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More Q & A about transcribing music

Can you tell me how to transcribe pieces?  Do you just play random notes and hope they sound correct?

Haha…no, I sit at the piano, with earphones connected to my phone, which plays the YouTube video of the song. I find the notes on my piano (playing and rewinding small bits of the video at a time over and over) and enter it into Musescore, which is on my laptop on my piano. I try to follow the original as closely as I can. Usually, I do the melody first, then the chord symbols, then work out the accompaniment, one section at a time (not the whole song at once). Takes me anything from a few hours for easy songs, to 2 weeks for hard ones (also depending on how busy I am). The pitches of the melody are easy to find. The rhythm is what gets most people. Despite all my teaching experience and skills, sometimes that still takes time 😛 Choosing a suitable accompaniment style (that is playable by others and also sounds good) is always the part that takes most time and thought! I just can’t bear to leave out some lovely counter melodies and fill-ins that I hear in the orchestral versions, so figuring out how to include them can also be tricky…cos we only have 2 hands haha! How I’ve often wished for more ;-)Hope this helps!

What software do you use to write your music?

I use Musescore. It’s free and very user friendly. It comes with an offline help or online manual, but whenever I’m stuck, I just Google “how to…on Musescore” and voila! 😛 After you’re done with the score, click File > Save > select Pdf, and you can now print it or transfer it to your tablet (either via cable or email attachment).

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Posted on June 30, 2013, in About writing/reading/playing music. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Are there any free programs you know that you can enter music into? Because I’m transcribing EXO Peter Pan, but I have to write everything down and it takes ageeees. I’m not really allowed to buy any programs (parents ._.)

    • I’m using Musescore, which is completely free 🙂 For instructions, there’s a manual…or you can just Google any questions about “how to (whatever) on musescore”. That’s how I’ve been learning to use it hehe! You’ll also need to install a pdf converter..after you’re finished with the musescore file, you need to click ‘ print to pdf converter’. Only then will you get a file that you can share with your fans. They can’t read musescore files on their devices…Only pdf.

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