Handel Sonatas – Accompaniment

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 36 total)
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  • #1647
    Edward Plumer
    Participant

    Rich,

    I have used Audacity to change pitch and/or speed, but so far only to do things such as changing A=442 recordings (e.g. the Baroque and Renaissance anthologies) to A=440. Once I have my tracks picked out, I use the “MP3Tag” app on windows to add or normalize the track properties and add homemade album art to make a nice custom album. I can then drop it into iTunes and sync it over to my iPhone.

    Anyone have recommendations for tools that help coordinate such an MP3 with the score? I would love to be able to restart the continuo recording at a specific measure in the score with a pickup count 🙂

    One caution about the CatOnTheKeys recordings: I have found that the count-in clicks are not consistently aligned with pickup notes (anacrusis). Sometimes, the pickup note is at the end of the count-in measure. Sometimes, it is in a fractional measure after the count-in. I am assuming the latter case, which I found in HWV-369.II, was a mistake. Best to check the recorded count-ins carefully against the score.

    Thanks for the tip about “Continuo Lines”, I will check them out as well.

    #1648
    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    The only problem with using Audacity is that you have to save the results in order to use the change, I think. With the tools I was talking about you can use them “on the fly” as the original mp3 plays. So they are much handier.

    Couldn’t you use Audacity to add a click track between 2 sections? I mean, you can assemble mp3 recordings, I think (one after the other) or split them, I think. Maybe I’m thinking of something else…

    #1649
    Edward Plumer
    Participant

    Rich,

    Yeah, Audacity for making a permanent modified copy of the original track. I have limited experience with other capabilities.

    Regarding other tools, I was thinking of something that would be equivalent to stopping and asking the accompanist to start at measure 32 and give me on-the-fly pickup clicks since there is no physical movements to watch … maybe I need a real accompanist 🙂

    Edward

    #1650
    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    Yeah, a real accompanist would be good! 😉 One thing you might try is using Audacity, add a new track with a click on it. It would be hard to get it perfectly in sync with the music throughout the piece, but it might be doable. Then when you make an MP3 out of it, have the click track on the other stereo side. That would allow you to turn it up or down as needed anywhere in the accompaniment.

    Another way to do this whole thing is to key in the music with MuseScore. Of course, then you have full capability to add anything you want. It is very tedious, of course, and doesn’t sound as good as real musicians. Plus, unless you have a sheet music version that includes the continuo part, you won’t have it. You can make your own by carefully stealing it off recordings (Transcribe! is perfect for this), but this is VERY tedious and difficult. Anyway, Musescore is the most flexible way for making playalong practice mp3s, IMHO.

    #1651
    Edward Plumer
    Participant

    Rich,

    One of the frustrations that I am having right now with the CatOnTheKeys tracks is the slight ritardando on the cadences just before a repeat. It is very pleasing musically, but since *I* have the subsequent pick up notes and the continuo has silence just before and after my part enters, this change in the pulse is making it challenging for me to sync up on the repeat. A parallel click track is a neat idea but I would have to make it slow down by the same amount. Do you have any tricks for this?

    I use Musescore a lot for creating and marking up my working recorder part. After first thinking it was a good idea to play the accompaniment that way, I found its “playing” pretty rough to listen to. I may go back to that approach given these other frustrations. It certainly has the nice cursor that follows along with the music. Though right now, my computer and practice cubby are not in the same place.

    #1652
    Edward Plumer
    Participant

    Rich, I tried a track from the HWV-369.II from the website you suggested. The harpsichord seems to play only the continuo line and does not realize the figured bass at all. I probably should have guessed from the title of the site …. “Continuo Lines” … actually, I am wrong about that. It is just a very simple realization.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Edward Plumer.
    #1654
    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    Edward,
    I cannot think of any way to get a click track to automatically ritard the way an actual performance is doing. You’re lucky if you can get a click track in sync with it before they start any tempo changes, I think.

    I don’t find Musescore playbacks to be too offensive. I think they are fine for practice (more than fine), especially as far as your recorder intonation (which I have a lot of trouble with). Also, for complex music like pre-Baroque, creating playalongs for practice is a valuable tool, I think.

    Also, with a Musescore playback, with you playing along it can sound fairly good, I think, at least if there aren’t too many places where some other instrument (played by the computer) takes an extended solo.

    I listened to some of the tracks in the Continuo Lines pieces I have (from a collection called “Florid Adagio”) and the harpsichord is playing both left and right hands. I agree that the realization is fairly simple, but not objectionably so, and fills things in nicely.

    #1655
    Edward Plumer
    Participant

    I also like how “continuo lines” uses a musical leadin passage rather than clicks. Too bad they do not have a bigger library as the A minor HWV-362 was unfortunately not in there.

    I will try to see if my Faber edition realization of the Handel sonatas can be brought into Musescore.

    #1656
    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    When you say “I will try to see if my Faber edition realization of the Handel sonatas can be brought into Musescore” I’m not quite sure what you mean. You have to ENTER the notes into Musescore. So Any sheetmusic can be put into Musescore. They have a PDF import feature but it almost never works, at least for me. I gave up using it. Entering music into MScore can be made easier using an entry keyboard like the one I have called an M-Audio Keystation Mini 32. It costs $50 and is easy to set up. It’s basically a keyboard mouse device, but you can hear the notes as you play them and enter them in the score. It does NOT play anything unless connected to a computer (it’s just a “MIDI Controller”). Use the link below to see on at Amazon:
    M-Audio Keyboard

    #1658
    Edward Plumer
    Participant

    The cheat is to first see if the printed score will OCR correctly using Musescore’s website and tweak that result. I have had mixed results, hence the comment. My luck may have been better than yours, so far. It always requires correction, though and so far only processed solo parts, not full keyboard.

    Nice tip on note entry. My wife has a digital piano that can export MIDI, but I am so worhless on keyboard, I suspect I would not get much bang for the buck.

    #1659
    Edward Plumer
    Participant

    Actually, as a software engineer, rule number 1 … see if someone else has already done half the work 🙂

    #1660
    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    I did have good luck with MuseScore converting a PDF to music, but then it stopped working for me. Maybe they have fixed it. When it was working OK, I was able to scan even pieces with the keyboard included. As you said, you have to fix it a lot. One thing for a piece with keyboard, you often have to split the 2 hands in Musescore to get it to look and work correctly. I forget exactly how, but that is one thing to look for once you’ve gotten the music in MS.

    #1662
    Edward Plumer
    Participant

    Rich,

    I did find a public domain upload of HWV-362 (Aminor) and HWV-369 (Fmajor) on Musescore that I can use as a starting point.

    I am pretty pleased with the HWV-369 tracks I got from “Continuo Lines” and really appreciate your pointing it out. I didn’t find HWV-362 so requested it for future consideration. Some key differences: (1) the lead-in is not clicks but a musical passage imitating the end of the repeat section making it almost obvious where to enter, (2) there is only a tempo slow down at the end of the movement, not at the cadences before repeats, (3) Continuo Lines specifically uses Vallotti temperament on baroque music, Cat On The Keys is vague about their choice. All in all, the Continuo Lines version is working much better for me. I look forward to more options in their library.

    Edward

    #1665
    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    Well, I cannot get it to take any replies (although I’ll bet it will take this useless one.

    #1666
    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    OK, now I’ll try a 3rd time:
    Hi Ed,
    Sarah Jeffery (of YouTube fame) has some nice playalongs. I bought one of a Telemann Cononic Sonata, and she has a new one of a Mattheson piece, which you can see (and link to buy) here:
    Mattheson trio

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