Marc Sabatella


published2 months ago
4 min read

Hello! It's officially fall, and change is in the air - not just for the leaves. TL;DR - MuseScore 4 is coming soon, I'm offering a discount on all my current courses and further discounts to current students on the MuseScore 4 course when it comes out :-)

As many who attend my live streams know, my studio is next to a fairly busy road that has been under constant construction for the past year or so. It's been a long drawn-out process and a pretty disruptive one at that. But it's getting close to completion, and the final result should be much nicer than before.

New versions of software can seem the same way, and MuseScore 4 is no exception. It's been under construction even longer than my street, but the end is in sight - expect more announcements in the next week or two. And after the inevitable adjustment period, I think people are going to be pretty thrilled with how great it looks and sounds!

My goals are to help make the transition to MuseScore 4 as painless as possible for you, to welcome all the new users I expect to see join us, and to bring everyone up to speed together.

With this in mind, I want to encourage all of you to consider participating in the exciting new Mastering MuseScore 4 course when I'm ready to open it for enrollment. It's going to be a "community-centered" course, combining the best aspects of my traditional self-paced courses with the energy and synergy that come from learning and sharing with others, and you won't want to be left out.

I'm still working out the details, but I can tell you this: I plan to make an extremely attractive offer for current students - anyone who is enrolled in any paid course. So if you're not already enrolled in any of my existing courses, now would be a great time to try one out! I'll even offer you a 15% discount on whatever course you enroll in today, and I'll still offer you a significant discount on the Mastering MuseScore 4 course on top of that. Just use coupon code BEFORE4 at checkout when enrolling in any of my courses before the end of the week.

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, we'll talk about some overall changes you can make to your style settings and staff properties to achieve a particular "look" for your score.

The MuseScore Café is live on Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

Tip of the Week

MuseScore 3 provides a half dozen different music fonts you can use - these control the appearance of notes, clefs, and other musical symbols. To select between the available fonts, see Format / Style / Score.

The available fonts are Leland (the default font developed especially for MuseScore 3.6), Emmentaler (the original default for MuseScore, borrowed from LilyPond), Brauva (an open source font provided by Steinberg, the creators of Dorico and developers of the SMuFL standard, and the one used as a fallback when another font lacks any given symbol), Gonville (also originally developed for LilyPond), plus two "handwritten" fonts - MuseJazz (developed especially for MuseScore 3) and Petaluma (another font from Steinberg, designed to emulate the New Real Book series from Sher Music).

MuseScore 4 will add two more - Finale Maestro and Finale Broadway, both classic fonts in the world of music notation software. The former is a traditional "engraved" font, the latter "handwritten". Eventually we hope to add more fonts still, and hopefully the ability for users to add their own.

Here's an example using Finale Broadway font in MuseScore:

Music Master Class

This week in the Music Master Class with Marc Sabatella, I continue to feature your music, including a motet by David Griffiths and also projects from the Musicianship Skills Workshop.

The Music Master Class is live on Thursday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

In Theory

People often ask me where they should start in learning music theory. That's a hard question to answer, because everyone has such different needs, starting with such different levels of knowledge and experience and having such different goals for their music. I try to be aware of this in my own teaching and find approaches that I think will work well for many different people. Since above I was encouraging you to enroll in one of my courses, I figure I should give you a little more info on them all in one place to help you decide which might be most appropriate:

  • Basic Music Theory - covers the fundamentals of pitch and rhythm (including how standard music notation works), plus major and minor scales, keys, intervals, and chords (triads, seventh chords, inversions, and an introduction to Roman numeral analysis). Best for students who read music but learned or remember little more about how music works and need a good place to get started.
  • Harmony and Chord Progressions - covers voice leading, use of chord and non-chord tones, diatonic and non-diatonic chords, secondary dominants, borrowed chords, diminished chords, the Neapolitan, augmented sixth chords, modulations, and common harmonic idioms. Best for students who have a grasp on the basics but want to create more interesting chord progressions, whether in classical, jazz, pop, or other genres of Western music.
  • Practical Counterpoint - covers consonance, dissonance, writing independent parts in two and three voices, the relationship betwene counterpoint and functional harmony, use of Renaissance modes and cadences, the construction of canons, motets, and fugues, and applications of these principles to modern music. Best for students wishing to explore these more advanced topics. Technically speaking, you don't need to have studied harmony already, but for most people I recommend this only after completing a harmony course like mine.
  • Musicianship Skills Workshop - covers core skills like ear training and musical analysis but also bits of composition, songwriting, arranging, improvisation, and other topics of interest to our members. Best for students who want to continue their music education and fill in the gaps often left by traditional instruction. Some material is more basic, some more advanced, but we try to always have something for everyone.

If you haven't taken any of these courses, I encourage you to check them out, and remember - use coupon code BEFORE4 by the end of the week for a discount, plus you'll qualify for the special offer on the MuseScore 4 course when I open it for enrollment.