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Help: professional standard music notation sof

GUEST,JTT 13 Sep 02 - 04:24 AM
Dave Bryant 13 Sep 02 - 04:39 AM
GUEST 13 Sep 02 - 10:17 AM
Gypsy 13 Sep 02 - 11:23 AM
MMario 13 Sep 02 - 12:08 PM
Mark Clark 13 Sep 02 - 01:34 PM
DADGBE 13 Sep 02 - 01:59 PM
Mark Clark 13 Sep 02 - 08:17 PM
Mark Clark 14 Sep 02 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,JTT 14 Sep 02 - 04:07 AM
John P 14 Sep 02 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,JTT 18 Sep 02 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Sep 02 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Sep 02 - 06:18 AM
harpgirl 18 Sep 02 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,JTT 19 Sep 02 - 07:28 AM
M.Ted 20 Sep 02 - 12:34 AM
Joe Offer 20 Sep 02 - 01:38 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 09 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,Debora 28 Dec 09 - 04:47 AM
Darowyn 29 Dec 09 - 04:16 AM
sleepyjon 11 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM
Tattie Bogle 11 Jan 10 - 08:55 PM
JohnInKansas 12 Jan 10 - 02:42 AM
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Subject: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 04:24 AM

Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm looking for *professional* standard music notation software to use for composing music - classical music, that is. What's best? And can you get student discounts on this software?

And what about editing and sampling software - what do professionals use for this?

(For those who say that you can't use software for notation, apparently the cheaper notation software is useful for jotting down notes for a classical composition and seeing how it sounds and getting


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 04:39 AM

The nearest to an "industry standard" is probably SIBELIUS. I still use PERSONAL COMPOSER because I like the features for settting up music graphics and adding lyrics. I also like the facility it has for extracting a selected portion of the score onto the clipboard (as a windows metafile) so tht it can be pasted into a DTP or other application.


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 10:17 AM

Actually, the standard is FINALE--very widely used, but not really well liked--it is designed to provide every option that you might need for orchestral parts--the price is probably over $600, but you can get a "educators" version for about half that--I would suggest getting in touch with someone connected with a music school to see if you can finesse a copy--

I bailed out on FINALE and use Overture, which is much more friendly and has a very good sequencing capability--it is an orphan program though--developed by OPCODE, then supported by Cakewalk and now gone I don't know where--it wasn't cheap either--

If you use a MAC, there is a free program called Virtual Composer at the Apple site that looks quite good--

Composing software offers amazing capabilities, but the price, in both cash initial cash outlay and learning time, is pretty steep--good luck!


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: Gypsy
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 11:23 AM

Well, Finale does come in several different levels......the handsome mando player got an edition for about 60$ (US) and is working fine for him. Can do melody, countermelody, chords, harmony, and play the whole thing. He can also pick out each section in a different colour, so people can see their parts. Pretty useful for us.


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: MMario
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 12:08 PM

Yes - Finale is the standard - but for $30 you can get Noteworthy Composer - which has a few serious flaws (lack of drumhead notation is one)- but for many people (including professionals) does everything they require.


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: Mark Clark
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 01:34 PM

It looks to me as though Finale is the one used by Hal Leonard and all the biggest music publishers. Finale provides nearly infinate control over the appearance of the finished score. It has a steep learning curve but is much easier than it used to be. It's not primarily a sequencing program although it has some sequencing features. Finale's forte is in providing the detailed features and control desired by music publishers. It includes features to line up lyrics with measures any way you'd like, it includes multiple note fonts including a jazz font that looks like it was done by hand (e.g. The Real Book jazz fake book).

It allows you to set up the staff any way you want from a simple lead sheet to a grand staff to an orchestral score. It also lets you strip parts out of the score and produce instrument specific parts.

You can precisely locate any notational ornament and even design your own. You can use the guitar chord font provided or design your own guitar chord symbols. In short, it does far, far more than most of us would need for folk or popular music.

Note input can be by synth keyboard or computer keyboard with several modes provided for each device. There is also a microphone input mode that will transcribe directly from a horn, for instance. The MIDI keyboard input function allows you to simple play a two handed piece of music up to tempo and then sync it to measures afterword for producing a score. Of course you can also use the MIDI keyboard for single note entry.

While clearly at the top of the heap, Finale is best used by someone who uses it professionally or at least uses it every day. If you don't use it pretty much all the time, one tends to forget how certain functions are carried out and that causes frustration.

You might take Finale into the studio as a composition tool but I don't think you'd make it part of your recording or performance setup.

Be aware that the publisher, Coda Music, is constantly churning their customer base. New revs come out about every six months and each “upgrade” costs more than the purchase price of many other music notation programs. I don't update my copy more than once every two or three years.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: DADGBE
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 01:59 PM

I've been using Encore for several years and it's used by several orchestral composers I know who had trouble getting going on Finale. It's much more intuitive and easier to learn. These days it's owned by G-VOX who can be found on line. Does everything but it ain't cheap.


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: Mark Clark
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 08:17 PM

JTT, I should ask how you go about composing classical pieces. No, I'm not looking for a tutorial—way over my head—I mean do you compose by ear at a MIDI keyboard, or do you just write the score directly from your head like Mozart? Do you need playback or just high-grade publishing? Is the computer input your first draft or is it merely a final transcription of your completed score?

I ask these questions because there are free tools around that allow you to produce beautiful scores for classical music but address only the typesetting or engraving side of the task. A couple of these are MusixTeX and LilyPond. The input for LilyPond is something on the order of ABC files in that you enter each part separately. With MusixTeX, you enter the notes for all parts on a measure by measure basis.

Here are some LilyPond examples if any of this sounds interesting.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: Mark Clark
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 03:36 AM

Since submitting the post above, I've spent some time with the GNU LilyPond program, read through some of the documentation and played with some of the tutorial examples. My comments on the program are over in Murray's Esoterica thread from a very long time ago.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 04:07 AM

Mark Clark, I don't compose at all, this is for the nephew. He has used ome software called Partition, which he said was quite limiting, because it forced you into a four-bar structure which makes it difficult to compose complex pieces.

Also, he said, the sound was pretty awful on it, so you can't hear the results properly, especially if you have combined several instruments - it's limited. The rythm combinations were also pretty limited, he said.


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: John P
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 10:16 AM

Finale is definitely the industry standard, although I've heard Sibelius is making serious inroads. They seem to be the two "pro" programs. I spent the $30 on a printed version of the Finale manual and haven't regretted it, but then I've always disliked on-screen help. The manual is very well indexed and I've always been able to find everything I need quickly.

There are several very good sequencing programs. What springs to mind immediately are Emagic Logic, Digital Performer (Mac only), Cakewalk (Windows only), and Cubase. I've only used the first two a bit, and found that they could do WAY more than I ever needed them to -- which is good, as being limited by your software is very frustrating.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 05:00 AM

Sequencing? What's that, please?


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 06:11 AM

I enjoy Cakewalk and have used it for nearly five years.

View them at http://www.cakewalk.com

It is now available for MAC

Click on the artist profile - scroll to the bottom - click on more artists and take your pick of the style artist you like.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

The 30 free trial is a good way to play around and see if it meets your needs.


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 06:18 AM

Cripes! How to explain sequencing?

Lifted from http://www.musicmaker.demon.co.uk/midiintr.htm

Sequencing software is used to record and play the musical performance. Sequencing software also allows full editing of music in a way that is very similar to editing a document in a word processor. The software makes is easy to fix mistakes (delete the bum notes, or move them up a key, add a few extra notes and so on) to transpose a part of a piece or the whole thing, and many other options.

Sequencing software allows many different instuments to be played simultaneously, thereby creating a very full and rich musical environment. Anything from simple tunes to fairly complex musical works can be created and edited.

Sequencing software normally allows you to work in the method you prefer. You do not have to be able to read music. If you cannot read music, you can use the graphical representation of the notes that the software provides. If you can read music then you can use an on-screen version of the normal musical staff notation to edit your work.

Sequencing software includes "mixing facilities" in the form of software mixing desk. This allows you to add effects, such as reverb or chorus, to selected intruments, to set volume levels and so on. These help bring your music to life.

Sequencing software makes it easy to change many aspects of a piece of music; change from one instrument to another, change the type of drum kit sound you are using, make a copy of a part of a track or a whole track and transpose it to create a harmony. MIDI Sequencing software lets you explore and experiment, changing the music at will and then reverting back if you don't like the results of the experiment.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Check out their root directory http://www.musicmaker.demon.co.uk for help selecting the software you need - and of course, Cakewalk is there.


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: harpgirl
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 01:58 PM

...how much memory does the trial download require on Cakewalk, garg?


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 07:28 AM

Ah, then that's what my nephew has been looking for - or rather, it's half of what he's looking for, the other half being musical notation ware to use for jotting notes when he's composing.

I know this is a bit thread-creepy, but can I ask this while I have the classicists gathered? The same nephew likes "music" by people like Morton Feldman (?) - stuff that sounds like people dropping a food processor on a Kabuki orchestra. But he complains that it's hard to find.

Personally I think it *should* be hard to find.... But can anyone help the sprog?


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Sep 02 - 12:34 AM

A sequencing program is really just a computerized version of a piano roll--


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Subject: Help:professional standard music notation software
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Sep 02 - 01:38 AM

I did a fair amount of research for a music teacher on this earlier this year, and she ended up buying Finale. She got it for a 50 percent academic discount, somewhere between $250 and $300. Everything I read said that Finale and Sibelius are the two industry-standard packages, and supporters of each have a low opinion of the other. Sibelius is said to be more "user-friendly," and Finale more "sophisticated" - but just by a hair. Both programs are supposed to produce excellent results - but I have to say I've had a bear of a time keeping ahead of the teacher in learning to use Finale, so I can solve her problems.
Still, it seems to be a very good program, and what it produces is certainly sophisticated.
The teacher gave her Windows 3.1 version of Finale to my stepson, so I've had to learn to use that, too. I had to convert her Win 3.1 files to the current version. That went relatively smoothly.
For my needs, I prefer Noteworthy Composer - but my needs are simple.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:45 AM

There are not many tools that can notate music and be helpful in the process. It took me a while to find a good one. I use MagicScore Maestro. I like its clear interface, it's easy to master even for those who can't read and write music. If you have a MIDI controller ( like keyboard, synthesizer, etc.) connected to your computer, you can record scores in real time. You can also easily select and configure the input device that should be used for receiving data.

http://www.mymusictools.com/score_editors_30/magicscore_maestro_5_26465.htm


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: GUEST,Debora
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 04:47 AM

MagicScore Maestro


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: Darowyn
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 04:16 AM

It's been a long time since the original post, and nothing moves faster than software development, but anyone still in the hunt for sequencing and score writing software might like to know that AVID ProTools (8) is now fully integrated with Sibelius, and comes with a basic version of it.
Files can easily be transferred from one to the other.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: sleepyjon
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM

I too just noticed how old this topic is - my eye was caught by Dave Bryant's reference to Personal Composer (back in 2002 - second post in the thread). Is Dave still around on this forum? I've been using Personal Composer since 1997 - was beginning to think I was the only one in the world - and I've tried for hours to work out how to copy/paste into a dtp program - could only ever manage it into Pressworks - which is an even older program. How is it actually done?

SJ


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 08:55 PM

Sadly Dave Bryant is no longer with us: my last picture of him was taken at Sidmouth Festival in August 2004: I think he died later that year.
I don't do any professional composing, but find the free version of Finale Notepad adequate for my needs.


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Subject: RE: Help: professional standard music notation sof
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 02:42 AM

Over several years, mostly since this thread started, I've found three or four fairly inexpensive programs quite capable of very professional music layout and printing – within the limits of everything I've been interested in doing. Unfortunately, whenever a reasonably priced program appears and gets well enough known to be recommended, each gets "purchased" by one of the major software publishers and "rendered obsolete," usually by stopping sales and stopping support. The next new OS release quickly renders the abandoned older programs unusable.

Since the layout of music for display and printing is largely "graphic," and the programs are full of shortcuts and specialized utilities for placing, sizing, spacing, and editing lots of "glyphs," the result is that files generally are saved in "proprietary" formats unreadable by other (newer) programs.

The major program publishers generally produce "cheaper" programs for special and more limited needs; but it can be difficult to define exactly what features your own use requires, and then to find a specific program that provides most (almost never all) of your needed features among the things offered. (Quite obviously, no publisher wants to offer a $3 program that does everything their $800 program can do, and it's to their advantage to "omit" at least a few things that even the simpler program should do – even for the least demanding users with limited needs – in order to encourage "upgrading" to the more profitable ones.)

It's easy enough for a user who's found a program that does "everything" that user needs to do his/her thing, and to recommend it to others; but it can be very difficult for the "others" to find pre-acquisition assurance that they need/want exactly the same features, and that a recommended program really has all of what they want.

Regardless of what program is used, or what it is capable of doing, you're unlikely to produce "professional quality" scores unless you know what good scores should look like, and for some purposes it may be necessary to know at least a bit about "traditions" of the music publishing business.

Regardless of how much we think we know about "scoring," most of us from can benefit from having a good, professional grade reference book to check out whether we're "doing it right" when questions pop up. One that I found some time ago, and that I can recommend, is Music Notation by Read, published by Taplinger, ISBN 0-8008-5453-5. My copy was $19.95 (US) from Barnes in 1996. I would expect that it is still in publication, although it's been perhaps a year since I've seen it on the bookstore shelves. I'm sure, if you find it, that it will be a little more expensive now; but it's been very much "worth having on the shelf" for me.

John


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