From the front end, it looks like my site is just sitting here, toodling along without a hitch. On the back end, I’m in a bit of a panic. That’s what you get for doing things yourself.Apparently the theme I use (the thing that makes my site look like it does) is no longer up to the exacting standards of WordPress, and… skipping all the boring details… I have to redo the entire thing. (300+ pages. Okay, I admit it. That’s a plea for a little sympathy. Chocolate will be fine. 🙂 )
It’s a blessing in disguise, really. After decades of adding scores and pages piecemeal there’s no uniformity in the content here, so that can be fixed. After the change all the Personal Composer scores will be available so you can transpose to your hearts’ content. The fonts and sizes on the scores will all be updated. This is all a good thing. *she tells herself*The project is in progress, and will (I hope) (fingers crossed) (fingers really crossed) be transparent when the changeover happens. However, I do anticipate the site being offline for a couple of days, hopefully in late August, while I make the switch, so be sure you get what you need before then. I don’t want anyone waiting until the night before a practice and finding that the score they need is temporarily inaccessible.
One thing to note: I am discontinuing the use of Soundclick (since they refuse to move on from Flash-based players), so any recordings found only on Soundclick will be unavailable, some temporarily, some permanently. If there’s something there that you really like, download it now.
I’ll give you a couple of days notice once everything is ready.
There are a few new things in the pipeline… I’m working on a children’s album with two new songs… Katherine Wright did a lovely new setting for a hymn-text I wrote… and a new Christmas choral is running circles in my brain… but I won’t post them until after the switch. No use doing the same work twice.
Happy Tuesday. I’m off to lasso a few more felines. 😛
Fair warning: this is a really boring, instructive blog post, containing some rather basic information. It’s also a new FAQ entry in the making. 🙂
Many of the songs here on the site include obbligatos that specify the use of a “C instrument.” People often write to ask, “What exactly is a C instrument?”
So without further ado…
A “C instrument” is any instrument that plays a real, honest-to-goodness C when it encounters a C on the staff. Sometimes the instrument will sound in an octave other than the one you expect, but in spite of this liberty, it’s still a C instrument. Even violas, who insist on a clef of their very own, are C instruments.
Here’s a list of C instruments, courtesy of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:C_instruments
If that list is too long, the C-instruments I most often write for are Violin, Cello, Flute, and Oboe, with some chimes thrown in here and there. They are sometimes interchangeable, sometimes interchangeable with a few adjustments, and sometimes interchangeable if you don’t mind annoying the player mightily and/or providing chocolate.
If an instrument isn’t a C instrument, it’s a transposing instrument. These renegades see what cellos and flutes and oboes render as real Cs, and make some other sound. When you listen to an orchestra, a substantial number of the instruments are doing this. Actually, they do it for every note, C or not. The grand thing is that somehow, like magic, it works.
I don’t often specify obbligatos for transposing instruments, although some of the obbligatos would sound just fine played on a horn or clarinet or alto flute or… If you have such instruments at your disposal, you can transpose the obbligatos using the Personal Composer files/demo. Some players are skilled enough to read the obbligatos as written and transpose on the fly, but don’t push your luck.
While we’re on the subject, a related question that comes up is, “Will this obbligato sound good on a…” Unless the sentence ends in “kazoo” or “washboard,” well, give it a try and see if you like it. If the obbligato specifies “C instrument,” chances are it’s simple enough to sound reasonable on any of the more commonly-available instruments. If it specifies a “Flute” or “Violin” (or whatever) chances are I was after a particular sound or wrote in a particular register–though that doesn’t mean it won’t work on other instruments. The bottom line here is… if you like it, use it!