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Messages - William Ashworth

General Discussion / Re: Back up question amid heartbreak
I make separate files for each part, but - here's the trick - each part also contains the full score, with all other staves hidden. NWC files take up so little room that this practice doesn't eat disk space. If I accidentally save the full score as if it were a part, it's easy enough to reconstruct just by un-hiding all the hidden parts and playing around (if necessary) with page and system breaks.
General Discussion / Re: Arrow between two staves
Here's my quick-and-dirty method for drawing angled lines from one staff to another, using a beam. It doesn't have an arrowhead, but it gets the idea across.
Installation went OK (after assuring Windows that it wasn't going to destroy my hard drive or steal my identity). However, a simple .nwctxt file (a song for voice and guitar) generated multiple errors and refused to convert to musicxml after several tries. The error log is apparently uncapturable from the program; I'd be willing to send you a copy of the log if you release a new version with an option to save the log as a text file. In any event, this version of nwcconvertor will be deleted, and  I'll go back to  using Too bad: if it worked, it would be a great addition to my tool set.
Download worked fine (a bit slow), but Win10 just named it "download" - I had to rename it to the name you gave it. You might want to look into that. Haven't run the installer yet - I'll let you know if there are any issues when I get to it, but it's probably going to be much later in the day.
General Discussion / Re: Figured Bass
   Yeeesss.  That would be a start.  But - and perhaps more relevant for me personally - would be doing it the other way round, and thus realising a Figured Bass Score into standard notation form.  That ought to be relative easy, no?  Though even then there'd be problems, with many of the "tune" notes not having any figuring directly associated with them.
The point we've been trying to make is that there is no single "right" realization of a figured bass. The figures tell you in one specific place in the music what chord notes the composer expects to be played above the bass line. They don't tell you what register those notes should appear in, or what their order should be above the bass, or how they should lead into the next chord - and voice leading is critically important for figured bass, because it was used in the contrapuntal era, before harmony as we know it had been developed, so every note in every chord arrived and departed as part of a contrapuntal melody. These things were all left up to the performer. There were certain conventions, but the best composers (Bach; Frescobaldi; etc.) broke convention a great deal of the time, as good artists always do. So, no, you can't mechanically realize a figured bass into standard notation, without putting a great deal of AI to work to simulate what a performer might come up with (emphasize might, because different performers would likely come up with different, but equally valid, realizations). You can mechanically indicate what notes the figured bass implies, in standard notation. But that's not the same thing.
General Discussion / Re: Figured Bass
.....the main problem with playing figured bass is, in my humble opinion, voice leading (as with all chord writing): Putting a following chord is always also a melodic enterprise, including decisions about leaving out notes; using typical patterns, most important, of course, countermovement - at least of outer voices; deciding how much movement there is in the chords - one-on-one movement, i.e., one chord per number, is typical, but also arpeggiated chords may be an option. A very wide and, I'd say, "under-determined" (in the mathematical sense) area....
Right. But I think the problem for those who are unfamiliar with figured bass is deciding which chords they're supposed to be harmonizing the line with in the first place. An algorithm could do that. It's unlikely to be able to create a satisfactory realization, but it could provide a skeleton for the arranger to work from, without having to go through the mental gymnastics necessary to figure out which notes the composer wanted above the bass line. Figured bass originated, and was primarily used, before Rameau wrote the book that originated the functional analysis of chordal harmony, so composers were not yet thinking in terms of chords - just how individual lines came together. Good lines would still have to be developed, but modern arrangers who haven't studied Baroque harmony could get a head start by knowing which chords they were working in. I suspect that's all the OP wants.
General Discussion / Re: Favourite/preferred Soundfont(s)
Bill, do you have a reputable source for that one? I am having some issues with CoolSoft and thought I might switch to see if it resolves them.
The developer's website is at it's not secure, but I've never had a problem with it. If you're worried about that, try Cnet's download site:
General Discussion / Re: "Scoring Notes" article on the history of notation programs
I put together a little comparison sheet a while ago - two versions of the first page of one of my chamber scores. One version was done in NWC; the other version was done in Sibelius. Unfortunately, the size limitations on this forum's attachments won't allow me to post it, but if you could see it, even a quick glance would tell you that the Sibelius version is far more readable by a performer. In my milieu (contemporary chamber music) that's important, because rehearsal time is often limited and the music is often very complex. Part of the improved legibility is simply a better font, and NWC has the ability to use different fonts - I'm sure someone like Lawrie could produce a comparable font fairly quickly and distribute it among NWC users, and that would be an improvement. But the font isn't the whole story: it's combined with engraving rules regarding spacing and the placing of dynamics and other symbols that match best industry practice (in fact, Sibelius is industry practice: it's the most widely used software among music publishers). These can be largely matched in NWC, but it takes a lot of time and a whole lot of spacers. Sibelius does it right out of the box.

That's the main reason I'm in the process of switching, but there are other advantages to Sibelius. You can select across staves in systems. All the special notations like 8va lines, arpeggios, etc., that we put in via user objects in NWC are native in Sib, and usually very simple to create. Obbligato staves, cue staves, and cutout scores can also be made very simply; NWC can fake the first two, sort of, but it can't do the third one at all. Sib is compatible with NotePerformer, which gives you far better sound than any work with soundfonts in NWC can ever produce - important when you're submitting new works to calls for scores, which I often do. The list could go on, but I think the point has been made.

I really wish this wasn't the case. I hate Sibelius almost as much as I love NWC. The user interface is simply awful - after almost two years with the program, I still spend far too much of my time at the computer swearing at the Sibelius development team. (Would you believe it's the best of a bad lot ?  I find the Finale and Dorico interfaces even worse.) NWC is still my program of choice for any job where Sib's advantages won't matter, such as whipping out examples for Facebook forums or producing music for friends and family to use that isn't intended for wider distribution. If it could match Sib in a head-to-head reading comparison, I'd be back in a flash. But unless development resumes, it can't. And that is why I am very, very reluctantly switching my professional work away from it.
General Discussion / "Scoring Notes" article on the history of notation programs
Today (December 28, 2021), the music notation software website Scoring Notes posted an article by Ben Byram-Wigfield on the history of notation software. You'll find it at this link:

I thought NWC users should be aware of this paragraph, toward the end of the article (the emphasis is my own):

The mainframes and micros of the 20th century are long since gone; and the software that ran on them are now only a memory. On the Mac and PC platforms, there is a lengthy roll-call of applications that are no longer developed nor maintained: COMUS, ConcertWare, DMCS, Encore, Graphire, Igor Engraver, MagicScore, MusEdit, MusiCAD, Music Write, Music Ease, Musikrafters, NOTEWORTHY COMPOSER, Professional Composer, Personal Composer, SCORE. Even if you can still acquire them, they probably won’t work on today’s OSes.

It saddens me, but this is also how I must now view NWC. I'm continuing to use it for as many tasks as I can get away with, but unless further development occurs, I will have to continue to move more and more of my work to Sibelius. I wish it weren't so.
Object Plugins / Re: PrintConfiguration (0.1)
Thanks, Mike. Hadn't thought of this angle.
Well, let's say that there is an error in one of the staves that needs to be corrected, and that staff is present in several of the different configurations. The composer would need to make the change to each of the saved score copies. Whereas with @hmmueller's approach, only a single score would need to be updated.

I haven't yet experimented with the new objects, but I think I see how they might be very useful.
Object Plugins / Re: PrintConfiguration (0.1)
I don't mean to throw cold water on this, but why not just save the modified score under a different name? NWC scores only take up a teeny-tiny percentage of space on a hard drive. I do this for parts all the time.
General Discussion / Re: Favourite/preferred Soundfont(s)
I found FluidR3 before it became the soundfont of choice for the Viewer, and I've seen no reason to abandon it for my work in NoteWorthy. In my work in Sibelius, which I've had to take up for situations that require a higher level of engraving than NWC can manage, I use NotePerformer, which is a virtual orchestra that operates as a plugin rather than as a soundfont. My ideal would be a new iteration of NWC with the GUI we all know and love, the same level of engraving tools you can find in Sibelius, and NotePerformer compatibility. Dream on....
General Discussion / Re: Graphics....
Screen-shotting, in my humble opinion, is never the way to go for copying around graphics: It introduces all the parameters of your graphics card and selected display resolution, which plainly adds arbitrary information loss.

But it's a lot quicker....<smile>

I use PDFreDirect, and have for many years. It has the ability to throw a preview into Adobe Acrobat (or whatever your PDF reader might be) without actually printing it, so I can get a vector rendering that way without cluttering my computer with extra files. I should probably start doing that. I honestly was unaware that the difference between Print Preview and an actual print was that distinct.
General Discussion / Re: Graphics....
Just went back to a pdf taken from an NWC score, and you're right, it looks a lot better. I stand corrected. It's still a problem when creating examples, though, where it's easier to do a screen capture than to produce a pdf just to extract a couple of measures.
General Discussion / Re: Graphics....
OK, here's an example. The top snippet is NWC; the bottom snippet is Sibelius. Staff metrics are roughly the same. The good news here is that looking closely at the Sibelius example shows pretty clearly that its smoother appearance is the result of anti-aliasing raster graphics instead of using vector graphics, so it should be doable in NWC without a lot of recoding. Sibelius uses a better-looking font (that's easily fixable, of course). The bottom line, here, is that the NWC snippet looks amateurish compared to the Sibelius snippet. That can make a huge difference when sending music to calls for scores.
General Discussion / Re: Graphics....
I'm glad to see this getting some discussion going. The largest concern I have about NWC's graphics is the apparent absence of any anti-aliasing at all, which shows up in the slurs, but even more so in the hairpins and beams. This is a common raster-graphics problem, but the "big three" have solved it, possibly by going to vector graphics - which would require a large-scale rewrite of the code, so I hope there's a better way. Other problems include placement of hairpin end points vis-à-vis dynamics and (as others have mentioned) issues with lyrics fonts and with the absence of the ability to do ossia staves. And there are some tools that Sibelius has which would be handy in NWC, such as the ability to select multiple objects with <ctrl><mouse click> and operate on all of them all at once - which provides the ability to use commands such as "line up in rows" or "line up in columns" on selected objects (e.g., dynamics in a given system). I'll try to put some comparative examples together and post them later.
Tips & Tricks / Re: note set on 2 staffs
Here's my method:

(1) Enter the notes you want to sound on the upper staff. Set staff length to 0.
(2) Enter any notes you like on the lower staff, at the horizontal positions of the notes you want in the upper staff. Beam them normally. Mute them, and hide their ledger lines.
(3) Using <shift><ctrl> and the up-arrow key, move the muted notes on the lower staff upward step by step until they hide the notes you've placed in the upper staff.

This method doesn't give you a beam between the staves, but it's perfectly acceptable to beam cross-staff notes with all the stems pointing the same direction.
General Discussion / Graphics....
Because the graphic output of the "big three" notation programs is now dramatically better than NWC's, and because my scores go to a wide variety of places, I have been forced to mostly abandon NWC for Sibelius. Let me state for the record: I HATE Sibelius! The interface is awkward, the layering ability is limited, and the program's rules are far too inflexible to create good workarounds for its many problems. From the standpoint of the user, NWC remains a far better program. If the graphics were improved, I'd come back in a heartbeat, even if nothing else had changed.
General Discussion / Re: how to alternate note values for a three note chord.
Incidentally, layers are the primary method of mixing notes of different durations on the same staff in EVERY notation program that I know of. NWC is no different in that respect, except that it allows unlimited layers. Most other notation programs limit you to four.
General Discussion / Re: how to alternate note values for a three note chord.
Or just copy the whole staff onto a new staff, select the whole new staff, mute all the notes, and then change and unmute only the ones you need. (NOTE: you can't just use the staff-muting function: that won't allow individual notes to be unmuted. But selecting the whole staff and then muting all notes simultaneously is almost as quick. The process: press <alt><enter> to bring up the Properties dialog, choose the Notes tab, and click on the check box marked "mute".)
General Discussion / Re: Articulation volume adjustment: accents, etc.
Do you perhaps produce for some really, really picky people?
Yup. I write chamber music primarily, usually for mixed ensemble. Most players accept NWC scores without complaint. But I have a pianist who objects to pedal markings without the line, and I've not found the user object to create these satisfactory. And there are a couple who've complained about the 8va lines produced by the Mike's octavamatic object. Also, my scores are often submitted to contests - I've been a finalist for the American Prize - and although I've never actually had a piece rejected for the quality of the engraving, I'm more and more uncomfortable with the possibility that this could happen. I'm in the "music engraving tips" Facebook group, and I know how picky professional engravers can get.
General Discussion / Re: Articulation volume adjustment: accents, etc.
Given how quiet things have been on that front, do you think there's much likelihood of a new version any time soon?  As far as I can see, the last update to 2.75 was 3rd quarter 2017.
Wondering the same thing, and have been for a while. I've had to move to Sibelius for final drafts, as standards have improved to the point where performers were beginning to complain about my scores. Still do the first drafts of everything in NWC, because it's so intuitive - closer to pencil and score paper than anything else out there. But the quality of the output has definitely lagged way behind the rest of the field.
General Discussion / Re: Changing Page Size
The other thing you might mess around with would be margin settings on the top and bottom staves, and/or tightening the distance between staves - unless you already have. Remember, you can do this on a system-by-system basis.
General Discussion / Re: Beaming compound-time
In the second 6/8 measure of your example (and equivalent places), the three 8th notes at the beginning of the measure need to be beamed together. Can your tool be made to do that?
General Discussion / Re: Beaming compound-time
The basic rule is to beam (and tie) to the beat, but saying that to a professional music engraver is likely to start an argument, because there are also loads of exceptions. An even more basic rule is to show the midpoint of the measure in any even time (2/4, 4/4, 6/8, etc.), but even that can be violated under certain circumstances. As Lawrie and H.M. have pointed out, this is NOT a trivial problem. I suggest a visit to the Music Engraving Tips Facebook page for a quick lesson in how complicated the whole field can get.
General Discussion / Re: Very Sad news.
This is an incalculable loss to the Noteworthy community. Rick's workarounds are now part of every NWC user's toolbox, they always came quickly after a problem was posted, and his descriptions of them were always clear and straight to the point. Debbie's is the greater loss, though. I will be, as we Quakers say, holding her in the Light over the next few weeks.
General Discussion / Re: Is the NWC Viewer/Player available as a webpage
<snip> Is it possible to convert it to another notation system that has this problem under control? <snip>
This might be a dangerous thing to admit here, but I've shifted to Sibelius and NotePerformer for final drafts and MIDI performance. I still do all of my composing and most arranging/cleanup in NWC - nothing else out there comes nearly as close as NWC does to the experience of writing with a pencil on music paper, and I love that about this program - but with development stalled, and with other tools out there that produce much better publication-ready copy - and integrate fully with realistic MIDI playback systems - I felt forced to move on. I settled on Sib after trying it, Dorico, Finale, and LilyPond, because Sib does a far better job than the others do of reading musicxml files produced by Lasconic's NWC to musicxml online converter. There's actually very little cleanup necessary after I've moved a piece of music over. It's expensive, but the ability to produce videos natively, with the uncannily realistic sounds generated by NotePerformer, seems worth the price - at least, to me. And I've still got all of NWC's advantages for the creative part of the work.
General Discussion / Re: Quarter note equals quarter note, etc.
I usually simply make them (they're called "metric modulations" by music engravers).  Use the NWC2STDA font to create the necessary notes, separate them by several spaces, and center them over the barline. Use any font for the equals sign, also over the barline. You may have to adjust the font size with the "per cent" option, and experiment to get the right number of spaces.
General Discussion / Re: XML feature
I'm using that website regularly these days. I don't think there's a security problem (not many people would want to steal .xml of .nwc files, and any good antivirus should catch anything that a hacker might attach to the download). The code it produces is pretty good, although not every other notation program out there thinks so: in my experience, Sibelius reads the xml files produced by this site very well, Dorico and MuseScore both read them moderately well, and LilyPad doesn't read them at all. Haven't tried importing them into Finale. Sibelius's skill in reading converted .nwc files is the principal reason I'm now using it to produce final copies of my music (still composing primarily in NWC).
General Discussion / nwc2musicxml bug
Those using Lasconic's nwc2musicxml website to convert files with odd time signatures should be aware of a small bug:  when creating whole-measure rests, the converter apparently stops counting beats at 8. I recently ran a score with multiple tempo changes through it: the site did fine with 5/8 and 7/8, but all the 9/8 measures ended up minus the final 8th note. Analysis found that all the whole-measure rests in the empty voices in those measures were actually whole-NOTE rests. The kludge is simple - split the rests for any measures longer than a whole note before running your music through the converter.

I've found no other significant problems with the converter, which is quick, easy to use, and otherwise very well done. Kudos to Lasconic for creating and maintaining the website, and to Robin Walker of the Sibelius users Facebook page for spotting the reason for the missing beats.
General Discussion / Re: Uninstall nwc 1
Agree with Bart and Mike. NWC is not a space-hogging program.

In addition to what Bart has suggested, I think you should run a tool like Ccleaner. It can find all the junk files on your computer and delete them. I ran Ccleaner yesterday, after a six-month gap, and regained 3 gigabytes of space. Well worth it (and my computer runs much quicker now!)
General Discussion / Re: Edit M4As?
Agree with Mike. There's another program, Wave Repair, that I often use for .wav files, but it won't edit other file type. Audacity is really the best thing out there for sound files in general.
General Discussion / Re: Repeat all
Haven't tried it with this particular problem, but the standard NWC way to deal with something like this would be to do it Rick's way on hidden staves and do it the human musician's way on visible but muted staves. It can be annoying, especially a few years later when you go to edit the music and forget the hidden staves are there. But it does usually work.
General Discussion / Re: Best wishes to all here
Nobody gets the toilet paper thing. I'm not even sure the toilet paper hoarders get the toilet paper thing. Once these things get rolling, they don't need to be understood: if others are doing it, some people just think they have to do it, too. Like lemmings off a cliff, except I've been told that lemmings don't actually do that. They're smarter than some humans.

Re the vegan/vegetarian section still being full: unfortunately, not true. I have a family member who is a respiratory therapist in San Francisco, and - needless to say - she's been incredibly busy. She's also a vegan, and she primarily eats fresh produce. A couple of days ago, she posted a picture on Facebook of empty produce shelves: it seems hoarders have been after those, too, even though what they hoard won't keep. My family member's comment: I work really hard all day saving people's lives, and then I get to the store and there's nothing here I can eat.

....but China has turned the corner. Only 34 new cases yesterday, all people who appear to have caught it elsewhere. They've started, slowly, to re-open. Here in Oregon we seem to be running about a month to six weeks behind them. Looking forward to May....