Originally published on 19 February 2007 as “Monday Methodology: Musical Tools”.
Over the holidays, I allowed myself to get overcommited music-wise. Two scheduled vocal performances and one instrumental performance meant many rehearsals. Since rehearsal space is always at a premium, we could never guarantee that we would have a piano available for rehearsals.
Enter my trusty PDA, and a software title that saved the day.
The software, called Music, allows me to generate pitches as well as act as a basic metronome. This software allowed the vocal quartet to rehearse in classrooms while the main rehearsal space was being used. One pitch, and we were ready to go. One tap, and we had our tempo.
I did not originally download this software for this purpose. I had intended, and in fact, used it, to help me learn parts while on the go. This software allowed me to get a feel for tempo and to set pitches so that I could sing while I was driving. (Hey, we all sing along to the radio, why not use it as rehearsal time?)
As a side note (no pun intended), the software did manage to offset several disagreements about whether or not we were going too fast or too slow. This disagreement seems to pop up at every rehearsal, and for once, I was able to put the disagreement to rest by playing the marked tempo. Very nice!
Update January 2008:
This software is now living in my “archive” on my SD card. The reason is simply that we have found a rehearsal place (my home) that allows us access to full-sized metronomes and pitch devices (piano). But it stays on the PDA because I never know when I might need it.