… music notation tips & tutorials by Robert Puff & expert contributing authors.
Author: Jay Vilnai
'A formidable composer, the missing link between Rasputina and Bernard Herrmann' (Lucid Culture)
Vilnai's musical journey owes to a unique heritage as a Russian-Romanian descendant raised in Jerusalem around a mix of contemporary and traditional music, with a BFA in jazz and an MM in composition. He studied jazz guitar at the New School, graduating with honors in 2003. In 2009, Vilnai completed an MM in composition at Brooklyn College, studying with Jason Eckardt and earning the John Cage Award for Excellence in Composition. He was in residence with the college's Contemporary Music Ensemble, directed by Ursula Oppens, and with the conservatory's orchestra. He has been commissioned by ai ensemble, trombonist Jen Baker, Metro Chamber Orchestra, New York Trombone Consort and others, and his compositions have been performed around the country, most notably by CUNY’s CME, OMNI Ensemble and Mivos quartet. As a guitarist, Vilnai has performed with Matt Darriau's Paradox Trio, Midrash Mish Mosh, Romashka, and other ensembles in NYC's downtown and world music scenes. He has shared the stage with diverse figures such as Frank London, balafon player Famoro Dioubate and the Phoenix Symphony. Vilnai leads Vampire Suit, an ensemble that examines the intersection of Balkan, jazz and chamber music. The ensemble has released two recordings to positive reviews, being called 'spirited and enjoyable' (Time Out NY) and said to have 'enduring beauty' (Cadence Magazine). His 2011 release ‘Shakespeare Songs’, featuring the MIVOS quartet and singer Gelsey Bell was said by Lucid Culture to possess ‘creepy otherworldliness’, and ‘ghostly ambience’. An expert engraver, Vilnai has helped prepare music for Broadway, film, jazz performances and concert performances ranging from traditional to avant-garde.
Laissez vibrer, or L.V. indications such as the one pictured above, are common notation practice. Instead of writing out a series of notes or chords together for what might be a long duration, the player is simply instructed, via a tie and the abbreviated ‘l.v.’ text, to let the note(s) ring out for as long as they would sound.
A couple of years ago I was editing a piece of music and realized I was spending too much time and effort selecting objects with the mouse. In order to understand just how much of a problem that was, it’s useful to take a look at a sample page: