The Not-So-Romantic Process of Arranging Music By Hand
While I've handwritten all my arrangements in the past (and I've done my fair share), they've each been for projects that were, admittedly, smaller than Brassft Punk - 4 or so musicians, a song or two. That's different than 4 tunes with 7 - 10 parts each. I failed to factor in just how much work would be involved in taking my arranged score (written music that includes all the parts of all the instruments together) and copying out each individual part for each musician to read during the session.
I started about 5 or 6 days ago doing almost nothing else but wake up, write charts, sequence them into a computer by reading each individual part and playing it on a keyboard (to check for errors), doing small changes and touch-ups, and then rewriting parts to reflect those adjustments. I realized quickly that if I wanted to get the charts to the musicians a week before the session (a deadline I set for myself) I'd have to work around the clock.
So I did. I got focused, became a hermit, and kept writing and writing and writing. Approx 80-100 pages of music and a bunch of pencil leads later, I was able to send emails with scanned copies of the parts to the musicians so they can get familiar with the material well before the session. That was about 5am today.
Whew! Finally I could focus on something other than the pressing need to churn this stuff out. With my newfound liberty to shift focus came a surprise. Not 2 hours after those emails went out, I noticed for the first time that my right wrist (the one that connects my writing hand) was quite sore. If there's ever been a compelling argument for using software to write arrangements, this is it. Ah well... at least I get to sport this cool accessory for a few days. :)