Orchestra Practice Tracks

February 11, 2019, 12:03 AM · My choir is always asking for practice tracks for the works we do.

This is fine and well and is literally in my contract to provide, but as I struggle with some of the bits in Beethoven's 5th I wonder if anyone has considered going into the market for orchestral practice tracks. You can find the standard audition excerpts if you look a bit, but what about the entire second movement?

Professionals don't need them, but I wonder if there might be a market among amateurs.

It isn't something perfect as bowing and individual decisions made by conductors change things, tempo among them, but it might be something to consider to give people something to play along with that is more isolated than just a recording of the entire symphony.

Thoughts? I genuinely don't know if this is something I'd ever use on a personal level, but as I had the thought I figured I'd share and get all of yours as well.

Replies (4)

February 11, 2019, 12:28 AM · I remember coming across a community orchestra that did something like this for its members (not in my area, just saw the orchestra's website). IIRC, they had someone enter the score into notation software and generated synthesized practice tracks.
Edited: February 11, 2019, 12:36 AM · Andrew,

Guilty on two counts - I make my choral tracks this way as my singing intonation is not reliable enough to act as a model for entire pieces in 4 parts. At least not compared to the time sink it would be - I can enter them into Sibelius once and then can create tracks at various tempos, and the intonation will always be spot on and in the correct register! (You don't want to hear me try sop 1!)

I've also been guilty of doing this for small bits of orchestral works to help get the rhythm. I can work with a metronome as well as the next person but sometimes it's just easier to hear exactly what you need to play in isolation, then play it back a few times.

February 11, 2019, 7:41 AM · Try Tomplay. It's got a fairly good library.
February 11, 2019, 10:34 PM · Thanks Lydia - it seems someone has already run with the idea.

It wouldn't exist if there wasn't a demand.


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