The Excerpts & Website
How do the audio tracks differ from CD recordings?
- The solo clarinet part is omitted.
- The instruments of the orchestra are balanced so that important passages (an accompanying bassoon, or another clarinet, for example) can be heard more easily while playing. Other orchestral details are more prominent in the mix where it is useful to be aware of them, even though they might not be heard as clearly when playing in an orchestra.
- The stereo is reversed to give the impression that you are in the orchestra, rather than in the audience. Bassoons, brass, low strings are to the left, french horns, violins are to the right, etc.
How do I change the playback speed of an excerpt?The excerpt tracks are controlled using the simple audio player found on each excerpt page. The triangular play button on the left side of the controls starts playback (this changes to a pause button once playback is underway). To change the playback speed, select a different percentage value from the dropdown list indicated by the orange arrow below. You can opt to change the playback speed before you press play or during playback.All excerpt tracks are set to play at 100% by default - this plays the audio track at its normal speed. Choose a percentage value lower than 100% to slow down the audio and a higher percentage to speed it up. In most cases, percentage values of 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105 and 110 are available.
If the normal speed of an excerpt is 104bpm, choosing 105% will play the excerpt at approximately 110bpm.
If you feel that an excerpt would benefit from an additional tempo value, please let me know.
Do I need any special equipment?The Forza Excerpts website renders equally well on devices with different screen sizes: mobile phones, tablets and computers. The functionality of the website is the same, regardless of the device used.
When working with the audio you will need a pair of earphones or headphones, and/or a speaker that can connect to your device. It can be useful to alternate between different types of audio equipment to vary the experience of working with the excerpts.
I use different equipment to test the excerpts, and I have written about my observations - I hope this additional information is useful.
When I press play the audio doesn't start immediately. Why is that?This occurs because the audio track needs to load before playback can begin. The audio files are high quality, and the longer the track is, the more time it takes to load. Internet access speed is a factor too.
What are the codes above each audio track for?I have given each audio track a code that links it to the corresponding page of sheet music. B13 is the code for the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, for example. Use the codes as a way of quickly locating the correct excerpt.
A440, A442 and A443…At the top of every excerpt page there are buttons for switching between excerpt tracks and rubato videos in A440 pitch, A442 and A443.The audio player displays a coloured progress bar indicator that confirms the currently selected pitch: blue for A440, purple for A442 and green for A443.Listen to a track in A440 followed by one in A442 or A443 and you may not particularly notice the difference in pitch - I certainly don't! But once you play along with the tracks, the difference between the pitches will be apparent.
Sheet musicSheet music for all of the orchestral excerpts is available in PDF format. Every excerpt page has a link for downloading the relevant sheet music. Clarion and Altissimo members can also download documents that contain all of the excerpts in the Forza library, in sets for clarinet and for bass clarinet. These documents are available on the Members page.
You can read the sheet music from your device if you do not wish to print it. Some of my students view the excerpts on their tablets, and one student sent a great tip about using the Forza website on iPad with Split View.
Feel free to share the sheet music documents, in printed or electronic form, but please leave the Forza Excerpts logo and website address clearly visible.
In some cases there are several bars of music before and after the actual excerpt. Why is that?One important reason is that you should have enough time to get ready to play once you've pressed the play button! But it is useful to know the context of a solo passage, what is happening in the orchestra leading up to it, and also following it.
Copyright informationThe majority of the excerpts in the Forza library are from pieces of music that are in the public domain and are therefore out of copyright.
However, please note that I own the copyright for the sound recordings in the audio and video tracks, and that these files may not be copied, recorded or distributed, etc. Further information can be found in the website’s Terms & Conditions of Use.
Feel free to print, copy and share the sheet music that is available on this website, but please leave the Forza Excerpts logo and website address clearly visible.
What are the Rubato Videos for?
External ResourcesMost excerpt pages have an External Resources section that provides links to videos of concert and opera performances on YouTube, and to full orchestral scores on the IMSLP website.
The YouTube links contain specific time codes so that each video begins playing at the point in the performance that corresponds with the start of the excerpt. Pages that have more than one excerpt have a choice of YouTube links, and these links point to different starting positions in the same video.
Use the IMSLP links to view full orchestral scores. I have provided page numbers - these will help you to quickly locate the correct passage in a score.
I regularly check the links to YouTube and IMSLP, but do let me know if you come across one that is broken.
Is there a Forza app?No, I’m afraid not! However, the Forza website is designed to render well on mobile devices and tablets and has been tested using several different mobile browsers. The functionality of the website is identical on all platforms.
For fast access to Forza you may like to add a shortcut icon on your device that links straight to the Member’s page:
- Launch Safari and go to the Member’s page.
- Tap the ‘share’ icon.
- Tap Add to Home Screen.
- Give the icon a short name, e.g. “Forza”.
- Tap Add.
- Launch Chrome and go to the Member’s page.
- Tap the menu icon (3 dots).
- Tap Add to Home Screen.
- Give the icon a short name, e.g. “Forza”.
- Tap Add, and tap Add a second time.
Can I request an excerpt?Absolutely! If you are a Clarion or Altissimo member and would like to see a specific solo or difficult passage included in the library then let me know - I'll see what I can do… Please note that although I may seek permission from publishers to create experts of music that is still in copyright, it is much easier and quicker to work with pieces that are in the public domain.
Our earsWe must all make sure that we look after our hearing as we spend a lot of time in noisy environments. So here's a gentle reminder to limit the amount of time spent working with audio, particularly when using headphones. It is always a good idea to take regular breaks.
Is there a way to get full membership for free?Yes there is, if you study or teach at a school, university or conservatoire. A representative of your academic institution will need to purchase Altissimo membership. They will receive up to 25 registration codes that can then be used by students and teachers to unlock free membership.
What happens if I have already paid for membership and my place of study/work purchases Altissimo membership?The short answer is that your membership payment, or part of it, will be refunded, as long as you have an active subscription. The amount of the refund will depend on how many months have passed since you purchased or renewed your subscription. You will need to ask whoever is providing you with a membership code to provide written confirmation. Your account will then be deleted, enabling you to create a new account with the Altissimo membership.
Chalumeau membershipChalumeau membership, which is offered free of charge, is available so that users may get a feel for the Forza Excerpts website, listen to and play with some excerpts, try out playback speed adjustment, select A440, A442 and A443 pitch, and test the suitability of their audio equipment. I very much hope that this 'free trial' experience will encourage users to upgrade their account to Clarion membership.
Can I change my username and password?Yes, you can change your username and password, and if necessary update your name and email address, on your Membership Account page. You will find a link to your account at the foot of most pages, when you are signed in.
Can I cancel my membership?Chalumeau members: You can cancel your membership by deleting your account on the Membership Account page. This process cannot be reversed.
Clarion and Altissimo members: You can cancel your subscription on the Membership Account page. This cancels the automatic renewal but does not delete your account. You can still renew your subscription at a later date, albeit manually. If you wish to cancel a subscription and cancel your membership, please cancel the subscription on the Membership Account page first and then get in touch for further assistance.
What happens if I forget my password?Don't worry if you forget your account password - if this happens, go to the Member's sign in page, enter your username and click the "Forgotten password?" link. An email with instructions on what to do next will be sent to you.
Please note that before attempting to log in with your new password you must activate it by clicking the "Activate Password Now" link in the email you receive. Then, once you have successfully logged in, you should change the password to one that is more memorable - this can be done from your Membership Account page.
Payment / Billing
Are payment transactions secure?Yes. All of this website's data is secured when it is sent using the encryption offered by https. Look for the padlock symbol at the top of your browser window. On desktop platforms you can click on the padlock to view the website certificate.
Forza Excerpts uses the services of the payment provider Stripe for processing membership payment transactions. Forza Excerpts does not see or store any data relating to these payment transactions.
More information is available in the website Privacy & Cookie Notice.
Can I get a refund if I change my mind?No, not automatically. Chalumeau membership is offered as a free trial so that users can listen to a few excerpts, play with them and assess the suitability of their audio equipment before choosing to upgrade their membership.
Requests for a refund are assessed on a case by case basis, and length of membership will be taken into account.
Please read the website Terms & Conditions of Use for more information.
Will I receive a receipt?You should receive a receipt from Stripe following your payment transaction. If it does not arrive in your inbox please check your spam/junk folder.
If you require another copy of your receipt you can download it from your Membership Account page. You will find a link to your account at the foot of most pages, when you are signed in.