w
I hope you enjoyed this. Your comments and questions are welcome here or via the contact page on the website.

 

Categories
Arranging General Reaper Website News YouTube Videos

New YouTube video – Fractal

Don’t forget, ALL of our sheet-music is now available at our website for FREE!

Fractals Geometric Pattern

I’ve uploaded a new video to YouTube. This is another with animated fractals. If anyone has questions about how I do the fractals, leave a comment and I’ll give the details.

The background music being used is my own composition. I wrote it specifically for this video. From other videos I’ve seen of similar content, I think what I did with the music is not what one would typically expect. I wanted something different. The music consists of a rhythm track that comes & goes in volume, two pad like tracks, one a bit eerie and finally a video game like lead/melody. I used Reaper DAW to do the mixing. I used the VST instruments Massive (2 different patches), Battery 3 and FM8. There is a lot of repetition. I welcome your comments on the music.

As a side note, if you’re looking for some music to listen to, please check out my albums on  Spotify, iTunes, Amazon These sites have all 5 albums I’ve released. GooglePlay also has singles not available elsewhere.

If you’d like to donate to help support the website and the free sheet-music available for download, please click here

Categories
Church Music Organ Music Website News YouTube Videos

Latest happenings (Jul 2012)

Latest happenings

I didn’t realize I haven’t posted in a while. The summer is a somewhat slow time of the year for posts. Here’s some of the things I’ve been up to.

YouTube Videos

I’ve been trying to post a music video of sorts every couple of days. These consist essentially of still images of my sheet music with an audio recording.

The funny thing is that ever since I started posting these videos, YouTube has been pulling the advertisement from the videos and demanding that I offer proof that I own the material in the video. They refuse to answer simple questions like ‘what element of the video do you object to’ and the like. I’m kinda like the guy who builds the best sand castle in the world when nobody (including no cameras) are around. Then someone else challenges them to prove it. How? Everything I post is 100% my material. It has been nearly two months since they’ve pulled the ads from some of my videos. I’ve offered more than enough proof on all the videos, but yet they still don’t put the videos back and they refuse to communicate with me at all – not even form letters.

Somebody said that they were going to click on every ad they saw on any YouTube video and any banner ad with graphics served by Google. BUT, under NO circumstance would they ever buy anything they clicked on. Never. They say that will force Google (which owns YouTube) to pay the people hosting the ads but the advertisers would not make a sale and eventually the advertisers would pull their ads. Maybe Google/YouTube would then get the point. Of course, I can’t recommend you do that, but it does sound like a plan.

Basically YouTube is interested in catering to the large Media Corporations and show how friendly YouTube is to bigname advertisers. Their latest nonsense is making anyone who doesn’t post videos or comment on videos using their real name feel guilty.  It’s too bad YouTube doesn’t care one bit about the users or about small independent artists. I don’t make much from the missing ads, but as a struggling musician, every single penny is important.

If you know anyone at YouTube, tell them to quit harassing uploaders and to monetize videos unless they have a compelling reason to believe the video shouldn’t be posted.

See my YouTube channel

Website News

I’ve made some major changes to my sheet-music catalog. EVERYTHING in the sheet music catalog is free! Just signup using the form on my home page or sheet music catalog page. I am asking for donations. You can donate here. I’d rather see this music used by people than just sit and go unused or hardly used. So, please spread the word and let people know about free sheet music.

Our recordings are now sold on iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, Amazon.

 

Where to find my recordings

Our recordings are now sold on iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, Amazon I’m no longer selling mp3 files on the website.

There are now 5 albums available on iTunes and the other sites.

Piano lessons

I’m still teaching piano lessons in the Micanopy area. I’m easily accessible and not too far from Gainesville, Ocala and the surrounding areas, like Citra and Williston. If you’re looking for a piano teacher and live in the area, consider the short drive to Micanopy for lessons.

 

Categories
General Other

Sheet music apps for the iPad – my experience

Sheet-Music programs for the iPad

See yet another followup article

Update May 2013: See this followup article

If you have some time, please listen to my music on iTunes (Click here)

Introduction

As mentioned in a previous post, my aging and no longer supported MusicPad Pro tablet that I had been using for the past 9 years to display and manage my sheet music is dying. So, I invested in an iPad. This article is a brief look at a few iPad apps I’ve looked at. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review.

Desired features

I would like to be able to clearly read the music from a keyboard with page turns and repeats being reliable and possible. A decent way to manage and find the songs is needed. I also need to be able to have a set list – where a whole concert is in one listing with the ability to move from song to song without having to do anything special. A program that reads PDF files without having to convert to another format would really help. While I hardly ever used annotations in the 9 years I had the MusicPad, it is still a nice feature to have.

Free offerings

I tried three free programs.

iBooks

First, there is iBooks — A free app from Apple. This app is designed to view books in either the ePub format or PDF format. Once you transfer your music to iBooks, it shows up in the app and can be viewed. That’s pretty much it. There are no special features that would help the musician. I couldn’t get rid of un-needed white space. (Even reading books, there is too much white space that I can’t seem to remove).

piaScore

The second free program is piaScore. For a free program, it works. However, the one negative that made it useless for me was that I cannot zoom in (at all) or eliminate white space from the sides of the imported PDF files. The quality of the PDF file will make a big difference, but not being able to zoom in can make even the best PDF file hard to read. There is a metronome and, for me, an odd feature, a link to YouTube that tries show videos with the same title as the sheet music. As with many free programs I examined, they have an online store that will sell you music to use with the app.

ScorecererLite

Another program worth mentioning is ScorecererLite, a free offering. (There is also a paid version that I did not look at). What looked good for me was a free desktop companion program that lets you import music from various formats, including the MusicPad freehand (.fh) format. It does do that, but, it does not import FH files you may have bought from Freehand as they were copy protected. As best I could figure out, no matter the source, you have to convert your music to the app’s format using the computer program and even then, you have to transfer the files via wireless. It does not sync via iTunes. It is useable, but barely.

Paid offerings

In the paid category, two programs stood out over others.

unrealBook

This seems geared toward ‘fake books’ and PDF collections. With quite a bit of work on the user’s end on their computer, one can create a csv file consisting of an index of a large collection. One could then use that to quickly find a song within the collection. Alternatively, you can add bookmarks manually. As I think is true with any large PDF file on the iPad, large files were sluggish when turning pages. The song management and set list options were acceptable but not ideal.

It has a number of features that allow you put a button in your score that can: 1) control the metronome, 2) start/stop the recorder or 3) the player, 4) play a pitch and 5) a popup note is displayed. The ability to type in lyrics, I assume to use to display via an exernal display, is also available. You can also use the ipad’s camera to take a photo of a piece of music or load an existing photo(s) that is then converted into a PDF file.

I didn’t cover all the features the program offers. I’m someone who doesn’t have to have a program instantly work for me and I don’t mind reading the manual and studying how a program works. However, with this program I read the manual more than once, played with the app for a while and just didn’t get it. The unrealBook may suit your needs perfectly and it may be more powerful, but if it is, I’m not sure the extra time required to learn it is worth it when you factor in the time you’ll spend transferring music into any of these apps.

forScore

The final paid product and the one I’ve been using on a weekly basis is forScore. It is entirely PDF based and reads any PDF file. (Again, large files can be problematic in this and any iPad app). In addition to transferring your own PDF files into the app, another iPad user can send you files via email or bluetooth and vice versa. The app also features the ability to use its own browser to save PDF files directly from the web. Turning pages is fast and easy. You can either tap the right edge of the screen or swipe, or both. I found that as I reached up with my left hand to go forward, I was unintentionally swiping from right to left resulting in going back a page. There is nothing on the screen besides your music, which is good. When you tap the screen, the menu items show up. You can use the standard iPad pinch gestures to zoom in while double-tap returns to default zoom. You can also touch on the title in the top menu bar where a dialog box showing metadata appears. It also shows a thumbnail of the page with a slider at the bottom that allows you to fine-tune the zoom level so you can eliminate just the right amount of white space.

The file management system is the most detailed of any app I looked at but could still use improvement. It uses the PDF metadata to propagate the various find and search options available. You can search on title, composer, genre and keywords and more. You can organize your music into set lists. You can display the setlist in the order you entered it, sorted alphabetically, recently played or a shuffle/random order. Bookmarks can be added to any page of any music and are easily searchable. When looking at a list of titles, you can press on a title and hold your finger down. Doing so results in a decent sized thumbnail popping up. Click on the thumbnail and the music is loaded. The big drawback with the file management is that it relies either on the original PDF having all of its metadata present or the user entering it once it is on the iPad (or using an auto-scan option to import the metatdata, assuming the PDF has any). I found editing the files first on my computer to be the best way to do it.

You can attach/bind an audio file to a song. There is a metronome that can be used in the traditional way but also to attach a unique BPM value to each score. You can also program the pages to turn automatically based on the tempo and beats/measure per score. I have yet to try that feature. You can move, duplicate or delete pages from within your score. Generally speaking, this is not to be used for repeats as there is a ‘links’ option available to setup repeats. For DropBox users, it also integrates with that service to allow you add files straight from DropBox. You can also create PDF files from within the app by taking photos of the music or by importing photos already in your iPad picture folder. You have to get a really good photo (lots of light, flat pages and good angle) in order to get a decent PDF and then it can end up being a large file.

If all that wasn’t enough, there is a pitch source, an on screen piano keyboard and options for TV/external output. And of course you can make annotations. You can draw, type erase and clear. There are a number of drawing styles available. You can also make a snapshot of the current annotations and display different annotations at different times. You have hue, saturation, transparency, brightness and size options with the drawing styles. There are music stamps available to add markings to your music (mainly articulations) and you can create your own 48x48px stamps. You can also have different versions of the same score, up to 24 different versions. This appears to be variations in the metadata (and possibily the annotations). There are numerous options in the settings dealing with such things as swipe or no-swipe, page types, look/feel and the like.

Other apps

Here are some other apps worth mentioning. There is a “Baptist Hymnal” app. The free version includes a few titles from the 2008 Southern Baptist hymnal. You can purchase the entire hymnal with an in-app purchase. Not bad, but I couldn’t find a way to remove the top menu. That meant the music was too big (vertically) for the iPad.

Another is the Hymnal Lite. It has only 19 hymns with audio (organ) recordings of the hymns. More hymns can be purchased at the developer’s website (but not via in-app). The recordings do nothing to add value for me and could be left out as far as I was concerned.

Just announced as I started this article is the Adobe Reader for iPad. Adobe, the big name in PDF files has released a reader for the iPad. It obviously would not be geared toward music but it views PDF files and has some annotation features that would work for music. Did I mention it is also free?

PDF files and music

Since I’ve been composing, arranging and selling music in PDF format for over 10 years, I’m accustomed to music in PDF format. However, there isn’t as much music from legal sources out there available in PDF format. Not too many publishers, especially the big publishers are selling music in the PDF format. (I know some of the classical publishers have experimented with CD-ROM products – remember the CD-ROM? – that were password protected PDF files, but as to contemporary music, I just don’t see it out there for sale. Please let me know if it is). I don’t know if they are being pressured by the rights holders to have DRM on their products using propriety DRM methods or what? As more publishers move to selling music in digital form – usually for a user to print out at home – they do so using proprietary formats with DRM but don’t offer sheet music for download to a computer file in a standard format. So, finding music legally in PDF format is hard and until publishers start selling PDF files (without copy protection), people will be forced to turn to piracy to find what they need.

If you already have a large collection of paper music, you’ll need to get it into your computer. The easiest way is to scan it in. Of course, that assumes you have or have access to a scanner. Use grayscale and 150 or 300dpi. That seems to work the best, but experiment. Another option is to take a photo of it and touch up before converting it. You then need to take those images (scanned or photo) and convert to PDF. There are some free ways to do that, but most likely you’ll end up having to buy a program to do it. If you have a program like Finale or Sibelius and have time, you can use its score reading features (like PhotoScore in Sibelius) to read in your scans and convert to notation. You could also enter the music by hand. Either way is time consuming but the resulting PDF file that will be created will be small and better looking than almost any scan. Once you have the PDF file created, importing into any of the apps mentioned (that support PDF) is no problem.

I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions for other iPad music apps to look at.

Categories
Arranging General Other

Digital Sheet Music Organization

Organizing Digital Sheet Music

Introduction

I have thousands of sheet music titles in either PDF, freehand/musicpad or Sibelius format. All can easily be formatted to standard letter size PDF files which are great for printing out and viewing on an iPad or a computer screen. So, PDF format seems to be the logical choice as far as what format to put my music in. I’ve seen programs that rely on a single graphic per page. The MusicPad (freehand,.fh files) does that and in order to create books for the Kindle or Nook format, one must do that. Graphic files are so much bigger than a PDF file created from a music notation program to begin with and more importantly, having all the music in one document (rather than multiple graphic files) makes the PDF the logical choice.

Some thoughts

I’m trying to figure out the best way to organize all of my sheet music. I have over 14,000 titles cataloged in my personal music library and over 500 for my music publishing company.  I suspect maybe as much as that number is not cataloged. (Hymnals and fakebooks can contain thousands of titles per book and collections can contain dozens of titles so 14,000 is not a huge number). Most of the titles I have are still in paper format. Converting them to digital is a subject for another article someday. Of those titles I do have in some sort of digital format already, what is the best way to organize them? Some of my music is for solo piano, some is for solo organ, sometimes with the same title, sometimes multiple versions of the same title and some of my music is for various instruments, vocalists and various permutations of instruments.

Possibilities

I see two possible ways of organizing them:

  • A single PDF document per song title and per type/genre of music.
  • Collections of titles (multiple titles per PDF file)

If I go with multiple titles per PDF, the size can be huge and in a live situation, being able to find, say the Addams Family TV theme someone requests (and they do request it) in a collection of a thousand TV themes can take forever, even if the PDF has been properly bookmarked. On the otherhand, having all my TV themes in one PDF file puts everything in one file and I don’t have to find and open another PDF file.

When it comes to selling music in PDF format, do people want to buy just one title or a collection of titles? A collection often may only contain one or two titles that you really want while the rest of the titles are wasted money. On the other hand, a collection is, so far as a per-song cost is concerned, cheaper than buying the individual titles. If you are given only the choice of a collection to buy that one song you really want or only the choice of buying several single titles, which would you choose? (Let’s assume you only have the choice of one or the other). That choice can make a difference for how we organize the music.

Ideas for discussion

I currently organize my music in a folder structure by instrumentation. As a composer/arranger and music publisher, I have all types of music, not just music I might play as a solo performer. I also differentiate between music I’ve written/arranged and music I’ve purchased that was written by other people. This works fine on a PC or Mac, but when we start getting into iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other tablet readers, they often don’t allow documents to be stored in folders. The iPad, as far as I can tell, only allows for one folder for an app. As we move into the future with tablets becoming more and more used, then we have to keep that under consideration.

The iPad apps I’ve run across are not sophisticated enough to read inside a PDF file to get the table of contents (assuming the PDF is in text format and not a bunch of scanned images put together). There are apps that will allow you to manually create an index on your PC or Mac and upload to the ipad. The app then uses that in its own index which may or may not contain all the titles of all songs on the app.

A single music title per PDF file seems to be the most logical and fastest way to find one’s music. A suffix (eg. “filename (O)” for Organ music and “filename (P)” for Piano music) would handle those situations where we have multiple titles with the same name but for different instrumentation. Likewise, multiple arrangements for the same instrument with the same title could add a suffix to find them more easily. Or perhaps it should be a prefix and suffix combination. I have dozens of solo piano arrangements of Amazing Grace. So for that, do I call it maybe “PN_Amazing Grace (arranger or source).pdf”? Besides just figuring out whether to do one file per title or use collections, what we name the files is also open for discussion.

Your thoughts and comments on the subject of organization of digital sheet music would be most appreciated.

Did you know…

In case you didn’t know, I’ve been selling my own sheet music in PDF format for over 15 years on the internet. I have a number of free titles, including music theory related available at the website. My MP3 recordings are available at the website as well as at iTunes, Amazon, and more. Check out my YouTube page as well.

Feel free to share this with others.

Categories
Arranging Church Music Sibelius YouTube Videos

O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing

Our latest additions to the catalog at our website consists of the title: O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing.

There are two titles available. They are both upbeat, rock/pop adaptations of this classic hymn tune also known as AZMON.

One is an MP3 recording and the other is a sheet music transcription for solo instrument. The sheet music version is for solo instrument with piano and optional rhythm section and keyboards. The keyboard part is also made available in parts that could allow you to perform this piece with a full orchestra (with a piano and instrumental soloist).

We try to be versatile with our music and allow for it to be performed with a variety of possible instrument combinations. Much of our instrumental solos, orchestra, instrumental, brass, woodwind and string music can be played by instruments other than indicated in the descriptions. Most, but not all titles include parts for C, Bb, Eb, F and alto clef instruments. (The catalog description specifies which parts are provided).

As with all our music in the past 3 years, it was typeset using the Sibelius notation software program. For recordings, we use the excellent Reaper DAW.

Check out a short YouTube video where you can listen to this title:

 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaoX950jl2c]

Categories
Arranging Church Music General Other Website News YouTube Videos

New videos

New Videos

I’ve posted several new videos on YouTube. You can view all of them  at My YouTube Channel

Here’s a look at a few of them.

First, another music video with fractal art I created. I have some rendered 3-d artwork and fractal images. The background music is a new piece “How Perfect Love Is” from our website (http://jamesgilbertmusic.com).
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZCY5jqO1RI?hl=en&fs=1]

The next one I’ll feature here is one of several similar videos that illustrates the various sheet music offerings available at the website. This one features Handbell and Handchime music. It shows samples from the website along with sample recordings.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B38KKLJ3Sts]
In addition to the Handbell video, there are videos featuring our Orchestra & Instrumental Ensemble titles; Choral titles and Brass selections. I plan to add more videos with our other categories.

 

Categories
General Website News

Ragtime Music

"The Entertainer" sheet music cover
Image via Wikipedia

We’re happy to announce that we have a healthy sized collection of ragtime sheet music available at the website. Specifically, the favorites of the king of Ragtime, Scott Joplin. These are the original versions. The titles are:

The Entertainer (Joplin)
The Easy Winners (Joplin)
Rag-Time Dance (Joplin)
Peacherine Rag (Joplin)
Palm Leaf Rag (Joplin)
Maple Leaf Rag (Joplin)
Eugenia (Joplin)
Elite Syncopations (Joplin)
A Breeze From Alabama (Joplin)
Something Doing (Joplin)
Sun Flower-Slow Drag (Joplin)
Swipsey (Joplin and Marshall)
The Cascades (Joplin)
The Chrysanthemum (Joplin)
The Favorite (Joplin)
The Sycamore (Joplin)
Weeping Willow (Joplin)

Each of these is available for download in the PDF format and at a reasonable price — below what most music publishers charge.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XoOtljJMsQ?hl=en&fs=1]

The music has been recently typeset to meet modern typesetting and layout conventions. In other words, it’s easier to read than the original printed version.

Categories
Arranging General Website News

New titles added to the website

New Titles – December 2011

We’ve added three new titles to the website.

Shake The Duck’s Jaw

A Novelty, Humor recording. It is meant to be silly and funny. Elementary school-aged children seem to really like it.

Short Tease At The Fountain

A peppy piece with a nice blending of acoustic and electronic instruments. Loosely (very loosely) based on a hymn tune.

Soft And Hard

An MP3 recording. A moderate speed piece consisting of a synth lead with rhythm section.

In addition to the recording, there are three sheet-music versions available

We hope you enjoy these titles. We’d love to hear your comments about any of our music.

Categories
General

Latest News (Dec 2011)

News

A quick post to let everyone know what’s new. A few new titles on the website, some new mp3 files and sheet music to one of those recordings.

See our other posts for the latest YouTube videos. I am soliciting suggestions for future videos. What would you like to see? Some categories I have in mind are: Music theory; Native Instruments Komplete 8; Reaper DAW; Sibelius 7; Slide shows with my original music as background music; All about scales; piano lesson related. What do you think?

In addition to the recordings and sheet music at the website, I play organ for and direct a choir at a local small church. See the 1611 KJV blog entry for more. That is keeping me busy with our involvement in the Christmas music program that a number of churches put on for the community. It is little more than 5 or 6 churches getting together and singing some Christmas music for one another. I’ve heard some people say it is the greatest community music event they’ve heard (they don’t get out much) and even one person, a professional musician from the Netherlands comment that she had never imagined choirs could sound so bad. But, whether it’s the greatest thing since sliced toast or the worse things since ?, it and all the special music that goes into the Advent & Christmas keeps me busy and away from doing YouTube videos or getting new material on the website.

I welcome feedback as to what you’d like to see in the way of new sheet music, new recordings, YouTube videos, piano lessons, etc. Please leave a comment.

 

Categories
Website News

New sheet-music

Four new titles are now available in the music catalog at the website.

These titles are for solo organ, solo piano, instrumental solo with piano accompaniment and an organ hymn accompaniment/alternate harmonization.

O Day Of Radiant Gladness
jamesgilbertmusic.com/catalog.php?sid=OR22
This arrangement is based on a German folk tune, also known under the hymn tune name ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVOGELEIN. This is for solo organ. It was written with a postlude in a church service in mind. It is a contrapuntal arrangement, almost like a fugue. The pedal part is not difficult. This piece makes for a great postlude. An organ teacher might also find it useful as a supplemental piece to regular lessons.

Episode
jamesgilbertmusic.com/catalog.php?sid=PN15
An original piano composition. It is a slow, thoughtful piece. An episode is similar to an interlude.  It is designed to be played between other (perhaps non-musical) activities. It would be a great piece for an intermediate piano student to learn for a recital. It could be used as part of a concert program where you need a slower piece between faster pieces. For church use, it would work quite well as an offertory or communion (Lord’s supper) piece.

Jesus Loves Me
jamesgilbertmusic.com/catalog.php?sid=IS10
An arrangement of the well-loved hymn for solo instrument with piano accompaniment. This setting is an adaptation of the solo organ title already a part of the music catalog. Rather than the typical 4/4 or 2/4 meter found in the hymnal, this setting is in a slow 6/4 time. This slows the piece down from its typical sung speed and allows for more expression from the soloist. I didn’t have any particular solo instrument in mind when writing this, but violin or oboe would work well with this. Parts are provided for C, Bb, Eb and F treble clef instruments making it playable by a wide range of instruments including: Flute, oboe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, French Horn, Trumpet, Violin, Guitar, Recorder and a solo keyboard (eg. a synthesizer lead). If you play bassoon, cello, trombone or viola and can read treble clef, you could easily adapt this for your use. French horn players may find this a challenge due to its high range, but feel free to transpose down an octave.

GROSSER GOTT
jamesgilbertmusic.com/catalog.php?sid=ORA37
This is an organ alternate harmony to this hymn tune. I use capital letters whenever mentioning tune names. Since so many hymn tunes have multiple titles, if I list the most common title, in this case “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name,” I end up leaving out other titles, so that’s why the tune name. This accompaniment is best used on the last verse of the tune. This accompaniment has a number of harmony changes that will require the congregation to sing in unison (as they would typically do to begin with). The piece does not always play the melody as the highest note and does a bit of a descant. But, it is not so different that the congregation will lose its place. When first used in a service it received good comments from those singing and a few were surprised at one or two of the harmonies.