Category Archives: Church Music

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 our sheet music for Free at the website. I also have six albums (as of January 2013) available on GooglePlay, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.

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
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRdYzYjxl5M]
Introduction to Chords
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmezVWK0Ex8?hl=en&fs=1&w=425&h=349]
A Review of iPad Apps of help for musicians
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7Ia92GaSrg]
12-tone, Dodecaphonic Composition Overview


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


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHhf7mB4180]
Some Sibelius (notation software) Tips
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OouCZ-Uz0zM?hl=en&fs=1]
Making another Arrangement using Sibelius
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yKV-GI-5KA?hl=en&fs=1]
Making an Organ arrangement in Sibelius
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B49i8EtmS-w?hl=en&fs=1]
I hope you enjoyed this. Your comments and questions are welcome here or via the contact page on the website.

 

Miroslav Philharmonik Review

UPDATE January 2016. Miroslav Philharmonik version 2 was released in December 2015. Based on the SampleTank 3 engine, the user interface is a thousand times better than the version reviewed below. I can actually use it without having to pull out the magnifer. There are new sounds and key-switching instruments are also provided. The instruments from Philharmonik 1 are also included in this program. The product is 64-bit. The mixing tab of the interface makes it possible to mix ‘in the instrument’ rather than having to mix everything in your DAW. If time permits I may do a full review. As to the Kontakt vs. Miroslav comments below, if you are into just orchestral music and don’t need to do sampling and creating your own instruments, pick Miroslav first, then Kontakt, although some of the add-on libraries available for Kontakt offer sounds and features not found in Miroslav, especially if you are involved in film or game music.

An older product, but it sounds just fine

This product, from IK Multimedia, is an older product that has been on the market for at least 4 years. But, I’ve only just now (Nov 2012) had a chance to use it. You could call it a classic. If you’re just getting into sound libraries and doing recordings or composing on a computer, this is a good library.

What is it? It is a sound library consisting of all the instruments in a typical classical orchestra. There around 8 Gigabytes of samples. There are various articulations of the different instruments, as applicable. For example, there is flutter tongue for the flute, pizzicato for the strings, legato and stacc. for all the instruments.

There are individual sounds for all the instruments in the woodwinds, brass, string and percussion families as well as some keyboard and harp sounds, including some nice organ sounds. In addition to the single patches, it comes with numerous presets that layer various instruments from different families. If that weren’t enough, there are single patches that contain a mixture of instruments. I believe there are over 3,000 presets.

The instruments are accessed via a stand-alone program or via VST, AU and I believe a few other plugin formats that I don’t use. There are 16 channels/slots that you can load instruments into. Each slot can be assigned to any channel and panning and volume can be set. There are combination presets that can save you the time of loading instruments on each track. Use your MIDI keyboard to play it (or use the mouse and play the on-screen keyboard or some of the keys on your computer keyboard work).

I use mainly the Kontakt factory library for my orchestral needs so that’s all I have to go on for a comparison. The big difference is that there seems to be more instruments and articulations and types of instruments in the Miroslav package. Unlike Kontakt, that uses key switching to switch between, say pizz. and legato, this uses separate patches. That can take a little getting use to. I do also use Session Strings Pro. I find the Miroslav to be a better sound overall than what I can get from Kontakt, but that’s not to say Kontakt isn’t good, just Miroslav better so far as the sound & variety of orchestra instruments. If I could only choose between Kontakt and Miroslav Philharmonik, Kontakt would win, but if you’re heavy into orchestral sounds, you might make the opposite choice. .

There are quite a bit of ways to modify the individual sounds. These include LFO’s, Envelopes, filters, velocity adjustments, keyboard range, many effects and effect sends, both individually and globally.

Sibelius and Windows 7 64-bit users.

If you are using the Windows 7, 64-bit version of Sibelius, you will not be able to use the plugin, at least not with the 64-bit version of Sibelius. Fortunately, Sibelius 7 installs both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions. Go to the start menu and select the 32-bit version of Sibelius. As mentioned before, Miroslav is an older program, so it hasn’t been updated to 64-bit yet.

Reaper users.

I’ve found the product to be stable and fine for use in Reaper, Win 7 64-bit version. Just be sure to set your midi controller to the correct channel, set the Reaper input to the controller AND arm the channel for recording.

Criticism.

The interface is very hard to see. The image above was downloaded from the IK Multimedia site. That image looks better than the actual program does. I’m using a 1920×1080 display and I can barely read the text. If I use the Windows magnifier to zoom in 200% it seems obvious that the graphics are not very hi-res. This makes it hard to learn the program. However, once you get use to it, it’s not a bad interface. It would have been nice if the manual told more about the presets, like which ones make extensive use of the mod wheel, expression control or other controllers. As with most any sound library I’ve ever used, the manuals barely cover the minimum and offer little in the way of practical usage. It’s sort of a ‘here are the sounds and how to load them, now you’re on your own.’ More tutorials and tips would be most welcome. Since it is an older program, it doesn’t support WASAPI sound support. I’d like to see it updated to a 64-bit plugin and the graphics improved.

Since I’m new to it, did I miss anything or do you have any comments about it?

 

Latest happenings

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, CDBaby, Rhapsody, Spotify, Amazon and of course GooglePlay.

 

GooglePlay and iTunes

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

Although the bulk of my music is available at all the above sites, GooglePlay has titles that are not available anywhere else, so check it out first if  you’re looking for our latest. I’ve added several singles this month. Basically GooglePlay will have everything plus singles. The other sites will not have any of the singles.

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.

 

Latest additions to the catalog

New additions

We’ve added a few new titles to the website recently. They are two Organ Hymn Accompaniments, an Instrumental Solo with piano and optional rhythm section and strings as well as a String Quartet piece.

Update: While not discussed below, we’ve also added two settings of The Star Spangled Banner, one for Strings, one for Woodwinds. We’ve also added a setting of Amazing Grace for Trumpet Trio.

Sample image

It Is Well

This piece is a transcription of the jazzy recording available in our catalog. It Is Well (hymn tune: VILLE DU HAVRE) is a very popular tune. This setting is for solo instrument with Strings (Violin and Cello), String reduction included, Guitar, Piano, Electric Bass, Drums and optional Tenor Saxophone. Parts are provided for C, Bb, Eb, F, and Alto Clef instruments. The following instruments would work well with this piece: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Trumpet, French Horn, Violin, Viola, Alto Saxophone or Tenor Saxophone. Usage: Prelude, Offertory, Postlude, Church or Educational. Arranger: Sterling J. Roberts

RESIGNATION

An alternate harmonization free improvisation of this hymn for Organ. This hymn tune is also known as My Shepherd Will Supply My Need. For use with congregational singing.

IN BABILONE

An alternate harmonization free improvisation of this hymn for Organ. This tune is known under the titles Hail Thou Once Despised Jesus and See The Conqueror Mounts In Triumph. For use with congregational singing.

The Snow Lay On The Ground

It may be a bit early to be thinking of Christmas music but you now have no excuse for not having enough time to practice! Get your string quartet together and get started on this piece. For String Quartet (Violin 1 – Violin 2 – Viola – Cello). This setting of the traditional Christmas piece makes for an excellent Christmas Eve piece or for any time during Advent or Christmas. Usage: Christmas Advent Church. Arranger: Annabelle Marie Edwards

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]

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.

 

What Wondrous Love Is This

I’ve uploaded a new video to YouTube. This is a recording of the piece What Wondrous Love Is This that I arranged for orchestra. The hymn tune is from the early 1800’s in Appalachia and is found in Southern Harmony, 1835. It is still used today in many churches and instrumental versions, like this, are also used in secular schools for its historical aspect.

This recording is done via software instruments (although most of you would have thought they were real if I hadn’t said anything). I used instruments from the Native Instruments Kontakt 5 factory library as well as Session Strings Pro. I layered the string sounds so each instrument in the string section had 3 to 5 different instruments. They were mixed together to get the final sound. For the reverb I used two instances of Guitar Rig 5, one for the strings and their reverb and all other instruments.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U-7E3cjY9A?hl=en&fs=1]

The orchestra sheet music is available for purchase at my website. The instrumentation is for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Triangle, Violins, Violas, Cellos, Double Bass and Guitar (or Harp). See the catalog description for details about substitute instruments and keyboard reductions.

If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them on the YouTube page or here.

New music

New music added to the catalog

Some new titles have been added to the music catalog at the website:

Details about the new titles.

A barnstar crafted from five treble clef stage...
Image via Wikipedia

BUNESSAN (Morning Has Broken)

An instrumental descant to the hymn tune BUNESSAN. This hymn is known under the following titles: Morning Has Broken; Always And Ever; Child In The Manger; Contains the melody and descant. Parts provided for C Bb Eb F and Alto Clef Treble Clef instruments. Usage: Hymn Accompanying. Arranger: Martin L. Flanders

LYONS (O Worship The King)

An instrumental descant to the hymn tune LYONS. This hymn is known under the following titles: O Worship The King; How Wondrous And Great; Ye Servants Of God; Ye Thirsty For God. Contains the melody and descant. Parts provided for C Bb Eb F and Alto Clef treble clef instruments. Usage: Hymn Accompanying. Arranger Martin L. Flanders

PICARDY (Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence)

An instrumental descant to the hymn tunes PICARD. This hymn is known under all of the following titles: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence – Sing My Tongue The Glorious Battle – Transform Us As You Transfigured – God Of Freedom God Of Justice – Judge Eternal Throned In Splendor – You Lord are both Lamb and Shepherd – As The Sun With Longer Journey – Blessed Are The Poor And Needy – Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit; Blessed Father Great Creator – For The Night Weeping May Tarry – Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us – Sing Ye Faithful Sing With Gladness – Though The Night Of Weeping May Linger – With The Body That Was Broken. Contains the melody and descant. Parts provided fro C Bb Eb F and Alto clef treble clef instruments. Usage: Hymn Accompanying. Arranger: Martin L. Flanders

What Wondrous Love Is This

A new setting of this popular hymn. Other settings are available in the catalog for Piano, Organ or Choir. Instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone (optional), Tenor Saxophone (optional), French Horn, 2 Trumpets, Trombone, Triangle, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, String Reduction, Guitar, Electric Bass (optional). Usage: Lent Holy Week General Prelude Offertory Communion Postlude Educational. Arranger: Sterling J. Roberts

You can always find the newest additions to the catalog by searching for “New Listing” in the search page. New Listing search page. Searching for just the word New will find new titles as well as a few titles with that word in the title or description.

We are always interested in hearing back from you as to what type of new sheet music or recordings you’d like to see in our catalog.

Today’s additions represent the works of two different artists that are part of JamesGilbertMusic. If you’d like to have your sheet music or your recordings published on the website, visit our Submission Page for details

New Album on Google Music

New Album

Another album is available on Google Music.

Visit the new album

The new album is entitled Selections from JamesGilbertMusic, Volume 2

There is one free track and a couple that are only available at Google Music. The remainder of the tracks are all available in single form at our regular website. (Link to the website). The CD is a mix of various styles, including Classical, Novelty, Dance/Trance, Jazz and popular music.

Contents:

  • All Glory Laud And Honor
  • James Gilbert Music Theme (free track, used in many YouTube videos)
  • Leoni In Africa
  • Brass & Percussion Piece (Google Music exclusive)
  • Short Tease At The Fountain
  • Blessed Assurance
  • Tidings
  • Soft And Hard
  • Suspense Chase
  • Sweet Feel
  • Through The Forest Mist
  • What Are Those Sounds In The Dark (Google Music exclusive)
  • Shake The Duck’s Jaw

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions. And please spread the word.

Using pre-1611 music

The title page to the 1611 first edition of th...
Image via Wikipedia

Pre-1611 music service

On November 20, 2011 the Church of the Mediator Episcopal church in Micanopy, FL ( held a service that focused on the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible. To try and keep the service as much musically like what people may have heard in 1611, we tried to select appropriate music.

The scripture was, of course, from the King James version. We used the original edition, complete with the different spellings used in 1611.

Hymns

In researching hymn tunes and lyrics that were written prior to 1611, we discovered that few English language hymns exist. It was about 100 years later that English language hymnody really took off with such authors as Isaac Watts. Although there are numerous foreign language pieces (eg. German) that were possibilities, but the translations, such as A Mighty Fortress, were written long after 1611 so we did not use those titles.

We could only find about 7 hymns that would work. Of those, the following were chosen. Even with these, some of the translations or harmonizations were done after 1611.

  • Jerusalem, My Happy Home (Tune: Diana)
  • Psalm 23 metrical version (Tune: St. Flavian)
  • The Lord Descended from above (Tune: Moravian)
  • All People That On Earth Do Dwell (Tune: Old 100th)
  • I Call On Thee, Lord Jesus (Tune: Ich Ruf Zu Dir)

The hymn I Call on Thee was written by Miles Coverdale (1487-1568) who is probably best known for his Coverdale Psalms, a translation of Psalms. The hymn tune dates to 1533 but was harmonized in 1928. It is found in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal as hymn 634.

All People That On Earth Do Dwell is set to the tune Old 100th, best known to many as the Doxology. The words by William Keth (d. ~1608) and is a paraphrase of Psalm 100. In this case, the lyrics and music are all written pre-1611. The music is from 1551 and harmonized prior to 1561. This is probably the oldest hymn with lyrics and music commonly used by congregations today.

Jerusalem, My Happy Home was written in the 16th century. The melody, tune: Diana, is a traditional English melody from the 16th century. The setting we used was harmonized in 1939.

The metrical Psalm setting of Psalm 23 we used was to the tune St. Flavian, sung often to the lyrics Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days. This tune dates from 1562.

The Lord Descended From Above is another Sternhold Psalm. The tune is Moravian from pre-1611. The edition we used was from an 1882 Church of Christ/Presbyterian hymnal.

Organ Music

Presbyterian Church, now Episcopal Church of t...
Image via Wikipedia

I do not have access to any original edition organ publications pre-1611. I did have several arrangements or adaptations of pre-1611 organ music.

For pre-service music, I played the following:

  • Pavane, by William Byrd
  • Salmodia para el Magnificant by Antonio de Cabezon, arranged by E. Power Biggs
  • Dialogo per Organo by Adriano Banchieri, arranged by E. Power Biggs
  • St. Flavian (tune)

During communion I played the following titles. In the E. Power Biggs edition I had, they were grouped together as one piece, in two sections:

  • 1. Pavana – The Earle of Salisbury from Parthenia or The Maydenhead (1611) by William Byrd
  • 2. Galiardo also from Parthenia or The Maydenhead (1611) by William Byrd
The Pavana in this piece is the same as the pre-service piece, but arranged quite differently. I suspect, but have no way to know, that this edition is more accurate to the original.
For the postlude I played Ayre of Four Parts by John Dowland.
(Added 11/21)
If you’d like to see the sermon that focuses on the KJV, visit: