Band-in-a-Box 2007.5

The elves at PGMusic have been working away at yet another version of Band-in-a-Box, 2007.5. Not a lot of “new” features, but a lot of great REAL DRUM tracks. I think we are at nearly 9 gigabytes of drum sounds now. Lots of new styles as well. Couple the Real Drums with Garritan JazzBand and you have one awesome practice/performance tool. Check it out.

Passing on Finale 2008

MakeMusic came out with a new version of Finale. 2008. Looking at the lackluster feature list, I’m am passing on the update. Basically, the only items that sound remotely interesting are the Cut/Copy/Paste Improvements, and ScoreMerger (taking a bunch of files and putting them together). All the other stuff, the Record/Import Audio, More Garritan Sounds, New Selection Tool, Vista Compatible, Integrated Sound Libraries, Enhanced Setup Wizard, Document Styles, Colored Noteheads and Boomwhackers® Sounds, Improved Scanning, Expanded MusicXML Support, Expanded Human Playback Support, More Powerful Templates, New & Expanded, Documentation, Improved HyperScribe are not enough to warrant the price of the update. From the various discussion groups, it seems a lot of bugs still exist, and features that have problems or issues, such as 2007’s Parts, have not been addressed.

Plus, I have a suspicion that the new version saves Smartmusic files in a format that SmartMusic 10 cannot read (2007 did that from August of last year up to when when finally came out with Smartmusic 10 in April).

SmartMusic 10 Updated…….sorta

Since it was released in April, SmartMusic 10 has not been updated. That changed last Tuesday, when the program informed me that updates were available. The proceeding 30 minutes of downloads yielded some new things, and some not so new things………

First, the new things……..

Additional play-alongs. 60 titles like they promised? Maybe. There is no list of new things, and has no information on the release. I see a lot of Concert Band things, and TWO new Jazz Band ones. And not all that great of Jazz Band songs either. Oh well.

That is it for the new stuff.

Not so new. Bugs. User Created Continue reading SmartMusic 10 Updated…….sorta

Tabuteau Lessons/Note Grouping

Two related items I finished recently. The first is a very interesting CD, Marcel Tabuteau’s Lessons, which Tabuteau himself explains his phrasing system. Well, it is more than that, it is lessons on music from a great master. It was started in August of 1965, using a tape recorder in Tabuteau’s apartment, and abruptly finished in 1966, the last recording made the day before he died (or, as Tabuteau called it, his audition date with St. Peter). It is oboe specific in areas (reeds), but most of it easily applies to saxophone (or any other instrument for that matter). Well worth a listen if you want to gain insight from a master on how to play music.

The second item is Note Grouping by James Morgan Thurmond. This is basically a written down version of what the Tabuteau CD is. Same idea, different author. Keep in mind, this book was originally a thesis paper, and reworked/written to be a book. Parts of it are very “thesis paperish”, but the information contained within is invaluable, especially the insights into how modern music has come about.