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 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: If you like (or want) any of my compositions, I’ve made available the score (in .PDF and MuseScore format), as well as .XML and .MID files. By the nature of Reaper sequence files, there is no score. Finally, a reasonable-quality .MP3 (or .WAV) file of the performance is available for preview or download.
IMPORTANT: Starting late 2020, I will be converting all my music to MuseScore – an entirely free music composition software package. I no longer wish to keep paying for Finale upgrades. Additionally, all the audio files will be re-rendered in Reaper.
Q: What are the .MUSX, .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. .MUSX files are saved by 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 with 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 present in a .RPP sequence performance. Such is noted in the .RPP file. Reaper is available for PC & Mac (and as of 2019, Linux) 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 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: 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: Quite some years ago I decided NOT to make my personal world an open book. I don’t have a Facebook page, and my LinkedIn profile is completely made-up nonsense. I respect that other people may be OK sharing their personal info. Not for me. 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.