The Total Guitar
The Guitar Instruction Site
of
Brian Johns

Music Engraving/Copying, Editing or Arranging Services

Music “engraving” is an archaic term for how sheet music is actually rendered in this day and age.  Music “typesetting” is also a term of similar vintage.  However, both are still commonly used to convey same task:  sheet music printed on a piece of paper.  No longer do we generally use metal plates, presses and vats of ink for this purpose but rather, the convenience of electronic application.

As a long-time performer and teacher of music, I have been using a variety of premium music software for well over 20 years, particularly “Finale.”  I use it almost everyday for student pieces or arrangements.  I’m not exactly sure of the number of files I’ve created but I might guess it’s somewhere around 10,000 and of various pages in length.  Back in the day, it was pens and pencils; drafting tables and straight edges but not any more.  So, now I’m offing copying or editing services for hire. 

Most copying or editing generally doesn’t require much time.  Additional graphics like fingerings and other markings - integral to performance - tend to add to the overall time of data input due to the meticulous nature of inserting those items into a score.  Sometimes, scores or sheet music can be scanned into a computer which certainly can save time.  But often times the scan is less than perfect and may require much tweaking.  Also, some software files of pieces in the public domain are already available online and may only need simple editing or printing.

Once a piece of music is in a digital format edits can be nearly instantaneous like keys, clefs etc…  So, many options including size of items, fonts, even the color of note heads are easily customized. 

Additionally, we can listen to it; speed it up or slow it down.  Playback can be as sophisticated as one can afford: whether by using actual samples of real instruments or just a simple MIDI playback using whatever sounds came with your computer.  We can render profession sounding mp3 or WAVE files as well.

View My Work!

For a quick look at some our work in scoring and in different applications or tasks, please see the photo gallery below. 

Or, to view a sample collection in the larger pdf format, please click on the button below.

Overview:
  • Copying and updating older scores (also known as engraving or typesetting):
    • For example, perhaps there are favorite or highly valued pieces of music that have just been copied too many times with the original in taters if not lost or gone completely.  We can re-create your music.
    • Or, perhaps similarly, there’s a piece with many illegible edits and erasures.  We can make it tidy again.
    • Or, it could be that you just want an either new or old handwritten score – perhaps originally rendered in ink or pencil - rejuvenated in clear and legible notation. 
    • Or, if you’re a music group leader, certainly, one desire is to have rehearsal go smoothly with the focus on cohesion, intonation or timbre and players not guessing about “notes.”  The first step then begins with clear, concise and easy to read sheet music.   (Please see the “Old to New” pictures in the gallery below).
  • Part extraction or creation:
    • You may have only a single score available for your group or ensemble.  We can create parts for individual players and in the process, eliminate those sometimes cumbersome page turns.  What once was an 8 page copy can easily be just 2: a perfect fit on a music stand.
    • For the guitar player, we can create or add parts/staves in either a standard notation, tablature or in chord diagrams. 
  • Part Editing, Adapting or Arranging – Changes or Simplification:
    • Sometimes, just a simple key change can make all the difference.  For example, a music director might have an awesome trumpet player but the only available arrangement is for flute.  Well, that’s an easy fix.  The same is true in regards to vocal ranges.
    • Also, many community organizations or churches generally have great vocalists or individual instrumentalists at hand who want to sing or play.  However, if the community  is small, another challenge or problem is in filling all the chairs of the group or ensemble in order to match the given instrumentation of the arrangements or available charts.  We can help make it all fit.  An inspirational song or piece of music doesn’t have to be wasted or shelved because there aren’t enough players to make it happen.
    • This could also include any key or instrument changes adapting to the availability of particular players.  Good music is just that; it doesn’t have to be complicated.  Making parts easier; keeping what is essential. 
  • Keyboard Reduction:
    • This task includes adapting parts from an ensemble like a string or wind quartet or even a rhythm section and creating a single score for keyboard.  (Please see the picture below).
  • Adaptations:
    • Depending upon congregation or group membership size, there may be little variety or options in terms instrumental musicians.  Music for trios, quartets or larger ensembles can easily be adapted to duets or a soloist with piano accompaniment.  So, for example, a string trio could be changed to 2 flutes and piano or even violin, flute and guitar.  So, music leaders or choir directors don’t have to be limited by the arrangements available.
  • Adding Accompaniment to a Soloists’ Part:
    • Generally, this is not a time consuming task and really can create a special musical moment practically and inexpensively.  So, we can either render a recording of the accompaniment, in which case a meticulous or elaborate score isn’t necessary or do the actual parts.  
  • All Digital Format:
    • The best approach is to deliver or exchange music electronically via email.  But, we can use other delivery services as well, like USPS.  Online, this can be as an attachment such as a pdf, image, MIDI file or other.  Then, upon completion of the job, all is ready for your computer or printer.
    • Once a piece of music is entered into a digital format, edits can be nearly instantaneous like keys, clefs etc…   So, many options including size of items, fonts, even the color of note heads are easily customized. 
    • Additionally, we can listen to it; speed it up or slow it down.  Playback can be as sophisticated as one can afford: whether by using actual samples of real instruments or just a simple MIDI playback using whatever sounds came with your computer.  We can render profession sounding mp3 or WAVE files as well.
  • Out Source The Tedious:
    • If you’re music or choir director; player, arranger or composer you may have better things to do.
    • Every setting can be a little different whether it’s transcription, arrangement, engraving, transposition or just making things tidy again, so, please inquire.  Our fee is based upon the estimated time involved for any task.
  •   How It Works:
      • You can send me via email what have including your ideas about what you’d like to accomplish and/or you can call and further embellish as well.  I will give you an estimate.  If that’s agreeable, I will begin the job – which is usually about a page - and send you a proof.  If it looks acceptable, I will complete the project.  Payment is then done via Paypal, with the fee based upon the original estimate. At which point, I will return to you, your completed project.
      • Also, these are generally custom projects; so, don’t hesitate to describe your wishes along the way, as small fixes are generally not a problem.  We have to work together and communicate.     
    • Fee:
      • The hourly rate is $20.00 with a 1 hour minimum.
      • Most jobs are between 1 to 2 hours. Any job accepted that exceeds 3 hours will require a deposit of one-half the estimated time.
    • Don’t Hesitate To Ask:
      • Every setting can be a little different whether transcription, arrangement, engraving, transposition or just making things tidy again, so, please inquire.   Our fee is based upon the estimated time involved for any task.

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