Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where Am I? What’s Going On Here? Who is GandSnut? Who Is This Ferret Called Bunthorne?
A: You are visiting my personal website. I’m sharing music I’ve produced since early 1990. GandSnut is my web persona – something I established perhaps 1995-ish. Bunthorne is one of two ferret mascots for this website. Do a Google search on ‘Bunthorne’ and you’ll understand my GandSnut nom de guerre.
Q: There are TONS of free music on YouTube. What’s the big deal with your tiny collection?
A: No big deal… I encourage those who need music to get it from where-ever they can. If you like (and want) any of my compositions, you get 1) the full music score of the composition, and 2) a variety of notation document files including a .PDF readable format, and 3) a reasonable-quality .WAV file of the performance that you don’t have to extract from a YouTube video file. Totally your choice.
Q: What are the .MUSX, .MUS, .XML, .MID, .PDF, .RPP files mentioned for the compositions?
A: Software company MakeMusic produces ‘Finale’, a full-featured notation software for PC and Mac computers. This is the tool I use in 90% of my composition efforts. Finale 2012 version and older saved the compositions to a .MUS file (now considered ‘legacy’). .MUSX files are saved from more recent versions of Finale. The .XML file is exported from Finale to use in music software that can read such format. .MID files are generic MIDI sequence data files, which many music software packages can use. .PDF files are Adobe “portable document format”, which can be considered non-editable text with/or graphic documents.
.RPP files are entirely different from all the above. No scores (musical notation) are contained in .RPP files. These are MIDI (and possibly looped or live audio) sequencer files associated with the Reaper digital audio workstation package from Cockos. While MIDI (.MID) multi-track files could be extracted from a Reaper datafile, it’s easier to just distribute the .RPP file. There will be many instances where additional, 3rd-party software add-ons are represented in a .RPP sequence performance. Such is notated in the .RPP file. Reaper is available for PC & Mac for free download and trial use. If loops / live audio is used in an .RPP sequence, it will be included.
It’s worth mentioning that for any Reaper sequences, if ‘Casio’ appears in the name, the “beat style” may or may not come across as indicative of that particular style. The beat rhythm very likely was modified – sometimes substantially – from the original source MIDI. Take any beat style naming as a suggestion only…
Q: You say everything here is free but also say “Score parts are available for a minimal charge”. Free or not?
A: Everything shown available for each composition is totally free. For duets right up to full orchestra, the full score is free. Now, if you want each instrument’s part as seen in the full score – such as the flute music for flutes or the viola music for the violas – that means considerably more time and complexity to provide. If you buy or have Finale notation software (PC or Mac), then download my free .MUSX, .MUS, or .XML file, from which you would extract (then print) all the instrument’s parts yourself. If you want to save your time, and receive .MUSX / .XML / .PDF files (which you would then print as required), I’m asking a fee for this. Contact me regarding what composition you want to get parts for. Whatever we work out will likely be cost- and time-effective for you.
Q: MakeMusic’s Finale software is pretty expensive. I’d rather not buy it. Any options?
A: MakeMusic offers “Finale NotePad”, which is free. It can print out .MUSX, .MUS, and/or .XML files presented here – as long as the score has no more than 8 staves. There appear to be a number of commercial (or free music) notation programs than understand the .XML format. I am not sure how well other notation software packages handle these .XML files. Let me know what you discover.
Q: Why does the .MID (MIDI sequence) file I downloaded sound so weird?
A: The sounds that are produced by the playback of a .MID file are heavily dependent on how the particular MIDI sequencer software selects patches. Think of a ‘patch’ as the instrument sound. For example, if you download a duet for flute and piano .MID file sequence, and hear a banjo with an organ, it means the software didn’t specifically know to assign the sounds for flute and piano. Many sequencer programs have a way to select which patches you want. In fact, you could download a duet for flute and piano, then assign your own patch choices – such as tuba and harpsichord. Regarding tempo, you may find playback on your system is very fast. The easy fix for that is to check the score, then set your MIDI playing software to match the tempo in the score. Then playback should occur at the intended speed.
Q: I’d like to find out more about GandSnut. Why don’t I find any of that on this website?
A: Sadly, I believe there are “bad people” and “entities with questionable intent” who harvest personal information seen on the Internet from you and I. Thus, I don’t have a Facebook page, and my LinkedIn profile is completely made-up nonsense. I respect that other people may be OK with sharing their personal info. Not for me. I will share that I’m not a young person. From a very young age, music has figured prominently in my life in myriad ways. I have many interests, hobbies. You’ve probably noticed I like ferrets. I enjoy humans who use their brains. I greatly value common sense, fact, truth, and fairness. That’s enough for here.
Q: How do I use this website?
A: From the “Home Page”, go to “The Music” page. There, compositions are grouped by musical style with “jump-to” links based on the name of the composition. The ‘Thoughts’ and ‘Copyright’ pages are informational. To contact GandSnut, a ‘Contact’ page is available.
Q: Can I reward you for your efforts?
A: Yes, and I appreciate the sentiment. Visit the ‘Contact’ page to find a PayPal button. Still, watching a video of the live performance of any of my pieces is more rewarding than a donation. Seeing pleased performers and an entertained audience is the goal.