A frequent MuseScore user reviews LilyPond with Frescobaldi

Music, Music Composition, Reviews

Once I got into the flow of text entry, I *really* wanted to like LilyPond (and Frescobaldi). And when I say flow, I mean the full-on Csíkszentmihályi experience.

Black kitty with white paws typing like the wind! (From Aaron's Animals on YouTube)

Pictured: me inputting musical notes in LilyPond

Never in all my years of writing and adapting music in MuseScore did note entry go so fast. The notes flew out of my fingers.

When done, I pressed the little green lily pad button in Frescobaldi to see my plain text turned into beautifully-engraved music in the tiled window just next to my text editor.

If I had never coded before in HTML and CSS, I’d say it was like magic.Screenshot of an old version of MOUNTAIN BELLS, being worked on in Frescobaldi

That’s the promise of the free program LilyPond: beautifully engraved sheet music made with fast (text-based) input. And when you pair it with the free program Frescobaldi, the “coding” becomes close to What You See Is What You Get, once you hit that lily pad button. Plus, Frescobaldi played the music back to me.

Yes. Once I got used to it, the text input was MIGHTYFAST and I loved it and wished it would go on forever.

BUT I don’t think it’s a good tool for piano sheet music.

Because 1) setting up the right hand section in paragraphs in separate-but-parallel sections to the left hand got old quickly, despite Frescobaldi highlighting which text part corresponded to which printed notes. This was extra apparent when adding new notes and phrases in the middle of completed measures. One note gets shifted, then—bazoom!— both staves are misaligned and it’s very heard-wrapsy to fix it all on the text side.

2) Though the documentation claims there’s a way to set up staves one atop another, I just couldn’t figure it out. And folks, I just taught myself how to typeset a novel in Scribus from the ground floor. If you look up “self-taught” I’m at least in an example sentence.

While shifting notes and phrases around can also be a pain in MuseScore, it’s a nuisance-pain, not an MC-Escher-word-puzzle-being-solved-through-a-laparoscope pain. Mess up in MuseScore, you can directly cut, paste, and adjust on the score. In LilyPond, you have to go hunting through text, run the engraving process again, then pray you aligned everything correctly.

If input speed were my sole consideration, I might try using LilyPond and Frescobaldi for banjo tabs, or something else with only one staff.

But my understanding is MuseScore can do tablature too—and editing a multi-stave piano score makes far more sense to me in that program than it does LilyPond.

Sorry, folks. For this piano composer, MuseScore is just easier to handle.

New Original Ambient Piano Solo: MOUNTAIN BELLS

Music, Music Composition

A stony mountain seen through a warm glowing haze. Text reads: Mountain Bells, Intermediate Piano Solo, by Danielle WilliamsSheet music preview - the first line of MOUNTAIN BELLS

I’ve composed a new piano piece! It’s called Mountain Bells. Written in the spirit of Brian Eno and Harold Budd, it’s a  minimalist piece that shimmers and breathes.

You can buy it here at my Gumroad store.

Performance tips: The pauses make this one, so don’t rush. I play it slow–like, with my heart’s metronome set at 60.

 

Free LDS Easy Piano Five-Finger Hymn Arrangements

Music, Music Composition

My sheet music page has new piano music added! Mormon piano teachers and beginning players, you’re gonna love this.

A grown student of mine, Sue, wanted dearly to play some of our church hymns, but we both found the Hymns Made Easy book to be above her level.

In response, I simplified them even further, transforming the melodies into 5-finger arrangements. This means there are zero to no hand position changes and almost no chords!

Though they’re nothing fancy, Sue really enjoyed being able to play the worship songs she loved!

These public-domain hymn arrangements are presented as-is; feel free to write in any fingering or letter name helps! These are FOR YOU!

10K reached on Fashion Frenchie rom-com

Music, Workouts, Writing

But more importantly, I just discovered that the Richard Simmons remix of Car Wash is far, far better than it has any right to be.

That’s like… Car Wash meets Vogue, everyone!

Actually, the music production values of Richard Simmons’ workouts have always been top notch. I’d buy a CD of Party Off the Pounds’ tracks. And I wish the version of Rebel in the first Sweatin’ to the Oldies was a buyable track off Amazon, for reals.

In other workout news,  yesterday’s Tonin’ Uptown and Tonin’ Downtown was a fever-dream of a workout! You’ll just have to do it.

Danger: Artist Experimenting

Music

Today I will attempt to create the mashup that’s been floating around in my head for ages:

Hawai’i ’78, by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole (Just the “Reprise” version)

Somewhere, from WEST SIDE STORY (guess I’m using Barbra’s version!)

with just a pinch of MJ, for a bridge (the 1:56 section)

It works out well on the piano!  We’ll see if Audacity has the chops to do what I need… :P!  Can’t hurt to try, tho!