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music notation programmes

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buttonbox 24 Jul 05 - 08:35 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 24 Jul 05 - 08:54 AM
treewind 24 Jul 05 - 09:10 AM
s&r 24 Jul 05 - 01:45 PM
buttonbox 25 Jul 05 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,pete 25 Jul 05 - 05:28 AM
GUEST 25 Jul 05 - 05:35 AM
Kaleea 25 Jul 05 - 07:55 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Jul 05 - 09:47 PM
JohnInKansas 25 Jul 05 - 11:41 PM
alison 26 Jul 05 - 12:06 AM
buttonbox 26 Jul 05 - 04:52 AM
pavane 26 Jul 05 - 10:45 AM
Marje 26 Jul 05 - 12:00 PM
pavane 27 Jul 05 - 07:06 AM
Grab 27 Jul 05 - 10:21 AM
LilyFestre 27 Jul 05 - 06:11 PM
Geoffw 27 Jul 05 - 06:23 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Jul 05 - 06:28 PM
Geoffw 28 Jul 05 - 01:17 PM
Roberto 28 Jul 05 - 02:14 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Jul 05 - 11:50 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Jul 05 - 01:05 AM
pavane 01 Aug 05 - 07:16 AM
JohnInKansas 01 Aug 05 - 07:41 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Aug 05 - 07:53 PM
open mike 01 Aug 05 - 09:36 PM
treewind 02 Aug 05 - 05:39 AM
pavane 08 Aug 05 - 10:45 AM
pavane 08 Aug 05 - 10:49 AM
JohnInKansas 09 Aug 05 - 11:11 AM
pavane 10 Aug 05 - 04:23 AM
Mitch the Bass 10 Aug 05 - 04:50 AM
JohnInKansas 10 Aug 05 - 08:34 AM
treewind 10 Aug 05 - 01:17 PM
pavane 11 Aug 05 - 12:23 PM
JohnInKansas 11 Aug 05 - 01:24 PM
JohnInKansas 15 Aug 05 - 04:47 AM
Grab 15 Aug 05 - 10:22 AM
JohnInKansas 15 Aug 05 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,nico 08 Jan 09 - 05:29 AM
GUEST 08 Jan 09 - 01:41 PM
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Subject: music notation programmes
From: buttonbox
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 08:35 AM

does anyone know of a music notation programme (preferably a free download!) in which the physical (rather than the musical)length of the bars can be kept the same and the number of bars on a line can be controlled. The reason for this is so that I can print off music with eg 4 bars to a line so that with a bit of luck repeated bars are directly under (or on top of) each other so making it easier for students to see the repeats. Also being able to generate fairly long bars allows for greater clarity and room for additional symbols etc without it loking too cluttered. The programe I am using at the moment
(Finale notepad) works well enough but seems to adjust bar length acording to how many notes in bar & as a result the number of bars per line varies all the time. Any ideas anybody - help!
cheers
BB


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 08:54 AM

Sibelius will do what you ask, but it's far from being a free download!! You can specify any format you want, e.g. having four bars per system, or single bars of an irregular value, plus much else. I think they do a free demo-version which allows you to try things out, without being able to save. Check out more at sibelius.com


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: treewind
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 09:10 AM

Standard ABC notation lets you specify exactly where the line breaks come so you can keep a fixed number of bars per line.
abcm2ps (what I use for all music printing) also has a switch to keep the same number of bars per line overriding the ABC input.

Neither will keep all the bars exactly the same size, but it satisfies some of your requirements.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: s&r
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 01:45 PM

Finale will allow you to freeze the number of bars on a line: I know notepad is cut down, but the facility might be there.

Stu


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: buttonbox
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 03:15 AM

Thanks everybody - anybody else got any ideas?


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: GUEST,pete
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 05:28 AM

melody asstant
noteworthy composer are great programs
pete


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 05:35 AM

Have you tried left-clicking on the bar line and moving back into the preferred alignment? I don't know Finale Notepad, but moving barlines is routine on most programmes, even cheap ones.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Kaleea
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 07:55 PM

You are on the fight track. One of the keys to teaching beginners Music is to write the notation in four equally sized measures, one directly under the other for several reasons which helps in the learning.   I just make up the staff paper & then write out for whatever instrument myself.

When they first began to come out, I couldn't get the darn programs to do what I wanted &/or needed them to do--operator malfunction being only a small factor. They simply didn't have all the needed symbols & things in the programing. So, like many of my edjumacated friends, I have continued to write out everything the old fashioned way like I did in Music school mmmty years ago, which is very readable since Dr. "Uncle" Arthur would take 20 points off for untidyness. (& 96-100 was an A!) Which brings me to the question bugging me for several years.

    Does anyone know of a program which does contain all the appropriate staves for most all varieties of arrangements, choral, instrumental, ensembles? And has the necessary tabs for all the bluegrass instruments--that is with a choice of 3, 4, 5, 6, or 8 lines representing the strings? And if I want to input a melody, can I click somewhere & voila the correct tab for say, Mountain Dulcimer or Mandolin is correctly formulated and appears before my bleary eyes on my 'puter screen? And has most all of the expression denotations which, say, a classical Musician would need? And which can put text under the exact spot under the notes? And is idiot proof? I know, therein lies the rub!

   I really haven't tried out the programs for awhile, & would like to have one, but don't want to pay $500!


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 09:47 PM

I don't know if any of the GNU (free) software projects are working on this, but it might be a good idea.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 11:41 PM

Kaleea -

Any decently large music shop - especially one that deals in band/orchestra instruments - should have "trial CDs" for Sibelius on hand. If you have a fast connection or sufficient patience you can download it from their web site or order the CD there for a nominal "handling" fee.

It does appear that it will do all of what you are asking, with the possible exception of the "idiot proof" part and the $500.

A couple of the other "sophisticated" programs have similar trial versions, and probably can do most, if not all, of it - subject to the same two exceptions.

Any program with all your features will be complex enough to require some study before you get much of the good out of it, so it depends on whether your "idiot" is a trainable one.

John


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: alison
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 12:06 AM

Musicator works well for all of the above too....... doubt if you can find it free though

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: buttonbox
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 04:52 AM

Kaleea

thanks for confirming my gut feeling that using equal measures above each other eases the learning process. Am now thinking that it may well be simpler to continue doing the whole thing by hand big & clear - but any more ideas/discusion most welcome
BB


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 10:45 AM

As a software author, I CAN include things like this on request, but obviously like to know there is a demand before spending time adding a feature.

It would be possible for me to implement a 'fixed physical length bar' option to HARMONY. If you check the rest of the program and think it fits your requirements apart from this, then let me know.

Note that HARMONY does not yet do tab for stringed instruments. I decided that there were already many tab programs available, and I would rather concentrate on Harmony's unique features.

You can download a 30 day trial from my web site www.greenhedges.com


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Marje
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 12:00 PM

Noteworthy Composer will allow you to make the line-breaks where you want them, so the lines are equal in length, but I don't think you can equalise the spacing of the bars within a line. To me, the former seems the important feature - unequal bar-lengths are normal enough in other types of written music. But I agree that for dance tunes, it's really helpful to have the line-breaks arranged sensibly so you can see the structure of the tune and the repeats.

Noteworthy is not free (well, there is a free version but it limits what you can do) but it's a lot cheaper and simpler than Sibelius. To alter the line-break, you have to go to Insert/Bar line(decorated) and tick Force System Break.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 07:06 AM

HARMONY does support the abc line break option, and puts a new line wherever specified. It also has a line break command in its own native tune format (see Command @F)

What it does NOT do is try and align the bars in successive lines of the score. This could cause problems if one bar has a lot of short notes. But as I said, I could provide this facility if required, and you would have to live with any overflow caused. There is also a HARMONY (@) command to modify the space between notes, but currently you have to edit the text of the voice files to implement this. I could perhaps add the facility to compress a group of selected notes to the program menus.

Note also that HARMONY supports the abc PART specifications which are useful for dance music.

You only need to put in each of the parts once, and then the playback will generate them according to the formula supplied (see abc specifications)

The parts are also identified on the score as printed or displayed.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Grab
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 10:21 AM

I've gone with Melody Assistant. It's not free, but it's very cheap. I spent an awful long time looking for decent tab and score editting software, and I landed with Melody Assistant as the best trade-off of features and cost. It has the slight quirk of being developed by French coders, so the English is not quite "normal". ;-) But the program has better features than anything else I could find, and is very easy to use as well.

Re the printing, you can definitely set how many bars per line you want in Melody Assistant. I don't think it's a direct option of "bars per line", but you can tweak the spacing between notes and watch the output change on the print preview, which has the same effect.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: LilyFestre
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 06:11 PM

I use Midi Notate and love it. It has a 30 day free trial and then it costs about $40.00 for unlimited use....simple to use. I don't know if it will do just what you are asking, but you can try out all the features for free during the 30 day trial.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Geoffw
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 06:23 PM

I use Noteworthy which I think is unbeatable for both ease of use and value for money.

It is a straightforward job to create a line break, but there is no guarantee that the bars will line up.

However, it occurred to me that one "cheat" which ought to work with any notation program is to create a four part tune and make each "part" four bars long. That way the bars will line up. You will have to tippex out the line joining the staves together though, after you have printed it.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Jul 05 - 06:28 PM

... or you could treat the output as a graphics file and edit that before printing it.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Geoffw
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 01:17 PM

Is this the sort of thing you want?

This is a "quick and dirty" job to give the idea. It doesn't look brilliant on the screen, but prints a lot better. If you set the format to Landscape, you get quite a reasonable size output.

Geoff


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Roberto
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 02:14 PM

I'd need a program to write simple staff notation tunes and save them, for instance as images (jpg. etc). Tunes taken from many different sources that I'd like to be written in the same graphical style. Is there such a thing? R


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jul 05 - 11:50 PM

There used to be 'music scanner' SW that would read scores and convert tohem to midi I believe - but I have no firm details on what is out there now. You could then output them all in a single style.
(Copyrights problems may exist!!!)


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Jul 05 - 01:05 AM

Several of the high-dollar programs have plugins to convert scans to scores, and with most of the programs the midi is automatic. There are a couple of freeware scan-to-something things, but reports have not been too enthusiastic.

The scanner plugin for Sibelius is about $100 (US) extra, but that's just a bump on an $800+ program. Some of the web sellers offer it for a little less, and if you qualify for "student" discounts it's about half. This one has a pretty good rep with the gossip sites, but I haven't got over the extortion hump to get Sibelius in any form.

John


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: pavane
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 07:16 AM

I do still have a copy of a trial version of 'MIDISCAN' (many years ago) which did music OCR. It was fairly good on pop(I fed it some 'easy piano Carpenters' as a test) but made a real mess of tunes from O'Neills Music of Ireland. It had difficulty with grace notes and other kinds of ornamentation.

Maybe the recent versions are better?

On the graphics front, I can't remember if I provide a 'Save to bitmap' or 'Print to file' option for the score in Harmony, but it should be possible to do quite easily.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 07:41 PM

pavane -

You should be able to "print to file" from any program. You can create/install a "printer" that's a print to file, and if you set that as your default printer, anything you print will go to a file. The program ain't got nothin' to say about it.

Many printers allow you to "turn on" a print to file option in the printer options at the time of printing, and most people will want to do it that way. If you go into properties/settings for a printer and convert the printer installation to a "file print" setup, you can't usually reverse the change.

You can "install" a printer that doesn't exist physically on your setup, and print to file to get an input appropriate to that printer. This is useful, as mentioned in a previous post, if you want something like "clean PostScript" and don't have a !PS printer.

I currently have 3 physical printers in the office, one of which can print PostScript or PCL, so I have 4 installed printers (drovers) that produce "paper" output. I have a total of 14 "installed" printers on my computer, with the others just for print to file uses.

John


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 07:53 PM

"(drovers)" should of course be "(drivers)" in the previous post.

I should also have noted that the "save as bitmap" does need to be built into your program, unless you can blow up (zoom) the view enough to get useful "screen capture" results. Ctl-PrtScn loads the "picture" of the active window into memory, and you can "Paste" it from the clipboard as a picture. Since it only saves at 72 dpi (nominal screen resolution) what you see should be at least 2x - preferably 4x - what you want to use to get good printing results after you resize (smaller picture = more dpi) and paste somewhere.

If you can "zoom in" enough you probably don't really need to modify the program, if you haven't already provided the bitmap save feature; but a note on how do do it in your help file might be appropriate.

John


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: open mike
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 09:36 PM

http://www.musicease.com/

also has a feature that prints shape note scores


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: treewind
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 05:39 AM

Roberto:
a program to write simple staff notation tunes and save them, for instance as images (jpg. etc)

My choice of tools makes this easy once you've worked out the correct invocations:
abcm2ps to convert abc text notation to postscript
gs (ghostscript) to convert to any of about 100 formats for graphics and printers, in many resolutions.

We used this to make 300dpi PNG graphic file which we could import into a word processor doc to make Mary's song book.

I'm running them in Linux but there are WIndows versions avaible via the above links.

Also recommended for ABC users: Guido Gonzato's The ABC Plus Project homepage with really excellent documentation. I've printed and comb-bound the PDF documentation and it's my standard ABC reference book, a pleasure to use.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: pavane
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 10:45 AM

Results:
I don't think Print to File creates a bitmap, and Harmony does not (Yet) provide the facility to save as a bitmap. I am still looking into the feasibility.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: pavane
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 10:49 AM

By the way, Harmony now (v3.4.0) lets you create tunes by direct drag and drop onto the staff. Not as quick as importing the abc, but many people prefer to work this way, and see the changes immediately.

I have done a lot of work on automating the toolbar and toolbox, so that you can see and control what is being dragged and dropped. For example, you can drop octaves or accidentals onto existing notes, or you can make a complete note on the preview icon and then drop that.

The file can then be exported as abc if required.

See http://www.greenhedges.com


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 11:11 AM

"Print to File" produces a set of printer instructions - the actual bits that the printer would receive to tell it how to put the marks on the paper. For some older printers, this is a "sort of a bitmap" but so far as I know isn't usable to make a standard graphics file.

The only printer language that produces a usable script is PostScript. Several vector graphic programs can import a single page PostScript file and turn it into any graphic/picture format you want. You can also use the ghostscript/ghostview programs to convert them. To get a useful "print file" you must load the driver for a true PostScript printer, and use that printer for the print-to-file.

To do the print-to-file conversion to PostScript, you don't actually have to have a PostScript printer. All you need is the driver (free downloads from Adobe) for an appropriate one. Not all "PostScript capable" printers produce a true script, so you do have to get the driver for a "real" !PS printer.

The last time I looked, all QMS brand laser printers used PostScript as the "native printer language," but that was a few years ago. Recent Hewlett Packard laser printers claim "PostScript emulation," which means that you can copy a !PS script to them, but the actual bits sent to the printer are in the HP native PCL/JCL language, so they're not useful. Older HP printers that used a plugin cartridge to get !PS capability actually produce a good script, and most of the "industrial strength" printers like the Linatronics are good. If you print to file, when you open the resulting file in notepad or in word, the first thing you see at the top of the file must be "%!PS-". If it's anything else, you need to load a different printer.

You should be able to use a screen capture (Alt-PrtScn) in any Windows program to place a bitmap of what's on the screen in the clipboard. You can paste from the clipboard into Word or into a suitable graphics program. The resolution obtained is pretty poor though, so you need to be able to zoom in before you do the capture - especially if you want to do much cropping or resizing with the image you get.

John


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: pavane
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 04:23 AM

Roberto's request was for a program that could provide scores output in a graphics format, to enable compilation of a tune book in which all the scores were in a similar style.

I imagine that printing from Harmony (or any program) to a postscript file would be the best option for quality, but I can't see how the images could then be merged into a single document for publishing. Maybe someone else could explain how to do this.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Mitch the Bass
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 04:50 AM

I use Sibelius to "Save as Graphics". This has options for EPS, TIFF, BMP and EMP including "Use smallest bounding box" which gives a file suitable for pasting into a word processor or a DTP package of your choice to be integrated with text etc.

Prior to using Sibelius I used to produce EPS or PDF files (a whole page per tune including white space), import them into a graphics program then crop them before importing into a layout package. Time consuming.

Mitch


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 08:34 AM

pavane -

If you have a PostScript capable printer, you just paste the "print to file" PostScript file into a document just like you would a .jpg or .bmp. If you don't have a PostScript capable printer, the .ps file must be converted to another graphic format (I generally use .jpg) before you paste it into Word or another layout program.

The last time I checked, a couple of years ago, all QMS laser printers use PostScript as their "native language." Many new laser printers of other brands can be operated as "PostScript" printers just by installing them with a PS driver, so that they can print documents containing PostScript information; although not all of these "PostScript capable" printers produce good !PS files when you print to file through them.

As Mitch described, in a recent project I used a simple notation program to set up each tune, and printed each tune to file through an "HPIIIP+PostScript cartridge" driver. Change the default .prn filename to .ps and you've got a PostScript file of the picture. I took the additional step of opening the printfile in Ghostscript to see where to crop it, and then just editing the script (in Word) to change the bounding box dimensions. This amounts to doing the cropping directly in the script. The only "advanced" feature the notation program had was the option to select custom paper size, so I could notate so that the score essentially "filled the page" to reduce the amount of cropping needed.

Since I had a PostScript printer, I could just paste the .ps PostScript files into a Word document. Unless you do some extra steps to create a "preview," all you see in the Word document is a placeholder for the .ps picture, but when you print using a PostScript printer it's all there on the paper. If you try to print to any other kind of printer, it will print the placeholder, which doesn't do much good.

The notation program I used could print a tune, and could save a .mid file for it. Since this was a "large" book - about 800 tunes - it was well worth working up the process to create the .ps file and .mid for each tune. Lots of work - about 2400 hours for the first pass - but it's many reps of a few simple steps.

An additional step, which I have now done for that particular book, was to import each of the PostScript files into Photoshop Elements and save each as a separate .jpg file. With the .jpg pictures pasted back into the Word document in place of the .ps pictures, you can see what's going to print when you look at it in Word, and you can use the picture editing features in Word to do some resizing if needed. With .jpg pictures pasted in, you can also print on just about any available printer.

This last step means that instead of offering people a 3 pound book - with a separate floppy disk for the .mid files for each of the tunes - (minimum printing cost $19.80+ each if I had it reproduced 30 copies at a time) I can now offer them a CD with everything on it. They can look at any tune score, and play the .mid for the tune directly from the CD and/or they can print individually any scores they want; or copy and paste individual ones into their own "Session Book." The Word file that displays the "book" is hyperlinked so they can click on a tune name in the TOC or index to go directly to the score, and/or click the tune number to play the .mid.

For most people, the ability to directly export the notation program output as a graphic file would be a very good thing. Using the print-to-postscript and convert-to-graphics method requires a significant amount of trundling about on the learning curve, and does require that you have suitable programs for the individual steps.

The "power solution" of course is the one used by Mitch. Unfortunately Sibelius costs about what I'd expect to pay for my next computer...

In any Windows program, you should be able to use the Alt-PrtScn command to capture a window to clipboard, and you can paste the clipboard into most Windows programs. Unfortunately, you get a lot of extraneous stuff, so the usable image after you crop off the crud is pretty small, and it's typically at 72dpi which is a bit low for good printing. By the time you remove the window borders, only about 40% of the "capture" is usable. The ability to zoom in on the specific details you want before you capture to clipboard is essential to get any reasonable results from this method. You need to be able to capture at about 4 times the (linear) size you want in the result to get reasonably printable images. Pasting the clipboard contents directly to a decent graphics program, resizing and cropping there and saving as a .jpg that you can paste back to the layout program would be the recommended procedure, although cropping and resizing can be done directly in most programs like Word.

If a direct "export as .jpg" could be added easily, it would certainly enhance the versatility of a notation program. The problem is that most of the availabe "good" notation programs have been "enhanced" so much they're really clumsy - and often unstable - in use.

John


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: treewind
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 01:17 PM

JPG is really badly suited to black-and-white graphics like music. "Export as PNG" would probably produce a better and smaller file. On the other hand, we've sent JPGs of music to magazine publishers who seem to want everything as a JPEG or PDF, so perhaps we should have both.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: pavane
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 12:23 PM

I will look into it as soon as possible. Tonight, Mrs Pavane has a gig at a VJ celebration, singing all the wartime songs, in Milford Haven (West Wales) so I will be busy roadying (Is that a word?)!


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:24 PM

PNP (the main one, there are two others) is a pretty good format, but at present it's far from being as universally accepted as JPG (or JPEG). PNP file handling for stuff posted on web sites is "differently useful" depending on which browser you use, and file editing for PNP files is hugely variable depending on which program (or plugin(s)) you happen to have.

I'm afraid I don't understand the "really badly suited to black-and-white graphics like music" comment about JPG. This imples that black isn't a color? I've had no problems I can identify that relate to the JPG format. Of course, with any format you can get bad results if you screw up the file; but you almost have to do that on purpose.

Frankly, I don't have a program that does a good job of handling PNP files, but using several that I do have, .jpg and .pnp both converted from the same "raw format" file generally gives the .jpg (at very low compression) a 5x filesize advantage over .pnp. With .jpg, I could select additional compression where appropriate. The PNP "standard" allows for different compression methods and ratios, but that feature isn't usefully implemented in any programs I know of that are in widespread use - except perhaps among some 'nixy subcultures(?).

John


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 04:47 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: Grab
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 10:22 AM

I know the problem Anahata's talking about. The problem is that JPEG is a lossy compression format, and like all lossy compression formats it introduces compression artifacts. The result of this is the blurring of any sharp transition between colours. On photos this is fine - photographic film and CCDs are inherently noisy, so what looks a consistent grey, for example, will actually be dotty darker and brighter pixels as you get closer in. So this blurring is fine for photos.

Trouble is that it's hopeless for text or line-drawing stuff. For these, any blurring due to compression is instantly visible, because the picture starts looking like it's slightly out of focus. Obviously the less compression you use, the better it'll look, so you may get away with some compression and still have a useable picture. It's not ideal though. I've never used the PNP format, but checking on the web I see that it's also a lossy compression format, so I wouldn't recommend using that either.

If you want line-drawings that come out correctly (ie. unblurred), then you want a non-lossy compression format. The two main candidates here are GIF and PNG - PNG isn't as widely-known yet, but it tends to perform better than GIF. All modern graphics packages should support both, although some very old packages may only do GIF. Either way, these compress the data using similar techniques to Winzip, so that the picture you get out is the same as the picture you put in.

Although the image quality will be better, GIF and PNG files will usually be larger than JPEG files. Even large images will usually compress very well though, and in today's era of high bandwidth and near-infinite disk space, no-one will much care about the difference in size between a 10K file and a 20K file.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Aug 05 - 12:12 PM

I suppose that one of the reasons I've had little trouble with JPG is that I usually work in Photoshop native .psd and size before converting to the .jpg. JPG can get pretty ratty if you change size after converting, and for lineart it can pixilate easily.

The belief that .gif is a "lossless" compression method is something of a myth. The compression is lossless, but the coversion to indexed color throws away a whole lot of picture information before the compression is done. Re-saving doesn't lose any additional info, but the first conversion to .gif dumps a lot of any image that starts out with "chromatic" color. GIF also uses LZW compression, which is a "patented" process so royalties must be paid - usually by the programmer who provides the ability to make them in a graphics program.

PNG is a "much improved gif," but unfortunately many older browsers don't handle it well.

Probably the most "universal" format is TIF (or TIFF for purists) but since it's an "extensible format" and programmers can modify the file layout to suit their own "special needs" there are so many flavors of TIF around that problems come up fairly frequently when moving from one program to another.

JPEG isn't actually a "format." It's really just a compression method, that can be applied to several formats. All .jpg files you're likely to run into actually are .tif of one kind or another compressed using the .jpg compression method. Purists will want to look up the JFIF spec (Joint File Interchange Format), which actually does define a format commonly appearing with JPEG compression.

A quick summary of graphic file types usable in Windows Office programs can be found in Guidelines for selecting the appropriate picture format, Mickey's KB article 272399. It's not exactly the last word on the subject, but may be a useful summary.

John


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: GUEST,nico
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 05:29 AM

Nobody ever heard of QuickScore Elite from www.sionsoft.com????


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Subject: RE: music notation programmes
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:41 PM

You might find that specialist programs for Highland bagpipe music will align the barlines - I don't think I've ever seen a pipe score that wasn't printed that way. Two such programs are Piob Mhor and Bagpipe Music Writer (both Windows-only so I've never used them).


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