In this third post I’ll be moving on to music for large ensembles and orchestras, and using Sibelius to extract parts for players. I’ll be covering some advanced techniques and Sibelius-specific workarounds.
In late July, OCA music students from across the UK and Europe met up at the MAC Birmingham for a day of music making and discussion with music tutor Chris Lawry and saxophonist and publisher Keri Degg. The day was focussed on writing for saxophone with a particular emphasis on composing music for educational and examination purposes. Students got to hear their compositions workshopped and received feedback and advice from tutor and performers, as well as bound scores and recordings to take away for further study.
On a warm July morning, twenty one musicians descended on Harlaxton manor for five days of flute playing and composing at the annual rarescale summer school. An eclectic bunch, the flautists ranged from talented amateurs to music college graduates embarking on performing careers, and the composition group consisted of undergraduate music students and early career composers.
I have, probably since the age of 14 or so, identified myself as a composer. I played piano (and also guitar and flute rather unsuccessfully), and have variously performed as a classical pianist, accompanist, duo partner, cocktail pianist, jazz pianist, and even a keyboardist in a rock band, yet because I studied composition at music college, and I now lecture in composition, I never really identified as being a performer.
“I think piece titles are very important! A piece should drape naturally from its title, in the same way a coat hangs off a peg. I often find the music suggests a title, which certainly happened in Summer Anthem, with the title drawing upon the generic association of dance music with the summer season and of this genre with club ‘anthems’, this term often indicating a big hook.”