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JOS 220C Projects

Classical Guitar Part for Handel's "Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me?"

I love doing "classical covers", and this is my typical workflow:

1. See if a Printed Score and/or MIDI file are available:

  • Web Search (without quotes): "Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? handel midi"
  • First search result is fine
  • Also download a score PDF if available, or make one from the MIDI
  • Open `osleep.mid` in Logic Pro X
  • Play it and watch the score to see that it's ok, which it is
  • Edit as desired to make it look and sound better (set the key, choose instruments, add effects, etc.)

2. Learn the music like a guitar player :-)

  • Switch the bass to treble clef and transpose it up two octaves to make it look like a guitar part
  • Play the bass along with the playback until I more or less have the structure (use loops to scrub tricky parts)
  • Write out the chord chart (by hand)
  • Play along in free form on guitar
  • Converge toward a nice guitar accompaniment for vocalist and bass (for Elena's project)

3. I am normally arranging for my "band" consisting nowadays of an imaginary drummer, bass, guitar (me), one or more synths, and often a featured soloist (voice, flute, violin, etc.):

  • Settle on a final tempo, key, and parts (MIDI editing)
  • Record each part myself using a synth patch for each one (normally sticking to Logic instruments so everyone else has the same instruments and effects)
  • This is now my "demo" for the band (the original MIDI can be muted forever)
  • In reality, the "band" may be just me and a flute player, or the like, and we play live to a Logic playback (or bounds) with our respective tracks muted
  • In the lucky event of a full band, we all play our parts and Logic can take a rest (and we are more free with tempo and vibe, etc.)

My workflow for original music is similar, but without the initial MIDI and/or score. The parts can accumulate in any order, and I try to work on one musical segment at a time, but don't fail to capture your ideas in some form immediately.