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Alex Shapiro, composer email

 

 

COUNT TO TEN

For three-part flex wind band, orchestra, or small ensemble, and optional prerecorded track.



Composed by Alex Shapiro.

2021; Duration 1:06 or longer, depending on tempo.
Published by Activist Music LLC (ASCAP).

For Robert Ambrose
and Sean Murphy.

Grade 0.5 and beyond: at a fast tempo, this piece makes a fun concert opener or closer!

 

 


score cover

 

Click below to listen!

Recorded by members of the Georgia State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble; Robert J. Ambrose, conductor.

Download a demo recording at the marked tempo of 120 bpm:

download of COUNT TO TEN demo at 120 bpm

Download a demo recording at the advanced tempo of 152 bpm:

download of COUNT TO TEN demo at 145 bpm
   

Click here to order the PDF set and audio tracks
from Activist Music for $50: ORDER COUNT TO TEN, PDFs

Click the icon to order the print set and audio tracks
from Murphy Music Press for $50: ORDER COUNT TO TEN, print version

 

Murphy Music Press

COUNT TO TEN page 1

 

COUNT TO TEN instrumentation

 

COUNT TO TEN was composed for the Murphy Music Press Beginning Band Adaptable Series. Edited by Robert Ambrose, Director of Bands at Georgia State University, and Mary Cogswell, South Dakota Bandmasters Association President, this growing collection of imaginitive pieces was launched in 2020 in response to the need for adaptable, flexible instrumental music for musicians at the earliest stage of their education.



 

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QUICK LINKS

 
 
 
 
 

 

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THE PERUSAL SCORE
(email Alex for code access)

PERUSAL ONLY; not for performance or duplication.

 

.pdf file of the TRANSPOSED CONDUCTOR SCORE,

8 1/2 x 11; 13 pages including cover and notes.


score, 8 1/2 x 11-single-side

 

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THE PROGRAM NOTE & BIO

 

By the time a person is four years old—long before their first fun wind band class—they can count to ten. So I've never understood why beginning music students are only given pieces in rigid, sometimes plodding, 4/4, 3/4 or 2/4 meters. Music, like life, is neither rigid nor plodding (well, at least not interesting music!). Thus, COUNT TO TEN is my contribution to the repertoire for beginning musicians who have a lifetime of wonderful, compelling pieces ahead of them that will be filled with chromaticism, syncopations, and mixed meters.

With its built-in drone and percussion parts, the piece is designed to sound good acoustically, but it will sound many times better when the students are paired with any of the cinematic-style accompaniment tracks—especially the "Full" version that combines all three elements of the percussion (strong downbeats and steady quarter beats), the Bb drone (for tuning and atmosphere), and the groove ostinati weaving through the music and adding a modern syncopation.

The premise is simple: count up, then down again from a grand peak of 9/4. This is not a time signature I would normally choose even for professionals, because it's easier to read subdivisions. But there's an important and purely psychological reason I opted for it here: if beginning musicians can achieve playing in 9/4, it may forever dispel any fear they'll have of large meters, and playing in 5, and maybe even in 7, will seem like a relative breeze. In other words, in addition to being a primer for contemporary repertoire, COUNT TO TEN is a middle school psyche-out: if you can count to ten, you certainly can count to nine!


 

PROGRAM BIO for Alex Shapiro Photo and bio



Alex Shapiro bio and photos

 

 

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THE TRACK OPTIONS

 

With the goal of giving every teacher as many options and tools as possible, there are four accompaniment track options.

Three are for rehearsal purposes:

1. PULSE only (more interesting sounding than a metronome);
2. DRONE only (helpful with intonation);
3. PULSE plus DRONE.

The PERFORMANCE track is the most compelling and is for both rehearsal and performance. It includes the PULSE, DRONE, and GROOVE.

Each of these accompaniment tracks is offered at four tempi/durations: 120 bpm (1:06), 110 bpm (1:11), 100 bpm (1:18), and 90 bpm (1:27).

Additionally, there is a set of tracks at 152 bpm for more advanced musicians!


 

FOR REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE:

WAV FILES of ACCOMPANIMENT TRACK OPTIONS

for COUNT TO TEN

 

TO BE USED IN PERFORMANCE (and rehearsal):

FULL TRACK: Percussion, Drone, and Groove:
120 bpm 110 bpm 100 bpm 90 bpm
WAV file of FULL track at 120 bpm
WAV file of FULL track at 110 bpm
WAV file of FULL track at 100 bpm
WAV file of FULL track at 90 bpm
 
Hear a demo of musicians and track at 120bpm:
WAV file of demo at 120 bpm
 
Hear a demo of musicians without any track at 120bpm:
WAV file of musicians-only demo at 120 bpm
 
 

 

 

 

TO BE USED FOR REHEARSAL (not performance):

RHYTHM TRACK: Pulse only:
120 bpm 110 bpm 100 bpm 90 bpm
WAV file of Pulse track at 120 bpm
WAV file of Pulse track at 110 bpm
WAV file of Pulse track at 100 bpm
WAV file of Pulse track at 90 bpm
 
Hear a musicians-plus-pulse-only demo at 120bpm:
WAV file of Pulse only demo at 120 bpm

 

 

AMBIENT TONE TRACK: Drone only:
120 bpm 110 bpm 100 bpm 90 bpm
WAV file of Drone track at 120 bpm
WAV file of Drone track at 110 bpm
WAV file of Drone track at 100 bpm
WAV file of Drone track at 90 bpm
 
Hear a musicians-plus-drone-only demo at 120bpm:
WAV file of Drone only demo at 120 bpm

 

 

RHYTHM and AMBIENT TRACK: Pulse plus Drone:
120 bpm 110 bpm 100 bpm 90 bpm
WAV file of Pulse and Drone track at 120 bpm
WAV file of Pulse and Drone track at 110 bpm
WAV file of Pulse and Drone track at 100 bpm
WAV file of Pulse and Drone track at 90 bpm
 
Hear a musicians-plus-pulse-and-drone-only demo at 120bpm:
WAV file of Pulse and Drone only demo at 120 bpm
 

 

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THE PERFORMANCE NOTES

 

Having the students play along with any of the audio tracks is optional, but the additional, cinematic sound makes everything sound better, and may inspire them even more!

With the goal of giving every teacher as many options and tools as possible, there are four accompaniment track options. The first three are for rehearsal purposes:

1. PULSE only (more interesting sounding than a metronome);
2. DRONE only (helpful with intonation);
3. PULSE plus DRONE.

The fourth track is the most compelling and is for performance, as well as rehearsal. It includes the PULSE, DRONE, and GROOVE.

Each of these accompaniment tracks is offered at four tempi/durations: 120 bpm (1:06), 110 bpm (1:11), 100 bpm (1:18), and 90 bpm (1:27).
The performance goal is 120 bpm.

The parts are designed to ensure that each of the students will interchangeably get to play the drone, play the moving line part, and singspiel the numbers of the time signatures. The percussionists play and singspiel simultaneously throughout the piece.

The singspiel may be vocalized as either a purely spoken number, or sung at the pitch indicated by the crosshead note, in any comfortable register. By the final 1/4 bars, musicians are invited to shout!

Each wind part contains an indication reminding wind students to raise their instrument up to their lips during their final measure of singspiel, in order to make a rhythmically smooth transition and quickly prepare their embouchure for sounding the first played note of the next bar. At the faster tempi, should students have any difficulty with this, it's fine if they don't vocalize the final number of the bar, thus allowing more preparation time. The percussionists will always be vocalizing the meter count.

Only one number between 1 and 9 in English has two syllables! It's psychologically easy for a student to slip into thinking of "seven" as two quarter notes, even though the music takes advantage of the word to use it as two eighth notes. Teachers may opt to have their students do as professional players sometimes do, especially at faster tempi: tell the musicians to say "set" instead of "seven". 

Interestingly, we pronounce the word "set", but it would really be spelled "sept", short for the Latin word for seven, "septum". This might raise fun questions about the month of September, inviting an explanation as to why the ninth month of the year is named after "seven". Supplemental teaching materials are available with COUNT TO TEN that delve into a variety of numeric and chronological topics, including the history of the modern-day Gregorian calendar and its predecessor, the Julian, or Roman calendar.

 


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THE TECHNICAL STUFF

 

All of the accompaniment tracks include an audible eight beat countoff, including the track for performance, in which the click is designed to be heard by the audience.

The music uses stereo panning and imaging, so please ensure that the P/A setup in your venue is stereo, not mono.

Please avoid converting the audio file to a lower quality MP3 file.

A multitrack sequencing/playback application, and a small audio interface, are needed. If you would like software and hardware suggestions for your particular setup, please drop Alex an email, and she will do her very best to help. Or, to at least make you laugh.

 

 

 

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Here's something VERY helpful: a complete guide to the software and hardware setup for your ensemble room and performance venue.

 

 

pdf of tech guide

 

 

 

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AND: for anyone creating a virtual performance recording: here's a guide to basic mixing techniques!

 

pdf of mixing guide

 

 



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WEBHEARSALS

 

Skype, Zoom, etc. are wonderful tools for affordably bringing Alex into your rehearsal, without having to book a plane flight! She has a great time coaching students, and the difference between their musicianship at the beginning of the rehearsal and by the time it ends, is remarkable.

Alex can tell the band about how the piece was created and engage them in conversation, and even show them how her digital project studio works! It's also easy to arrange to have her say hello to the audience during a concert, via a custom video. Webhearsals connect musicians to the real person-- and the stories-- behind the notes on the music stands.

The best way to reach Alex Shapiro is through email,
by clicking here 
email Alex

You can also leave a voice message or a fax at:
(270) 916-0093.

To see some examples of webhearsals, and the view Alex loves to share from her desk, click here.

Skypehearsal
A December 2012 Skypehearsal with Alex in her studio on San Juan Island, and band director Mary Bauer and Mt. Mansfield Union High School in Vermont, rehearsing PAPER CUT.

 

 

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ADDITIONAL READING

WASBE World
WASBE World

 

Alex has written an extensive two-part article about electroacoustic band music and the uses of multimedia in the concert world. The essay, titled The e-Frontier: Music, Multimedia, Education, and Audiences in the Digital World echoes multimedia presentations she has given at The 2013 Midwest Clinic, the 2014 TMEA convention, and countless other seminars. It appears in the June and September 2014 issues of the magazine of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, WASBE World, and the .pdf is offered here with the very kind permission of the organization.

Click here for the full .pdf file readThe e-Frontier


 

Teaching Music Through Performance

 

Alex's unique electroacoustic wind band pieces for high school musicians, TIGHT SQUEEZE, and PAPER CUT, are featured in the field's best known book/CD series, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 10, edited by Eugene Migliaro Corporon and released by GIA Publications December 2014.

 

 

 

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ADDITIONAL MUSIC

Alexwith some of her music at the Hal Leonard rack at the Midwest Clinic, 2014.

Alex loves writing for band! You can listen to any of her other pieces by clicking here Alex's wind band catalog

 

 

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THE CONTACT INFO

The VERY best way to reach Alex is through email, by clicking here Email Alex!

Email Alex!

You can also leave a voice message or a fax at:
(270) 916-0093, and she'll return your call.

Call Alex!

 

 

 

Musician Robby Burns and his son Thelonious, who knows how to count!

Musician and podcaster Robby Burns wrote, "My son Thelonious has requested that Count to Ten be played over and over again for the past 5-10 minutes. "Again!" he asked at the end of each time!".

Click the image to watch a toddler who's already preparing for middle school band!

 

 



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