A Little Ray of Sunshine

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I really wish

I had a microphone and recording software package.

Oh, well.

'Cellists are, you understand, lazy by nature. But we're practical-lazy. We prefer to learn to read three clefs (bass, tenor, treble) rather than count leger lines for ever. (We are also practical jokers, but that's another story, actually numerous other stories.)

This occasionally leads to trouble, like just now. I realized I'd written the last line and a half in treble, and it was supposed to be in tenor. Grrr. Rewrite! At least, when composing, I always work in pencil. It means I have to recopy later in ink.

That said, I've tried Finale and Sibelius, and sorry, but they both, well, suck. I can write more accurately and faster by hand. Even with recopying. And I am not a professional manuscripter. We simply convinced one of my university's composers to offer us a single semester of manuscript class. (Scheduled at ten pm or after any recital was over, whichever was later!) There's a reason why the sheet music you buy at the store is still hand written and mechanicly copied, not computer generated. By people like me, only with more practice. Using a caligraphy pen on vellum, usually. I understand that the copying is accoplished by the same technique as house blueprints.

I use a ultra-fine sharpie on paper, white out for mistakes. Photocopy when I need copies. And even writing in pencil, recopying in ink, it's faster, more legible, and more accurate than music software programs. I suppose that tells you something abou the complexity of the written musical language. I tell my students that it's like learning a foreign language: you wouldn't expect to be able to read Mandarin flawlessly in your first year. Or your second. Brain research backs me up: musicians use the same part of their brain for music as for language.

Like writing, copywrite on music is automatic when you write it down. You don't have to file it or pay any fees.

I still wish I had recording software and a microphone. Then I'd have to figure out how to put this little peice up. It's not anything like done yet, but it's just pouring out today between poopy bums and housework. Well, there'd be another step in there: practice!


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