Marc Sabatella

Shifting into gear

published3 months ago
2 min read

Hello, and thanks to all of you who came on board as Gold Level Members and are now enjoying the first week of my new ongoing workshops! I posted the introductory videos and projects, and people are already working on them. You'll begin to see this reflected in my regular live streams, as I'll be discussing topics relating to what we're covering in the workshops, and featuring music created by students.

BTW - it's not too late to join us! And if you do so before 12:30 PM Eastern today, you can come to this week's Office Hours.

P.S. - I've been getting back into bicycling lately after many years off, hence the reference in the subject line :-)

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, we continue our third-Wednesday Score of the Month tradition with Robert Schumann's Fröhlicher Landmann, which is this week's project for the Music Engraving Workshop. Tune in to see how I go about entering this into MuseScore and what engraving decisions I make along the way!

The MuseScore Café is live on Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

Tip of the Week

One of the things I discuss in the first lesson for the Music Engraving Workshop is the issue of when it's OK to combine multiple voices if the rhythms match for a full or partial measure. I also showed a simple trick for actually doing this if you've already entered the notes in separate voices, and I'll share that here as well. Select a range on a single staff that you'd like to combine, then use Tools / Implode. When multiple staves are selected, Implode will combine them into multiple voices on one staff. But when a single staff with multiple voices is selected, it merges the voices for any notes or rests where it can, leaving the voices intact where the rhythms differ. So it can automatically turn the first measure below into the second:

Music Master Class

This week in the Music Master Class with Marc Sabatella, we will work on some sight-singing exercises and discuss your experiences with melodic dictation (transcription), based on the lessons and projects from the Musicianship Skills Workshop.

The Music Master Class is live on Thursday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

In Theory

Is it possible to learn perfect pitch? Lots of magazine ads would have you believe the answer is yes. I'm not so sure it's an attainable goal for most people - at least not at the level that some people I know have it, where you can play any note and within a fraction of a second they can identify it, pitch and octave, even with other music playing at the same time. However, those of you who have been following me lately have probably heard me talk about my own nascent sense of semi-perfect pitch. It's nowhere near as sophisticated as what I just described, but, give me me a few moments of silence to prepare, and I can usually sing an "A" pretty accurately. Also Bb, C, or E. These are notes that have gradually become burned into my consciousness over the years. Bb because it's what we usually tune wind intruments to; E because that's how we tune guitars. You might think A comes from orchestra tuning, but I've spend little time in that world. Really, it comes from actually listening to a tuning fork on a regular basis just for fun.

You might try testing yourself as an experiment. Pick a note that's meaningful to you - or get a tuning fork and use A if you don't have a better choice - and listen to that often. Then every morning when you first get up, before you hear any other music, try to sing that pitch. Then check yourself. You can also try this in the middle of the day of course.

I'm not promising anything, but you may well find you get better at this, just as I am! Do you have your own thoughts or suggestions on this? I'd love you to share them in the Community!