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Discussion Starter #1
We all seem to, at one time or another, look for the sax part for songs, only to have your search come up empty. Either they don't exist, your search is incomplete, or no one saw, or no one answered your query.

The music must be out there somewhere. Is it legal issues as to why the music is not readily available? Not enough people are interested to make it profitable?
I know there are lots of people who have the ability to transcribe for a price, your request. I've considered it, but am a bit gunshy as I don't know if what I will be getting is correct or not.

I've re-discovered 2 songs from a jazz album I played to death in high school, Louis Bellson Explosion, 2 songs in particular, Beyond Category and Open Your Window.

Just curious if anyone has any definitive explanation as to why sheets are hard to come by.

thx - Craig
 

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What, you expect FREE sheet music? Seriously?

You can generally buy the scores to jazz band tunes from jwpepper for like $10 if you really want a song. But it really sounds like you just want stuff for free.....which would be illegal in most cases.
 

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Note: You will NEVER know whether what you're getting is going to be correct...until you get it...period. Even professional music publishers don't always get it right.

The first problem is that most people don't know how to use a search engine for the most efficient search. Some of us can find just about anything out there, but there are a lot of tricks involved in defining the search parameters in order to do so. Too many to go into here.

The second problem...yes...it is usually legal issues that make good transcriptions hard to find...especially if you want something for FREE.

Profitability is also a problem. Many of the publishers who own the rights to so many of the tunes you may be looking for either want too much money, or they can't be bothered by the small amount of profit they would make if they did make them available at a price that most people would be willing to pay. If they can't make enough profit, or if the volume demand isn't high enough, they're not going to bother. It's all about the almighty Dollar...or Euro...or whatever currency you may be using.
 

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Regarding transcriptions, I think the market would just be too small for anyone to make a buck on.

You're starting out with a group of potential customers who are interested enough to study transcribed solos BUT not interested enough to do their own transcriptions. Then that small group of people have their interest spread out over thousands of possible solos (drill down through instrument, player and then finally a specific solo). The market for any particular solo transcription wouldn't be big enough to make it worthwhile as a commercial venture (I don't think).

Regarding something like a fake book with more contemporary material than the existing real books: apart from the copyright issue, again I suspect you might be up against the fact that many people interested in playing those tunes will just do their own transcriptions.

The market is completely different for 'popular' music, and in that case plenty of sheet music is available, which I think supports the idea that it's just an issue of market size.
 

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Craig -

My take on this is that there is little interest in "archiving" big-band jazz compositions in lead sheet format. People who produce lead sheets, pro and amateur, seem to go for the tunes recorded by fairly well known jazz combos. For an album like Louie Bellson's Explosion, now more than 35 years old, there is little chance that lead sheets will materialize.

Fortunately, at the time this album was produced, there was sufficient interest to publish some of the arrangements from the album. I know that at least five of the nine Explosion arrangements can be found. I don't say they're readily available, but if you know the places to look, they can be found and at reasonable expense. It would require some work to extract a lead sheet from an arrangement, but you can bet it would be 100 percent accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I really appreciate your reply. It helps a lot to know that whatever I am looking for (songs I played back in the 70's) are not readily available and won't be found in some Hal Leonard compilation book.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
uh, wow. when did I say I wanted it for free? Seriously?

I was posting asking for some insight as to why music was not available, legally, for musicians, like all the Hal Leonard, JW Pepper sites. I was trying to see if music I played in the 70's was ever available to the public, and it appears it never was.
 

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uh, wow. when did I say I wanted it for free? Seriously?
Regarding my own comments, I wasn't saying that YOU were looking for free sheet music, but I threw that in there because the vast majority of people asking for sheet music here ARE asking for free sheet music...and most of those requests are coming from people who have 5 or less previous posts on SOTW. It's gotten to be somewhat of a running theme here. Whenever you see a post asking for the sheet music for a specific song, more often than not, it's the very first SOTW post by that person.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thx for clearing that up. Appreciate it. I've just always been curious as to why songs (in formats other than piano) were not available for the sax by Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Maynard Ferguson, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy just to name a few. My kid loves big band swing and would love to play along with the songs, but other than working off the piano music, she does not have any options.
In terms of figuring out the song on your own, I don't have a clue how one would start. My kid has Finale software but I don't think that would do the trick.
Just how is it done?

Best - Craig
 

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There is software available to help with transcribing music. It enables you to slow down the music without changing pitch, or change pitch without changing tempo. That can make it easier to get started.

Really the main feature of those programs, though, is that they make it simple to loop and scrub through the little bit that you're working on.

It's painful to get started (because it's hard work!), but she'll get better very quickly if she sticks with it. No need to get hung up on getting it exactly right, either, if there are certain notes that are hard to hear. If it sounds right, it's right! She'll learn a lot with her own note choices, even if they're not exactly the same as on the recording.

For your daughter, it's just a matter of choosing a little bit of music, looping it, and trying to imitate it until she's satisfied with it.

If you're going to use that software, and you're planning on slowing tracks down, rip a .wav file straight from CD if you can. The artifacts in mp3s that you might not hear at normal speed become apparent when the track is played very slowly, and can make the process of transcribing harder.

Transcribe is probably the best software if you're sitting at a computer (my opninion only, of course).
The Amazing Slow Downer is another popular option.

There are all kinds of options for smart phones, if you're that way inclined.
 
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