Tool #29: Visualize Your Mix!


The term "stereo" refers to "stereophonic sound".  From Wikipedia: The term stereophonic sound or, more commonly, stereo, refers to any method of sound reproduction in which an attempt is made to create an illusion of directionality and audible perspective. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereophonic_sound) Humans prefer to know where the sound is coming from, and all good mixes can …

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What makes “good” music? Two basic criteria for judging.


What makes "good" music? I see composer websites of people who write what I think is "not so good" music where they list multitudes of grants, fellowships, and studies at educational heavy-hitters.  Does this make their music "good"?  I don't think so. I listen to music that is highly academicized to the point of being …

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Writing for the voice is a different animal… it’s okay to fall at first!


We're taught massive amounts of harmonic, melodic, structural/formal, conceptual, historical, and orchestrational material in any type of compositional training, whether it's in lessons or on the whole in the conservatory.  Most of us play at least one instrument, and most of us understand music theory like it's our native tongue.  But, we're not confronted with …

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Tool #27: Finding a Good Workflow


I recently started a project where I'm getting paid (roughly) by the hour for composing.  I have therefore started keeping a log of my composing time, and it has really helped me scrutinize my composing workflow and habits.  I have sharpened my view on how I compose--how I plan, sketch, write, revise, etc.--by doing this …

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Tool #26: 10 Finale Keyboard Commands You Should Know


I'd like to devote this post to a basic topic: 10 basic keyboard commands in Finale  that I find essential.  Whether it's composing fast or making engraving your scores easier, these are some of the commands that are second nature to me because I constantly use most of them.  I'm a big advocate for keyboard …

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…but it’s everything to me! (Taking breaks from music.)


I had the fortune of shaking the hand of Yo-Yo Ma when I was in second grade.  I was a beginning cellist and had the opportunity to see his dress rehearsal with the Hartford Symphony on my birthday along with my grandparents and a few (older) musicians.  (He even signed my copy of the Bach …

Continue reading …but it’s everything to me! (Taking breaks from music.)