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Resources for creating leadsheets

The following are resources that might be useful when creating a jazz leadsheet.

Song Indexes

* The fakebook tune index at Seventhstring.com is a very comprehensive and user-friendly index of many commercial and non-commercial fakebooks. It can be useful to compare various existing leadsheets when making one of your own.
https://www.seventhstring.com/fbindex.html

Other indexes:
https://library.buffalo.edu/music/collections/fake-book/
Several other fakebook indexes are listed at the bottom of the following page:
The Joy of Fakebooks

Song Lists

* The website JazzStandards.com has a list of the top 1000 most commonly recorded jazz tunes (a mix of popular song standards and jazz pieces written specifically for jazz performance). The website doesn't say exactly how the recordings used as the data set were chosen (for example, whether or not "jazz adjacent" artists like Frank Sinatra were included), but the resulting list will certainly be recognizable to anyone familiar with the mainstream jazz repertoire as it was played and recorded from the 1920s to the 1960s. This group's "transcription plan" is based on the top 100 songs on this list.
http://www.jazzstandards.com/compositions/index.htm 

JazzStandards.com also has articles and book reviews, including articles like "Performance Practice vs. Composer’s Intention" and "Harmony and Form of Jazz Standards" that would be of interest to people learning about how to document a tune in a leadsheet.
http://www.jazzstandards.com/theory/overview.htm

* The website Cafe Songbook has a "Catalog of The Great American Songbook" that documents several hundred songs commonly performed by jazz and cabaret artists, giving composer details and background information on them in many cases. They don't claim to have any kind of criteria for inclusion beyond the judgment of the editors (unlike JazzStandards.com, which has a list based on how frequently songs made it to commercial recordings). 
http://greatamericansongbook.net/pages/cat_pages/title.html

Background Information

* The Joy of Fakebooks (web page): This is an illustrated historical overview of fakebooks, written by Bob Keller, going back to "Tune-Dex" cards used by gigging musicians of the 1940s. 
https://www.cs.hmc.edu/~keller/jazz/TheJoyOfFakebooks.htm

This page also contains a link to a Google Docs spreadsheet by Keller that ranks fakebooks by all kinds of criteria. For example:
# number of tunes
# consistency of layout
# presence of song verses (introductory sections)
# readabilty
# chord substitutions
...and many others. 

The spreadsheet reviews some 120 fakebooks. Just by reading the criteria Keller uses to evaluate fakebooks, you can learn a lot about what stylistic decisions you will be making as you put together a leadsheet. 
http://spreadsheets1.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?hl=en_US&key=tqfLbKzNkWhtm4GW97PljIw&hl=en_US#gid=0

* "It’s Time to Get Rid of Your Real Book" (blog post)
Experienced jazz musicians are well aware of the fact that the original 1970s Real Book has many errors in the charts. But younger musicians, and musicians in places where jazz is not very common, might not know this. This blog post makes the case that it's time to get rid of the Real Book and use other, more accurate alternatives when learning jazz tunes (or creating a lead sheet yourself).
http://blog.danreitz.com/?p=1128

Musescore Tools

Chord Symbol Voicings for Playback - This resource created by Marc Sabatella provides you with  copy and paste chord voicings that you can use in in your own score to get basic chord symbol playback. Leave a comment below if you have incorporated chord playback into a lead sheet (successfully or unsuccessfully), and tell us the way you went about it.


Tutorials

* A two-part tutorial exists for creating a leadsheet in MuseScore. This tutorial was written by Marc Sabatella prior to the release of the 2.0 software, and is slightly out of date (particularly regarding the need for plugins), but most of the information remains current.
https://musescore.org/en/node/11723 (Part 1: The Basics)
https://musescore.org/en/node/11726 (Part 2: Advanced Topics)

Marc is responsible for coding many of the nice features currently available in MuseScore for creating jazz charts, including the software's jazz chord symbol features. Marc also wrote a user guide to Musescore 2.0 (Mastering MuseScore), if you want to get something a little more refined than the community-authored user guide on MuseScore.org. Marc tirelessly answers new users' questions (including many of mine) on the MuseScore.org forums. His MuseScore user's manual is available for puchase here: 
https://masteringmusescore.com/go/books/

* Poor Butterfly and 'What Makes a Good Chart?' (blog post): In this two-part article, Peter Spitzer offers guidance on the art of creating a successful 'vanilla' leadsheet, using the standard 'Poor Butterfly' as an example. He starts with the original 1916 sheet music, then moves on to discuss leadsheets and chord changes published by Hal Leonard, Jamey Aebersold, Ralph Patt, and Dick Hyman. He then looks at the chord changes used on recordings by several jazz greats, comparing these arrangements to the leadsheet chords. It's an excellent demonstration of the kind of analysis and background research that can be used to create an accurate, general-purpose leadsheet that reflects both the composer's intentions and jazz as it is actually played in the real world. It's also very similar to the process used by the music editor of Chuck Sher's New Real Book series for putting together jazz charts of traditional popular songs, as described in Vol. 1 of that series.
http://peterspitzer.blogspot.com/2012/06/poor-butterfly-and-what-makes-good.html (part 1)
http://peterspitzer.blogspot.com/2012/06/poor-butterfly-and-what-makes-good_07.html (part 2)  
 
Jazz Theory

* Jazz musician and educator Stuart Smith has put his text Jazz Theory: 4th Revised Edition online for free. This text can be useful when you are trying to understand and make decisions about things like enharmonic equivalents  (e.g. "Is this chord a D#7 or an Eb7? Why does it matter?")
http://www.cs.uml.edu/~stu/JazzTheory.pdf  (.pdf file)

* The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine (Sher Music Co.). Available for purchase at Amazon and many other books stores and music stores. "A required text in universities world-wide, translated into five languages, endorsed by Jamey Aebersold, James Moody, Dave Liebman, etc." says the Amazon copy. Also recommended by jazz pianist and educator Billy Taylor and this group's Paul Ukena.
https://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Theory-Book-Mark-Levine-ebook/dp/B004KA9UX4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532956037&sr=8-1&keywords=jazz+theory+book+levine&pldnSite=1

* Jazz Theory Resources (Volumes 1 & 2) by Burt Ligon (Houston Publishing, Inc.) is another well-reviewed resource for jazz theory.
https://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Theory-Resources-Bert-Ligon/dp/0634038613/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532985698&sr=1-1&keywords=Bert+Ligon+-+JAZZ+THEORY+RESOURCES

* MuseScore's own Marc Sabatella has written a book titled The Harmonic Language of Jazz Standards that may be useful to helping you understand why certain harmonies or chord substitutions are used by practicing jazz musicians, and what chords to choose when creating a leadsheet. Marc is a college-level jazz educator, and an excellent writer and communicator. His book is available for purchase here:
https://outsideshore.com/product/the-harmonic-language-of-jazz-standards/

Scores online

If you have an interest in popular songs written prior to 1960 (which most jazz musicians do!), there are many online collections of sheet music, including the following: 
https://library.stanford.edu/music/digital-scores
https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/search/index?filters%5Btype%5D=notated+music&keywords= 
https://www.loc.gov/collections/historic-sheet-music/about-this-collection/
http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/SheetMusic
http://library.indstate.edu/rbsc/kirk/popsong.html

Most online archives feature only public-domain works, which in the United States tends to mean works published prior to 1923 (so, a few early-jazz age pop standards like "After You've Gone" and "Alexander's Ragtime Band", but don't expect to find "All the Things You Are" or "'Round Midnight")

Miscellaneous

* "Review: The Story of Fake Books and the 6th Edition Real Book": A book review on Jazz musican and writer Peter Spitzer's blog concerning two works: a book chronicling the history of fakebooks, and the Hal Leonard Real Book (6th Ed.). Interesting nuggets taken from the history book included the fact that there was no known 4th edition of the Real Book (the 5th edition was apparently produced by parties not responsible for the first three Real Book volumes), and the fact that the FBI investigated the publication of the Real Book.
http://peterspitzer.blogspot.com/2011/04/review-story-of-fake-books-and-6th.html

* "The Vocabulary of Tin Pan Alley Explained" (journal article): A 1949 glossary of terminology related to the popular sheet music industry, with a few definitions related to jazz (including 'leadsheet', and one for the brand-new movement of be-bop). One amusing footnote: around the time this article was published, Downbeat had a contest to see who could come up with the best name to replace the old-fashioned term "jazz". The winner received $1000 ($10,000+ in 2018 dollars). The winning entry? "Crew-cut".
https://photos.app.goo.gl/KS3tUMUF57YFYvP78

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More resources to be added to this list as I come across them. Suggestions are welcomed.

Solo transcriptions

Hello everyone! I am a professional improvising sax player (mainly tenor sax). Created this group to post sax solo transcriptions synchronized with youtube videos/audios.

Have posted first 2 solos - check out them in "sheet music" section of the group, here they are:
https://musescore.com/user/27845251/scores/4993696
https://musescore.com/user/27845251/scores/5008464

Please feel free to post solos transcribed by you and sync them with original recordings on YouTube.

See the post below on synchronizing scores with youtube videos/audios

List of uploaded Big Band Scores

Artie Shaw - Begin The Beguine https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4838425
Artie Shaw - Moonglow https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5157250
Benny Goodman - Bugle Call Rag https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/5013328
Benny Goodman - Don't Be That Way https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5040076
Benny Goodman - King Porter Stomp https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4888735
Benny Goodman - Let's Dance https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5056650
Benny Goodman - Sing Sing Sing https://musescore.com/firefly_1026/scores/4488746
Benny Goodman - Stompin' At The Savoy https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/4978025
Bob Crosby - March of The Bobcats https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5384690
Bob Crosby - Muskrat Ramble https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5652370
Charlie Barnet - Cherokee https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5375044
Charlie Barnet - Skyliner https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5152338
Count Basie - 920 Special https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5429209
Count Basie - One O'Clock Jump https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/5015851
Count Basie - Swinging The Blues https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5402187
Count Basie - Topsy https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5469141
Duke Ellington - Cotton Tail https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5625439
Duke Ellington - Don't Get Around Much Anymore https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5036429
Duke Ellington - Perdido  https://musescore.com/user/32889124/scores/5685436
Duke Ellington - Take The A Train https://musescore.com/firefly_1026/scores/4798345
Fletcher Henderson - Christopher Columbus https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5403489
Glenn Miller - A String Of Pearls https://musescore.com/firefly_1026/scores/4069741
Glenn Miller - American Patrol https://musescore.com/firefly_1026/scores/4827801
Glenn Miller - Chattanooga Choo Choo https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/4990560
Glenn Miller - In The Mood https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4834474
Glenn Miller - Little Brown Jug https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5018623
Glenn Miller - Moonlight Serenade https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/4908130
Glenn Miller - Song Of The Volga Boatmen https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4835592
Glenn Miller - Tuxedo Junction https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5066591
Harry James - Ciribiribin https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5389157
Harry James - You Made Me Love You https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5380116
Tommy Dorsey - I'm Getting Sentimental Over You https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5164668
Tommy Dorsey - Opus One https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5383955
Tommy Dorsey - On The Sunny Side Of The Street https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4882152
Tommy Dorsey - Song Of India https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5055557

Transposing standards

You can easily transpose any standard found here using MuseScore notation software:
1) Download the score
2) Check out the links on "how to transpose":
a) If you need to actually transpose:
https://musescore.org/en/handbook/transposition#by-key - our handook
https://musescore.org/en/node/11708 - short howto video
b) If you need not to transpose, but just to make a part for transposing instrument (i.e. saxophone, clarinet, etc.):
https://help.musescore.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000367469-Making-sheet-music-for-transposing-instrument
3) That's it!)

The Best of Laugh Silly Each Month Contest

I'd like to try something fun in my new role as co-administrator of Laugh Silly. Each Month, I will name the best laugh-inducing, silly composition submitted during the month, at least according to me and then post the winners here.
You are also welcome to nominate what you think are the best of the month, also.

August 2016......

musical chairs competition

here is an idea for a new competition
someone will start a composition with maybe 5-10 bars and then another person will continue it for another 5-10 measures, and then the next person and so on until the game will unexpectedly end (the music stops, in other words) and the last one to enter when the music stops (as determined randomly by the one running the competition) wins.
any takers or anyone want to start a piece?

musescore 2.01 comments

I realize there is likely a discussion of this elsewhere but decided to have my own discussion to keep track of issues. you are welcome to add your own comments of course.

notice that some compositions created in the older version don't open in the newer one, says they are corrupted. I realize my music is very corrupt but musescore could have been a little nicer about it all. that is just plain mean.

notice that the violin sounds a lot better, more pleasant ( I won't say it sounds more like a real violin being played because then it would sound worse, if I was playing anyway)

but also notice that the overall sound seems very quiet. I have to turn the computer volume up really high. and then if I forget and play something with the older version, I am deafened. yowza!

wonder how music made with this new version plays at the online musescore site, or does the sound balance get messed up as it does now…

haven't found how to do some things… seems they changed the layout a bit.

DYDD, The Opera

The following is a synopsis of an opera about the DYDD, Downy Yellow Dingle Dork for those of you who still do not know. (see http://chinadoll123.wix.com/dingle-dork1 and https://musescore.com/groups/the-downy-yellow-dingle-dork-extinction-group and also https://musescore.com/user/266756). Any suggestions or comments are welcome (other than "don't do it") and anyone who would be willing to collaborate or otherwise help in any degree on this project is most welcome. Although it may have taken Rossini only 13 days (supposedly, I also heard 40 days) to write the "Barber of Seville," I am no Rossini of course and this project, if it ever gets done (no, don't start off negatively! be positive) will likely take more like 13 months to put together (being realistic, no?) Anyway, I welcome any comments as always. Thank you, music lovers.

Synopsis of the dydd opera

An opera in Three acts
Patterned after the magic flute
Themes are right to life, preservation, tolerance, freedom

Overture- a medley of the opera tunes
First act
We see the members of the secret audobon discussing the dydd. They sing of the reasons why the dydd must be made extinct and of their plans for its capture and extermination. This should be done very comically.
We then meet some isolated folks who want to save the dydd. These folks each have their own melody and they meet and sing a medley of their individual tunes.
They decide to form the knughts of dingle dork. This introduces the theme of the knughts and their motto.
We get a fleeting glimpse of the shadow of the dydd which introduces its theme briefly. Then we hear its cawing mocking laugh as it flees the pursuing secret audobon
Act one ends with the knughts singing on one side and the secret audobon singing on the pther side their competing themes and aims.
The act ends with both groups expressing frustration at not being able to capture it and we agin hear the dydd’s cawing laugh as the curtain closes.

Second act
This act begins with the chase music as the secret audobon sets its traps and then falls into their own traps.
We then get introduced to the dydd and it sings its tune.it sings about its life and how important and beautiful it is although it Is lonely since there are no other dydds. It can also sing its signature theme.
The knughts then chase after the dydd and they do many comical face plants and capture a dydd doll.
The dydd has many adventures in its travels to other lands. Th act ends with its discovery of pacificus and its capture by the Inhabitants.

Act 3
The third act is the resolution of everything.
As the act opens, we learn about pacificus and the dydd meets a female dydd and sings its love song. It realizes its importance in the world through discovering its history in the land of pacificus.
Meanwhile the secret audobon and the knughts have a showdown and manage to capture each other in their traps.
The act ends with everyone in traps or tied up and the dydd comes center stage and proudly sings its victory song. The female dydd cones out to join it and they sing a duet. Then all the baby dydds join them onstage and everyone sings the grand fanale.