Musical accompaniments in the preparation of marimba concerti: a survey of selective interactive music software programs

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
George Daniel Frye (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Randy Kohlenberg

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the features of three interactive music software programs and their application in preparing marimba concerti. Specifically, the study evaluated Finale, NOTION, and SmartMusic for their viability in preparing Concerto No. 1 in D Minor for Marimba and Orchestra by Noah Taylor. A review of the literature relating to interactive music software programs revealed a lack of studies examining the use of these types of programs in the preparation of marimba concerti. All three software programs were installed on a 15-inch MacBook Pro computer that met system requirements for all three programs. Documentation indicated that all three interactive music software programs offered viable alternatives to preparing marimba concerti with piano reductions. Finale and NOTION provided comparable instrument sounds in terms of quantity and quality. Finale improved its instrument sound quality and quantity through its integrated Garritan Instruments sound library. NOTION offered improved sound quality and quantity through the purchase of Sound Expansion Kits. Finale’s Tempo Tap feature and NOTION’s NTempo function provided real-time tempo adjustment and the Audio Mixer mechanism for both programs allowed the user to isolate instruments. SmartMusic offered comparable instrument realizations through its SoftSynth device. The program, however, did not offer a tempo control feature that was compatible with marimba. Also, SmartMusic’s export options and Practice Loop feature allowed the user to effectively isolate instruments. Further research recommendations included empirical studies examining the benefits of interactive music software programs on the preparation of marimba concerti and applying earlier studies performed on the Vivace interactive music software program to current music software programs. Descriptive study recommendations included investigating the applications of interactive music software in the preparation of orchestral percussion excerpts and marimba concertos with wind ensemble, percussion ensemble, or chamber ensemble accompaniments.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Finale 2009, NOTION 2.2, SmartMusic
Marimba and electronic music.
Computer composition.
Composition (Music) $v Software.
Computer sound processing $v Software.
Digital audio editors.
Sound $x Recording and reproducing $v Software.
Musical notation $v Software.

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