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1988 Tour Horn Charts
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oofers
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Post 2019-02-07 16:22   [Quote] 
I love the details you provide.

yetanother wrote:
the tempi were in general much slower than the values given on the scores

I'm curious why this would be. It's the EM, after all. Surely the tempi weren't taken slower to facilitate their execution?

yetanother wrote:
I have quite a bit of experience with engraving software

What is your preference for your professional work? One of the big two (Finale or Sibelius) or something else? And as an aside, if you were to find something you liked better than your preference, would you switch? I have used Finale for years. So I have a lot of Finale files. The newer version can always interpret the old file formats and then resave in the newer one. But for example, if I wanted to switch to Sibelius at this point, my understanding it that it's not so easy to wholesale convert all of one's files. You're either married to one platform for life, or use two scorewriters from then on. Nevermind that the learning curve for any one scorewriter is steep. So what do you think of the perceived "built-in" exclusivity that occurs when one adopts a particular one?

yetanother wrote:
Well, we didn't have mouses back then, which would have made it considerably more difficult (and required a more sophisticated interface)

Anecdotally, the first "scorewriter" I ever used was called "Music Construction Set" for the Apple II computers. It was crude. Limited to two voices. You want triplets? The manual actually told you to just use 2 dotted-16th and a regular 16th. But it did allow you to use a joystick to input directly on the staff. So just saying, it could have been done.

I was just about to say that I recall the ability to create scores was a bit of an after-thought by New England Digital - that it was designed primarily for music creation and they only added the print ability after composers clamored for it. But I guess my memory is incorrect, as I just read that Patrick Gleeson scored "Apocalypse Now" with it in 1979, when the Synclavier was still in its infancy (thanks wikipedia).
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yetanother
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Post 2019-02-07 17:27   [Quote] 
oofers wrote:
I love the details you provide.

My pleasure!

oofers wrote:
yetanother wrote:
the tempi were in general much slower than the values given on the scores

I'm curious why this would be. It's the EM, after all. Surely the tempi weren't taken slower to facilitate their execution?

The EM is still made up of humans, after all. And we know how relative tempo was for FZ anyway - compare the tempi on the Roxy and YS versions of the Be-Bop Tango. And remember, Roxy already has FZ instructing the band not to take it "too fast", because it was much more important for him to "get the right notes on the tape"... sure they could have played it faster, but at what cost? Presumably one that FZ was not willing to pay.

oofers wrote:
yetanother wrote:
I have quite a bit of experience with engraving software

What is your preference for your professional work? One of the big two (Finale or Sibelius) or something else? And as an aside, if you were to find something you liked better than your preference, would you switch? I have used Finale for years. So I have a lot of Finale files. The newer version can always interpret the old file formats and then resave in the newer one. But for example, if I wanted to switch to Sibelius at this point, my understanding it that it's not so easy to wholesale convert all of one's files. You're either married to one platform for life, or use two scorewriters from then on. Nevermind that the learning curve for any one scorewriter is steep. So what do you think of the perceived "built-in" exclusivity that occurs when one adopts a particular one?

Personally I prefer Sibelius, and I discourage using Finale, but of course I have no control over what clients prefer. When Sibelius was discontinued I considered migrating to MuseScore, but never got around to it, precisely because of not wanting to deal with the learning curve (no matter that MS was originally little more than a copy of Sib). Then Avid decided to reintroduce Sibelius and I settled again. But I will gladly switch to an open-source program if it gave me the same possibilities (not Lilypond though).

oofers wrote:
yetanother wrote:
Well, we didn't have mouses back then, which would have made it considerably more difficult (and required a more sophisticated interface)

Anecdotally, the first "scorewriter" I ever used was called "Music Construction Set" for the Apple II computers. It was crude. Limited to two voices. You want triplets? The manual actually told you to just use 2 dotted-16th and a regular 16th. But it did allow you to use a joystick to input directly on the staff. So just saying, it could have been done.

What year was this? I started using computers around 1989 or so, and all I had was a PC with MS-DOS, so I'm going more from logic than from personal experience here. I guess New England Digital could have implemented joystick support, but since it was not a gaming device I assume the thought never even crossed their minds. I do know what I said about there being no real-time rendering then, so on the other hand a joystick might not have made much of a difference.

oofers wrote:
I was just about to say that I recall the ability to create scores was a bit of an after-thought by New England Digital - that it was designed primarily for music creation and they only added the print ability after composers clamored for it.

That's how things happened for Cakewalk, Cubase, you name it - every major DAW in the PC era. It's only logical, since demand for DAWs is preposterously larger than for engraving software. No one in their right mind would have considered coming up with a contraption as sophisticated (back then) and expensive as the Synclavier just for typing scores.

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scherbe2003
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Post 2019-02-08 06:27   [Quote] 
yetanother wrote:
scherbe2003 wrote:
FZ didn't deliver a proper score to the ensemble but a synclavier printout which was nearly illegible because the synclavier was not exactly an advanced engraving tool.

That doesn't mean you couldn't make the music legible by putting some work into it


Yeah, usually the composer sees to that. Wink

Thanks for posting the score excerpt. I've never seen a mid-80ies synclavier printout before, and I must say that if the score (or parts) of While You Were Art that Frank gave them looked like your pic, I don't quite understand the complaints about their legibility. I have seen worse, really. When I read the complaint about the synclavier's limited printing capabilities (or however it was phrased) I was thinking of something like a 9-needle printout with tuplets approximated by a bunch of strangely-tied even note-values or so, like you would get from certain cheap/simple composing programs in the 80ies.

BTW, there was some DOS-based engraving software way back in the 80s that produced spectacular results. A friend of mine used it for ethnomusicological transcriptions and also for his own rather experimental pieces, just can't recall the name (never used that one myself). Also Cubase on the Atari ST was good enough to use it for a Schubert edition - I think it was Schubert, not quite sure, it's so long ago, was a very big deal back then and much of the advertising was based on it but I couldn't find anything on the net about it quickly right now.

I myself prefer Sibelius (but I'm not familiar with the latest version, just heard horrible things about it), never warmed to Finale and use it rarely - BTW, oofers, you can import Finale files in Sibelius, there's a plugin (as of ~2008, there should be more advanced options by now). Yet, another friend of mine who did a lot of fieldwork in the Peruvian rainforest prefers an old version of Finale for his transcriptions because it gives you liberties in placing notes in the score that are absent from later versions.

Yetanother, what's your opinion on the latest Sib version? Is the handling really so much worse as compared to earlier versions?
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yetanother
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Post 2019-02-08 16:03   [Quote] 
scherbe2003 wrote:
Yetanother, what's your opinion on the latest Sib version? Is the handling really so much worse as compared to earlier versions?

I'm not sure what you mean by "worse handling" - handling of what? If anything, it fixes a few bugs that had been plaguing earlier versions for years, but I'll admit I haven't used it that much. For a long time after Sibelius was first "discontinued" I stuck to version 6 because I hated the new interface, so I basically skipped version 7 and only recently updated to the latest. I would still rather they had kept the original interface.

File sharing between Finale and Sibelius is not impossible, but it does still suck. I expect one day they will get MusicXML to work decently and become a reliable standard across platforms, but I don't think we're quite there yet...

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oofers
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Post 2019-02-08 22:55   [Quote] 
yetanother wrote:
What year was this? I started using computers around 1989 or so, and all I had was a PC with MS-DOS, so I'm going more from logic than from personal experience here. I guess New England Digital could have implemented joystick support, but since it was not a gaming device I assume the thought never even crossed their minds. I do know what I said about there being no real-time rendering then, so on the other hand a joystick might not have made much of a difference.

1984

Those screenshots gave me a wave of nostalgia. Pretty sweet for a 12-yr-old kid to just drop notes onto a staff and listen to the result. They also included some demo songs, but it was limited to two voices. It's where I heard some of my first Bach 2-part inventions.

scherbe2003 wrote:
BTW, oofers, you can import Finale files in Sibelius, there's a plugin (as of ~2008, there should be more advanced options by now). Yet, another friend of mine who did a lot of fieldwork in the Peruvian rainforest prefers an old version of Finale for his transcriptions because it gives you liberties in placing notes in the score that are absent from later versions.


Ah, this reminds me why I use an old version of Finale. The developers actually REMOVED the ability to scan in printed music to file, due to worries about "copyright infringement". Users were up in arms. As a piano teacher, by far most of my files are created for my students. They'll bring some sheet music they found online somewhere (I curse anyone who posts a MIDI dump of them playing some shit as "sheet music"). I'll scan it in to Finale, clean it up a bit and add finger numbers. But now the developers say that's illegal. So fuck them, I'll stick with Finale 2014 and give them no more of my money.

What you two are saying about Sibelius' recent change in availability and interface gives me pause, but if it has a great scanning ability, that could maybe sway me to give it a go. Good to know you can import Finale files, but I am certain score elements probably require some adjustment after doing so.
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yetanother
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Post 2019-02-09 04:16   [Quote] 
oofers wrote:
Those screenshots gave me a wave of nostalgia. Pretty sweet for a 12-yr-old kid to just drop notes onto a staff and listen to the result. They also included some demo songs, but it was limited to two voices. It's where I heard some of my first Bach 2-part inventions.

Indeed, that's really cool! I must have been about 14 when I got my first multimedia kit with some bundled notation software whose name eludes me (this was the time of Windows 95 and Sound Blaster cards). At that point I was already hooked on writing music, so you can imagine how mindblowing it was to be able to hear everything I wrote, no matter how ridiculous. And I didn't even know Zappa yet.

oofers wrote:
What you two are saying about Sibelius' recent change in availability and interface gives me pause, but if it has a great scanning ability, that could maybe sway me to give it a go.

Don't mind me - I've been working with Sibelius since version 2, so a good part of my criticism comes from being used to the interface model they used up to version 6. But a number of other things have been improved since then, and it probably still has the least steep learning curve of any engraving software (no wonder every other reference software that came out since - I'm looking at you, MuseScore and Dorico - seems so derivative).

I haven't used PhotoScore (Sibelius' bundled scanning software) since 2012, but I remember getting pretty decent results from it. I assume it's one of the things they kept improving, so it should be even better now.

oofers wrote:
Good to know you can import Finale files, but I am certain score elements probably require some adjustment after doing so.

Definitely. As I said, MusicXML is still far from being a universal encoding format, so the conversion process is still quite shitty, but anything is better than dealing with imported MIDI files.

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yetanother
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Post 2019-02-09 04:27   [Quote] 
yetanother wrote:
some bundled notation software whose name eludes me

I THINK this was the one...


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scherbe2003
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Post 2019-02-09 18:02   [Quote] 
oofers wrote:
but if it has a great scanning ability, that could maybe sway me to give it a go.


Sib used to advertise its great scanning abilities a lot some ten or so years ago (when I got mine) but I actually never had to do work in sib with scans of printed music. Rather had to make sense of bad photos someone took of some old manuscript in a library or collection and then produce some arrangement for some folks, or transcribe field recordings and arrange the outcome in a way for some folks to play, etc. About the scanning abilities of the latest Sibelius I know nothing at all.

oofers wrote:
Good to know you can import Finale files, but I am certain score elements probably require some adjustment after doing so.


Back then there was a plugin you could download (for free) from Avid's page. But you definitely need to do some work on what you imported. Like a part arriving in sib an octave too high or too low, etc. There will certainly be more work to do if you import a complete score. In my case, it's rather brief sketches I do in Finale at times in a place where I have access to Finale but can't run Sibelius.

yetanother wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by "worse handling"


So it can't be all that bad. Laughing

I'm with sib6 as well. I was told they rearranged all menues, replaced written labels by opaque icons, redid the interface in a very counterintuitive and confusing way, and that now you always have to go click your way through 10+ sub-menues for doing even the most basic inputs so that things that could be done quick and easy before now became very time-consuming. It is obvious that I listened to a couple of rants by some peope who hate the latest version from the bottom of their hearts. So a possibly somewhat more balanced oppinion wouldn't hurt. Wink
Since I don't depend on it professionally anyway and sib6 does most of what I want/need at the moment, and I don't have the dough to buy new expensive software and hardware every other moment and also can't spend the whole day with comparing trial versions of whatever software is around, I of course appreciate oppinions by people who are involved on a more or fully professional level. Likewise, if I had been told that functionalities and handling had been improved to such an extent that the latest sib version opened up a completely new dimension in the universe of music, I had asked you as well if it was really that good as compared to earlier versions, once I learned you are using it.
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yetanother
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Post 2019-02-09 21:20   [Quote] 
scherbe2003 wrote:
I was told they rearranged all menues, replaced written labels by opaque icons, redid the interface in a very counterintuitive and confusing way, and that now you always have to go click your way through 10+ sub-menues for doing even the most basic inputs so that things that could be done quick and easy before now became very time-consuming.

The bold part is not necessarily true - it probably applies only to those who are used to working with the previous interface. The thing is they tried to make it more like Office, with the ribbons and whatnot, presumably to make it more intuitive for newcomers, but obviously for me it meant wasting time every now and then searching the manual for some functionality that I knew exactly how to access on earlier versions.

In the end, all it means is a mild additional learning curve for seasoned users of earlier versions, possibly aggravated by nostalgia. Still better than migrating to other software, I think.

I'm not sure about "opening up a completely new dimension in the universe of music" - I just need something that suits my own musical needs, and I don't think it's an engraving software's job to open up such dimensions - but many things have definitely been improved. Whether it's worth paying for is another subject altogether.

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brainpang
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Post 2019-02-10 01:05   [Quote] 
While I have no use whatsoever for music software (or even a guitar) I find this endlessly fascinating. Thanks for the tutorial!
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