Showing posts from April, 2023

5 Quick Tips (5QT) to Make You a Better Accompanist Today

 When I first started writing this blog, I had a plan of sorts, which included periodic "5 Quick Tips" to improve your performance at every different job in liturgical music. This is not an earth-shaking list, it's literally just bite-sized habits you can incorporate to make things a little easier on yourself. Try working on one new little habit per month. Let's begin with the Organist: 1. Hit the "Cancel" button after every hymn. No mistake feels more conspicuous than stepping on a pedal by mistake when there are stops open. Those keys are sensitive, man. Make it a habit to turn everything off between pieces. (My five-year-old likes to sit on the bench next to me, and pressing the cancel button is his job.) 2. Choose your tempo before  beginning the intro. Changes in tempo make the congregation uncertain. An uncertain congregation is a silent congregation. Count yourself in, start playing at the tempo you intend to use throughout, and stick with it. Don&#

Let's talk typesetting

At some point in your music career, you may find yourself wishing: a) you had the arrangement from this  book set with the words from  that  book, or  b) you could find the sheet music for that thing you remember, or  c) for a legible replacement for an ancient photocopy whose original is lost to time, or d) maybe, maybe , to have gorgeous legible sheet music of something you wrote. Perhaps you check what the current top-of-the-line cadillac music engraving software is going for, and the price makes you goggle. Perhaps you download a free trial of Finale Notepad and that's made you swear off sheet music making forever. Perhaps you think about trying out MuseScore, like all the cool kids are doing, but then you hear about their somewhat shady subscription tricksies  or sketchy copyright practices and you'd rather just steer clear. (I should mention that all of the above are my experiences.) The software engine I use to create my scores is called LilyPond , and it is a free, open