Tag Archives: Sheet Music

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 Skype.

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.

May 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 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.

 

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

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.

 

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. Also, I have several singles and now 2 EPs (only) on GooglePlay. 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 CD-Baby, Amazon, GooglePlay and Spotify 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.

Better Icons

At least I hope they are better. I updated the graphics on the music catalog page to make it easier to read. I also added and updated a few on the main page.
Other places you can find us on the internet:


Twitter

YouTube

SoundCloud

CD-Baby

Amazon Artist Page

iTunes

Amazon Kindle

Nook

Google Music

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 (@MusicByJames) or on Facebook.

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

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(any ads you may see on this page have nothing to do with me and I make no money from them)

 

Latest Additions to the Music Catalog

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 our 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 our 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 our 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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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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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 Skype or here in the Gainesville, Micanopy, Ocala area of North Florida.

Feedback, comments. I need it.

(Please ignore any ads on this page. I didn’t put them there. I don’t make money from them. I don’t endorse them.)