The Music, the Composer, the Audience, and You!

#songsofmyheart
A song and the story behind the song.

The Music
Music to see, download, personalize, and perform!

The Composer
Fourteen years ago I wrote my first song to encourage a German music intern who lived with us. She came to the US to work with our church’s fledgling youth band. Susie would be returning to Germany to lead the youth band in her church. Her youth group loved contemporary Christian music. But the only ones they knew were in English. Couldn’t Susie – with her extensive music education and amazing talent – write songs in German for her youth group? She didn’t think she could. But maybe I was asking of her something I couldn’t do, write a song.

I hear music when I read the Bible. Some passages calm like a lullaby. Others pulsate with a heavy dance beat. I was reading Matthew 9:27-33 and heard yearning and hope in the passage. I penned song lyrics based on that theme and set them to a simple melody. A search of the web for a way to type melody and lyrics into a music staff led me to Finale NotePad® 2002, a free music notation app.

I finished Hope Giver and showed Susie the sheet music. When she said my simple song was very good, I was astonished. But it failed to encourage her to write songs in German. However, her praise encouraged me.

At that time Finale® software users were able to share their digital sheet music on the internet by uploading Finale® files to Showcase. I started writing and sharing songs. Other Finale® users could download the compositions and Finale® would open and play the music. Users could edit downloaded songs, changing key, tempo, notes, instrumentation, etc.

The Audience
July 21, 2005 Email
Kathy,
Wow! I downloaded Finale 2005 so I could use the “playback” feature. (I would never have been able to appreciate your songs otherwise.) How beautiful! I thought the words to your “The Promise” really touching. I know in my own life I am constantly reminding myself that a life for God requires endurance, faithfulness – “holding tightly”. Truly life with Christ eternally is a promise worth waiting for!!
Thanks again,
Renee

June 21, 2006 Email
Hi,
You don’t know me, but I was looking on finalemusic showcase for violin sheet music and I came across your “What Will You Do” Mark 15:1-32 and I just have to say it’s wonderful. I love it. I was looking at your other works and I think they are also amazing! I was slightly disappointed you didn’t have more! I just wanted to ask you if you are planning on making any more soon and especially if you are planning on making more for the violin? I hope you do! I would appreciate it if you sent me an email back.
Thanks so much,
Michelle

February 16, 2009 Email
Kathy,
I found “Connections” and played through. WOW! It knocks the socks off Jay Gould and others!
I emailed a few others about it (one the principal of a Christian school, another his father, a college instructor). So expect a few more hits on the piece.
In Him,
Wesley

In 2009 Matt found me on Showcase and invited me to sell my songs as print sheet music (PDF format) on a web site he was developing! I did and found this message from a stranger in my Facebook inbox:

February 13, 2010 Message
Hi!
Dear Ms. Clapper,
I was on (Matt’s website) the other day and I was browsing through the various places on the site, I came across your “Light in Darkness” and I would like to tell you that it is amazing! It leaves me with a sense of hope and uplifts my spirit! Oddly enough I came across your name on the Finale page and I just thought I would send you a message!
Jacob

Showcase closed in 2013. I was no longer able to share digital sheet music on the internet. Matt’s web site closed in 2013. I was no longer able to share print sheet music on the internet.

But wait! My story doesn’t end there. Finale® makes it possible to export files as MusicXML™. Anyone with an app that has both read and write support for MusicXML™ can open, play, and edit this digital sheet music! And Google makes it possible to place MusicXML™ and PDF files on Blogger.

And You
Now that you’ve made it this far on my page, let me caution you. Don’t expect anything professional. I don’t have the training or talent for that. You will probably find music mistakes in my songs. If you do, fix them. Don’t like the music style or instrumentation? Change it. Make it your own.

Don’t feel obligated, but if you, your group, or your students perform one of my songs, would you be willing to post the performance on the web? And if you do post it, would you put a link in the comment section below?

Musically yours,
Kathy

P.S. The MusicXML™ and PDF files you download from my blog are made available under the terms of the Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Click here for details.

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