Mudcat Café message #2088223 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102684   Message #2088223
Posted By: GUEST,leeneia
27-Jun-07 - 10:19 AM
Thread Name: Folk music parts for concert band
Subject: RE: Folk music parts for concert band
Eugene, it sounds to me like you are ready for the wonderful world of MIDI, which allows mere mortals to get control of music. I believe a person using MIDI could produce custom music in about the same time it would take to locate music from some other party.

The main question is, how many parts does it take to keep your musicians happy? I'm not talking about parts that need to be different because some instruments are not C instruments, I'm talking about how many harmonizing lines you need.

If the band is content with the melody and oom pah, then you have it made. Get a music-MIDI program (I use Noteworthy Composer, about $40.) Download MIDI folksongs off the Internet, change the keys to suit, print, and voila!

Wait. You also need a MIDI piano keyboard. With the keyboard, you can compose your own harmony parts, which shouldn't be hard for a simple tune. I have a little keyboard that I bought at CompUSA years ago. It is about 20 inches long, fits on my desk top next to the QWERTY keyboard, and covers four octaves.

Try this. go to this site;

and click on On Top of Old Smokey. Listen to the whole thing. It has melody, oom pah, some harmony after a while, and a little descant. If your band would like it, you can download it and edit the parts to suit, changing keys are necessary, print, distribute and play.

Sometimes a MIDI file isn't usable because the person who made it wasn't careful about timing. However, I've downloaded that particular On Top of Old Smokey, and it's okay. It sure has a lot of lines, but extra lines can be deleted with an editing program.
With a MIDI keyboard and program you could also enter, edit and print music from books. Your public library probably has collections which would be good sources. Some of them are going to have the harmony thought out already, which is plus. Change it some to make it your own, and you won't have to worry about copyrights.