[Guest Blog] What Music Preparation Is & Why TheaterMakers Need ItAug 25, 2022
Hey TheaterMakers. Meet Kevin Lynch. A freelance musician, transcriber & copyist, teacher, actor/comedian, writer, playwright, composer/lyricist, and provides a variety of music services in and around the New York/New Jersey area.
He has music directed, performed, accompanied, and coached ensembles, soloists, and performers and has had the privilege of working with Darren Criss and Kristin Chenoweth.
As a member of the American Federations of Musicians Local 802 and the Dramatist Guild of America, we’ve asked Kevin to share what he knows about music preparation and he delivered!
Check out what he shared below…
You have your musical script, have had several table readings, have been making strong connections in the musical theater world, but there is one thing missing with your musical... high-quality & ready-to-perform sheet music.
New writers often leave the daunting task of transcribing and formatting their piano vocal score and sheet music of their musical till the very last moment or when they are pressured to throw one together for a workshop or staged reading. The piano vocal score is paramount and ought to be treated like the script of your musical and without a properly formatted one, you risk losing valuable time, money, and precious resources.
A music preparation service can be an invaluable addition to a creative team. Music preparation includes services like, but isn't limited to:
- Generating and formatting consistent score & page layouts
- The ability to track changes, revisions and versions of a score as the show develops
- Incorporating stage direction and dialogue for music directors to lead the show
- Transcribing music from audio demos to notation software like Finale and Sibelius
- Creating instrument parts for orchestrations
Here are 5 reasons why hiring a music preparation service and committing your music to paper in the early stages of development are crucial.
Once you have a full score or piano vocal score, you can submit the PDF or printed sheet music to the U.S. Copyright Office to obtain a formal registration of your sheet music. Having a full score enables you to be able to fix your music in a tangible form of expression, in addition to audio recordings and demos. This is pivotal if you go to court for an infringement of your copyrights and need to defend your rights and work.
- Saves Valuable Rehearsal Time
Using a poorly created score can lead to frustration during music rehearsals, ambiguity for the performers and musicians, and raise redundant and easy-to-avoid music questions. Poorly prepared music causes interruptions in a music rehearsal and will waste valuable rehearsal time, cost you money, and cause the quality of the performance to suffer if detail is missing in the score and parts aren't prepared properly.
- Gives The Show A Music Foundation
Having well prepared sheet music can lay a great foundation for your musical and cuts out the guesswork for your performers. You can rest assured knowing that the score is well prepared and easy to amend if you make changes, cuts, additions, add a new song, and change keys. All of which happens in live theater and throughout the development process of a show.
- Easier To Develop
A musical is in a constant state of change. If measures have to be added for a scene change, entering the sheet music in notation software like Finale or Sibelius with industry standard page layouts and formatting can make changes easier without altering the look and feel of the score as your music director or rehearsal pianist performs it.
- Distribute The Score With Confidence
When you submit your script to be read by industry professionals, regional and university theaters, and producers, they expect a quality, formatted script that is easy to read. Not only does it help the reader picture and visualize your work, but it sets your show apart from the non-professional scripts. The same treatment is required for sheet music. Poor formatting, notes crashing into lyrics, improper lyric hyphenation, wrong chord symbols, and a sloppy looking score comes across as amateur and can help or hurt the future development of your show.
Sheet music you can rely on generated by music preparation professionals is paramount for the success of your show. It gives you the freedom to express the content without worrying about all the details when you can be focusing on the bigger picture. Your music director, cast, and production team will thank you for it!
Does this sound like something you need for your musical? Want to know more about music preparation?
Well you’re in luck because Kevin Lynch offers these sources for TheaterMakers!
When you sign into your account, go to Resource Menu > Partners Discount.
Then search the library (PC: Control + F / MAC: Command +F) to find the Kevin Lynch Music Services LLC. He offers services for your musicals like transcriptions, music copying, arrangements/orchestrations, compositions, backing tracks and more!
Tap the “Click Here” button to reach out to Kevin – and make sure to select TMS in the dropdown!