SmarterMusic Thought Of The Day – Atonal Expansion

Your SmarterMusic Thought Of The Day: [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

A brief Quick’n’Dirty 10-step Arranging guide

So maybe you don’t want to peruse the multitude of articles right now, and you just want fast and easy directions of how to do an a cappella arrangement. Will do, but here’s the caveat- this is just one way of going about an arrangement. I would recommend reading the other articles on this website […]

Cheap in the City

For those of you who like hearing good music, never fear the bargains! In any city, good music is only a rush ticket or partial-view seat away.


This is a classic short film which won the Academy Award, and has a very interesting soundtrack to say the least: The creator and composer is Norman McLaren, who apparently cut little wedges and nicks into the side of the film to create the score!  I would be curious to know how he managed to […]

Elvis Sings Amazing Grace

Pretty stellar stuff here — gospel with Elvis.  His roots were deep in the gospel tradition, and his success was largely due to his ability to sing in “black” styles while being socially acceptable to the white audience of the day.  Race has defined America in so many ways; this recording is well-suited to meditate […]

Arranging for Co-Ed Groups: Range and Voicing

Boys and girls, high and low, with every voice specialized like a well-run machine…ahh. Hopefully the group you’re arranging for is already balanced in terms of boys and girls, but make sure you know when you’re making a custom arrangement. It would blow if you wrote a SSAATTB part for a group that has no […]

Make Mine Freedom!

A rather excellent YouTube video, detailing the dangers of the “isms” and the wonders of American Freedom!  The music within is pretty classic soundtrack music of the era — very influenced by the art music of the period, but also much more likely to be enjoyable to the ears of the audience.  Have we lost […]

Stealing is great

The best way to get better at your craft is study the work of others and practice. And steal. There was a whole phase in contemporary music when quoting famous pieces was in vogue. The art of “mashup” is when your material is, essentially, other people’s stuff (plug for Girl Talk; I never danced harder […]

Paganini vs. Paul Gilbert

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it’s missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe. Man, I love Paul Gilbert. Stupid-fast metal guitar always appeals to that pick wielding side of me, and he has such a sense of humor about it. […]

Arranging for Co-ed groups, Introduction

If you’re lucky enough to scrabble together a handful of boys and girls to hold productive rehearsals amidst incredible sexual tension, creating unique and engaging arrangements are going to be a piece of cake. Co-ed groups not only have the advantages of a ready pool of datable singers, but the vocal range and palette of […]