How do you organize your music for gigs?

  • Participant
    Harper Cait on #145640

    If you’re playing at a general event, or during a cocktail hour at a wedding, let’s say, how do you organize your music?

    Do you have your binder divided into separate genre sections?
    Do you put your pieces in the order of a planned setlist?
    Do you arrange your pieces according to key?

    My repertoire keeps growing and I’m having trouble deciding what the best way or organizing myself for events would be…


    alishia-joubert on #145641

    For background music, mine is all in two binders. Classical, and Pop. I flip from one to the other depending on the mood of the event.

    harp guy on #145642

    When I used to play wedding gigs on my lever harp I arranged my music as prelude, ceremony, postlude, extra background music. I had the ceremony music in the order specified by the bride. The other music was organized by key signature to minimize the amount of time I spent flipping levers. When it came to dividing my music into halves I generally put more reverent music in prelude and more upbeat music for after the ceremony.

    For other things I would just have it by key signature and I try to have a variety of music in the mix. But I don’t really play harp publicly anymore for a number of reasons (making my living as a flutist once again is more than full time work, and I prefer to refer requests to other more qualified harpists in the area who rely on gigging for their income whereas harping is just a passion of mine).

    patricia-jaeger on #145643

    On the music stand, because I play from memory, is just a printed list of perhaps 40

    tony-morosco on #145644

    Typically I use an iPad using Fourscore. In Fourscore I look up the music by any number of criteria, plus I can create playlists for specific kinds of gigs, or one off kind of events.

    If I need it I do keep a binder with all my music. I separate into genres and within the genre I organize alphabetically. For the specific event I pull out all of the pieces on my set let and order them in that order in the front of the book, and then put them back in their correct order afterwards. Again I have printed set lists I keep in the binder for various occasions.

    I also keep a disk in my gig bag with PDFs of all my music as well as keep copies of the PDFs on “the cloud” so that in a pinch I can get copies of any of my music anywhere I can get to a computer with a printer.

    alice-freeman on #145645

    I, too, use an iPad and ForScore for most of my gigs now. Thanks, Tony for the suggestions for a CD backup of PDF files and storing them in the “Cloud.” Both are good ideas.

    As far as organizing music, I use this naming convention for my PDF files:
    Tune Name – (Composer/Arranger) – Key – Instrument

    I make the Tune Name as complete as possible. I add the Composer/Arranger sometimes because I may make a medley of several different arrangements of the same tune. The Key is for setting pedals or levers, representing a Key Signature, not the relative minor or mode for a piece. I put PH (pedal harp only), CH (lever harp only) or AH (any harp) as the designated

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