MusicDictionary2

Contrafactum: What’s That?

A lesser-known musical term, contrafactum, refers to a song in which the melody is similar or even identical to another song yet contains different lyrics. One of the most popular examples of contrafacta are “What Child is This” and “Greensleeves.” While the lyrics convey very different meanings, the melody remains the same for both. There are several reasons for why a composer would choose to repeat one melody across two different pieces. Often times, the composer has chosen to reuse the melody from another piece because it brings together the beginning and end of a show. For example, “Come to Me,” also known as “Fantine’s Death,” is sung in the first
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-POP

Tips to Keep You Cool While Playing Hot Summer Gigs + Win a Musicnotes.com Water Bottle & Tee

Festivals, farmers’ markets, garden parties, weddings and sporting events, whether you’re playing under the hot sun or a hazy moon, summertime is prime for outdoor gigs. Unlike the more temperate (climate controlled) indoor venues, there are additional considerations to keep both your body and instrument in prime condition while playing on hot summer days. We’ve put together a quick list of the 5 most essential tips for outdoor summer gigs. Read to the end and enter to win a limited-edition Musicnotes.com Contigo™ reusable water bottle and cool t-shirt! (Note: This contest has ended and winners have been notified via email. Thanks to everyone who entered!) 1. Hydrate Proper hydration is essential
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Choosing the Perfect Audition Piece for You

Tips on how to do well at an audition are more or less universal, but the perfect audition piece is not. (Check out our Updated: 40+ Songs for Stage and Show Auditions blog post.) Each individual musician is different just as every performance of a piece varies ever so slightly from the one previous. There is no “one-size-fits-all” audition piece. Not saying it wouldn’t be nice, but it just doesn’t exist. There isn’t a perfected audition piece that will work for everyone the same. There is, however, a uniquely perfect audition piece for you. Musicnotes.com is here to help guide you through three basic steps to take when selecting the
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Lauren Daigle

Q&A with GMA Dove Awards ‘New Artist of the Year,’ Lauren Daigle!

To say 2015 was a breakout year for CCM pop/rock sensation Lauren Daigle would be an understatement. Daigle’s debut full-length album, ‘How Can It Be,’ shot to #1 on the Christian album charts and #16 on Billboard’s top albums chart for all genres. Featuring the lead single by the same name, ‘How Can It Be,’ earned Daigle “Song of the Year” at the 2015 GMA Dove Awards, and Daigle was awarded “New Artist of the Year” that same night. Daigle graciously took time out of her whirlwind schedule and musical appearances to answer a few of Musicnotes’ most pressing questions, including what inspires her as a writer, how she feels about others playing her
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Ask a Music Publisher

What YOU Should Know About Music Publishing, with Sean Flahaven of Warner/Chappell Music

Downloading sheet music to play instantly is easy as can be, right? Did you know that before a song makes its way to the huge Musicnotes.com catalogue, joining more than 300,000 other instantly available works, it first takes a journey through a legal process, a proofing process and a technological process? Today, we’re going to focus on the legal part of sheet music publishing with our first-ever Ask a Music Publisher post, with guest expert Sean Flahaven of Warner/Chappell Music. In addition to writing and performing music, there are so many other musical fields that allow you and I to enjoy playing the songs we love. In the most simplistic
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10 Signs Your Bandmate Might be Crushing on You

Cupid’s arrow can strike anywhere, even in the rehearsal room. Have you noticed a little extra attention being thrown your way by a fellow bandmate? Do you think he or she might be interested in harmonizing outside of the band room? Check out our top 10 signs your bandmate has a crush on you below! #10 Your brass-playing beau or boo may also turn down the ick-factor by using the far more charming term ‘water key.’ #9 You’ve most likely built up your tubaist muscles already, why not give someone else the opportunity? #8 If your crush-er is a timpanist, that ‘glance’ might be more of an extended gaaaaaze. #7 Not familiar
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Benefits of Playing Music Infographic

Learn The Many Ways That Music Benefits Your Mind – Fun Animated Infographic

As musicians, we appreciate a vast array of music benefits that come from playing and practicing. For some of us, music helps to relax us. For others, it helps to pep us up! Sitting down at the piano or picking up our violin can offer a fun diversion, or it can challenge you in unique ways. Aside from the general pleasure we get out of practicing and performing, learning and playing music has proven benefits when it comes to mental, cognitive and emotional health as well. For example, did you know that playing music increases memory, coordination, and can actually alter your brain’s structure? School students who study music are
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Books

By Song and By Book, Our 10 Favorite Lit-Inspired Musical Arrangements

The great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius wrote “music begins where the possibilities of language end.” As proud music nerds and book nerds,  we’re often reminded of how literature has served as an inspirational source for composers and songwriters throughout history. In celebration of National Library Week, we’re exploring the rich relationship between music and the written word with our top arrangements of downloadable sheet music inspired by literature and books. A prized book and a great song often incorporate many of the same storytelling elements: a compelling plot, an intentional cadence, and an emotional resolution. Paperback writers and piano men alike use universal human conditions to pull at our heartstrings and
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Voice audition edit

What It’s Like to Audition for The Voice + Recommended Vocal Audition Sheet Music

“For me, it was just something fun,” said Chuck P. of his decision to audition for The Voice a couple of weeks ago. A vocalist/keyboardist in a very popular local cover band by night and Musicnotes’ go-to guy by day, our ‘Chuck-of-all-trades’ sat down to share his experience auditioning for The Voice, and offer his suggestions regarding which supplies to bring, how to prepare and what to expect when getting ready for your own talent show vocal audition. When Chuck heard that The Voice was holding first-round auditions in Chicago, just a short drive from Musicnotes headquarters in Madison, Wis., he figured he’d fill out an application and make a
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