Twelvemonth Music is an Internet-based publisher of innovative music education materials based on visualinear tablature, a guitar notational system invented in the mid 1970’s by company founder D.L. Stieg. The original Twelvemonth Music website was launched in 2004, and introduced the two manuals Melody Guitar and Rhythm Guitar, as well as the Guitar Ensemble Core Catalog. Melody Guitar is a general introduction to the study of music, and a guide to playing melodies effectively on the guitar. Rhythm Guitar is a comprehensive and theory-based study of rhythmic styles of play on the steel string acoustic guitar, with an equal emphasis on flatpick styles and fingerstyles,. The Guitar Ensemble Core Catalog is a collection of 190 parts arrangements for acoustic guitar, similar to choral or orchestral arrangements, except that all the parts are played on the guitar rather than sung or played by orchestral instruments. The interactive e-scores for this guitar ensemble music, which were made possible by the development of visualinear tablature support in his TablEdit music notation program by French programmer Matthieu Leschemelle, create a very unique, very productive, and very enjoyable learning environment.
In 2007 the Twelvemonth Music website was augmented by the addition of the Rhythm Guitar Core Catalog, as well as the Articles, a free Internet publication of D.L. Stieg’s 12 Essays on Music. The Rhythm Guitar Core Catalog is a collection of 160 rhythm guitar arrangements, all of which are accompaniments to parts arrangements from the Guitar Ensemble Core Catalog. The addition of the Rhythm Guitar catalog completed an interconnected and comprehensive music and guitar learning program consisting of two manuals and two complementary catalogs of guitar music. The rhythm arrangements in the Rhythm Guitar Core Catalog are given in note-for-note visualinear tablature scores that include Study Notes, which are helpful discussions about the chords used in playing the song, and about interpreting the score correctly, and about playing the arrangement in a musically pleasing fashion. In 2009 the original Twelvemonth Music website was edited to create a shorter and simpler website (www.twelvemonth.com) , and the original site became the sub-domain schools.twelvemonth.com. The new website, which is somewhat easier to follow and more to the point than the original website, was created in order to enhance the appeal of the Twelvemonth Music learning methods to individuals who are interested in learning to play music, but not interested in the study of music.
In 2010 and January of 2011, D.L. Stieg recorded and wrote and/or arranged most of the songs for the D.L. Stieg Catalog, a 15 album collection of 180 songs (86 originals, 70 covers, and 24 Christmas carols) arranged for guitar and voice. In 2011 Twelvemonth Music launched the chartsandchords.com website, a unique and innovative resource for learning to play popular songs. The chartsandchords website features an innovative song chart format, an adaptation of visualinear tablature notation, that makes it possible to learn to play popular songs in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise. Guitarists can also make use of the chord docs, which detail the exact chord fingerings used in playing the songs on the original recordings. The all-important Popular Music Catalog, which was completed in 2011, was not added to the chartsandchords site until January of 2015. Also in 2015, a fourth Twelvemonth Music website was created (dlstieg.com) to make available for review and purchase the music of D.L. Stieg, including the D.L. Stieg Catalog, as well as the 2014 Catalog, an 8 album collection of 96 songs (54 originals, 30 covers, and 12 cowboy songs) that were written, arranged, and recorded almost entirely in 2014. In July of 2016 the Compatibility Catalog, a collection of 144 popular songs spanning more than seven decades and in a wide variety of musical styles, was completed and added to the chartsandchords.com website.
Between July 2016 and January 2017, D.L. Stieg wrote Acoustic Guitar Chords, a comprehensive and innovative manual on the subject. During the same period of time, he also wrote 168 chord progressions, which he then re-worked into song form, charted in February and March of 2017, and recorded between mid-2017 and early 2018 (the Progressions Catalog). In the spring of 2017, the first three albums of the Twelvemonth Catalog (all covers) were charted, recorded, and added to the dlstieg.com website. In February of 2018 four albums of D.L. Stieg’s music (Greatest Hits I-IV) were released on multiple retail outlets (Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, etc.). In the spring of 2018, the “Twelvemonth Music” and “Twelvemonth Music II” YouTube channels, which feature all of the D.L. Stieg recordings of original and public domain songs, were created. In the latter half of 2018 D.L. Stieg completed the research for and the writing of Shantyman, a novel about life at sea in the mid-19th century U.S. Merchant Marine. In 2019 a fourth and fifth album (one of them Political Rock III) were added to the Twelvemonth Catalog, and work began on composing vocal melodies and lyrics for the accompaniments in the Progressions Catalog. In early 2020 the Political Rock III album was re-worked, and a fourth Political Rock album was added to the Twelvemonth Catalog. In April of 2020 a fifth album of D.L. Stieg’s music (Political Rock Anthology) was released commercially. In May of 2020 the fifth Twelvemonth Music website (politicalrock.com) was launched.