Advanced Midi Arranging- Part 2

“Air from Water Music Suite in F”

Download instructions and examples here- Midi Arranging Advanced-Pt 2

Adjust note values

Midi files will write exactly what was played when the music was first entered and for that reason, many of the notes will be cut shorter than what we would like. The amount of editing will be a personal choice and in many cases you may alter the original in a way that is not historically or musically correct. Just remember, it’s your choice and if it works for you, go for it. There will always be people out there taking shots at you for what ever reason so go for the sound you like. Who knows, maybe the composer would prefer your version over his/hers.

SAVE your work

6. Transfer to another score to shift parts for easier playing

Create another score with extra staffs in order to move parts around more easily. Usually one additional staff works but for this example, I have set six lines. First you decide which players will alternate playing the melody. This will enable each of the two players to take frequent periods of rest even though they may be constantly playing. Just a few second parts will make the players feel rested when they again play the melody. I have decided to split the first player’s line with the third player’s line. The fourth part will be played by a flugel horn so that must be kept in tact.

Select and copy the fourth part and paste it into the sixth line.

Now select the second part and paste it into the fifth line.

Re-label the bottom line with “4rth trumpet” or flugel

Re-label the fifth line with “2nd trumpet”

Select the first trumpet part and paste it into the top line of your work score.

Re-label the top line as “1st trumpet”

Select and copy the third part and paste it into the third line of the work score.

Rename the third line “3rd trumpet”

Remove the text in the second and fourth lines

Your working score should now read from top to bottom-

  • 1st trumpet
  • Blank
  • 3rd trumpet
  • Blank
  • 2nd trumpet
  • 4th trumpet

SAVE your work

7. Shifting the work load between two players

The advantage of the extra lines will be apparent for now you can copy phrases and paste them into empty lines so that they can be moved around more easily. Alternate the melody line from the first part with the third part and try to make the end of one part move smoothly into the melody in the following section.

8. Transfer to final score

Open a new and final score with four staffs. Enter all of the final information such as names of parts, title, composer, transcriber (you), key, time signature, number of measures, etc. Save this score under the name “Final Score”. Work back and forth between the six staff score and your “Final Score” to transfer the four lines to the appropriate lines in the “Final Staff”. By placing double bar lines at the beginning of phrases, your two melody players will be prepared to enter in the next solo section and back again on their harmony parts. At this point you should also mark rehearsal letters so that your rehearsals will be more effective. Add the appropriate dynamics to each section and in this case use dynamics only at the beginning of sections. No crescendos or decrescendos in this style of music.

9. Print parts from Final Score

Open a template parts page and enter all text information, ie. title, composer, tempo, etc. Save as TRUMPET PART. Add the required additional measures to this page. Select and copy first trumpet part and paste it into the trumpet part page. Save as trumpet 1. Replace double bar lines and rehearsal letters if necessary. Continue with all parts and double check your work. After checking play back your score and read every part for any errors. After you are convinced the parts and score are correct, pass the parts out and see what happens. Sfter doing several of these mid transcriptions, you will gain both confidence and speed.

Advanced Midi Arranging – Part 1

“Air from Water Music Suite in F”

Download instructions and examples here- Midi Arranging Advanced-Pt 1

1. Original

Open Finale Song Writer.

Use wizard to set score for four trombone lines.

Change first three lines to treble clef and keep the fourth line in bass clef.

Save as “Water Music- Trumpet Score”.

Open another window and paste the following Url into the “open” window. Change file type to “Midi”

Save this score as “Original Midi Score”.

2. Remove Horn Parts

Select “Staff Tool” (second line, second button from the left, top of page).

Click on box just to the left of the treble clef sign on the Horn 1 part.

Hit “Delete” key on keyboard to remove horn 1.

Repeat with horn 2.

Save work.

Print score.

3. Change the following

Part placement, remove trills, change names on score, change bass clef to treble, raise bottom line an octave, and change time signature

Click on the “Selection Tool” button (second line, first button) and select the melody in the fourth line by clicking in the area between the flat and the time signature.

Copy the line and paste it into the top line of “Water Music- Trumpet Score”.

Continue copying and pasting the remaining lines into your new score. Make note of order of parts in score.

Change the remaining bass clef line into a treble clef line and transpose it up an octave (utilities at top, then transpose, then up an octave from box).

Play your score and see if it all fits. It should sound acceptable even though the bottom line is an octave higher than the original.

Remove trills- Trills can be a problem at this point and it will take time and careful editing to remove the midi executed trills. Take the trills out and replace the removed notes with a more basic note line. The trills will be replaced at a later time.

Change time signature from 8/8 to 4/4 by clicking on “Time Signature” button and them on the first measure of the top line. Change the 8/8 to 4/4.

4. Transpose to a better key and adjust range

This number is written in the key of F (one flat) and after viewing the score, I noticed that by changing the key from F to G, most of the notes in the bottom part could be played by the fourth trumpet so you now need to transpose the score up to the key of G. To do this, click on the key signature button, third from the left. Next, click in the middle of the first measure, top line in your score. This brings up the area you will be able to change keys in your score. Use the up button to change the key from F to G the click OK. Your score is now in a better key to perform.

Save work.

The top three parts are in good shape for range but the fourth part as in most cases must be altered to fit in the range of the instrument. When ever possible, try to keep the part as low as the instrument can perform which means lowering notes when ever possible and raising notes which are out of the range of the instrument.

Save work.

5. Shorten score

In most midi scores, there will be a lot of repeated material and in order to save time in editing, you need to find out what material is repeated and use repeat signs to save time.

Use your select tool and click in the first measure of the first line of your score. All of this line will be selected and now open a new window with an empty lead part window. Paste the first line into this page. Now you will more easily be able to see the repeated sections.

The basic form of this piece is an ABABDCD which means you can put in a repeat from the end of measure 36 back to the beginning, cut out measures 37- 62 and continue to the end. That will save a tremendous amount of duplication when editing. It also gives you the option of taking the repeat or cutting it shorter with no repeat.

Save work.

Stay tuned for the final episode of this program!

Getting Started At Midi Arranging

Download work sheet here- Getting Started At Midi Arranging

Listen to MP3 examples here- MP3 musical examples

1. Access material for project

Open your Internet Browser and paste this URL in the box at the top.

2. Print sheet music

Print out sheet music for “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, second song from the bottom of the            page.

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3. Set up score in Finale-

Start your Finale program and set the Wizard for SATB. Set it up for cut time, four flats, half note pickup and 69 measures in length.

4. Enter individual parts to SATB lines

Change Alto line to bass clef (click on clef tool at top of page, double click on pickup       measure and when option box comes up, double click on the bass clef sign- fourth from           the left. Repeat on the first full measure). Manually enter all of the notes from the Tenor,         Lead (Alto), Baritone, Bass lines on the corresponding lines of the score into Finale    (Song Writer). For this exercise, you need only to transfer the first page. If you want to             complete this number for future use, continue as far as you wish.

Important Comment: At this point you may wonder what arranging midi file has to do with your first four instructions for we have not yet modified any midi files. I wanted you to be able to enter notes from an existing printed score before we start on cutting and copying midi information. Many of the tunes that you will want to arrange may already be in hard copy form and with this post, you will understand how these printed sheet can be modified for your use.

Now that you have entered each note from the original score into your four lines in your Finale program, make sure you save this material before continuing on to the next instruction.

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5. Sustaining notes

Combine every repeated note to give more of a more choral sound rather than a choppy,    mechanical sound. This is much more instrumental than the first version.

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6. Adjusting Range

Alto and bass lines are changed to treble clef and both are raised an octave. The Tenor      line is also lowered an octave and now becomes the third part. The fourth part is checked         to make sure that all notes are playable. If fourth part is below the playable range of the            instrument, the whole chart must be transposed so that it fits within the range of every        instrument.

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7. A Simple Arrangement

To illustrate how this material can be altered to resemble a real arrangement, I began with the original melody of eight measures and then added the soprano or the third part for the        next eight measures. After that I added the bass part, again for eight measures and finally     added the alto part for the last eight measures. To give it a more interesting close, I just            copied and pasted the last four measures in as a tag.