#BuildBetterBrains Project

Making Music Makes You Smarter
The opening notes of Daniel M. Reck's Clarion Festival Overture as notated in Finale.

A lot of YouTubers have a particular bit of bed music and an end card theme that they run on each video.  You've heard this at the end of Shadows of Bronze videos and probably noticed it with some of my favorite channels, like 8-Bit Keys, Minute Physics, and Perifractic's Retro Recipies.

The music on each channel is part of its identity.  And each of these channels happens to be hosted by a musician.  David Murray, the 8-Bit Guy himself, is pretty talented in creating multitrack recordings from his array of vintage keyboards, although he features the excellent chip music of Anders Enger Jensen on both of his channels as well as in his Planet X game soundtracks (which are excellent).  Minute Physics, created and hosted by fiddler Henry Reich, picked music from bassist Nathaniel Schroeder as the bed music for his highly addictive lessons about... the nature of everything.

Only Christian Simpson, the personality behind Perifractic, actually features his own compositions in both the main themes and bed music his videos — which truly are a feast.

However, folks who have listened closely to forzandoArts videos after 2011 will recognize the piano and violin in the end card as my ¡Somos Uno!, while Shadows of Bronze uses a custom snippet of my Clarion Festival Overture.  Each of these songs have special meaning to me, which I will delve into some other time.

For now, what's relevant is that these new handbell music education videos I'm working on need end card music. Since this work is an extension of my efforts with Shadows of Bronze and Sound Curiosity, I've elected again use themes from Clarion Festival Overture.

In these new videos the end card theme needs to be extended to a full 21 seconds to accommodate YouTube's end card format. Somewhere along the way, the Finale file with Clarion Festival Overture's custom tag I wrote back in 2008 has gotten lost.  I have the original lossless recording, but not the score.  This has ended up being something of a blessing, as I think it has freed me from the previous compositional choices I made to create a short logo tag.

The photo above is a snapshot of the first few bars of the new longer end card theme.  The piano left hand is already been beefed rhythmically up more than you see here.  As in the original short tag, I am including flute, handbells, and piano, which fits the trio format that I prefer for Shadows of Bronze.  To add aural depth for this particular context I'm composing a light percussion part as well.

For me, the most interesting challenge is take an overture that was first composed for organ and develops multiple themes over several minutes and compress it into 21 seconds. How do I convey faithfully the original mood and excitement when there's no time to develop or provide context?

Hopefully this will be wrapped up in the next day or so and you'll hear the premiere in a short talking promo I've shot to invite others to join you in supporting this new educational handbell music video series.  I look forward to your feedback — there may be further refining tweaks to the music going forward.

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