Stay cool

Hello! I hope those of you affected by the heat waves and "domes" this month are staying cool, literally and figuratively.

Now that the Practical Counterpoint​ course has officially concluded, we will start looking at a broader selection of topics in the Musicianship Workshop and Music Master Class in coming weeks. I know that a number of folks are still working on their fugues and I hope to be able to take a look at some more this week, but don't worry if you still need more time. I will start posting new material to work on next week, but I'll continue to make room for more fugues as people complete them!

Mastering MuseScore

If you are interested in getting the most out of the world's most popular music notation software, join our community with a Mastering MuseScore membership for the most comprehensive training & expert support available!

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, we explore the various types of notation found in jazz, rock, and pop music - some of which have also found their way into modern classical music, movie scores, etc. Chord symbols, slash notation, bends, and more - we'll look at what these notations mean, how to add them in MuseScore, and how to get the best playback for them.

The free MuseScore Café is live on Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT, or 17:30 during the winter months), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

Tip of the Week

Tablature notation for guitar and other similar stringed instruments is based on the idea of indicating notes according to the string and fret used rather than the pitch produced. Each pitch can potentially be played in as many different positions as the instrument has strings, and tablature lets you specify exactly which position should be used. If you then try to transpose a passage up or down using the standard pitch-based transpose tool, MuseScore may elect to change the string assignments rather than keeping the same string and only changing the fret. In this video post, I demonstrate how to use the Up/Down cursor keys to transpose a tablature passage while keeping the original string assignments.


If you are serious about learning music - theory, composition, improvisation, and more - become a Gold-level member and receive access to all of our music courses and workshops, as well as exclusive benefits like my weekly Office Hours, in addition to our acclaimed Mastering MuseScore resources.

Music Master Class

This week in the Music Master Class with Marc Sabatella, we will check out additional fugues completed as part of the Practical Counterpoint​ course, and we will discuss ideas for new projects.

The free Music Master Class is live on Thursday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT, or 17:30 during the winter months), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

In Theory

If you've heard much Baroque music, you've almost certainly encountered the Picardy third - a major chord that is used at the very end of an otherwise minor-key piece. In some ways, the practice can seem curious and a bit of a dated cliche to many today, but it's possible to use the idea with subtlety and make it work in a modern context. In this video post, I show a typical Baroque example from a Bach fugue, and then look at a passage from the popular jazz standard, "Alone Together".

Until next time, keep making music!
Marc Sabatella

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Outside Shore Music / Mastering MuseScore

My name is Marc Sabatella, and I am the founder of Outside Shore Music - a pioneer of online music education since the dawn of the web. As the creator of Mastering MuseScore, A Jazz Improvisation Primer, and other resources, I have dedicated most of my life to helping as many musicians as I can. Subscribe to my free newsletter for MuseScore tips, theory insights, and more information on how to create your best music!

Read more from Outside Shore Music / Mastering MuseScore

Hello! We are continuing our orchestration theme for the month of July. I have posted a demonstration and project in the Musicianship Workshop for Gold-level members, focusing on string textures. If you've ever wanted to work on your ability to write for orchestra or other instrumental ensembles, this is a great opportunity, and it's not too late to join us! Mastering MuseScore If you are interested in getting the most out of the world's most popular music notation software, join our...

Hello! Now that the counterpoint course is completed, I will be returning to the idea of monthly themes for the Musicianship Workshop and my various other resources and events. The theme for July will be orchestration - literally, the process of writing for an orchestra. But it's really a more general term having to do with arranging a composition for multiple instruments and all the decisions you have to make about which instruments play which notes at which time. Orchestration is a huge...

Hello! This week marks the official conclusion of the Practical Counterpoint course. Thanks to everyone who has taken part in this journey! On Thursday, we will be checking out the completed fugues (and works-in-progress) in Music Master Class and otherwise celebrating all we have accomplished, so I hope you can join us - and remember, these sessions are open to everyone.I will share more information shortly on what's next for the Musicianship Workshop (an exclusive benefit of Gold-level...