By Vidas Pinkevicius (get free updates of new posts here)
My good friend Dr. Steven Monrotus from St Louis, MO asked for my help in critiquing his organ compositions. He is the author behind the blog Organ Bench where he shares his experiences on his path of creating and making music for the King of Instruments.
I found his overall writing style quite colorful and solid. He likes to think horizontally and his vocabulary sometimes is based on the methods that Louis Vierne had used.
Steve uses online music notation software Noteflight which allows people to compose music without downloading any program to your computer, directly online.
For a long time he didn't know how to add a second voice in his scores on the same stave, so he found a way to do it with many dangling ties which really complicated the view for performers too much:
A lot of his works are in 4 part texture so I suggested he take a look at the possibility of adding a second voice with the stems down on each stave.
Finally he was able to achieve it using his software. Apparently it wasn't too difficult:
The above result is quite professional, isn't it?
If he wanted to send his scores to other organists with the suggestion to perform or to music publishing houses for possible publication, which version do you think would be more likely to receive more positive reaction?
Of course the second one.
What about you? Have you written some organ music yourself and are looking for help to know how to give your score that professional look which would turn on your potential fans?
Check if you use stems down for a second voice, add registration suggestions, dynamic markings, tempo indications and even articulation too.
The more precise you are in indicating how your music should be performed, the more chances for good communication you have between you and your audience.
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Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.