Arranging?

pipeman

New Member
I'e been a player for about 66 years, I know there will be some out there that can beat that, But I think my time approaching when I may call it a day. So I think I would like to try my hand at doing some small arrangements. I think that this will not only keep my mind active but also keep my interest in Banding too.

I have been on the internet and note that there are several but which to choose! As they all seem to be quite expensive to buy and I don't want to waist my money. Can anyone out there offer advice about any they may have found helpful.
 

Andrew Norman

Active Member
I have been on the internet and note that there are several but which to choose! As they all seem to be quite expensive to buy and I don't want to waist my money. Can anyone out there offer advice about any they may have found helpful.

Several what ? I assume you mean Music Notation Software ?

Also please remember that the arranging of copyright material needs permission even if it is not for commercial use so make sure that you keep to music which is already out of copyright.
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
You could try MuseScore. It is free and, while it does not have all of the features of software like Sibelius, Finale etc, it will allow you to do some experimenting and see what you can do. Don't expect it to sound like 'real music' though. Unless you have some pretty neat (and expensive) sound libraries, the MIDI sounds made by computers are pretty awful.
 

honestoil

New Member
@pipeman. If you enjoy doing arranging and want do do copyrighted works there is a section on the Pennine Music website for you to read. They will arrange the necessities with the publisher and say the cost is usually £20-£50.
 

DocFox

Well-Known Member
If you choose to use Sibelius or Sibelius First, Sibelius NotePerformer is a new sound set for $129 that is excellent. You might think you are getting East-West Orchestra Library (which costs several thousands of dollars, or pounds or euros). It is that good. And it is easy to install. Here is an example. This is Holst and the Planets, specifically the well-known Mars section. Click Here Sibelius NotePerformer is not attached to Sibelius as a company.
 

DocFox

Well-Known Member
You could try MuseScore. It is free and, while it does not have all of the features of software like Sibelius, Finale etc, it will allow you to do some experimenting and see what you can do. Don't expect it to sound like 'real music' though. Unless you have some pretty neat (and expensive) sound libraries, the MIDI sounds made by computers are pretty awful.

Mike would know. He made my MIDI file into something that sounded MUCH better for which I am still grateful. Thanks again "Good Egg."
 

DocFox

Well-Known Member
To address the original question, I own Sibelius, Sibelius First, and Finale. I always come back to Sibelius as I find the interface much more user-friendly. But for a smaller price (not free) you could do some real work with Sibelius First and Sibelius NotePerformer. Finale, I am told, is easier to setup for MIDI instruments and keyboards. I lack keyboard skills, so that is not a criterion for me. It does not make Sibelius awful with MIDI devices, just harder to setup (from what I am told).
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
@pipeman. If you enjoy doing arranging and want do do copyrighted works there is a section on the Pennine Music website for you to read. They will arrange the necessities with the publisher and say the cost is usually £20-£50.
Take a look at sheetmusicplus. They have a list of over 1000 copyright pieces that you can arrange. You don't have to pay setup fees but the earnings you can make from these pieces are quite tiny (20%). Non-copyright music earns you 45% of the sale price.
 

GJG

Well-Known Member
Take a look at sheetmusicplus. They have a list of over 1000 copyright pieces that you can arrange. You don't have to pay setup fees but the earnings you can make from these pieces are quite tiny (20%). Non-copyright music earns you 45% of the sale price.
Mike, thanks very much for the heads-up on that; I wasn't aware of that facility, and I can think of several good uses for it ...
 
Musescore is smashing to learn on. I started on Capella back in the 90s and occasionally revert to it... I love Cornelius but can find it makes me lazy. ALL of them save my arthritic hand from cramping & seizing, leaving more facility for valve work. Lol

All the best in arranging, have fun, and don't ignore the smaller brass ensembles that do weddings & funerals etc
 

Andrew Norman

Active Member
Mike, thanks very much for the heads-up on that; I wasn't aware of that facility, and I can think of several good uses for it ...

Not sure if Brass Band arrangements are allowed - Concert Band arrangements are blocked.
I'm going to ask - meanwhile give a couple of Quintet arrangements a go.
 

Euphman2

Active Member
I'e been a player for about 66 years, I know there will be some out there that can beat that, But I think my time approaching when I may call it a day. So I think I would like to try my hand at doing some small arrangements. I think that this will not only keep my mind active but also keep my interest in Banding too.

I have been on the internet and note that there are several but which to choose! As they all seem to be quite expensive to buy and I don't want to waist my money. Can anyone out there offer advice about any they may have found helpful.
Some years ago, I found myself having to produce a small band version of a calypso Xmas carol. My band could not find a version in the library so a friend obtained a piano version (basically a 4 part harmony) version and I arranged it for a the small group, transposing for the Eb parts. No computer programme and not easy as I have no formal musical training, (not a grade exam in my life) but it worked and taught me quite a lot.
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
They have definitely allowed all of my brass band arrangements. Just be aware the contents of the pre-approved list can change. I just spent 3 or 4 days on an arrangement to find it had been removed.
 

Boxfive

New Member
Musescore can actually produce some very realistic sounds if you use the right samples-- Soundfont for overly-picky orchestra nerds | MuseScore is an incredible one with some great brass sounds. Send me a message if you need help on installation or if you want me to show you which ones are best for brass band use (only problem is that they don't have a soprano cornet or tenor horn sample but you can make do with cornets and French horn sounds).
 
Hi Boxfive, I did grab the sound fonts which are the best ones for a brass band set up?
I have been playing with it but can't geta near brass band sound as yet?
Chris
 

Boxfive

New Member
Hi Boxfive, I did grab the sound fonts which are the best ones for a brass band set up?
I have been playing with it but can't geta near brass band sound as yet?
Chris

Well, it is geared towards orchestral and wind band composing judging by the name but I do think you can get yourself some good brass band sounds with it (or as close as is possible with a computer-generated MIDI).

My suggestions would be for cornets to use the JL Trumpet sample. The creator suggests using Trumpet UoI but there's some weird low range tuning issues with this one-- maybe experiment using it for solo cornets or soprano cornet to make contrast? The fluglehorn is OK.

I haven't explored trombone department but I find Trombone SSO to be pretty good and definitely can sound loud and brassy. It could be worth it to check out the others, though. The regular, unlabeled "Bass Trombone" sample is INCREDIBLE in my opinion and it can get super loud and brassy. Only problem is that it can't play below mf, but it's possible to work around this with some tricks that are too complicated to explain in this post and not really relevant.

I personally am a big fan of the Tuba UoI sample and it can get very brassy and loud at extreme dynamics. All the tuba samples are good though, so take your pick-- I haven't tried out the Eb tubas though.

The big gap here is the tenor horns. I guess you just have to make do with the French horn sounds, which are not the stars of this soundfont.

The euphonium sample is decent. There is actually a baritone horn sample which would be nice but it's not so great so I think I'd use one of the softer trombone samples to emulate it-- maybe the JL trombone.

Most of what I've done with this so far is wind band arrangements so I haven't done as much experimenting with brass band sounds as I'd like to.

This is all just from memory so when I get home I can give some more detailed info on certain sounds and the right settings and volumes.
 

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