What Did I Use and Make?:
I used MuseScore for my project and so I made a song in the program. I decided that I would write a song and use MuseScore to help me write it and notate. I used this program throughout the entire process to create this song. I call the “When I Look Into Your Eyes”.
WhenI Look Into Your Eyes: The Process:
When I decided that I wanted to write a song with this software the first place I started was to open a piano score in MuseScore. The MIDI tracks in music writing programs for piano are usually the least … distorted, shall I say, so I always start there with writing music and then set it for other instruments later. I would come up with a little passage and I would figure out what notes they were by putting them into MuseScore and then i would figure out the rhythm on my own and then add put in the rhythm. Then I would change anything that I thought sounded odd or that I just didn’t like.
After I had made the main melody line in the piano score my next step was to score the piece for other instruments and then make counter lines in the other parts. I knew that I wanted to use viola (because I play viola) and I knew that I just wanted a few instruments and I wanted it to be something unconventional. Then, thus, viola, bassoon, and harp it was! I copied and pasted the melody into the viola part and then copied and pasted different phrases of the melody into different parts so that the piece could have more even scoring. I was quite happy that it transposed the notes to the clefs that it needed to and didn’t just put them in the same place regardless of clef. That saved me time and effort.
Now that I had the melody in the small chamber group throughout different parts I wanted to make harmonies and counter lines. I went through and followed a similar process to that I used to compose the melody, except this time I had other music there I had to fit it to. I would sing the counter lines while listening to the part and then I tried putting them in and made adjustments as needed. I then changed any articulations and dynamics that I wanted to and then I had the final product.
I learned tons about how to use MuseScore and I also found out that there are many pieces of knowledge that transfer to other music writing software such as Sibelius. So this has helped me to not only better understand this program, but others as well. I learned how to make duple notes in 6/8 time and how to make other abnormal subdivisions such as 7’s and 5’s. Another specific element I learned was that I could copy and paste a part from a treble clef line to an alto or bass clef one and it will automatically transpose it for you. There are several other things I learned, but these are a few great examples. (TP): If I used this program in a classroom setting I could make an assignment for my students to compose and write a piece through MuseScore and I could help them to learn all of these elements of the program so that they can be able to write their own music with a free program! This would be a very helpful skill for music students.
I always find it interesting to see how different people use different processes to writing music. Still being fairly new to composing and writing music I am still forming my process for this, and the more I do it the better and more efficient I get at it. This makes sense of course, I mean we all know the age-old saying, “practice makes perfect”. Doing this piece helped me think about how different instruments (such as bassoon and viola) can match each other in style, or how I can have a wind instrument play in a way similar to a string’s pizzicato and furthermore, how to notate that. I experimented with what I wanted the harp to do harmonically under that viola and bassoon at times and I love how different harmonies can give different parts such different characters! (CT): I was able to use the knowledge that I was gaining about this program to help me work out and through these different elements of composition. With the software I could hear how these different elements sounded and how I needed to adjust them (although the sounds don’t quite sound like the actual instruments). Hearing them was half the battle and if I didn’t know how to use this software then I wouldn’t have been able to hear these things so readily.
I could use this project to teach to a class. As I mentioned above it would be great to have students writing their own pieces. This would spark creativity and confidence as well as musicianship. It would benefit them greatly to get both the benefits of knowledge they would gain from composing while also learning how to use the program. (PC): Through this project the students would be able to learn how to develop their own process of composing and how MuseScore could help them through this. It would help them gain understanding of how different instruments blend and how not similar instruments can go about blending. They would also learn how different harmonies give different lines unique sounds and character. This project would help them a lot in not only composition, but overall musicianship.