Profile PictureMichele Galvagno

Artistic Score Engraving — June 2022 Newsletter

Dear all,

Welcome to the June 2022 instalment of my monthly newsletter. I hope that, wherever you are in the world, you are healthy, safe, and can proudly fight against all the speculations that are plaguing our society. All we can do is to try to make the little corner of world around us a bit better every day. We need to help each other become better people, feed ourselves with art and music, and share positive energy to those in need around us.

I am extremely bitter about the current world politics, yet I have decided not to talk about that in this place this time. You come here to read about music, about engraving beautiful scores, about improving your cello playing and teaching.

What have I been up to?

The month of May is always a hectic one for us teachers. Plenty of student concerts to organise, rehearsals to follow, arrangements to make. In just a few days, we will have an exhibition dedicated to Italian writer and pedagogue Gianni Rodari (1920-1980). We created a fairy tale featuring a little boy called “Giovannino” (Rodari's first name was “Giovanni”), told by an actor on the scene, and accompanied by our school’s orchestra and choir, in 23 scenes! Around 100 kids will be on stage next Sunday, and I did my best to prepare the scores for our students.

All this, while continuing my daily engraving work, and preparing new editions for you to enjoy. I am also proud to finally announce that I have officially joined the roster of engravers of Donemus Publishing, a music publisher from the Netherlands. I first contacted them when I discovered that they dedicated most of their work to contemporary music, my main field of expertise. Other publishers are taking care of contemporary music, but they are called Ricordi, Schott, Barenreiter, and, like all big companies, you have no chance of ever working for them if you do not personally know somebody inside. Your level, the quality you could bring to their team, matters less than nothing! I will now resist the temptation of surrendering to bitterness, I am better than the suffering their pompous replies tried to impose onto me.

I have completed the engraving of that massive work for HNE Rights, the three sonatas for two cellos by Johannes Stiastny (1784-1826) and am now waiting for the next assignment (or, rather, for instructions to complete a few other open projects).

Finally, I have been able to complete the second edition of the Dotzauer Project, as I promised I would do in the previous newsletter. More on this below.

Sibelius template for clarinet fingerings: almost there!

This project has been slowly but steadily progressing, and I have now reached a section where the author lists a series of flashcards. Here is an example from the book:

Once the SIB file is completed, I could create flashcards in InDesign or Illustrator and distribute them in that format. Please let me know what you think about this, as a string player, I have no idea of how and if this could be useful for clarinet players.

I am investing a few minutes per day on this project, simply because I believe in it. When it will be over, I will create a free version that, I hope, will at least see some adoption and feedback.

If you would like to check this project, even if it is not yet completed, you can find it here. Thank you.

Dotzauer Project: second edition published

I cannot express strongly enough how relieved I am to have completed this project. I clearly have overestimated my strengths with this and, while I have eventually been able to deliver an outstanding quality, the process has utterly drained me. Some smaller editions are needed to bring my spirits back up!

The Twenty-four Exercises for Two Cellos, Op. 159, accompany the previous edition (Twelve Original Pieces for Two Cellos, Op. 58, which you can find here) in delivering incredibly useful learning materials for cello students. These thirty-six duets complete the series dedicated to the first four positions of the cello’s left hand. From the next publication, we will take off towards new heights.

Instead of duplicating content, I suggest you read my deep-dive article on the process I went through while creating this edition, alongside a short analysis of each of the twenty-four exercises. You can find it here.

To secure your copy of this little gems, please follow this link (or use the discount below if you have received this through the subscription system on Gumroad).

Marcello Sonatas: update coming soon

Few days ago I have completed the second pass of all six sonatas, to check whether the fingering and bowing suggestions added during the first pass were any goods. I changed about 10-20% of them in this second pass, and I have started today the third and, hopefully, final pass. Once that is done, I will submit them to my teacher and see what he thinks of them. Subsequently, I will correct the very few mistakes I have found in the current version of the edition, and create a new version with our suggestions. This will come for free to everyone who has already purchased the edition, and will become an add-on for future buyers. That is to say that, if you’ve already secured your copy, your purchase will be upgraded to the tier containing also the new annotated version, at no extra cost.

You can find Benedetto Marcello’s Six Sonatas for cello and basso at this link.

Catalogue

My catalogue is always available here, and it will be up-to-date with the latest additions by the time you receive this newsletter.

Learning path

I am almost done with the course on the Adobe Photoshop essentials, and thus just one course away from getting my “Becoming a Graphic Designer” diploma from LinkedIn Learning. It’s being so challenging to keep up with all these things at once, but it’s the only way I can keep growing. Whenever I get a few spare minutes, I open Adobe Animate and practice with one of the in-app tutorials. This is because I will probably have to use this software in an upcoming project, and cannot be totally unprepared.

During May, I have completed the Apple Teacher learning path to Keynote (the equivalent of PowerPoint, if you want), and I have decided to use it to create learning materials for my theory students for the next school-year. I have noticed how they are mesmerised when I connect my external display to the iPad at school, and how visualising things on a screen improves their learning. I am also concerned, though: when I was little, there was no screen, and yet, I learned things pretty well. Not only that, but I am afraid all this “addiction” to screens will impact our children’s ability to nurture their imagination. Only time will tell, of course, but it is something to be careful about.

Besides this, I have kept beavering away with learning how to code for macOS, using Objective-C as a language. It is so interesting to see how that language simply became Swift, while everything was already in there. This is just a hobby, of course, but it is also helping me develop a programmatic mindset, which is proving crucial in my everyday work.

Unfortunately, I have had to pause my learning of the C Programming Language and the blog series that came with it. There is simply not enough time for that as well.

What’s next?

After the exhausting endeavour that this new Dotzauer edition has been, I need to have a few cooler projects in front of me, all-the-while continuing to copy new duets for future editions. Fortunately, this was the only collection with twenty-four duets! My current plans are to complete the design of the piano reduction of Goltermann’s Fourth Cello Concerto (whose already published versions you can find here), and a collection of caprices for solo cello that I have started too much ago to leave it in the dark. I also hope to release a short piece by Alfredo Piatti.

The next newsletter will see what I managed to do!

One more thing!

This is a small request I have for all those who already purchased any product from the Gumroad store: please, go to your library, select the product and leave it a starred review (5 is appreciated, but please do so only if you think I deserve it!). Why am I asking this? Gumroad has a promotion system called Discover, and products are eligible for the system ONLY if they received at least one review. I would like to avoid having to send emails to beg for a rating, but it appears that this is something we all forget to do when purchasing digital products. I would therefore be deeply grateful to you if you could help me in this way! Thank you!


And that’s it for this month! If you follow me, and received this in your e-mail inbox, you will find below a list of all my products with a 5% discount code already applied. If you don’t, please subscribe here, and you will get your personal codes in a few days.

As always, thank you for reading through this update, and let me know your thoughts, your suggestions, and critiques, as I read and react to all of them.

I wish you all the best

Yours,

Michele Galvagno

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