[NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC]

NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC

VOL 8, NO 1, SPRING, 2006

 

Table of Contents
The Publishers' Space
The Brass Space
The String Space
The Woodwind Space
The Percussion Space




 

Sorrow looks back,
Worry looks around,
Faith looks up.

 

 

 








 

THE PUBLISHER'S SPACE

David E. Smith Publications, LLC probably has more percussion solos and ensembles than other sacred music publishers and continues to meet the needs of performers in that area. Only a few years ago there were two pieces in the catalog. Now there are closer to two dozen pieces and the number continues to grow.

In the solo literature there are arrangements for snare drum and piano, mallet instruments and combinations of the two in levels from one to four.

New to the Catalog are titles such as

New arrangements for quintet to large ensemble include

These pieces can be found in the new Print Catalog or the Catalog on CD-both are free for the asking. The DESPUB Catalog can also be down-loaded from the websites onto your own computer: www.despub.com or www.churchmusic.biz. The newest downloads are now up!

So, if you are a percussionist or know a percussionist affiliated with a church or school music program, please note that we have literature for you as well.

The DESPUB publishing companies, and the companies to whom they distribute, continually strive to meet the needs of the instrumentalists in the sacred music settings.


by David E. Smith


 

"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," "Rescue The Perishing," "The Battle Hymn," "Faith Is The Victory," and "Hold The Fort." "Onward Christian Soldiers," (as a duet or quintet), "God Of Our Fathers," and, "The Battle Hymn." Again, the levels will vary from one to four.

 





 

Preach Christ Always
And As A Last Resort
Use Words.
St. Francis of Assisi

 

 








 

THE BRASS SPACE

by Phil Norris


 

In lieu of something profound this issue, here are some musicological musings (groaning permitted!):

*al dente con tableau: in opera, chew the scenery.
*allegro con brillo: the fastest way to wash pots and pans.
*anDante: A musical composition that is Infernally slow.
*Angus Dei: a divine, beefy tone.
*antiphonal: referring to the prohibition of cell phones in the concert hall
*appologgiatura: an ornament you regret after playing it.
*approximatura: a series of notes played by a performer and not intended by the composer, especially when disguised with an air of "I meant to do that."
*basso continuo: the act of game fishing after the legal season has ended.
*basso profundo: an opera about deep sea fishing.
*brake drum: The instrument most used to slow the tempo in an orchestra.
*cacophany: composition incorporating many people with chest colds.
*concerto grosso: a really BAD performance.
*crashendo: the increasing sense of aggravation felt by band members as those trumpet players keep dropping their mutes on the hard stage floor.
*diminuendo: the process of quieting a rumor in the orchestra pit.
*eardrum: a teeny, tiny tympani.
*etude brute: an early form of Roman music performed with a rapid, sharp, repetitive beat.
*fermantra: a note that is held over and over and over and...
*fermatahorn: an Alpine wind instrument used for playing long notes.
*fiddler crabs: grumpy string players.
*flute flies: gnat-like bugs that bother musicians playing out-of-doors.
*fog horn: a brass instrument that plays when the conductor's intentions are not clear.
*fortississippi: with mighty, flowing strength.
*frugalhorn: a sensible, inexpensive brass instrument.
*Gaul blatter: a French horn player.
*good conductor: A person who can give an electrifying performance.
*grace note: the I.O.U. you deposit in the church collection plate when you're out of cash.
*ground brass: when someone in the marching band drops a sousaphone.
*ground hog: someone who takes control of the repeated bass line and won't let others play it.
*phollyphonic: badly arranged harmonizations.
*pizzacato: the act of removing anchovies from an Italian dish with short, quick motions and tossing them to a nearby awaiting feline friend.
*Placebo Domingo: faux tenor.
*poochini: When singing, to be accompanied by your dog.
*prelude: a cue, found in some of the earlier oratorios, instructing those singing the roles of the wicked to pray in an offensive or profane manner.
*rubato: cross between rhubarb and a tomato.
*Sosaphone: a cylindrical wooden instrument used to play smash hits.
*spinet: politician's order
*status cymbal: an instrument to be played at inaugurations and socialite balls.
*Tempe Arizona: a hot passage.
*tempo tantrum: what a young orchestra is having when it's not keeping time with the conductor.
*timpani alley: a row of kettledrums. Term originated in New York City area.
*trouble clef: any clef one can't read, e.g., the alto clef for pianists.
*vesuvioso: a gradual buildup to a fiery conclusion.
*woodwind: a noise in the game of golf, made by a club missing the ball on a tee shot.

Musical Terms Commonly Misunderstood by Country-Western Musicians with Their Translated Definitions:

*12-Tone Scale: The thing the State Police weigh your tractor trailer truck with.
*A-440: The highway that runs around Nashville.
*Aeolian Mode: How you like Mama's cherry pie.
*Altos: Not to be confused with "Tom's toes," "Bubba's toes" or "Dori-toes."
*Bass: The things you run around in Softball.
*Bassoon: Typical response when asked what you hope to catch and when.
*Clef: What you try to never fall off of.
*Perfect Pitch: The smooth coating on a freshly paved road.
*Tempo: Good choice for a used car.
*Whole Note: What's due after failing to pay the mortgage for a year.

Finally a true story (yes, this really happened!). Last Friday an adult student came in for his trumpet lesson and said he had gotten two compliments on his sound since the previous lesson. The first was from his church music director. The second was from his dog. He said that before he began studying with me his dog would hardly move when he practiced. But now, every time he plays, his dog begins to whine and howl. I think this a supposed credit to my instruction(?). Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction!

 


Phil Norris is an Associate Professor of Music at Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN, where he teaches and actively performs on trumpet. The DMA was earned at the University of Minnesota. He is past president of the Christian Instrumentalists and Directors Assn. and is editor of the CIDA Sacred List of Instrumental Music.

 





 

THE STRINGS SPACE

by Jay-Martin Pinner


 

The Most Dreaded Season of the Year: Tax Preparations for the Musician Stress Reduction Tips

 

This is the time to make changes in your system for next year.
No matter how small those improvements may seem,
they will save you time and help you fine-tune your tax preparation.
Crunch the numbers.

Take the envelopes with your tax information and start doing the calculations for each category. You might prefer to spread this tedium over several evenings until all of the information has been processed. This is ideal if your schedule permits. Many musicians have such crowded evening schedules that they may have to set aside part or all of a Saturday to process the information.

I have a template of tax information stored on the computer. This template includes Income: wages/salary, self-employed income, interest income, dividend income, and inventory. (Businesses are required to keep track of sheet music, compact discs and other items left over at the end of each year. The cost for those items is added to business income. This is why companies have year-end sales, to avoid being taxed on inventory.) This template also includes Expenditures: taxes (federal, state, estimated tax for self-employed income, personal and business property taxes, business license fee) charitable contributions, tax preparation costs, business and professional expenses, new equipment/instrument purchases, business mileage, and home office expenses. I print this template out and use it to organize my tax information for a tax preparer. If you use a tax software program such as TurboTax™ to file your own tax return you would enter this information into that program.

Set aside money to cover the taxes on Self-Employed Income. Wages and salary from your place of employment are easily computed with the appropriate federal and state taxes already accounted for. Self-Employed Income for free-lance musicians can produce large unexpected tax liabilities if money is not set aside.

The most dreaded season of the year is upon us-tax preparation! As musicians we are used to preparing for everything on our calendar except April 15th. It seems that no matter how diligent we are this date annually surprises us. Each year we resolve to have our Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving and our taxes done by February. Each year we fail. The resultant panic can produce more stress than our worst nightmare-the Christmas program!

In an effort to prod myself along with my own tax preparation I offer the following suggestions for organizing tax information and lowering the stress of tax season.

Clear out and sort all of last year's records. There is only so much that we can do to organize our tax records after January 1st. Our organization style may take advantage of the simple, uncomplicated “throw everything into a box” method.

Or, you might methodically keep your tax information in hanging folders in a file cabinet.

With either type of organization the first step in preparing for tax season is to separate the current year's tax information from last year's tax information. Once the new year begins and new information starts sharing space with the old information a time-consuming step is added to the process of preparing your tax return, that of sorting the old information from the new. To avoid that step entirely I set aside about an hour to clear my files of old information during the first week in January. I sort everything into large 10 x 13 envelopes labeled Banking, Business and Professional Receipts, Charity Receipts, Phone Receipts, Tax Forms, Investments, General Receipts, Wages/Salary, and Medical Receipts. I do not take time to do anything with this information. I simply sort the information and store it for easy access later. These envelopes become the holding file for the small avalanche of incoming end-of-the-year tax information such as interest, royalties, tithe, investments, wage and salary statements.

Decide how to organize for next year. After clearing and sorting last year's tax information it might be prudent to make organizational changes for next year's tax information. Should you add more boxes? Should you add more hanging file folders? Should you add a walk-in closet?

 

Talk to a tax advisor about paying ahead on Self-Employed Income. There are financial penalties for not anticipating what your Self-Employed Income will be. (I am not joking!) Check with your tax preparer to determine how this should be handled. You will probably be advised to pay a specific amount quarterly during the year using forms provided by the IRS. These payments will then be deducted from your tax liability.

Take every legitimate deduction. Scripture admonishes believers to render to Caesar everything that is Caesar's. I am to pay my taxes. I could be more cheerful about this if our government would be as careful with our money as we are required to be. In that spirit I prefer not to give the government any more money to waste than absolutely required.

To Table Of Contents Self-Employed Income is derived from playing wedding gigs, recording, guest conducting, teaching private/group lessons, royalties, and any other income producing activity for which an employer does not withhold taxes. Money is paid directly to you and no money is withheld for taxes. The general rule is that 30% of self-employed income should be set aside to pay for taxes. This can be handled by putting 30% of all such income in a high-yield money market account until needed to pay the taxes. Records of this income should be kept with regular wage and salary information.

 

Many musicians overlook legitimate deductions
that could help lower their tax bracket.
While I am not a certified tax preparer
and cannot give tax advice for all situations
there are a number of potential deductions
that musicians may overlook.

 

Check with your tax preparer to see if you may take the following deductions:

Tax Preparation Costs-books, computer software, tax preparer charges Professional Dues & Journals- dues paid to such organizations as MENC, ABDA, ASTA, MTNA, and journal subscriptions that are specific to your ministry and work are all deductible. Recordings, sheet music, and books-any such purchases directly related to your ministry and work are deductible.

Instrument Insurance-the portion of your homeowner's insurance that is designated for your instrument(s) is deductible as is instrument insurance secured through a third party such as the American String Teachers Association providing special member rates with Merz-Huber Insurance Co.

Instrument/Equipment purchases-including normal maintenance items such as rosin, strings, reeds, mutes, bow rehairing, replacement pads and corks, overhauling a tuba, and replating a flute. Equipment such as fax machines, photocopiers, printers, and computers may also be deductible although such items will have to be depreciated over a specified number of years.

Business Phone-go through your monthly phone bills and highlight all calls made for business purposes.

Business Postage-keep records of postage used for business mailings, including that used for sending your tax information to the IRS.

Post Office Box-the annual box charge is deductible if you collect payments at a post office box or have other business related reasons for having a box. (I chose to have my post office box on a route that includes an auto parts store, a grocery store, a pharmacy, my printer supply, and one of the best barbeque restaurants in the area. As long as my destination is my post office box then my mileage to all of the places along the route is deductible.)

Renters' Insurance-if you live in a rental property your renters' insurance may be deductible. Your landlord has to insure the actual structure but you may be required to insure your belongings. This is also true for many colleges and universities. A school may insure the structure that houses a professor's teaching studio. The contents of that studio should be insured by the professor. Such insurance is relatively inexpensive and an absolute must for peace of mind in the case of a fire or a water pipe that breaks during Christmas or summer vacation.

Piano Tuning-this is a necessary and expected expense.

Uniform Expenses-the purchase of tuxedos, gowns, formal attire and accessories such as cummerbunds, shoes, cufflinks, and bow ties that are not considered “street clothing” are deductible, as are the associated dry-cleaning expenses.

Notary Costs-if you have occasion to have documents notarized this is a deductible expense if incurred for business reasons.

Computer & Software-the costs of setting up a business website and hosting the site are usually deductible. Computers and software used exclusively for business are usually deductible. The IRS has special rules for home offices, studios, and computer related deductions. Check with a tax preparer before assuming that any deduction is allowable.

Office Supplies-this includes paper, writing instruments, toner cartridges, and anything normally purchased to outfit an office or studio. Plants, drapes, lighting fixtures and decorations may also be deductible. Be sure to include the cost of business stationery and business cards.

Advertisements-posters in music stores advertising your studio or availability as a free-lance musician, exhibits and displays at music conventions, recital and concert posters, paid advertisements in state newsletters and magazines, and any other print, audio or video media that promotes your business.

Business, Charity, and Medical Mileage-keep a computer generated document in the glove compartment of each vehicle to notate the following required information: Date, Business Purpose, Odometer Readings (beginning and end of trip) and whether the trip was for Business, Charity or Medical reasons. The IRS allows different mileage deductions for each of those three categories. (Keeping track of this information, as tedious as it is, usually drops my taxable income by over $1000.00 each year.)

Business Club Memberships-if you belong to a wholesale club and use that membership to purchase office supplies and other items for your studio or music business the cost of that membership may be tax deductible.

Home Office or Studio-the IRS is quite cautious about granting any deductions for a home office or studio. If your home office or studio meets the tests outlined by the IRS then deductions may be made for the square footage used exclusively for business. The IRS looks more favorably on separate structures or rooms that are used for business. If your home office is 10% of the total square footage of your home then it may be possible to deduct 10% of your utilities, rent or mortgage, and insurance costs.

Entertainment Expenses-50% of business related meals and entertainment expenses are deductible. These deductions must be considered normal and expected for our profession. For instance, hosting a guest artist for a reception after a recital is a normal expense associated with such an event. The costs to the host would be 50% tax deductible.

Double-check the numbers-one advantage to starting tax preparations before April 14th is that you have time to double-check your deductions. Over several days I make sure that I have taken all allowable deductions, I have listed depreciated items, and that I have all pertinent receipts and documentation.

Keep accurate records-I keep all receipts, tax information, banking records and other pertinent records in the 10 x 13 envelopes initially used to store this information for preparing my tax return. I label and seal each envelope for storage in a file drawer in the attic. It is recommended that general tax information be kept for 7 years. Tax returns, along with records of what was paid for property or home improvements, should be kept permanently. Each year I discard the oldest set of envelopes and add the newest, keeping the tax clutter to a minimum.

If you are audited you must be able to produce receipts and documentation to prove your case with the IRS. It is strongly advised that you have your tax preparer meet with the IRS rather than meeting with the IRS yourself.

Tax information designed specifically for the college teacher may be found in the publication Tax and Financial Guide for College Teachers and Other College Personnel. It is usually published annually by Academic Information Service, Inc., P.O. Box 30499, Bethesda, MD 20824. The website is: www.taxguidecollegeteachers.com.

Jay-Martin Pinner is Head of the String Department at Bob Jones University, conducts the University Symphony Orchestra, and teaches courses in String Literature and String Pedagogy. These articles on tax preparation are derived from lectures on setting up a string-teaching studio.

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THE WOODWINDS SPACE

Recently I asked a young person currently doing student teaching if it was proving to be a good experience. His response was positive but he added that it had forced him to do some reading and quick learning about the clarinet. He mentioned a book which he had purchased, and was studying every night, that I own and whose author I studied with one summer at a young age.


by Harlow E. Hopkins


 

 

Keith Stein taught at Michigan State University, was an instructor at the National Music Camp, Interlochen, Michigan, and played in the Chicago Civic Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Over the course of eighty pages Mr. Stein presents an in depth life-time clarinet course of study.

One should understand that it is not a Method Book. He mentions several men who have written method books and/or produced studies and material for the development of tone and technique-all with familiar names to clarinetists-but this book is different.

Stein includes only nine pages of music. Four etudes appear-each of which provides a particular focus for the player, one duet which deals with intonation and a page of tonic and dominant arpeggios.

“The Art of Clarinet Playing” is therefore, essentially an articulate, thorough, extended clarinet lesson delivered by a highly-respected teacher and performer.

Following an enlightening explanation of the reasons for writing the book, Stein then launches into a thorough discourse covering every aspect of clarinet playing:

  • Equipment-mouthpiece, ligature, reed, clarinet
  • Physical aspects-embouchure (single and double-lip) relaxation, breathing, breath support, articulation, hands and fingers, fingerings, technique
  • Aural aspects-intonation, tone
  • Musical aspects-phrasing, dynamics
  • Literature
“The Art of Clarinet Playing” is a classic which should be included in every clarinetist's library.

Another very useful clarinet book is “The Clarinet and Clarinet Playing” by David Pino D.M.A. Its copyright date is 1980 and was published by the General Publishing Company, Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1998 Dover produced an updated but essentially unabridged republication of the work originally published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1983. It too, is a paper-back book.

David Pino's dedication reads: “FOR KEITH STEIN the master clarinetist and teacher who inspired this book in more ways than he has imagined, AND FOR MY STUDENTS, who teach me more than they know.”

While “The Clarinet and Clarinet Playing” must, by the very nature of the subject, deal with several of the same topics as “The Art of Clarinet Playing,” Pino goes into greater detail in several areas than does Professor Stein.

For example, the first chapter deals not only with accessories and equipment but personal characteristics needed by the clarinetist. Mouthpieces and ligatures are dealt with in greater detail as well.

The subject of reeds is thoroughly dealt with in the Pino book and includes instructions for players making their own reeds.

There is also a 28-page chapter entitled “Teaching other Clarinetists.” Dr. Pino's fifteen years of study with Professor Stein are reflected in this chapter. An interesting statement provides some insight into their relationship and the value it had for David Pino, the student. He states that his teacher was a “constant” in his life and not a “variable.” His appraisal of the result was that steady progress was made over a long period of time!

Dr. Pino also includes a chapter on public performance and a chapter on the history of the clarinet.

Appendices containing clarinet literature, clarinet fingerings and useful mailing addresses conclude an excellent book on the clarinet.

Harlow E. Hopkins is Professor of Music, Emeritus, Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois, and continues there as Adjunct Professor of Clarinet. He holds the D.Mus. from Indiana University, Bloomington.

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THE PERCUSSION SPACE

by Billy Madison


 

Four Mallet Grip Dexterity Exercise. #2

The development of four-mallet technique for keyboard percussion instruments can be frustrating at first. Many players have difficulty controlling interval changes because of the constant adjustment required in the grip. The following exercise will help facilitate the necessary muscle development required for the intervals of a unison through an octave. At first the inside mallet remains stationary while the outside mallet moves and then the outside mallet remains stationary while the inside mallet moves. Start by playing the exercise slowly and gradually increase the tempo. Although only three keys are written out, the exercise may be played in every key as each key will present different challenges.

 

Play first with the two mallets in the right hand and then with two mallets in the left hand:

 

The book is “The Art of Clarinet Playing” by the late Keith Stein. My paperback copy was copyrighted in 1958 and published by Summy-Birchard Music. I was happy to learn from my young friend that the book is still in print.

 

This exercise can be continue in all keys.

Billy Madison has taught instrumental music in the Arkansas Public Schools for 18 years. He holds both the BME in Instrumental Music and the MM in Music Theory and Composition from Arkansas State University. He studied composition with Jared Spears and Tom O'Connor. Madison has played percussion with the Northeast Arkansas Symphony since 1978.
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