Marc Sabatella

Garden seasons

published27 days ago
2 min read

Hello! Technically, it's been fall for a month, but this past week has really felt like here in Colorado, with the temperatures falling enough to finish things off. It was great while it lasted! The changing of the seasons is the subject of a choral demonstration piece I am working on - see below!

This week in the Musicianship Skills Workshop, we are starting to work on improvisation. I'm especially interested in helping people who might not have much experience in this area or are intimidated by the idea get more comfortable with it. We're starting off easy with some general advice and a simple exercise with no wrong answers. I hope you'll join us!

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, we continue our first-Wednesday tradition with another "ask me anything" session. Come prepared with your questions, whether they relate to MuseScore 3 or to the new MuseScore 4 beta, and I'll do my best to answer!

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

Last week in the MuseScore Café, I played you the orchestra piece I had created back in music school, played with Muse Sounds. Although there are still some kinks to work out, I think it sounds pretty amazing. Here it is on

Because I imported this piece from Finale, I didn't actually need to enter all the notes and markings by hand - only things that don't translate well via MusicXML. One of those things is a new feature in MuseScore 4 that many of you will welcome: gradual tempo changes like ritardando and accelerando. These markings will be found on the Tempo palette, and you can then change aspects of their playback via the properties panel.

Music Master Class

This week in the Music Master Class with Marc Sabatella, we will focus on improvisation. I'll follow up on the lesson from the Musicianship Skills Workshop, and we'll try some improvisation exercises together.

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

Last week I shared a piece I was working on to use as a demonstration on how to enter choral music into MuseScore. Thanks for your comments on this! I decided I needed to add another section to demonstrate a few additional MuseScore techniques (like how to copy lyrics between parts), so I have now expanded it. The new section is in canon, because, as you may recall me singing last year around, I love making counterpoint. I also tweaked a few other things here and there, and my wife Kari has completed lyrics for it. Here is the link:

This particular canon (starting at bar 9, between alto and tenor) is at the fifth below. That means the second voice comes with the same melody as the first, but a perfect fifth lower. Those of you who checked out last week's Music Master Class may recall that the canon I demonstrated there was at the fourth below. These are perhaps the easiest intervals to start with in writing canons for a number of reasons, but I'm not going to lie, there is nothing easy about this. Still, it's a challenge I enjoy, and I do think I've put together an approach that works. For more insights, check out my course Practical Counterpoint.