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Hi everyone, I'm not sure if this is the right place for this post, but this is a bit of an "art" project to me. I've been making a VGM "Fake Book" (it's like a compilation of charts with rhythm notation, chord charts, and two monophonic voices harmonized in a typical jazz arrangement style), and I wanted to share the progress with OCR in case anyone could get some use out of it. I suppose, in some sense, this is my "visual art project" relating to game music. 

It is a labor of love, so it is incomplete but entries are always being added to it. I'm in the phase of adding the finalized products to the book (many pieces are already transcribed/reharmonized and just lacking final draft) and would love some feedback from the community. I'm not making the whole book available to the public, but I'd like to share some excerpts and see what you think! 

 

Table of contents:

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I've included a .pdf file of "Dark World" from A Link to the Past. You'll notice that my sheets are made into two main sections:

"Head" Think of the top line as the main melody, second line as optional harmony/counterpoint.

"Vamp" The top line is what most of the accompaniment is providing in the source recordings, but re-voiced/re-harmonized in some instances that I found necessary. I didn't just sit with these pieces and add "7"s to every chord to make it "jazz". The basslines are an attempt to make a 1-1 transference of some bass lines if I find them particularly iconic (it may not be up to me to judge), but may be simplified in some places for "ease of use". The notes are written with an "X" instead of a traditional note-head because I wanted these to indicate rhythm as well, not just pitch. 

There are chords notated above the top line of the "Vamp". I believe them all to be accurate and have taken some liberties (but nothing too out there) where I heard implied harmony. I was mostly looking out for improvisers and guitarists. 

The idea was to have the pieces as informative as possible, while also making a clean and comprehensive chart that is easy to sight read. You can take this info and rearrange it for so many mixed groups! 

I am looking for feedback in the following areas:

Ease of Use

Accuracy of Melody

Harmonic Interpretation

Legibility/Comprehension

Anyone taking the time to review and critique would have my personal thanks and I'd be happy to provide them more sheets for their time (if interested). 

Thank you!

 

 

 

VGM Fake Book - Dark World.pdf

Edited by SirCorn
Formatting

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Hello! I am a contributor/staff member over at vgleadsheets.com. Over there, we are doing something similar, although it is more strictly based off of the real book in style, and aims to recreate the original music as closely as possible. That mentioned:

Almost all of my concerns are due with readability and ease of use.

I would find things in this format more difficult to use for most purposes than a standard lead sheet. The exception would be for arrangers. Having 4 staves, while good for being comprehensive, is not the best for sight reading in a group situation. I am part of the school of thought that when arranging or creating new versions of tunes, you don't need to use every bit of material for the original. For this, a lead sheet with just melody and chord changes would be more than sufficient. In jam settings, like the jamclinic at MAGfest, it is common to use the tune, but completely reharmonise it in different styles on the fly. This is not uncommon, and having the extra staves would be much more harmful than helpful in this scenario.

But, as I said, something in this format would be a godsend for arrangers who like to have as much information as possible (or those studying the tunes for theoretical purposes). This is a much larger group of arrangers in the scene.

I am unsure why you would use X noteheads for the bass voice. Originally, I thought it might just be the rhythm of the bass parts, then use the chord symbol to fill it in, but since the pitches are absolute, it makes no sense to use them as X noteheads.

Accuracy of melody and harmony I have no comments on. You did a solid job transcribing the tune, and were accurate with the accompaniment figures. I have no doubt that you would have a high level of accuracy in the rest of the tunes in your book.

The presentation and polish is also there. It is nice to see that a noticeable amount of effort was put into making it as clean and readable as possible.

Nice work!

 

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4 hours ago, JohnStacy said:

Hello! I am a contributor/staff member over at vgleadsheets.com. Over there, we are doing something similar, although it is more strictly based off of the real book in style, and aims to recreate the original music as closely as possible. That mentioned:

Almost all of my concerns are due with readability and ease of use.

I would find things in this format more difficult to use for most purposes than a standard lead sheet. The exception would be for arrangers. Having 4 staves, while good for being comprehensive, is not the best for sight reading in a group situation. I am part of the school of thought that when arranging or creating new versions of tunes, you don't need to use every bit of material for the original. For this, a lead sheet with just melody and chord changes would be more than sufficient. In jam settings, like the jamclinic at MAGfest, it is common to use the tune, but completely reharmonise it in different styles on the fly. This is not uncommon, and having the extra staves would be much more harmful than helpful in this scenario.

But, as I said, something in this format would be a godsend for arrangers who like to have as much information as possible (or those studying the tunes for theoretical purposes). This is a much larger group of arrangers in the scene.

I am unsure why you would use X noteheads for the bass voice. Originally, I thought it might just be the rhythm of the bass parts, then use the chord symbol to fill it in, but since the pitches are absolute, it makes no sense to use them as X noteheads.

Accuracy of melody and harmony I have no comments on. You did a solid job transcribing the tune, and were accurate with the accompaniment figures. I have no doubt that you would have a high level of accuracy in the rest of the tunes in your book.

The presentation and polish is also there. It is nice to see that a noticeable amount of effort was put into making it as clean and readable as possible.

Nice work!

 

Thank you for the feedback! I'll definitely take your advice to heart. I'll probably omit the X'd note heads in the bass, my initial plan was rhythm notation for chords players too, but that seems pretty unclear. Probably no hard in just having a literal bass line. 

That said, I do want to keep my theme of 4 staves/lines as that seems to be the boundaries in which my project is defined. I do have a question:

"Is there any point in me continuing this project if there is already such a comprehensive list of lead sheets already available?" 

I know you said that more arrangers may find this info useful, and if that is the case, I'd like to continue to work on these charts in an attempt to get them to the people who could benefit from their existence. I see some potential for classical musicians looking for solos/duets with accompaniment as well, not just improvisers. 

Could you help me find a community of people that would benefit from these? Would you consider allowing me to contribute some charts to VGLeadSheets.com under the proper formatting? I've noticed that some charts I'll be working on aren't already included in your library and I could provide a closer "Real Book" version for review, if possible. 

Thank again for taking time to review my work!

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