Jeffrey Reid Baker: Composer
I started arranging music right around the time that I began taking piano lessons. So often I would like a chord instead of the single note or a different note entirely because the color was more to my liking. I'm sure it was a bit irritating for my teacher. Arranging became something I did all the time because there are so many situations in which arranging is required. Whether teaching piano, or directing a school play, or going into the studio to record a piano track for a song, or even finding spots in classical pieces can be more effective, arranging seems to be something I’m always doing. It's my own video game.
In college, I took theory, music history and the usual conga line of music courses. But it really wasn't composition. This is what I truly believe was my own home-grown solution to becoming a composer.
STUDYING & READING
24 feet of sheet music books and portfolios
In 1977, I began private composition lessons with Prof. Rudolf Schramm ("Rudy") in Room 1007 Carnegie Hall. He had taught so many successful musicians and producers. I believe I was his last student. He instilled in me a true compositional "yard stick" to compose for any venue in any style.
Recently I have been transcribing popular songs for the piano. Over-the-counter sheet music is substandard in most cases missing the overall "groove" of each piece. And, I constantly arrange the music students actually like for the lower grades of piano to avoid those truly awful method books.
Composition grew out of my arranging. I started composing when I was around 12 or so. I quickly learned that composing is only satisfying when it's "for something". i. e. My best musical compositions IMO are the ones I was paid for. I think most composers would agree with that. I also compose quickly. My first instincts are generally correct. When I look back on and analyze some of my pieces, I'm amazed at the complexity of some that might have potentially been ruined by having more time. Subsequent arranging and producing can get fussy. That's normal.
My music is published by JRB MUSIC PUBLISHING, my own company. Please click on image to visit.
This is the best place to be on the entire planet IMO. Welcome to my
Equipment Left to right, top to bottom:
Yamaha P45 Digital Grand Piano, Jensen Studio Monitors, Adcom Power Amp & Pre-Amplifier, iMac (2017) 27" computer, Techniques Turntable, Asus 28" Monitor, M-Audio CODE-49 Keyboard Controller, MOOG Expression Pedal, HP Laser Printer, Wireless Microphone and NexiGo 1080P HD Webcam.
Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Affinity Publisher, Altiverb, AnthemScore, Arturia, Audacity, Audio Ease, Audio Hijack, Digital Performer, Falcon, Final Cut Pro, Garritan ARIA Player, Logic Pro X, MachFive3, Melodyne4, MOTU MX4, MOTU Symphonic Instrument, MuseScore3, Notion, Pages, PDFopen, ScreenFlow, Sibelius 7.5, Syntronik, Toast 14 Titanium, UVI Falcon, Vienna Instruments Pro.
Arturia Classic Synths and Keyboards, East West Symphonic Library Diamond Edition & Choirs, Garritan Pipe Organs, Garritan Instant Orchestra, CFX Concert Grand Piano, Grand Rhapsody HD, Miroslav Philharmonik 2, Motu Mach 5, MX4 Synthesizer, Pianoteq7, SWAM Complete, Synthogy Ivory Pianos II, East West Pianos, Vienna Symphonic Library Special Edition, MIR and Vienna Ensemble 7.
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