Want to Publish Your Song or Arrangement?

The burst of creativity in music creation due to computing and the internet has become a reality, but so has the persistence of publishing. Sure, you can put your score up on your own web site for others to take for free, or you can invest in software to sell it, but many of us just don’t have the visibility to bring people to our music or the software to capitalize on interest in it. This was a valuable service that publishers used to provide, and which Hal Leonard still does. In fact, they have recently upgraded their service with two new ways to get your original compositions or arrangements into the public eye, and money into your bank account, with ArrangeMe.

Their recent press release says:

“Hal Leonard has announced a massive expansion of ArrangeMe, their program that lets musicians legally and easily upload sheet music of original works or arrangements of popular songs and sell them on market-leading music websites. The newly expanded self-publishing platform provides a much-needed service for composers, arrangers, indie bands, educators, and anyone else who wants to sell sheet music of their own compositions or arrangements for all instruments and ensembles.

Through ArrangeMe, composers can upload their works for free and set their own sale price for the piece to be sold on sites including SheetMusicPlus and Noteflight. ArrangeMe takes care of paying the appropriate fees to the copyright holders and also pays commissions on each sale to the composer/arranger who uploaded the works.”

Of course the publisher is going to take a major cut of the sale price, but then again they take care of copyright and do the bookkeeping, services you would have to pay for in any case. They also have connections to get permissions that you might find difficult or impossible to obtain otherwise.

This is a huge plus for anyone who has a hit on YouTube. Now you can direct your listeners to a site to download the score to play your song or arrangement while they are still hot to play it. Arrangers can benefit from performers searching for arrangements of their favourite songs for their own instrument or ensemble. You can also find out which songs are available for arrangements, rather than working away at a difficult arrangement only to find that you cannot get permission to publish it. You may already be playing arrangements that are in demand, or songs that your fans are clamoring to learn.  And now those of us playing unusual instruments can find and share arrangements or compositions from other players and fans.

You can find more details, including information on which songs are legal for you to sell your arrangements, at arrangeme.com.

Catching Up with MuseScore 3.2.3

MuseScore 3 has really matured since it was first introduced, with many new features that match and even surpass some of the most expensive notation programs, and yet it remains FREE.

Today Marc Sabatella, the Director of Education for MuseScore, wrote a great post for Scoring Notes outlining and demonstrating some of the most important new features. They are impressive!

One of the most important additions is the ability to change dynamics on a single note, allowing an increase or decrease in dynamic (or both) over a held note or chord. This has been a highly sought feature which has taken time to appear because it required a complete rewrite of the way that MuseScore (and MIDI) interpreted dynamics. Simply put, MIDI was designed to send a note’s dynamic as a value for velocity, with no mechanism for that value to change over time (until a new note arrived). Marc explains how the MuseScore team had to change the way they interpreted dynamics and allowed them to change while the note stayed the same. This is quite an accomplishment for a free program.

Another terrific addition is the ability to change the placement of score items without disabling the Automatic Placement system that keeps items from colliding. This allows a great deal of freedom in creating the look of your score, including creating collisions if you are so inclined! All of these changes can be made without disabling Automatic Placement.

Some of my other favourite additions include the ability to enter instrument fingerings and drum sticking in the same manner as adding lyrics, making this often tedious task much simpler.

A personal favourite is the ability to change multiple occurrences of notes to the same rhythmic value (e.g. a half note to a quarter note plus quarter rest). Even better, you can now Paste Half Duration or Paste Double Duration right from the Edit menu! This one is a dream come true for me.

The last one I’ll mention here is Unroll Repeats. This lets you use repeat signs to get the basic outline of a song written, but then to automatically write out the repeated parts in full (including codas) to let you introduce variations. Yet another one dear to my heart.

Marc gives fuller explanations of these and other new features as well as several excellent examples. Head over to Scoring Notes to read Marc’s post and then to MuseScore to download the new version of the greatest bargain in notation software — MuseScore 3.2.3!