Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tutorial: Sweet Drops

School's starting in two days omgwtfbbq. O_o In my last few days of relative freedom before classes kick in once again, I decided to arrange/transcribe a number of solo piano pieces from anime and video games, as I've previously shared here. More recently, I've decided to try my hand at using Synthesia, a neat little program that allows you to import MIDI files and play or watch the music on a virtual piano, and decided to build a tutorial on my "Sweet Drops" transcription.

Usagi Drop, the source material for this cute little piano work, is an anime that I've been following as it airs this season. Based on a manga by the same name, the anime is centered around a man who decides to raise his late grandfather's illegitimate daughter, and their adventures together through everyday life. It's extremely cute and fluffy; I was skeptical that I'd enjoy it at first, but it was so adorable that it quickly won me over. Evidently I have a soft side for josei anime. XD

Part of what Usagi Drop's appeal was connected to its OP and ED, found here and here, respectively. Compared to the OPs and EDs I'm used to (typically from shows involving either lots of murder, lots of robots, or lots of sadness), they were much more cheery and catchy, and felt a little more "Western" to me (particularly the chord progressions in the ED). I toyed around with making some piano arrangements of the pieces, but after stumbling across these official piano versions, I was content with just transcribing these amazing pieces. The video below is the fruit of my labor, and here's a link to the sheet music again.

Sweet Drops (Piano Version): Tutorial

Artist: Puffy AmiYumi
Date Completed: 2011-08-28
Software: Finale 2008, Fraps, Synthesia, SynthFont, Windows Movie Maker
Instrumentation: Piano

This was one of the more challenging transcriptions I've made in my music-transcribing career (hehe). I've never been great at harmonic dictation, and this piano piece definitely had some interesting harmonies that threw me for a loop. I'm still not completely sure I got all of the chords correct, but I think I'm pretty close. Another unexpected challenge was the numerous pieces of software that I needed to use to produce this video. It was quite the adventure in software; I wrote the music/generated the MIDI using Finale 2008, swapped soundfonts using SynthFont, recorded the tutorial from Synthesia using Fraps, and used Windows Movie Maker to put everything together. Considering I didn't even know of several of these programs before starting this project, I'd say I learned a lot. :)

Enjoy, and until next time!



  1. Thankyou very much. Beautiful work. Any chance you could provide your midi/Synthesia file?

  2. Thanks for your kind comment! Here's a link to the midi file:



  3. Hello David!
    Your transcription is great and I am practising it on piano right now.
    Do you mind if I play the piece and upload it on my channel? Of course I would credit you and your blog.

  4. Hi Max,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the transcription! Definitely feel free to put up a cover video, and I appreciate the offer to credit my blog as well. :) Let me know when it's up; I'd love to see it! Your YouTube channel is great, by the way...keep up the good work!


  5. Hi again,
    I finished the cover and uploaded it, thanks again for the music sheets! I am looking forward to more work of you.