Standard Notation Practice

Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.
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Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.

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Paul
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Standard Notation Practice

Post by Paul » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:51 am

Reading through a couple of threads on software I realise that there is a lot more to engraving than just capturing the notes in your chosen program.

On the mpa.org website (Music Publishers Association of the US), go to http://mpa.org/music_notation/ and have a look at the pdf "Standard Music Notation Practice." It would be interesting to see how far these guidelines are followed by the various bits of software.

Also, I wonder if other countries/organisations follow a different set of guidelines.

Paul

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:05 pm

Paul wrote:Reading through a couple of threads on software I realise that there is a lot more to engraving than just capturing the notes in your chosen program.
Hence my recent enquiry - it's those (almost) imperceptible details which make all the difference to the look of the finished page. I've come to the conclusion that the "professional" programs are the way to go if you want to achieve a professional finish.

For anybody interested, Gardner Read's book, "Music Notation, A Manual of Modern Practice", is an excellent introduction.

I'm sure that the people behind the various applications are all familiar with these "standards". Ironically it seems that Lilypond was actually conceived in response to the failure of Finale and Sibelius to achieve them - but, for me, the two current market leaders are still ahead in terms of features, usability and aesthetics.

Still, each to his own as someone said.

Mark

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Anthony Campanella
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by Anthony Campanella » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:12 pm

Excellent reference - Thanks

michael karmon
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by michael karmon » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:55 am

I had this same problem about a dozen years ago. At the time Finale was producing terrible looking music, and Sibelius wasn't really on the scene yet. I ended up going with a program called Music Press, which is wonderful, but the company that made it is no longer in business, and so it's not really a viable option for anyone looking for a notation program now. You can see samples on my website if you're interested.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:24 am

Michael,

it looks like Music Press had real potential to be the scoring program - why did they go out of business?

Beautiful, lyrical music too - I've downloaded "Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other" and shall be playing it at my 50th birthday concert later this year. Lovely concept, and your naming system made me chuckle - lucky there aren't more movements or you'd be into binary code. Did Ms. Masters record it?

As for this ...
michael karmon wrote:Zeke: That's fascinating!
The Composer: Yes.
Hahahahaha ... (wipes away the tears)

Cheers
Mark

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Paul
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by Paul » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:10 am

I wonder if it's really possible for someone to produce a publish-worthy score (in any program) without a considerable knowledge of standard practices and layout design.

I wouldn't mind trying to engrave a short piece in Lilypond/Musescore/Finale, but the end result would probably be unsatisfactory. I really liked that comparison of the six different programs, but it would be great to see a more complicated piece, and perhaps each engraver spending a bit more time to tighten up their respective scores. Of those six programs, I really like the overall look of the SCORE program, but it may be that the SCORE engraver was the most accomplished.

Paul

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:37 am

Paul wrote:I wonder if it's really possible for someone to produce a publish-worthy score (in any program) without a considerable knowledge of standard practices and layout design.
Not yet, though that's what Sibelius seems to be trying hard to achieve - it's similar to the DTP situation where virtually anyone can make an appallingly bad poster, newsletter, flyer, you name it, straight out of the box. An eye for design is still the required element.

Actually, it might be something of a loss if ever they succeed. As it is, each publishing house has a certain individual character (like it or not) which makes them recognisable. Variety being the spice of life and all that.

Funny that you should mention "Score", I believe Editions Orphée used that for a time and I never enjoyed playing from those publications for some reason; they always felt too small and densely packed. One man's meat again - or it may just be down to my poor eyesight.

Cheers
Mark

michael karmon
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by michael karmon » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:41 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:Michael,

it looks like Music Press had real potential to be the scoring program - why did they go out of business?

Mark
I was in touch with Alan Talbot, who wrote the program, for a while. I think it was just a really small operation (Alan was actually answering my technical questions!), and that he just wasn't able to market the program successfully. It's incredibly flexible, fast, and it produces some very nice looking scores, and I keep hoping that someone will resurrect it, but it seems unlikely. :(

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DanielMcPherson
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by DanielMcPherson » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:23 pm

michael karmon wrote:I ended up going with a program called Music Press, which is wonderful, but the company that made it is no longer in business, and so it's not really a viable option for anyone looking for a notation program now. You can see samples on my website if you're interested.
So is Music Press what you used for the scores currently available on your website? Those look very nice.

michael karmon
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Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by michael karmon » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:49 pm

DanielMcPherson wrote:
michael karmon wrote:I ended up going with a program called Music Press, which is wonderful, but the company that made it is no longer in business, and so it's not really a viable option for anyone looking for a notation program now. You can see samples on my website if you're interested.
So is Music Press what you used for the scores currently available on your website? Those look very nice.
Yes, and thank you. I'm still using Music Press, but at some point I'll have to switch. I don't think Finale or Sibelius are as easy to use or look as good. (Maybe Finale does, I haven't really looked lately.) I'm hoping for some new option to materialize.

Sean

Re: Standard Notation Practice

Post by Sean » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:51 pm

Thank you for that link, Paul - I've not seen that before.

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