Marc Sabatella

Happy anniversary!

published16 days ago
2 min read

Hello, and welcome to our anniversary week! This marks the first anniversary of the launch of the Mastering MuseScore Community, and the fourth anniversary of Mastering MuseScore as a whole, and I want to thank you for being a part of this. It's a time to celebrate what we've built, and also think about what's to come.

Plenty more to be said on the "what's to come" front over the next few weeks, but for now, let's focus on on the "celebrate what we've built" part. To help you take part, I'm making all my courses available at a special discount for this week only, using the coupon code ANNIVERSARY4. If you click any of the links below, the discount will be applied automatically.

The discount also applies to the All-Access Membership, which give you access to all my courses as well as other benefits.

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, I want to hear your favorite MuseScore tips! Whether you learned them from me or from someone else or figured them out on your own, post your favorite tip to the thread I created in the Conversation space. You can write up your tip or, if you're feeling ambitious, record a short video. Either way, I'll demonstrate them!

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

When I think back over what the past four years have brought to MuseScore, probably the most significant - and most misunderstood - feature has been automatic placement, a.k.a. autoplace. Although it is very powerful and at times can seem mysterious, what it does is actually quite simple. For most elements you add to your score - such such tempo markings - MuseScore first calculates a default position based on your style settings. If that default position is free and clear of other symbols, that's where the new element goes. But if there is something else there already, MuseScore simply moves the new element further above or below the staff:

Autoplace in action

Actually, though, it's not about which element you actually add first and which you add last. It's about which elements should take precendece according to standard rules of notation. So for instance, tempo markings are supposed to go outside most other text, regardless of which is added first.

In case where you need to override the standard rules, you can often simply move the further-away element closer directly, by dragging or using the cursor keys. But you can also disable autoplace for any given element via the Inspector.

For more on how to use MuseScore, see Mastering MuseScore: Complete Online Course.

Music Master Class

This week we'll check in again on the Composition Round Robin started by William Halsted , and we'll reflect on some of the highlights of this past year here in the Community. I want to know what you'd like to revisit, so post your ideas to the thread I created in the Share & Discuss space.

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

Community member Jim Ivy recently posted a recording of his band playing the jazz standard Stompin' at the Savoy. This reminded me that I've been thinking for some time about using this piece as an example to talk about a particular type of counterpoint known as call-and-response. Here's a classic recording of the tune by Benny Goodman. The trumpets give the "call" (a simple two-note figure), the saxophones the "response" (a longer, faster moving figure):

Normally with call-and-response, both components are equally important. But depending on the interpretation, one can possibly hear the "call" as the melody, with the "response" being more of an accompanying figure - or vice versa.

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