Recital videos, August 2023

I’m pleased to share videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital.

Fifteenth anniversary

assorted colors paper cutouts closeup photo

Today is fifteen years since I started the blog. Thanks for all the comments, social media shares, emails, donations, and other connections. I hope you will continue to read and engage.

A few weeks ago I put out a request for questions from my readers. Here are a couple of posts with some answers:

At the 15-year mark: ask me anything

To my own amazement, this blog is rapidly approaching its 15-year anniversary later this month, May 24th. (Some of the content is dated at even older than 15 years, because I wrote it before starting the blog and retroactively turned it into blog posts.)

If you like, send me question(s) about whatever you want, about woodwind playing, doubling, blogging, teaching, or whatever. You can remain anonymous if you like. If it makes sense to do so based on the responses, I’ll answer them in one or more blog posts starting on about the 24th. If the response is low or the questions are not particularly of interest to my audience at large, I’ll answer as many as I can privately.

I did this at the 10-year mark as well, and got some good questions.

Thanks for reading!

Recital videos, August 2022

I’m pleased to share videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital, featuring the compositions of Yusef Lateef. A few are my own adaptations for altered instrumentation.

Half-holes on the Fingering Diagram Builder

Half-holes on the Fingering Diagram Builder aren’t a new feature, but I get lots of questions about how to do them, so here are some instructions I can refer people to.

Easiest way

If you’re making diagrams for flute, (French) clarinet, (German) bassoon, or recorder, and you don’t need anything especially complicated, you can open the “Keywork details” menu and click the option to turn “Half-holes” to “Upper,” “Lower,” or “Off.” For flute the options are a little different, to allow for half-holing in four directions.

Once your desired half-holes are enabled, you can hover your mouse over the keys (or look for the grey outlines on a touchscreen device) to see them. Click/tap on the desired half of the hole to “close” it, or again to re-open it. The “open” ones will not appear in your downloaded image.

Lengthwise upper
Lengthwise lower
Widthwise proximal
Widthwise distal

More complicated but flexible way

If you need to turn on only certain half-holes, or mix upper with lower, etc., you will have to roll up your sleeves a bit more. Open the “Keywork details” menu and look for the top-level “Half-holes” heading. Organized beneath this you will see all the available half-holes, organized into groups like “Lower half holes.” I suggest adjusting the settings as follows:

  • “Half-holes” = Always
  • Each subgroup containing a desired half-hole, such as “Lower half holes” = Always
  • Each desired individual half-hole = “As needed”
  • Each undesired individual half-hole = “Never”

That will make the desired half-holes visible when you “close” them, and invisible otherwise.

In the following example, I have set the clarinet’s left hand first finger upper hole and the left hand third finger lower hole as described.

If you anticipate using a certain half-hole configuration frequently, you can save it for future use. Set the half-holes (and other keywork) up how you want it, open the “Keywork details” menu, and look near the bottom of it for the “Custom key sets” submenu. Open that, type a name for your current set of keys, and click/tap “Add.”


List collection: Woodwind music by composers in underrepresented groups

I’ve added a new resource, Woodwind music by composers in underrepresented groups. This is a collection of lists other people have assembled. The object is to pull together some high-quality links for my own use and hopefully the use of others.

If you maintain or know of a well-researched list that should be included, please do let me know.

Recital videos, August 2021

I’m pleased to share videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital. I performed for a reduced in-person audience due to COVID-19 precautions.

All the repertoire involves electronics of some kind: prerecorded tracks, a looper, an actual electronic instrument (the Akai EWI), and/or live signal processing. This was my first time doing something so electronics-intensive, and I was learning to use some new equipment, so I’m including here some videos from the live recital and some from a dress rehearsal depending on audio quality, etc. (You will still notice some distortion and other issues, which I’m learning from and hoping to improve in future performances.)

The Great Woodwind Doubler Census of 2021

mockup of white clipboard with blank paper

Back in 2011 I did a “census” of woodwind players. It’s been 10 years, so I guess we’re due to be counted again. If you’re a doubler of any stripe/ability, you’re invited to take the survey. I’ll share the results as I did last time.

It’s a long survey, so set aside a little time if you’re willing, but all questions are optional and I’m happy to take whatever data you care to share. And of course feel free to share this survey far and wide with people who might be interested in participating.

At this point I’m thinking I’ll keep the survey active through the end of May, but if responses are still coming in strong I’ll be flexible.

Take the survey Update: the survey is now closed. Thanks!

Note Image Generator, version 0.2

I’m pleased to announce a new release of the Note Image Generator, my web app for quickly creating images of notes on staves (such as you might use for fingering charts, note identification flash cards, etc.).

I’ve added some new features for all users, but also some special features for those kind enough to donate to the Note Image Generator (there’s a PayPal link near the bottom of the page).

New features include:

  • More bar line options.
  • A new handwriting-type “jazz” notation font.

    Plus a bunch more new fonts for donors!
  • Parentheses around accidentals.
  • Enharmonic note spellings for donors.
  • More precise image sizing options for donors.
  • Various bug fixes and speed/stability/usability improvements.


Fingering Diagram Builder, version 0.83

Here’s a new minor release of the Fingering Diagram Builder with a few small improvements:

  • Bug fixes, administrative improvements, and other minor tweaks.
  • The Kingma flute diagram now has an option for a left-hand C-sharp-up key (thanks to Carla Rees). Dig around in the Keywork details menu to find it.
  • The Akai EWI diagram now has an EWI “Solo” key set, with the added side F-sharp key.