If music be the food of love, play on. ~ William Shakespeare
Through the last ten years I have been collecting piano books with the idea that I might co-opt one of the songs to create a sax quartet. I did this once for my grandson for a school ensemble contest. My son has encouraged me to write solo transcriptions, quartet music and the like saying that it would improve my playing skillz.
Seventh String sez, “What I am talking about here is the process of working out how to play and/or write out a piece of music starting with just a recording of the piece – a commercially released CD perhaps. We would usually be talking about non-classical music as most classical music can be obtained as printed music.
You will also hear classical musicians speak of “transcribing” to mean adapting a piece of music written for one instrument to be played on another. Thus when John Williams plays Scarlatti sonatas (originally written for keyboard) on the guitar, these would be called “transcriptions” although he didn’t need to work them out from a recording because you can buy the published sheet music (for keyboard) in a shop. Non-classical musicians don’t often use the word this way because they customarily rearrange music for their own combination of instruments all the time anyway.
The effort involved in transcribing music from recordings varies enormously depending on the complexity of the music, how good you ear is and how detailed you want your transcription to be. If you merely want to write down the chords to a very simple song then if your ear is good you may be able to scribble them down in real time while the music is playing. At the other extreme if you are attempting a detailed transcription of complex music then it can take hours to transcribe a single minute of music.”
Truth is that I have not touched these second hand books. So now my quandary, do I hold on to the two shelves of piano books, hoping to use them in the future? Or do I release them back into the wild to find a new home. Ah Spring cleaning.