Making an iBook

Here’s a screenshot of some of the features I practiced using within iBook Author.

Mixed Bag Arranging

My Mixed Bag Arrangement:

To produce my own arrangement of John Williams’ “Welcome to Jurassic Park”, I utilised numerous resources including recordings on YouTube and various arrangements on Musescore.  The foremost YouTube video I studied was ‘Jurassic Park (1993) – Welcome to Jurassic Park Scene (1/10) – Movieclips’ which showed the scene from the film which showcases the piece.  This was essential in the structure and notation of large sections of the arrangement.  I incorporated a variety of instrumental arrangements from Musescore in my own. Specifically, I was assisted by “Jurassic Park Theme (Piano Arrangement)” arranged by Elle Harris for the piano part which I drastically simplified however it really helped fill out the sound of the ensemble, and “Jurassic Park Theme – Symphonic Orchestra” arranged by Simon Royer, and “Jurassic Park- Full Orchestra” arranged by Elijah Gardner which both helped me form the basis of my harmonies and bass part.

I provided a Melody, Harmony, Easy Harmony and Bass line which have all been transposed for common transposing instruments (Bb, Eb and F). This allows for a variety of instruments in the classroom and enables the arrangement to be achievable for most classrooms or ensembles.

Including a section in the arrangement which not only allowed, but aided student improvisation was quite difficult in a song which had a feeling of constant crescendo and building of texture.  The original piece includes two main themes. I repeated the first theme twice and then included the same number of measures for improvisation by repeating the harmony, easy harmony and bass parts while only providing the chord progression for the melodic parts.  Students will then be encouraged to use notes from those chords, with use of passing notes if they feel comfortable, to improvise above the harmonic and rhythmic parts played by the rest of the orchestra.

As the piece only has two sections (AB), the tension is built by increase in dynamics as well as increase in texture which is mostly carried out in the piano part.  The piano only comes in in the first repetition of the first section and then in the second playing of the final section it plays the melody in octaves in the right hand.  This is optional depending on the capabilities of the pianist however is strongly encouraged due to its dramatic affect.

After I had finished most of the arrangement, I checked instrument ranges with other education students based on what their principle studies are.  I put together a pdf which states the ranges of each part in concert pitch and have found that this is an extremely useful resource to have available to my students so that they can easily select which part sits within their range.  For the melody, there was one note that was an outlier at the bottom of the range so I also added an alternate note for students to play. The range chart displays both possible lower notes.

Formatting the score and the separate parts for exporting proved to be the most challenging part of the task as it was extremely time consuming to change the names of the instruments on every page and delete/edit unnecessary text before exporting each part.  It took me a while to discover that I could ‘export parts’ and edit them in isolation to the full score as text that I had added to the full score needed to be deleted from certain individual parts. Another Sibelius tool which I discovered was Sibelius’ ability to generate chord diagrams by simply inserting the guitar/ukulele chord symbols and adjusting the settings for ‘chord symbols’ in ‘engraving rules’ under ‘Appearance’.

August 21st

This week we were introduced to numerous music notation programs including:

  • Photoscore
  • StaffPad
  • Notate Me (Not as accurate as Photoscore and StaffPad)
  • Notion (great playback)
  • Flat (really easy to use)
  • Note Flight (able to buy and sell music notation)
  • Dorico
  • Musescore (we practiced writing music):

Best James Quote: “If your class doesn’t work, turn it off and turn it on again”.

Sibelius Skills:

  • How to screenshot the score without the paper graphic in the background
  • How to find ready-to-use worksheets
  • Shortcuts on the computer keyboard

August 14th

In the second week of Technology in Music Education we succeeded in becoming professional techies. We were able to practice setting up, using and packing down a $36,000 camera set which included cameras, tripods, handheld cameras, LED lights and a softbox. We also practiced setting up dynamic and condenser mics both into a digital sound desk and directly to the fixed camera.

Key tips that I picked up include:

  • Using an X-Y configuration to avoid phasing.
  • Turn of the air-conditioning when using condenser mics.
  • When connecting condenser microphones directly to the camera; 1 = left and 2 = right.
  • And last but not least; don’t adjust a tripod when the thousand dollar camera is still on it!

August 7th

In the first week of Technology in Music Education, James taught us how to use numerous aspects of Soundtrap. Highlights included how to use automations (specifically volume changes), how to edit a midi file using the piano roll option, and how to create a midi file by connecting and recording on an external keyboard.

He uses a great teaching technique where he gives us time to experiment with the software before he asks students to explain to the rest of the class what they discovered (also known as student based learning).

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