Six notation programs

Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.
Forum rules
III Our MP3, WMV, MOV, OGG, AVI, Authors' rights

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

Once you have subscribed to the 002 group, you can attach the following types of files to your messages:
Audio : .mp3 .ogg .wav .flac
Video : .avi .flv .mov .wmv
Score : .pdf .jpg .gif .png
Finale: .mus
Wim Hoogewerf

Six notation programs

Post by Wim Hoogewerf » Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:48 am

John Rethorst posted a message in the French section about the comparaison of six notation programs, using an engraved page of the Elegy by Vyssotsky. The same page is done in Encore, Finale, Lilypond, Overture, Score and Sibelius. Click on:
http://home.earthlink.net/~jfalbano/

By inadvertance, I gave a long reply in English, forgetting I was in the French section. So first, I would like to post my reply in the right section:

Thanks John, for this interesting document. I made a laser out-print and did the exercise to find differences and to do a critical analysis. First of all: I'm a Sibelius user and many of my observations depend on my personal preference and on what I'm used to. Second remark: this page of music isn't much of a challenge! Just standard, three voice writing without any special problems. Not even some fingerings or technical indications. Third remark: the PDF quality is not the same for each program. Encore and Finale look like a photocopy of an ink-jet out-print. Lilypond, Overture and Sibelius are OK and Score is the sharpest.

Encore: elegant impression. Rhythm dots in the bass line go the wrong way. The beam position often causes « wedges »: these small eye-irrating triangles, produced by the stem, the staff line and the beam. No specific stem-length rule for stems going up in high voices or down in low voices. The phrase « D.C. al $ et poi la Coda » doesn't very good, especially for the big $. No gap between the double barline and the Coda.

Finale: a bit rigid impression. Of all six programs, the longest stems for all quavers and the shortest for all crotchets. The arpeggio lines are slightly too fat. All ties are almost touching the rhythm dot they start on. Wedges are acceptable, but this is mainly due to the long stems. Furthermore, I think this is a rather poor copyist job, nothing to blame the program for: D# in bar 3. Bar 9: start repeated looks cramped. Bar 15: The 1 for the first ending is floating and looks more like a fingering. Same bar: why a separation between f and e on the 5th quaver? Bar 18: the $ seems not well positioned. Bar 19: dotted rest is too high. Bar 23: The 1. is colliding with the stem. Bar 30: « D.S. al Coda »: wrong indication and wrong position. The copyright is too close to the music.

LilyPond: a solid impression, slightly restless, cramped, because of the 5 bars per system and the uneven spacing between staves. The 8 attached to the key looks too small. Why indicating « 6-str guitar » when it's mentioned just above? Ties do not touch the rhythm dot, but are getting very close. The arpeggio line looks cheap, almost a corkscrew. The choice to indicate barnumbers straight is rather uncommon. Bar 18 has a wrong 2nd ending, but the lines themselves look OK for me. Correct (non-redundant) indication of D.C. (but why DC?) There's a gap before the Coda, but it looks like an empty bar. Part of the copyright text is aligned, part is centered.

Overture: slightly restless, because of the long stems and small noteheads. Again: stems for crotchets and minims seem to have a fixed length, not adapting to direction or voice level. Rhythm dots go the wrong way in the bass line. Fat arpeggio lines. Many wedges. Bar 15: E and F are overlapping on the 5th beat. Bar 18: the double barline interferes with the first note. Bar 27: 2. collides. Bar 30: D.C. phrase poorly done. No gap before the Coda

Score: very professional impression. Everything looks solid, neat and mostly just as it should. Some wedges could have been avoided. Ties look very good, starting after the rhythm dot and ending before the tied note. The 1. and 2. Ending lines stop before the end of the System and start just somewhere above the music and too high on the next system. Is this OK? If the reason is to avoid the collision between 2. and E in bar 27, there should be a better solution. The D.C. phrase is poorly done. You immediately see the mixture of two fonts. No gap and « Coda » slightly too far to the right.

Sibelius: as I said, this is my own program. I would have used some other options than Daniel Spreadbury did. For example: ties between notes and starting after the rhythm dot. Arpeggio lines are sometimes too close to the notes and the final barline is missing.

It would be interesting to compare these programs with a page in real advanced notation. A very important aspect of a good looking score is not the notation itself or the good looking font. It's the amount of white, empty space which surrounds each object. With long stems and small noteheads I perceive a tension in between these black and white elements.

Abd El Ghani AZZI

Post by Abd El Ghani AZZI » Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:38 am

Thanks Wim! :okok:

smileyguitar

Post by smileyguitar » Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:40 am

Very nice detailed review of the various programs. I'm glad I find this useful info!

Now, if only somewhere there's a page providing good pre-made templates for classical guitar music with these programs, especially for Lilypond? :-)

AsturiasFan

Re: Six notation programs

Post by AsturiasFan » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:35 pm

Wim Hoogewerf wrote: Finale: a bit rigid impression. Of all six programs, the longest stems for all quavers and the shortest for all crotchets. The arpeggio lines are slightly too fat. All ties are almost touching the rhythm dot they start on. Wedges are acceptable, but this is mainly due to the long stems. Furthermore, I think this is a rather poor copyist job, nothing to blame the program for: D# in bar 3. Bar 9: start repeated looks cramped. Bar 15: The 1 for the first ending is floating and looks more like a fingering. Same bar: why a separation between f and e on the 5th quaver? Bar 18: the $ seems not well positioned. Bar 19: dotted rest is too high. Bar 23: The 1. is colliding with the stem. Bar 30: « D.S. al Coda »: wrong indication and wrong position. The copyright is too close to the music.
It's been two years since the original post but the music store where I take lessons has Finale. Does anyone have a current recommendation on Finale? Has it improved since 2006?

Jeremiah Lawson
Posts: 1677
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:35 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Six notation programs

Post by Jeremiah Lawson » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:37 pm

SCORE (if it's the program I think it is) is used by Schott and a number of other publishing houses so big it stunned me to find out how few people have mentioned the software considering WHO uses in the publishing world. I have been very seriously considering adding SCORE to my list of programs because at least one publisher I'm interested in cultivating a potential long-term relationship with only uses that and because I'm starting to learn that for what I thought was an obscure program has more traction and use in publishing than I previously guessed at.

Ken Thompson

Re: Six notation programs

Post by Ken Thompson » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:39 am

I've been using Print Music, which is made by Finale, for about 2 or 3 years now. It does just about everything I want, although sometimes it's difficult to figure out how to make it work. The only thing I can think of that it won't do is the diamond head to indicate harmonics. It was only $75 and works great for me.
Ken Thompson
1970 R3 Ramirez

Oliver Newman

Re: Six notation programs

Post by Oliver Newman » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:19 pm

I use Sibelius 5, and apart from the playback, which can be a bit lousy, and doesn't play harmonics (there probably is a way, but I haven't researched that yet), it does all that I want. saying that, is Print Music is just $75, that may be far more worth it that the hundreds it costs for Sibelius.

Oli

Brynmor
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:32 pm
Location: United Kindom

Re: Six notation programs

Post by Brynmor » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:43 pm

I am rather skeptical about these comparisons and do not feel that they are fair to any of the programs involved unless each example is done by an experienced user of the particular program. I use Finale and it is clear to me that, as was indicated, none of the failings were the fault of the program but rather that of the copyist. Virtually everything is adjustable with Finale and should have been before the manuscript was released. Much the same could be said about Overture, which I also use for the less complex pieces of music. Although not quite as sophisticated a program as Finale, more could have been done by the copyist to correct the apparent shortcomings.

As a related issue, I understand that the UK magazine Guitar Techniques uses Finale for all its notation work. Anyone interested could perhaps look here to see what a first rate copyist can do for guitar music.

Jeremiah Lawson
Posts: 1677
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:35 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Six notation programs

Post by Jeremiah Lawson » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:34 pm

I agree the Finale complaints seem to reflect user error everywhere rather than problems in the program. None of those things have to happen in a score produced by Finale if the user knows what he or she is doing. But since I have thought about picking up SCORE the comparisons were interesting even though I suspected the user didn't really get Finale. If MakeMusic didn't significantly alter the form/visual layout of the tools interface every few years that WOULD be nice. My brother just told me that after using Finale 2006 for years that Finale 2009 is taking some getting used to because of how different the tools layout is. He doesn't upgrade as often as I do, though.

jrethorst
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 2:52 am

Re: Six notation programs

Post by jrethorst » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:28 am

The original link for this document needs to be updated to:

http://home.earthlink.net/~jfalbano/Six ... %20v.2.pdf
John Rethorst
1983 Alejandro
2004 Yamaha GC-31
Classical and nylon jazz

User avatar
pogmoor
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9656
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:55 am
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Six notation programs

Post by pogmoor » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:46 am

jrethorst wrote:The original link for this document needs to be updated ....
Thanks John :)
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

Return to “Composers' Workshop”