Outside Shore Music / Mastering MuseScore

The paths to home

Published 4 months ago • 2 min read

Hello! I'm traveling back to Colorado from Florida this week (where I have had a lovely visit with family and friends), but my live events should not be affected. At most, I might be a little late getting to Office Hours.

In the Harmony and Chord Progressions course, we are in week 8, continuing our exploration of borrowed chords. This includes the iv and bVII7 chords, which you can consider alternate routes back "home" to the tonic. Our current project involves writing a short original piece.

Mastering MuseScore

For the ultimate guide to the world's most popular music notation software, see my online course Mastering MuseScore 4.

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, we look at the tools for getting around in your score as well as for organizing its display and for working with multiple files. We'll use the keyboard, mouse, and touch screen. This session will be extremely useful for newcomers, and even long-time users may discover technqiues they didn't know about!

The free MuseScore Café is live on Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT, or 17:30 during the winter months), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

Tip of the Week

MuseScore has shortcuts Alt+2 - Alt+9 to add notes a specified interval above a selected note or notes. There are also commands to add intervals below the selected notes, but these commands have no shortcuts by default - they are accessible only from the Add menu. And yet, adding intervals (especially thirds or sixths) below a given melody is a common thing to want to do. In this video post, I show you how to define shortcuts for these useful commands.

Musicianship Skills

If you want to learn more about music - theory, composition, improvisation, and more - become a Gold level member and receive access to all of our music courses as well as exclusive benefits like my weekly Office Hours.

Music Master Class

This week in the Music Master Class with Marc Sabatella, we will be looking at some of the original pieces created for the Harmony and Chord Progressions course and discussing borrowed chords further.

The free Music Master Class is live on Thursday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT, or 17:30 during the winter months), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

In Theory

I find there is often confusion about the subjects of inversion and voicing when it comes to arranging the notes of a chord. I find people write chord symbols or Roman numeral analysis using inversions when they actually don’t want - or shouldn’t want - a note other than the root in the bass range. Often the goal is simply to achieve good voice leading (smooth connection between notes) in the middle range, but nothing you do outside of the bass has anything to do with inversion, really. You can arrange the upper “voices” (this term applies equally to piano or other instruments) in any order you like, and if the root is in the bass, it’s still root position. This is often exactly what we want - or should want. In this video post, I show some common errors that can arise from this misunderstanding, and I demonstrate how to voice root position chords appropriately in order to maintain good voice leading in the upper voices.

Until next time, keep making music!
Marc Sabatella

8600 Ralston Rd. Suite L-102, ARVADA, CO 80002
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Outside Shore Music / Mastering MuseScore

by Marc Sabatella

My name is Marc Sabatella, and I am the founder of Outside Shore Music - a pioneer of online music education since the dawn of the web. As the creator of Mastering MuseScore, A Jazz Improvisation Primer, and other resources, I have dedicated most of my life to helping as many musicians as I can. Subscribe to my free newsletter for MuseScore tips, theory insights, and more information on how to create your best music!

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