Great American Songbook Recital is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, 2015 and is now open for submissions!
The submission deadline is Monday, September 14, 2015 at 9 PM Eastern (US) time.
There are currently 19 submitted pieces. Show me...
Think broadway shows, musical films, early jazz and blues, even early rock and roll. The cut-off date for compositions is 1959.
But we will not limit the recital to only American music. Any popular music from that era that fits the theme is acceptable. The choice of whether the music is a good fit is left to the performer.
All skill levels are welcome. There are many easier arrangements of the music. Even those who play by ear are invited to participate.
Duplicate pieces will be allowed, since there is hardly a standard way to perform popular music.
Multiple submissions are allowed, for instance several pieces with a similar theme or from the same composer or musical. Be creative!
I may change the order of submissions before the recital goes live to group the music better.
With the computing help of Bob Muir, the first recital was launched with 32 participants performing pieces in a wide range of styles and expertise, ranging from those who had been playing only a few weeks to those with a decade or more of piano experience.
Few on AB forum could have imagined just how wildly popular the recitals quickly became. A regular quarterly schedule was established, with calls for submissions going out on the first of February, May, August, and November, with the recital itself going live on the 15th.
A major advance was made starting with the 8th recital, when forum member mahlzeit wrote a program that allow people to submit recordings online that would then be normalized and given standardized mp3 tags to facilitate creating playlists or CDs.
The primary purpose of the recitals is to allow AB forum members to provide a snapshot of where they are in their piano journey at that particular point in time. The goal is not perfection but rather to share with one another our current projects. If you are fairly new to the piano, please do not be intimidated by some of the talent here in the ABF. We all consider ourselves to be beginners even though we may have been playing for some time. And, we LOVE to hear recordings from folks new to the keyboard. So even if you're on your first Alfred's method book, we would really enjoy hearing from you and you should not hesitate to participate.
After the recital goes live, a "Discussion Room" thread is started in which listeners offer their constructive feedback and thoughts about the various pieces. Some people comment individually on all submissions; others comment on a subset; and still others offer general appreciation for the recital as a group. Any of these approaches is acceptable and welcomed.
For those curious to see what the recitals are like, forum member Sam S. has created an extremely helpful ABF Recital Index that provides links to all the past recitals, in addition to allowing people to browse or search by performer or composer.
You can also browse Past ABF Recitals (beginning with number 11), including a streaming player for each recital.
In particular, thanks are due to:
For the Themed Recitals, usually there is a sign-up period followed by a "Call for submissions" thread from the recital organizer. Rules for submitting vary from recital to recital. The one recording per forum member rule may be waived for the Themed Recitals.
Recital submissions must be in MP3 format. The maximum size of the file is 20 MB. We recommend encoding the recording at 192 kbs with a constant bitrate, as that works best with the online streaming player. At that bitrate, a 20 MB file works out to be about 7 minutes in length. Submitted recordings are normalized when placed in the consolidated zip files, but the original link will still be available for those who want it.
For those who are new to recording their music, there are several threads in the forum archives that address the ways and means. See the Important Topics on AB Forum thread for links to various threads giving advice on recording equipment and methods.
Once the recital is opened for submissions, and your mp3 file is ready, the content at the top of this page will change to allow recording uploads (ONLY during the two week interval that the recital is open to submissions). Once you have uploaded your info to the automated recital software, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. You will have the opportunity to revise your submission any time up until the deadline. If you have any problems at all using the new website, or if you do not receive a confirmation e-mail within a few hours, just contact the administrator or post your question in the "Call for Submissions" thread. If you have not participated in past recitals using this software, you may want to submit your recital piece at least a day in advance in case you run into any problems with it.
The recital software uses the following submission template to be filled out along with your attached music file. You may want to have your responses to these fields prepared in advance so all you have to do is cut and paste: