Chaplin Film Score - A Composer's Diary - Part 4

January 10, 2019, 5:10 PM · This post is part 4 of an on-going series about a piano score. Please click back to the other parts for more information.

(Well, what a coincidence, as I log into the site the next morning!)

Just a short one today... Basically, I wanted to share an exciting mechanism my piano teacher showed me yesterday: a foot pedal that connects to an iPad that has the sheet music on it! I know pianists accompanying a Concerto or Sonata soloist, for example for violin, have used this as a means of flipping the pages. In my case, I'm essentially accompanying a film, and I can't stop for it! It will be nice to try this out to see if it will work better than actually turning the pages by hand. The performance, of course, is another story that I'll worry about in March (still not sure when it will officially be), but it's nice to start thinking about it now. As he said, I'm writing music just for myself, and I don't want to make anyone else learn about page turns especially because I've programmed this piece so vigorously with the film and know it personally very well.

In terms of the music, I'm getting very close to being done! I've spent this week (and will continue to spend time this evening before sectionals - sharing with the first violin section my thoughts on articulations for Music for the Galactic Palace, my orchestra piece that's getting its premiere in about a month!) engraving what I've already written in my notebooks, which basically means typing the music into Finale and is the equivalent of a publisher typing up a manuscript for a book. It's been exciting to finally put it together, because the different sections in my notebook are organized by the date I wrote them, not by the actual order of the music itself. In this way, I can see what gaps I have yet to complete. Most of the main "numbers" are complete: my introduction and theatre music; my "jazz number" that I've already gotten some comments on how jazzy it is; the ironically sentimental Satie bit; and three of the four Acts of the show are all complete. I have started sketching transitional music, which is fun because these sections are pretty much all written like cadenzas and will move very freely in-time with the film.

And that's the show! I'm hoping to spend next week potentially finishing drafting the score. Then, when at least the notes and tempos are all engraved, I can start attempting playing it with the film, and see what sections I will practice and what sections I will change. That's the nice thing about bringing my computer to the piano - I can essentially practice that section of music right now, and if I make a mistake, I can just change it in the Finale file!


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