Now's The Time!

published12 days ago
2 min read

Hello! I'm continuing to expand my offerings, and I am excited to announce a new benefit available to all-access members - regular weekly office hours where you can drop in and talk to me live via group video chat! I have no preset agenda during this time slot; I'm just making myself available to answer your questions about MuseScore or music creation in general, or whatever you might want to talk to me about.

I also want to give you a heads up that there will soon be a slight increase in the cost of the all-access membership and some of my individual courses, including my flagship Mastering MuseScore: Complete Online Course. But I won't make any changes until next week, and they won't affect anyone already enrolled. So if you've been considering become a member, or enrolling in the MuseScore course or any of my theory courses, now would be an especially good time to do so and lock in the current prices. Visit the main course listing for more information.

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café, we look at some techniques for making playback sound more "human" - tweaks to tempo, dynamics, note durations, and more. It's more an art than a science, and I expect that some of you have your own favorite tricks to share, so please join live if you can!

We're live on Wednesday at 12:30 Eastern time.

Tip of the Week

We often get questions on the Support forum about overriding the default beaming. A few particular situations come up a lot:

  • breaking the beam on a set of three eighth notes so it doesn't look like a triplet
  • beaming over a rest
  • changing the default beaming in some given time signature, such as to make 4/4 beam in groups of twos rather than fours (not recommended by modern editors, by the way, but older editions did this commonly)

To override the beaming for a specific note or rest, use the Beam Properties palette. To break a beam starting with a given note, select the note then click the "Beam start" icon on the palette. To continue a beam over a given note or rest, select it and click "Beam middle". To change the defaults for a given time signature, right-click the time signature then select Time Signature Properties. For more information, see the online Handbook under Beams, or the lesson on customization of beams in my online course.

example showing beam customizations

Music Master Class

This week I'll focus on some relatively short and simple pieces, getting into the measure-to-measure details of harmony, voice-leading, etc. In particular, I look forward to showing some amazing collaborative work amongst some members of the community in this thread!

We're live on Thursday at 12:30 Eastern time.

In Theory

I'm about to return to developing material for my counterpoint course. One of the lessons I will working on soon has to do with consonant and dissonant intervals. I realize there is a lot of confusion on this point.

Let me first clear up one matter: dissonant doesn't mean bad. It simply means it will create some tension that you will then want to release by resolving to consonant inverval. This is not something to avoid - music needs tension and release.

Second, there is always some question about the perfect fourth. You'll see it stated in texts dealing with Renaissance counterpoint that this is a dissonant interval. But it's important to put that into some context. It's really talking about perfect fourths above the bass note only, not all perfect fourths. And even though a Renaissance theorist would not have explained this in terms of chords at all, we can. What's really happening is that a perfect fourth above the bass is either implying a suspension (so the fourth is not a chord tone) or else a second inversion chord (which are generally limited to specific situations in classical music). And thus, the interval does typically tend to resolve even in post-Renaissance music where we don't typically hear the perfect fourth as dissonant in itself.


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