Back To School!

publishedabout 2 months ago
2 min read

Hello! Such a crazy year, but it's time for many us who teach to start preparing for the coming school semester. I want to do what I can to help support my fellow educators, so I'm launching some new programs including group discounts on my courses, a special build of MuseScore for Chromebooks, and more. But I don't want to bother all of you with information of interest primarily to teachers. So I'm asking you to let me know if you're interested in these sorts of educational resources by clicking the following two links:

Yes, I am an educator and am interested in hearing about how you can help me and my students

If you already checked a box indicating you are interested in education resources when you subscribed to this newsletter, you'll probably be hearing from me anyhow - but here is your chance to bow out:

No, I'm not an educator or am not interested in your offerings to help teachers and their students

One other thing I want to let you know about before I move on - I am the featured guest on the Eyes on Success podcast (dealing with accessibility issues) this week! For more details, see my post in the Community.

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, we continue our first-Wednesday "Ask Me Anything" series! Come with any questions you have about MuseScore, and if you have specific scores you want me to look at, please post links to them in the comments to my post in the Conversation space in the Community.

The MuseScore Café is live Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT).

Tip of the Week

Have you ever created a score for a large ensemble then wondered why your instruments don't all fit on the page? MuseScore gives you full control over the size and spacing of your staves and the size of your page and its margins, but it doesn't do the work for you. If your staves don't all fit on the page, you need smaller staves or bigger paper. Orchestral scores would seldom be printed on letter or A4, so normally your first recourse would be to go to Format / Page Settings and increase the page size. Or you can reduce the staff size in that same dialog.

For more information, see the lessons on page layout in Mastering MuseScore: Complete Online Course. Click this link for a free preview!

Music Master Class

This week in the Music Master Class we will look at a string trio submitted by Sam Halbertsma and a few other short pieces as time permits. I also have had John Rutter on my mind due to this discussion in the Community, so I may talk about his music some as well.

The Music Master Class is live Thursday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT).

In Theory

One of the most fundamental concepts to understand about music - Western music of the past several centuries, anyhow - is how chords are constructed. And yet I find much confusion exists on this important topic.

The most straightforward way I have found to teach chord construction is by relating everything to the major scale. In order to build a major triad on any given root, start by building a major scale on that root, then take scale degrees 1, 3, and 5. For instance, to build an E major triad, start with an E major scale - E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#, E. Scale degrees 1, 3, and 5 are E, G#, and B - so that is an E major triad. Minor triads are built from scale degrees 1, b3, and 5 - in this case, E, G, and B. Diminished is 1, b3, and b5 - E, G, Bb. Augmented is 1, 3, #5 - E, G#, B#.

Here is one of the relevant handouts from my Basic Music Theory course: Triads.

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