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Messages - Andrew Purdam

General Discussion / Re: Rogues Gallery - the answers
Hey! That must be me! (or at least one of those...)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.
Just not doing much NWC stuff at the moment, so haven't spent much time here.
But I still have the new posts floating by on my Google Web Clips gadget...
General Discussion / Re: Totally off topic - congratulate me!
just got back from the hospital - mum and bub are fine - of course Emma (the new bub) is absolutely beautiful ;)
As always... ;-)

I shall be encouraging my son and his wife to introduce her to piano as soon as possible (about 3 weeks should be old enough :) ) and get her taught early - both parents are musically talented so Emma can reasonably be expected to have talent as well.
My guess is it's less genetic and more "what you're exposed to". (And since what you're exposed to as a kid depends mainly on your folks, maybe it is ultimately genetic!!!)

Of course, jazz will have to rate very high on her listening list.   :D
Of course!
Shadow puppets to "What a Wonderful World"???
General Discussion / Re: Totally off topic - congratulate me!
When you've come back down from Cloud Nine, you'll need to make a CD of your favourite music for the wee one.

What a great idea! Start that inter-generational bond right now!
I'd always wished my parents were more interactive with my kids. They lived in the same city, fergoodnesssake.
Congratulations to the middle generation of Pardies, and the youngies (for surviving possibly their most dangerous journey) and oldies, too!

Lachayam! (To LIFE!)

General Discussion / Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?
I mainly use it for transcribing or arranging works for various bands that I've been in over the last ten years or more.

When I first started with Noteworthy Composer, however, I was really taken by how it could empower me to hear keyboard pieces that I wished I was able to play - so long as I had the time to transcribe them. However, time is a scant resource for me nowadays, and my NWC is in partial hiatus.

The main reason I use NWC is that it is so easy to use. Much less fiddly than all those more expensive programs.
General Discussion / Re: Sample "moonlite.nwc"
Not offended, Randy. I just wanted to be clear that's all. Credit where it is due and all that.
The info in the file says "Note entry by Randy Williams on 03 January 1998.
Performance enhanced by Andrew Purdam June 2001."
I think the "performance enhancements" I did were mainly dymanics, but it was a long time ago.
Obviously before we had hairpins, but I'd need to look at my score to see how much closer we could get these days.

Listening to this on my AWE64-bereft machine makes me think I really should get a better midi device on this computer.
General Discussion / Re: Sample "moonlite.nwc"
I'm not sure how those bars got there (me or Andrew, it doesn't matter), but they're not in my manuscript, so to make a long story short (too late, I know), you're quite welcome to simply remove them.  :-)

Let me make it perfectly clear. (I really should have been clearer in my opening paragraph).
Randy put all the bars there (after Ludwig scratched them onto paper over a hundred years earlier).
The only thing I did was add some interpretation in tempo and dynamics, (maybe introducing some of the grace note notation). Rather than Horowitz, I modelled after Claudio Arrau.
General Discussion / Re: Sample "moonlite.nwc"
Ah! The heady days. Nice to see you still around, Randy.
And thanks for the gruelling work of entering the "Moonlite" all those years ago.
It really was an important piece to help promote what NWC was capable of.
General Discussion / Re: Sample "moonlite.nwc"
Oh my gosh! I remember adding to that piece so many years ago.
Looks like it is up for revision. I wish I had a major piece that I had to work on to get me back into using this new-fangled NWC!
It looks like it has gone leaps and bounds since I last used it.
User Tools / Re: adp_GlobalMod.php and accidentals
I strongly urge anyone who wants to to have a go at improving my code.
That was put together several years ago, as much as an exercise in using the new interface as well as to fulfil particular needs, but my lack of notation work recently means that I've had very little to do with the code since then.
So please feel free to improve it.
General Discussion / Re: Tina Billett
Thanks for letting us know, Richard.
If you talk to John again, please pass on my condolences.
The body of work she left us is a wonder to behold.
General Discussion / Re: Is this song any good?
I'm not a techno fan, so not a good judge, I'm afraid.
Maybe try the noteworthy newsgroups, if you're a registered user.
They have been the traditional forum for running compositions by others for feedback.

General Discussion / Re: How do you assign a percussion instrument to a note on the percussion clef
You normally need to assign channel 10 for percussion playback.
Then you can use drum.nwc (I think you'll find it in the example nwc files that are installed with the program, or search Noteworthy Scriptorium drum) to sort out which sounds you want to use. The drum clef has the same pitch playback as a treble clef, but that can be changed by transposing the default instrument assigned to the clef. Hopefully this will be enough to get you started, but if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask again here.
General Discussion / Re: display suggestion
Hey, can I resurrect an old wish of mine for the status bar to contain:
1) current bar number
2) current beat
3) current key signature (might be tricky for weird key sigs, I guess, but maybe just "F# C# Bb" would do)
4) current time sig
5) hmm... I thought I had more, but can't remember them...
General Discussion / Re: PDF ?? - watch out for Adobe Reader 8.1.2 !
One thing that Adobe does and annoys the heck out of me is put upgrade checks and requests such that the dialogs can't be seen. Try minimising windows, or alt-tabbing just to see if there's some sort of upgrade request waiting for you.
1) Often occurs at startup of the program
2) Dialog may be hidden (popunder) and not appear in task bar
3) Program will look like it has frozen

Adobe make generally good products, but this behaviour is a big turn off for me.
General Discussion / Re: Question from newbie
Some folks here have had some good results with SharpEye.
Search for Sharp Eye or SharpEye on the forum.
There is a discussion somewhere around the forum about the best way to do this, but I don't have it to hand. Anyone else got a quick link?
[Edit] Found it. Importing scanned scores

I think you will need NWC2 to do this.
General Discussion / Re: NWC for iMac
I must say that having the text format available will help NWC move into the future.
NWC2 is much more user-tweakable because of this textual interface (both in saving and user tools).
(I wish I had written my user tools in a Windows script language rather than PHP, as I could have implemented dialogs and saved settings, but the potential is there for some very powerful addons to be created by the users.)

I agree with Rick. Especially with early beta, NWC2 had a lot of user input in its evolution.
But Steele is right in pointing out that NWC is Windows only (and one of the reasons why this isn't a Mac-only household, I reckon), but I imagine a reworking into cross-platform might consume all of Noteworthy's resources and put any other development on hold for about a year.
I, too, have been frustrated at times with lack of a roadmap - but that's probably my own impatience about my own pet suggestions.

May I add that many of "my" suggestions (I can only imagine that there must be a critical mass on these before they get seriously consider) have been integrated into NWC over the years. Still waiting for arbitrary tuplets... !

General Discussion / Re: Windows Vista and Help files
....and wasn't it grand, boys....?

... One I eventually rewrote in C and released as a shareware game....which went nowhere....but which I recently found online on a site devoted to legacy games. That was great, because my only existing copy was on a floppy, which my current laptop can't read. I was able to download my own game and start playing it again.

SNAP! I worked on a game back in 1991 ("Alien Drug Lords" - a drug busting game which was panned by the media as a drug-running game (exact opposite).) Whilst it wasn't great, it wasn't bad. Anyhow, it worked only Amigas, and I got rid of my Amiga after several indicative shifts in market. Net result, the game only exists on legacy game sites... Perhaps more popular now than when we released it... (I'm even credited as Musician: Abdrew Purdam on one site! Thank goodness for unrepentant typos!)

and I guess we move on!
User Tools / Re: "Parts" User Tool
I tend to agree.
I finally got to look at it today, and there's no way I'm going to spend time on special code to deal with the way NWC does those split stems. As Rick says, that method of engraving has been abandoned in favour of overlays.

And in fact, the disappearing initial quarter note of the subsequent bar is a side effect of the fact that each split stem note in the previous bar is actually of different length (the top is a triplet quarter note, while the bottom is a straight quarter note). If you isolate the second bar, the tool works correctly.

Thanks for the heads up on the tool. A very interesting set of circumstances here.
User Tools / Re: "Parts" User Tool
It looks like it's gonna be messy with the triplets.
The reason being that NWC is not giving the same duration value to each component of the chords in the triplet.
You can see that straight away with

See that Dur:4th,Triplet=First and Dur2:4th ?
What normally happens with split stems (which I thought I handled correctly up until today) is when removing the last of a top, I copy across the duration of the bottom. This isn't going to work correctly with the implied durations here.
When you think about it, that triplet with the split stems isn't correct anyway, since the bottom ones should be beamed as well, necessitating an overlaid staff. This might have been what was going through my mind when I was writing the code.

So I'm not sure I'll be able to fix that without a major rewrite.

However, what I'm doing to the second bar looks embarrassing, and I should have a go at fixing that one.
I need to go to work now, but might get some time this arvo, or maybe on Saturday.

User Tools / Re: "Parts" User Tool
Unfortunately, it looks as if I haven't even considered split stems at all.
I think the reason why would be because I was working on the scenario of maybe importing a midi file and then pulling out parts.
In this case, NWC wouldn't generate split stems.
So - in my defense - it's a "design limitation to reduce the complexity of the code".
Let me see if I can tweak it to deal with split stems.
It's been a while since I looked at this, so I may not be in a position to do something quickly. But I'll have a check.
User Tools / Re: Inline editing of user tools
When I was working on scripts a lot, I'd just have the scripts folder open.
Often I'd have the script loaded in notepad or whatever, and just keep saving it and rerunning.
(It's nice that Windows lets us run more than one program at a time...)
Not too onerous for someone who's been programming for 25 years (I started off on TI58 programmable calculators).
That's the sort of nerd I am.
General Discussion / Re: Sound sucks on Vista or is it something else?
I see no reason as yet for me to change to Vista; the problems reported in various forums make me  agree with the concept of not using any new system until it has been out for a year or so and all the gremlins fixed..

Yeah. We upgraded to Win98 in 2000!
And to XP in 2006!
Vista is a good many years off, yet, and by then, all of home will be converted to Macs (and maybe we will be able to run NWC).
btw Macs for a long time had the very same reputation of keeping users away from the guts of the machine.

Personally, I've just "upgraded" my XP machine (which was a slow P4 1.6 - it seemed fast three years ago) to my son's Core2 Duo, which goes like stink. But it hasn't got an ISA bus for my original SB AWE64 card, and only has one PCI slot, which I must get round to moving my SB Live into. I'd completely forgotten about moving the SB card, and the midi sound is currently TERRIBLE. (M$'s standard soft MIDI device, I presume). Noisy, dull, poor samples, ... but it's the noise that annoys the most.
General Discussion / Re: Mac Users -- Is Harmony Assistant what you're looking for?
That's actually very interesting news for me.
I'm growing tired of Windows, and am very attracted to the style of OS-X.
What's been holding me back for several years has been the potential loss of a fine piece of musical notation software if I move to a Mac (unless I make a dual boot system...).
General Discussion / Re: 2007 Software Review Notation Pragrams
Andrew Purdam wrote:
So that you get the picture, I've been using NWC for about 10 years. I ditched Mozart for it, as Mozart didn't do (and still doesn't - apparently) polyphony on staves...

Hello Andrew,
I just wandered in here (as a MOZART-user) and I find it a bit ironic that you make the same mistake as you accuse TopTenReviews of. You could at least have *verified* your above statement.

Hi alvatrus,

Is the mistake you refer to my statement that Mozart apparently still doesn't do polyphony on staves?
That was simply based on Top Ten's own table. In my opinion, the use of the word "apparently" lets me off the hook!
(It is much briefer than "according to your own research") :-)

I agree with your point that the whole exercise is to sell the Medal winners. I wonder if those products have bigger ads on the website?

General Discussion / Re: 2007 Software Review Notation Pragrams
For the record, this is what I sent to


I wish to point out to you that there are many errors in your review of Noteworthy Composer. I'm not sure how important veracity is to your website, but I'd encourage you to review the review with the feedback below in mind. (Below, where I say "you", I mean your reviewer).
So that you get the picture, I've been using NWC for about 10 years. I ditched Mozart for it, as Mozart didn't do (and still doesn't - apparently) polyphony on staves. I haven't tried any of the other competitors listed, but note that they all cost on average at least twice as much. I do have problems with some aspects of NWC, but find that they are mostly  obscure or idiomatic to the type of scoring I am doing. As a computer programmer and as a musician, I find NWC works very well for me. NWC2 (still in beta) has many features that leave the competitors for dead.

I know that reviewers have a limited time for their craft, and this may adversely reflect on all reviewed software, but feel that the errors in fact need correcting.

1) You claim it only accommodates up to 8 voices per staff. A cursory test shows me that it can do at least 16.

2) The definition of cross-staff beaming is incorrect, btw. Surely you mean beaming between staves, rather than beaming flagged notes of different lengths? fyi: NWC doesn't do cross-stave beaming, but I think you'd need to re-review all the software before correcting this error.

3) You say that it can't do computer keyboard input. I dunno, I use this exclusively on NWC. I can only imagine that this mistake was a typo, or gross negligence.

4) Just on the .wav thing. Are you saying that all those competitors with a tick can accurately interpret - what? - polyphony? multitimbral sources, or just really clean single notes? I think more than a tick is required here. I agree entirely that NWC does none of those.

5) Control editor. I'm not sure what your reviewer had in mind as to capability, but I've been controlling pitch bend, channel volume, pan and many other midi controllers with NWC for nearly ten years.

6) The definition of Song Editor is missing.

7) The definition of Punch Recording as given is in fact a capability of NWC, though I suspect Punch Recording is demanding more than the definition.

8) Of course you can download patches and updates of Noteworthy Composer!

9) I think that NWC does satisfy the Knowledgebase Criterion, without calling it such. It certainly has "hints to better use the software and quick fixes to common software problems".

10) Agreed that a tutorial doesn't come with the program, but anyone tapping into the Noteworthy community will quickly find a 78 page tutorial written and revised by several mad keen NWC users.

11) I don't know why your reviewer thought that there wasn't a generic template that goes directly to customer service or customer support. I started using the "wishlist" nearly ten years ago.

12) NWC DOES work on Vista. And NT as far as I know.
You review indeed writes in the detailed review, "Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP or Vista"

13) Turning to
I find the program excessively easy to use. The "continuous horizontal scroll" means that I am not bothered by pagination issues whilst inputting notes. Also, being so computer keyboard friendly, input is very fast and can be totally mouse free.

14) Shame you didn't get the real time entry to work. I personally don't use it, but didn't have any problem verifying its activation.

15) You reviewer says "For this price, we would have expected more editing options like a mixer, a piano roll editor and punch recording." I find this an absurd statement. This is the second cheapest product that was reviewed! I see no importance in a mixer (btw: if by "a mixer" the reviewer means that channels can be balanced, this is indeed a capability of NWC). Piano roll editing and punch recording is more for midi processors rather than notation processors, but I guess if you want to pay more for that sort of stuff then okay.

16) Help/Support. For over ten years NWC has had a fantastic user community on both public forums and (for registered users) nntp-based newsgroups. These have provided users with lots of support, provided the vendor with lots of feedback, and have been a very cheerful place.

17) Your reviewer says "We found Noteworthy Composer a difficult program to use with a confusing staff set up and inaccurate note placement."
Hmm. I found NWC difficult for about ten minutes. Then I clicked with how it works, and it has been a breeze to use ever since. I don't understand what the reviewer means by confusing staff set-up, and inaccurate note placement sounds like they were reviewing a different program. These statements are completely baffling to people who actually use the software.

18)  "For half the cost, you can purchase the Silver or Bronze award winning products.".
Ahem. The Silver and Bronze products are $99.95 and $399.95.  NWC is $39

So I guess no one actually checks the reviews before they are published.
I sincerely think you owe Noteworthy Software an apology.
If you'd like a more accurate review of NWC according to your criteria, I'd be happy to oblige. :-)

Tips & Tricks / Re: Percussion sheet music that plays properly !! :D
I think drum notation is something that still needs to be done natively in NWC.
The main issue is beaming. Otherwise overlaying staves works petty well. But by the time you've got muted beaming notes, and tailless playing notes, and five staves overlaid, you begin to wonder if there's a better way.
Barry's remapper is probably the easiest though I can see that Memran's looks pretty comprehensive.
One issue here is that there are many standards for drum and percussion notation. But it doesn't seem too hard to create a system whereby each line or space on a staff of an arbitrary number of lines cannot simply be mapped to a particular midi note number on a designated percussion channel (10, I guess).
NWC 3, I guess?!
General Discussion / Re: Can there be a graphic file for use in Apple based publishing?
Lawrie, what are you doing up at that time of night?

kahman's point about PDF can be valid. Some PDF creators don't include the font information.
Simple solution is to use a PDF driver that does. Of course, Adobe Acrobat can be configured to do so.
But some cheaper PDF creators do it too, like pdf995.

Also, if you are using Office XP, you can install the Microsoft Office Document Image Writer, which "prints" straight to TIFF file.

General Discussion / Re: When is NWC going to support Unicode?
I translate... "My name is Rajneesh Mangala".
So yes, unicode works on the forum.
I wonder how hard it would be to put unicode into NWC?
NWC would need some sort of backwards compatibility with the old ones to support the old code pages.
User Tools / Re: Using Global Mod to turn off certain attributes
Warren has hit the nail on the head.
Sometimes just looking at the text representation and using a text editor is easiest.
As David said, there are many slight variations in how attributes are shown, but to try and catalogue all of them would be tedious.
I had to leave it as an exercise for the reader.
I think if I write any more user tools I'd possibly just use a text manipulator rather than the whole PHP library.
However, some "applets" will still benefit from PHP's OOB approach. (I'm still thinking of a random note generator).
I just wish there was an easy way to do dialogs of parameters. The current method is pretty ordinary.
General Discussion / Re: Triplet notation in imported MIDI
I think that moving to version 2 and the User Tool mechanism will allow NWC to integrate a lot of tools now.
When you think about the triplet issue, there are several reasons for not doing it automatically, but I agree that an option for searching for and creating triplets upon import should be allowed. However it does get tricky with multi-voiced staves - but then that pushes NWC to the limit anyway.
General Discussion / Re: A very cheeky question...
I just wanted to add that if you are using text for chords (eg "A7", "Bbm" etc) that these can be transposed by a User Tool (only available in NWC2) that I wrote. It is available at the Scriptorium. I won't go into explaining its use right now.
General Discussion / Re: Writing user scripts
I wanted to reply to this, but didn't know where all the resources were. Thanks Lawrie for pointing A63 in the right direction.
Andrew, in response to what the contents of STDIN are, try:
(Assuming you have installed the NWC User Tools thingy)

Alt-F8 (or Tools | User Tool)
Variable Dump for Developers (that's what you are!)
It gives a dialog showing STDIN, STDOUT and STDERR. STDIN is what you're interested in.
It's (virtually) identical to what is pasted when you copy a clip and paste it into - say - Notepad.

If I had my development of my User Tools all over again, I would probably not have used php but vbscript or similar (it's all one big mish-mash in windows scripting anyway) so that I could have created dialogs and had persistent settings. php makes both of those difficult/clunky.
If you do want to develop stuff in PHP, please feel free to modify my scripts to your heart's content. Just retain the history and stuff at the top of the script, that's all. I'm very very keen for others to develop scripts for NWC. I think it is a very powerful tool which is still under-utilised. One thing which restricts it is lack of access to all of a score.

PS: The Noteworthy Scriptorium has lots of helpful stuff with scripts, starting at

PPS: w.r.t. return codes, check C:\Program Files\NoteWorthy Composer 2\Scripts\lib\ (or wherever it's installed). In short...
define("NWC2RC_SUCCESS",0); // Standard output is processed..contents in standard error is presented as a warning
define("NWC2RC_ERROR",1);   // Standard error is shown to the user
define("NWC2RC_REPORT",99); // Standard output is shown to the user

General Discussion / Re: Problems with NTWPATCH
May I add that on the Noteworthy Scriptorium Helpful Files Section there is a bit about "How to use Jeux and AWEOrgan soundfonts in NWC." (specifically for NWC version 1.*)
May I suggest you read that and enjoy?! It will greatly enhance your use of NWC with the Jeux soundfont(s).

Please reply to here if you have more questions (though I may be slow in replying... :-)
General Discussion / Re: M-Audio Keystation 49e Issues
Hi gang. I'll just put my two cents worth in here.

Looking at the specs at, the keyboard should provide both midi in and midi out (it has a midi-thru port, which should act as  midi out as far as NWC is concerned).

It claims to be Plug and Play compliant

it claims to be USB powerable, so shouldn't need the power pack. But Milton's suggestion is a good one. If you have a lot of devices on that hub, it may be drawing too much.

One thing. Are you hooked up to the USB via a multi-port or a USB extension cord? If so, get them out of the way so that the USB connection is as "clean" as possible. I guess since it is being seen by the system probably means the USB connection is okay, though.

BugMan, Maudio say that they bundle Ableton Live Lite 4 with it.
Can LiveLite communicate with it at all?  Sounds to me like a driver issue.

Lawrie, enjoy your skiing. Give me a call, but I'm off-my-face busy at the moment. The world has become a bewildering blur.
General Discussion / Hadn't noticed this before - Viewer Preview
Call me slow.
I've only just discovered View | Viewer Preview
which seems to give you a preview pane of what it would look like using the viewer.
That's probably pretty cool.
And it positions the view at your insert-point, which is very handy.
Anyone else notice this?
General Discussion / Re: How do you create a bird's eye wirh NWC2
Gidday Ewan.

Yes, Ed. Even though Tina hasn't confirmed or denied it yet, Birds Eye are - in Australia - a purveyor of frozen vegetable produce.
Hence my "random" comment.
Their frozen peas make very good ice packs for sprained ankles, corked thighs, etc...