Music for Spring 2020 Concert
Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
As you may know, this gorgeous piece was written for 16 soloists. In his notes, RVW wrote "...Four soloists will be sufficient, or all the solo parts may be sung in chorus." I'm not sure how JF will want to arrange us, but here, to get you started, are the John Fletcher rehearsal files. (These require a subscription - see the note further below).
Here is the original 1938 recording, on YouTube, with the soloists that RVW had written it for. I urge you to listen to this, and also to read the illuminating notes on the YouTube page.
And, if you want a more recent performance, here is the 2019 Proms performance on YouTube for you to listen to.
And here is a link to the original non-copyright score, which you can download.
Rutter: Mass of the Children
Here are the John Fletcher rehearsal files. They require a subscription.
Here is a YouTube version conducted by Rutter himself, and including our friend Roderick Williams.
Rehearsal Aids - John Fletcher & Cyberbass - Please Read
Cyberbass can be accessed freely by anyone without any registration process. I have recently looked again at Cyberbass, and I think its usability has improved dramatically in the last year or so since I last tried to use it. In particular it allows different speeds of playback, and also allows you to jump back or forwards by 3 or 10 seconds, and to set up repeating loops. You may need to scroll down the page slightly to find the control panel for all the playback features.
Some pieces of music are available to people who register with John Fletcher for a basic, FREE subscription. Others will require you to be have a PAID subscription. I have set up a paid subscription group - if you wish to join (£3 for a year), please register with John Fletcher for a free membership, then contact me, and I can add you to the list of paid people. Then remember to pay me £3!
Thanks, Steve Weighell - [email protected]
Advice on playing Midi files
How to play Midi files:
On most PC set ups, you simply need to double click on the Midi file for it to start playing, using whichever is your PC's default programme (eg Media Player or Quicktime). However, if you want to see the score and manipulate it by emphasising one part then you will need to use a different type of programme. My current favourite freeware Windows programme is VanBasco's Karaoke Player which can be downloaded from this site. It is elderly and probably unsupported, but runs perfectly well under Windows 7, 8 and 10.
Another is MidiPlay, which is also freeware and can be downloaded and run from this site. Since it involves downloading and running an executable file, you might want to be cautious about using it - but it seems innocent enough to me and hasn't caused any problems with my PC. I would really appreciate feedback and advice from anyone with experience in this area - please get back to me. Thanks.
Playing Midi Files on a Mac computer:
Oddly enough, playing Midi files on a Mac is not as straightforward as you might expect. The latest versions of Apple's QuickTime do not play Midi files, for some reason best known to Apple. However, an earlier version (QuickTime Player 7) works fine, and is still supported by Apple. In addition, the standard Safari browser does not open files, so you will need to use an alternative browser - Mozilla Firefox.
So try the following approach in order to be able to play midi files:
- Go to the Mozilla website here and download and install Firefox. You can choose to make Firefox your default browser if you wish, or keep your existing browser as the default.
- You will then need to install Apple's QuickTime Player 7, even though you may already have a later version of QuickTime. Go to this website to download and install the programme.
Now you should use Firefox to navigate to the LearnChoralMusic page from the links given on this page. When you click on the appropriate Midi file, it should open and play.
Please try this and let me know how you get on. Thanks.
Steve Weighell - [email protected]
Interesting iPhone / iPad App for Singing Practice...
I have been experimenting with an App for iPhone / iPad (not yet available on Android) called "Learn My Part". This allows you to import a midi file, and then play it back. It allows you to change the emphasis on different parts, and also to change the speeds. I believe the App costs around £3, and it seems to work very well. Take a look at this video on YouTube which demonstrates the App pretty well.
Recorded Music from the BBC
We sometimes are able to provide music recorded from broadcasts by BBC Radio 3. We have received BBC's permisssion to use these recordings to assist in the choir's preparation for the concert, provided that we do not make them available to the wider public.
The music can be played by using the player controls. Alternatively, this music can be downloaded to your PC as zip files. Click on the links and save the files to a location on your PC, then use a suitable programme to unzip the music.
For information, here is the question that was asked of the BBC, and the subsequent email from David Stuart of the BBC on 1st December 2009:
Question from Steve Weighell of CPC to BBC:
"Can I record a radio programme extract and pass it onto friends in my amateur choir to help in practicing a piece of music? Does it make any difference if the recording has been taken directly off-air, or from a podcast, or recording of a streamed iPlayer programme? It would be copied onto a CD or as mp3 file onto a memory stick for private use."
Email from BBC, dated 1st December 2009:
Dear Mr Weighell
Thank you for your email to BBC Information regarding the use of recordings
of BBC programmes in your choir.
The BBC would have no objection to this personal use providing the
recordings are not posted on the internet or broadcast in the public domain
in any way.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact us with your request.