Saturday, 28 April 2012

New Sheet Music this week, 28 April 2012

Boosey & Hawkes have reissued the First Repertoire Pieces series of books, this time with CD.  I have added the alto sax, oboe and clarinet editions to the website, the remaining ones will appear next week.

Also with CD is Easy Jazz Studies for alto saxophone by Tilman Dehnhard.

Mendelssohn's Wedding March for oboe is available as a single edition.

Russian Masters for Piano contains a bumper collection of pieces by the major russian composers.

Piano to Go is a collection of very short, easy pieces in a crossover style, with classical and pop influences. Ideal for busy pianists.

I've also added a host of piano pieces by Tajcevic, Larcher, Kreisler, Rosenblatt, Genzmer, Duvernoy, Satie,  Scriabin, Beethoven, Chopin and Dvorak.

Waltzes is a collection of 48 - yes, you've guessed it - waltzes by major composers.

A new series from Hal Leonard is Favorite Classical Melodies, for various instruments with CD:

Great solo arrangements of beloved melodies from Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Gounod, Debussy, Handel, Rossini, Satie and more! Contains: Ave Maria • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 • Caro Mio Ben • Clair de Lune • Funeral March of a Marionette • GymnopĂ©die No. 1 • Hallelujah Chorus • Hungarian Dance No. 5 • Minuet • Piano Sonata No. 14 (“Moonlight”) • Pomp and Circumstance • Symphony No. 5 • William Tell Overture.

Available for alto sax, cello, clarinet, french horn, flute, tenor sax, trombone, trumpet, viola and violin.

That's all for this week, lots more to come next week, may have to burn the midnight oil as I have a huge list of concert band pieces to add!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

New Postal Charges

Last month the big news was the increase in Royal Mail prices, which are effective from Monday next week.  Conscious that in these straitened times people want to keep as much money in their pockets as possible, I have tried to push my prices down.  I don't use ready-made envelopes but wrap most of my parcels by hand in brown packing paper, which is not only cheap - savings which are passed on to my customers - but also very protective of the contents.

For a year now I have offered free second class delivery on the website for everything, with a premium of £1.30 for first class.  While I know my customers really appreciate it, the new charges from Royal Mail are making a completely free delivery option unviable.  I can't stay in business if the postage cost is more than the profit I make on the product!

So I have undertaken a detailed cost analysis and come up with a new pricing structure.  Second class delivery will continue to be free for orders with a value of £7.00 or more.  Orders under that value will incur a charge of £0.40 for delivery.  I should point out that this is way less than the actual charge to me!

As a result of the economies I have made in my packing costs, I have managed to keep the increase in first class postage to just £0.10, rising from £1.30 to £1.40.  Again, this is less than the actual increase in the charge to me.  These small changes should allow me to continue to offer free delivery to most of my customers.

The biggest problem in the new Royal Mail structure is the abolition of gradated prices for small packets.  This means, for example, that a clarinet ligature which used to cost £1.33 to post second class will now cost £2.20. I have no choice but to build that massive increase into the price of products which fall into this category. Prices for ligatures, mouthpiece caps, rosins and other small but bulky items will rise, unfortunately.  Other items such as practice mutes (except double bass), reeds and valve oil can, with care, be packaged into large letter size so these will avoid the price rise.

I have been very loyal to Royal Mail, and particularly to my local post office but some of the eye-watering increases means that sheet music orders over 1 kilo will now most likely be despatched by courier, as instruments are currently.  I'm not in business to give all my profits to Royal Mail!

The changes will be implemented on the website at midday tomorrow, Friday 27 April, as orders placed after this time will be despatched on Monday.

Friday, 13 April 2012

New Sheet Music This Week, 13th April 2012

This week, it's string music.  Firstly, a whole bunch of cello music:

Laks' Portrait de L'Oiseau-Qui-N'existe-Pas (Portrait of the Bird that Doesn't Exist)  and Cello Sonata
Mamlok: Rotations, composed in 2011
Wustinr: Musical Offering, premiered in 2010
Golijov: Mariel for cello and marimba
Carvelli: Serenata Napolitana from a largely unknown 19th century composer
Cirri: Sonata No 2 in G, Schott edition
Goltermann: Reverie
Theodorakis: East of the Aegean (is it me or have we had a lot of Greek-inspired music lately?)
Putz: Blue Waltz for cello and piano
Mendelssohn's Wedding March for cello
Goeyens Serenade
Gardel Tango
The Most Beautiful Folksongs for cello - arrangements of folksongs for 1 or 2 cellos, available with or without CD.

For double bass, we have Reinke's Thumb Position Exercises, for advanced players

And for violin (to be continued next week) we have:
Mamlok Designs
Ludwig Tango a Deux
Putz Blue Waltz for violin and piano
Faure Berceuse for violin with a piano reduction

That's it for this short working week, looking forward to getting back to normal next week.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A Good Concert, and New Sheet Music This Week 4th April 2012

It's not often I drag myself away from my computer, but I managed to do so this weekend to attend a concert at Blackburn Cathedral.  It was an evening devoted to John Ireland's music, in the 50th year since the composer's death.  It's a shame his music isn't more widely known, and most of the programme was new to me.  We had Epic March for organ, his Prelude in E flat Major for piano, Missa Brevis, and Elegiac Romance, which I am sure I have heard somewhere but didn't know it was his.

But the stars of the show were Vexilla Regis and A Downland Suite.  Vexilla Regis is a piece for SATB choir, organ and brass ensemble consisting of 2 trumpets and 3 trombones.  A beautiful piece of music, most unusual and very well performed though both I and my Other Half (himself a bass trombonist) agreed the bass trombone player needed to develop a touch more volume control, or, as OH put it in the northern vernacular, "be told to wind his neck in"!

The brass players were from Blackburn & Darwen Brass Band and they gave an excellent rendition of A Downland Suite.  I've heard a number of brass bands over the years and they are definitely one of the best quality.  A round, well-blended and harmonious sound, a masterclass in what a brass band should sound like.  The concert was finished in great style with a rousing rendition of "My Song is Love Unknown" by all singers/instrumentalists, which I have found myself humming regularly ever since!

I've now added Vexilla Regis to the website and will seek out the others if I can.

Anyway, on with new releases this week....

Trinity's Rock & Pop Grade 4 books are now available.

The Associated Board has published a new sight reading series Joining the Dots for Guitar, which contains five books for grades 1-5.

The Associated Board has also, finally (one year after the earlier books appeared) published the new edition of Aural Training in Practice Grades 6-8, with CDs.

Winwood Music has recently published a host of Walton pieces for brass, too many to list here but if you put "Walton" into the search engine and select the ones from the list with the white covers, you can browse the titles available.  Another English composer whose work doesn't get enough air time.

For choir (SSA) we have Bob Chilcott's Jazz Songs of Innocence.

For organ, Hymn Miniatures 2, short pieces for church services.

For music teachers, a new book by Paul Harris, The Virtuoso Teacher.

For the older beginner piano player, a new collection by Pam Wedgwood, It's Never Too Late to Play Rock 'n' Roll.

Faber has just published a new compilation book for singers, The Best of Singing, with books available for both high and low voice for grades 1-3 and 4-5.

For strings, we have Bags of Classics for violin and cello.

And finally, Edition Peters has published a series to help students with aural exams, called "Aural Test Survival".  Eight books, one for each grade.

That's it until after Easter, enjoy the holidays!