Week 2: So It Begins… The Arranging
Welcome back to your favorite blog about your favorite senior project. Last week, I explained the songs that I was going to arrange and the reasoning behind why I chose them. In this blog, we are kicking it into first gear and starting off that process!
What Does The Process Look Like?
I’m going to preface this post with the fact that I am not the only one who is arranging these songs. I actually have my friend Jiarong (shoutout to him) who is helping me dissect and create the sheets of music, so everything I mention moving forward in this post is a joint effort between us. However, for the process of actually arranging, we are doing what most pop musicians do, and listening by ear to the melodies and chords within the songs to transcribe them onto our music sheets. This way, it gives a more authentic and genuine approach to arranging music, especially in the style of the genre that we are doing, which again is pop music. However, the process itself is nothing special in it of itself. We just proceed through the song as we pinpoint and jot down the chords and melodies within the songs and write them down onto the music sheets. Afterwards, we utilize the software (I will talk about this later) to play it back to us to see if what we heard matches the respective musical theory equivalent.
What Software Are You Using?
In the past week, we wanted to really settle down on a super strong and low learning curve software that was able to help us compose the music sheets that we were going to use. For us, we are using lead sheet music, which looks like the image below (it’s not actually a real song).
Lead sheet music is a very simple way to incorporate the necessary parts of a song (vocals, chords, melody, etc.) in one format and makes it super clean and organized. We are going to use lead sheet music in our project for this very reason, so be prepared to look at a bunch more of the picture above!
However, there was a little bit of conflict with the particular software that we were going to use. We had decided on two particular ones, Sibelius and Finale, but we couldn’t decide which one we were going to use. We started off utilizing Sibelius, but we quickly realized how steep of a learning curve there was and the incredibly tedious process of writing down notes in Sibelius. So instead of utilizing Sibelius, we are going to use Finale instead, which is much easier and more efficient to use than Sibelius.
For our progress within the last week, we decided to work on some of the chords and figuring out how to play each part of the song. Here is some of the notation that we created when we were using Sibelius.
We decided to split the songs amongst ourselves, so that we each create our original arrangement first and then work together to make them even more unique. However, we will continue working on the notation, and aim to finish one of the songs by the next blog post!
That’s all for today. Hope to see you next week for updates on your favorite senior project!