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Topic: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

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  1. #1

    "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band


    (click image for streaming MP3)

    "A MOST AMUSING MAN" for Concert Band


    EDIT: July 23 - NEW DEMO - The photo above now goes to the new audio demo that reflects the myriad of changes the score's gone through since I first started the thread. For the insatiably curious, while there at Box, you can still access previous posts, the earlier scores, as well as the two previous MP3s.
    ------------------------------------
    EDIT: July 2 - This is still more of a work-in-progress than I could have imagined when I started this thread. A 3rd version of the score is on this opening post, but it's already outdated. I'm working away at the list of many more notes I've gotten here on the Forum and in PMs, in my quest to get this as good as I can make it. I'll be updating again later!

    EDIT: July 7 - I now have the "final" version of the score, incorporating all the notes I got after posting the 3rd version of the score. The link is below, for anyone interested in seeing the results of the MASSIVE and much appreciated help I got from everyone here.

    EDIT: July 9 - Yet more edits, new version linked below.

    Forum member Rodney "Composingatnight" inspired me to do this, but he doesn't even know it!

    After I posted my space music video "Overview" awhile back, Rodney suggested that I adapt it for Concert Band - and with his notation help, that's just what I did. That went so well that I was all geared up to do another Concert Band piece. My wife provided the second piece of inspiration I needed. She suggested I adapt a tune from my show, "Dorian Gray." I immediately thought of the Gilbert and Sullivan style chorus number from Act Two, "A Most Amusing Man."

    Now, four weeks later, I have materials presentable enough to share. I'm posting what I have at this point for an audio demo and the score. Later, after I've taken a much-needed break from the project, there may be a bit more to do with both things, but I'm happy enough for now.

    Three weeks of that four week period was spent in wrestling the thing down to the mat in notation. I know that by working in Sonar first and then importing into Sibelius, I'm working in the most difficult way possible. But that's just the way I gotta do it. Most of the score adaptation was done in Sonar, then the biggest HEADACHE in Sibelius was to notate a million and one danged triplets. What a nightmare. Long ago, I did the original file of the song in 4/4 instead of 6/8, upon the advice I was given at the time. That called for all the triplets.

    Three weeks of pushing notes and symbols around for a piece already completely orchestrated is Not my idea of good time. I felt like I was in a new, very special circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno. If I could afford it, I would gladly hire someone to do this tedious work for me since I get precisely Zero enjoyment from it. I could wish to not go back to Notation Hell anytime soon, but I want to have more things in my Concert Band portfolio, so I'll probably be submitting myself to the torture again fairly soon.

    Now that I have a fairly decent looking score, I want to show it off to you folks, so you can all be proud of me for escaping the Inferno alive.--hehe.

    The photo above which links to the MP3 was taken opening night of "Dorian" in Russia. It's of the character Lord Henry, the "amusing man" of the number's title.

    Here's the score:

    EDIT: Please look at/download the third score version, not one of these first two. The first was in 4/4, the second was in 12/8 but had many errors. The third is in 12/8 incorporating notes on this thread. Adding this disclaimer because I'm getting email notifications from Box about the first two scores being downloaded. Maybe people are just wanting to compare the versions, but I want to make it clear that it's the third link on this post that has the most accurate score.

    "A Most Amusing Man" score for Concert Band

    EDIT 6/18/13 - As per the advice on this thread, I've re-notated the score in 12/8. Much better, it's no longer a sea of triplets:

    "A Most Amusing Man" score in 12/8

    EDIT 6/30/13 - 12 more days of editing and I have a much improved score, incorporating the feedback notes I got on this thread:

    "A Most Amusing Man" NEW IMPROVED (Whiter whites! Darker darks!) score in 12/8

    EDIT 7/7/13 - And now, what I'm needing to consider the "final" version of the score. THANK YOU, everyone who helped so much in getting this up to speed.

    EDIT 7/9/13 - The score at the link below has been updated since 7/7. As soon as I thought I was done - more needs for fixes popped up. sigh.

    "A Most Amusing Man" - the "final" version of the score

    Most of the notation users on the Forum are far more experienced with notation programs than I am. I would appreciate the newest version to be checked over by anyone feeling inclined to help. Thanks.

    The MP3 demo is all Garritan, basically like other pieces I've posted this year, but different enough that I'll list everything I used to satisfy the curious -

    NOTE
    - As of July 23rd, the MP3 is now of the newly re-scored piece, in the key of G.

    Piccolo GPO
    Piccolo group COMB
    Flute GPO
    Flute group COMB
    Oboe 1 GPO
    Oboe 2 GPO
    Bassoon 1 GPO
    Bassoon 2 GPO
    Clarinet GPO
    Clarinet group COMB
    Bass clarinet GPO
    Alto Saxophone JABB
    Alto group COMB
    Tenor Saxophone JABB
    Tenor group COMB
    Baritone Saxophone JABB
    Baritone group COMB
    Trumpet 1 COMB
    Trumpet 2, 3 JABB and GPO
    Trump attack IO
    Horn 1 GPO
    Horn over AG GPO
    Horn 2 (SAM) GPO
    Trombone 1 GPO
    Trom over AG GPO
    Trombone group COMB
    Bass Trombone (SAM) GPO
    Euphonium COMB
    Tuba JABB
    Tuba group COMB

    Timpani IO
    Cymbals GPO
    Glock GPO
    Triangle GPO
    Chimes (Tubular Bells) GPO
    Xylophone GPO
    Snares IO (5 instances)
    VDL bass line COMB
    Big bass drum GPO
    Small bass drum COMB
    Rattle Cog WORLD
    Blocks JABB (GM Classic Jazz Drum Kit)

    Randy

  2. #2

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    How delightful! How delightful! (Did I forget to say how delightful this is?)

    (Next to classical, my favorite type of music is martial.)

    You did an excellent job with this. I like your subtle but effective use of the woodblock and your transitional changes of tempi and moods are very good.

    Thank you for posting this so that we may all enjoy your creative efforts.

    My best to you.

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  3. #3

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    Super work. What a great arrangement. The score looks fantastic too, and I bet it feels great to have your music in that form, huh? I know I felt that way after scoring my piece.

    The only thing I would consider on the score is that it probably should have been written in 12/8 time, not 4/4, considering the vast triplet usage. Doesn't change the performance a bit of course.

    A band would have a great time playing that!
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
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    @GPComposer
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  4. #4

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander View Post
    How delightful! How delightful! (Did I forget to say how delightful this is?)

    (Next to classical, my favorite type of music is martial.)

    You did an excellent job with this. I like your subtle but effective use of the woodblock and your transitional changes of tempi and moods are very good.

    Thank you for posting this so that we may all enjoy your creative efforts.

    My best to you.

    Larry
    Well now, my dear Mr. A, it's always a pleasure to see you on one of my posts. Thanks for visiting this one - and my goodness, such high praise.

    I love it that you pointed out the lowly woodblock I sprinkled throughout! I've always really liked the percussive texture blocks can add - Thanks for pointing out that detail!

    Appreciate it, Larry.

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    Great arrangement, Randy. What impresses me the most is its clarity, lightness and no heaviness of reverb.

    How did you layer the instruments--those not appearing in the score? Or is everything in the score with hidden staves? Did you make some assignments in the Sibelius score and then add instruments in Sonar? Just curious what your procedure was for this.

    Thanks.
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  6. #6

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by Plowking View Post
    ...The only thing I would consider on the score is that it probably should have been written in 12/8 time, not 4/4, considering the vast triplet usage...
    Well sir. There it is. ARGH!

    How this song should be notated has been an issue for YEARS. Way back when, I was almost literally brow-beaten into having this be 4/4 by an expert who insisted it would be easier to read that way. I complained, pointed out that in 6/8 or 12/8, there wouldn't be all those pesky triplets, but he stuck to his guns, and thinking of him as an expert with much more know-how than me, I relented. His advice has stuck with me all these years, so when I did this in Sibelius, I felt I still had to stick with 4/4, even though it meant over 100 hours of work getting the triplets going on.

    When we first worked with singers on the vocal version of this for the show, the vocal scores were in 4/4 and no triplets, just 16th notes, and the instruction was given, "Despite what you see in your scores, think of this as with triplets."

    This goes to show how little I know about notation!-- I HATED dutifully converting every single danged note into a triplet, but for weeks, full time, that's what I've been doing. The original MIDI import looked more the way it actually should!

    QUESTION, Graham, and anyone else who cares to chime in: Would this score be laughed out of a publisher's office? Is it just too goofy and wrong? If so, I'll bite the bullet and re-do this as 12/8. I obviously don't want incorrect notation to get in the way of the music's chances of being picked up.

    Just now I Googled up this info - When I typed "Sibelius way to change 4/4 to 12/8" I immediately got this result. Here's the explanatory text I found:

    "It's not perfect, but hopefully someone will find this as useful as I have at times. If you've ever written something in 4/4 with a lot of triplets, only to realize that maybe it would've made sense to do it in 12/8 to begin with, you probably sigh and submit to the fact that you're going to have to spend time translating from one to the other, measure by measure. [insert infomercial music] Well, not any more!

    There's a plugin in Sibelius called Convert Simple Time to Compound Time that can be found at Plugins > Notes and Rests. Basically, you just run this on whatever phrase of music you're wanting to converted, click Ok, Yes, then Ok, then you're good to go... as far as notes that are triplets go. All triplets will be converted, but it does have a few caveats.

    You lose all lines and text (i.e. dynamics, lyrics, hairpins, etc.) Triplets are the only rhythms that get translated seamlessly. 4 16ths will be converted to 8th 8th 16th 16th, and other tuplets will either be deleted entirely or translated weirdly.

    Like I said, it's not perfect, but if you really want to switch from a binary time signature to triple, this will at least save you some time."


    I've now tried the plugin out. Works as advertised, doing the conversion, but erasing all markings--groooan. I tested on one measure of the score. It pastes the converted measures into new measures after the original, so you'd need to go back and delete the old ones. But I can see that will be good - I can convert a few measures at a time, and then have the old ones still right there so I can copy and paste my dynamics, hairpins and text.

    I should just do that probably, hmmm?

    Lemme know your opinion(s).

    AND, Graham - THANK YOU for the great reply. You wrote the perfect "sandwich feedback," with good stuff in the first paragraph, bad news in the second, and then more good stuff in the last paragraph. hehe--I appreciate all you've said. Thanks!

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Great arrangement, Randy. What impresses me the most is its clarity, lightness and no heaviness of reverb.

    How did you layer the instruments--those not appearing in the score? Or is everything in the score with hidden staves? Did you make

    some assignments in the Sibelius score and then add instruments in Sonar? Just curious what your procedure was for this.

    Thanks.
    Hi, Arthur - Thanks for your wonderful feedback, and your excellent question!

    You're right, of course, that there are approximately twice as many instruments used in the recording as appear in the score. For the most part there are soloists and parallel group patches e.g. Piccolo and Piccolo Group. Then the trumpets have 4 layers, and both the horn and trombone have an extra layer of the Overlays for occasional boosts of brassiness.

    But the answer about my procedure is basically simple - I worked in the opposite direction than you're thinking of, Art. I worked first in Sonar, then made a quantized MIDI file to import into Sibelius. That special version of the project was stripped down to just one instance of each instrument e.g. Just Piccolo, one track.

    The recording was produced in Sonar, with all the instruments you see listed. In Sibelius, as usual, I didn't bother at all to make the playback sound great -I just wanted to get the notation down. I even used approximate stand-ins for some instruments, since I haven't bothered to get all of my Garritan Libraries working in Sib. I used a horn for the euphonium, I put up with more crash cymbals for the cog - things like that, I just put up with the so-so playback in Sib and focused on the notation. I have NO idea how people get good sounding recordings from Sib, and it doesn't interest me to figure it out, since I always produce my music in Sonar.

    So, no hidden staves. I inserted "solo" and "tutti" when appropriate, and marked it up as per what I'd already done in Sonar which is where I also did all the adaptation of my original version of the number.

    Thanks, Art!

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    Would this score be laughed out of a publisher's office? Is it just too goofy and wrong? If so, I'll bite the bullet and re-do this as 12/8. I obviously don't want incorrect notation to get in the way of the music's chances of being picked up.
    Thank you, Randy.

    I don't think it would be laughed out of the office. It's substantial, and it commands a fair hearing. A concern might be how a publisher could paint this out of context from the original show. This may or may not be a publisher's concern. You would, of course, mention its adaptation and what it's from, but I would also add that it provides more advanced bands with a fresh, challenging, original piece--delightful to play and delightful to listen to. I'd also call it a Grade 5 (on a scale of 1/2-6--others may debate my rating). I also recommend that you not rush into things and get a good band to record this for you. The recording doesn't have to be perfect, but some publishers much prefer real players, and other publishers simply don't want digital renditions--even though yours is excellent. Some publishers will accept just the digital mp3. A polished, live performance by human beings would be ideal. Nevertheless, with a decent recording, you would then submit both the live recording and your digital one. For another thing, edit your score ruthlessly before submission, and I would go with 12/8.
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  9. #9

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Thank you, Randy.

    I don't think it would be laughed out of the office. It's substantial, and it commands a fair hearing. A concern might be how a publisher could paint this out of context from the original show. This may or may not be a publisher's concern. You would, of course, mention its adaptation and what it's from, but I would also add that it provides more advanced bands with a fresh, challenging, original piece--delightful to play and delightful to listen to. I'd also call it a Grade 5 (on a scale of 1/2-6--others may debate my rating). I also recommend that you not rush into things and get a good band to record this for you. The recording doesn't have to be perfect, but some publishers much prefer real players, and other publishers simply don't want digital renditions--even though yours is excellent. Some publishers will accept just the digital mp3. A polished, live performance by human beings would be ideal. Nevertheless, with a decent recording, you would then submit both the live recording and your digital one. For another thing, edit your score ruthlessly before submission, and I would go with 12/8.
    Art, you're very good to give me the encouragement, and I very much appreciate it.

    I have confidence in the music itself, but I wouldn't want it to be rejected out of hand because of a poor presentation. SO I've delved into that conversion plugin this afternoon, and it's going to do the job just fine. I'm doing one or two measures at a time, re-inserting the slurs, ties, dots, dynamics et al - but that's easy enough to do by looking at the old measures before I delete them, and copying and pasting all of that. The plugin doesn't handle tuplets, or 16th note triplets, so those have to be re-inserted from scratch. But all in all, it's a do-able thing - I got 2 out of the 17 pages done in a couple of hours, and to me, that's nothing compared to what I've already put in on this.

    I think maybe you're saying that presenting the piece as an adaptation of music from my musical could be a possible stumbling block for some publishers? My thought was that even though "Dorian" isn't widely known, it is a professional commodity, and so it would be to its advantage to have this piece labeled as being from an existing work which is currently being performed. If you think it would be better to remove reference to "Dorian" on the score, let me know.

    Ah me, though - As for getting a recording of a good band performing this, that's a big stumbling block. I know that most publishers want recordings like that rather than MIDI driven files, but in my area, there just aren't any bands that do original work. Frankly, not being able to have a band perform the work is a big reason I have Never, and I mean literally Never submitted any of my stuff to a publisher before. Enjoying the idea of bands performing this is a big motivation for trying to get something published - To somehow put that cart before the horse is something that seems impossible to me. - It's a problem. All I can do is submit this along with the demo I have, and hope someone goes for it.

    I actually have even more faith in the other piece I've recently notated, "Overview." My motivation for doing this one, and wanting to do more, is to have more than one card up my sleeve. I'd like to have at least a modest portfolio of Concert Band pieces so in case a publisher shows interest in one, I'll have more ready to show them.

    Anyway - Thanks for the input. If you have more to say, of course I'd appreciate hearing from you again, Art.

    Randy

  10. #10

    Re: "A Most Amusing Man" for Concert Band

    That was fun to listen to! As I mentioned before, love the sound of the Garritan Products. This sounds like its from a nice classic movie, and not some big bang dramatic score. Great work Randy, I love the dryness!!! Is the marching band library product similar to military based percussion? I may be looking to get some good military sounding compositions done in the future.

    Regards,

    Richard

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