Saturday, November 24, 2018

Music Story - Toolkit

I’m a songwriter. I turn stories into songs and songs into music videos. I use an amazing toolkit.

I start with a story that I could turn into a song. Here’s one: A crazy robin flew into our living room window again and again and again! We photographed the robin’s antics. I wrote the story out as a rhyme. I took the rhyme to my workstation where I played around with melody, chords, and beat until the rhyme began sing. Now to notate the song. I opened up my computer and created a lead sheet, typing notes, lyrics, and chords into a staff. Then I added staves and arranged the song for percussion instruments. I added photos to the music score. Now to create a music video.

My 27-inch desktop gets a little crowded when creating music. Can you pick out the apps in my toolkit?

Computer apps for songwriters
Songwriter's Toolkit
Finale music notation software is at the bottom left. You will have to look closely to see which staves in the score are played by which Garritan virtual instruments (upper left). Before inserting a photo in Finale it has to be sized and edited. I use PowerPoint (bottom right) or Photoshop. I need help with rhyming lyrics (bottom middle) and hyphenating them (top middle). My go to for fun free fonts is Google fonts.

Debut screen capturing software (top right) makes a silent movie of Finale playing the composition. Then using Debut video editing software (middle right) I combine title page, silent movie, and audio file created by Finale. Bose earphones helps in checking sound.

Using Finale I create shareable versions of the song. CutePDFWriter makes a PDF copy that anyone can open and Finale exports a digital file (MusicXML) that other music apps can open and edit. These are offered under the terms of a Creative Commons license.

You can read about the crazy robin in my backyard here: Guano – Music Story. Here’s how the video came together.


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