Transcribing

Pop/R&B

Two examples of transcribing/arranging work I did for Béyonce and Paloma Faith.

[click on images to see the scores on sheetmusicdirect.com]

Broken-Hearted Girl

New York


Jazz

It's probably easiest to show what good transcribing is by giving an example of how not to do it.

Below are my corrections to a page of Hal Leonard's "The Herbie Hancock Collection", HL 00672419, from the publisher's "Artist Transcriptions" series. The series is supposed to be the most accurate collection of notated jazz available, and the book claims to feature Herbie Hancock's solos "note-for-note".

[click image to download PDF]

Speak Like a Child

The transcriber's main mistakes were:

  • putting too many notes in the left hand voicings
  • not "spelling" chords correctly, and
  • simply missing things out

This suggests that the transcriber:

  • couldn't hear all the notes of a chord, and
  • had a poor grasp of jazz theory

If I transcribe a piece I can guarantee I get every note, and understand where each note fits in the music's structure.


Classical

This is my arrangement of the Prelude to Act III of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. My methodology was to transcribe the music from a recording first, and then to check my arrangement with a score. This way I was able to make a much better approximation of the sound of the orchestral original than a note-for-note transcription would have produced.

[click image to download PDF]

Tristan and Isolde