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Topics - SEBC

I can't remember how to do this. I need to send a file to a Finale user, and maintain the lyrics. I think XML is involved. Is that done within NWC or do I need to find a conversion tool online?

Thanks for you help!
General Discussion / Neumes and more
Any idea how to best notate this:[/b]

maybe use the shaped la note in whole  note form for the open rectangle and stemless quarter note form for the solid rectangle? What about the other parts of the score - lyrics, tiny bar lines, etc.?

The last post on this topic was 11 years ago.

I'm going to be doing some experimental scores for a graduate project. What capabilities does NWC offer for this type of thing?

I have an example from Roger Dean's Creative Improvisation".  The lines of beamed notes are diagonal as opposed to straight across.

I'm unable to upload the photo example for some reason. 😞

There are other possibilities I'm interested in as well.

I have been thinking about the things that I don't know how to do in NWC.

One of them is part printing/set up.

I have been doing this by hand - preparing a separate part based on the master score. Basically, I delete all the other parts and save under the single part (ex. "flute only" or "choral only" or "voices only" as opposed to "choral flute piano" I think there is an easier way to do this, but I don't know how yet. I found this thread but it is 7-9 years old. Could someone please update the topic or let me know if this still applies?

Another mystery to me, and this may be related, is how to use the visibility options. I have only ever used Default and Never. What's up with all the  other settings?

I like to compose by ear, and I have an idea to help me learn orchestration: create templates for each instrument showing range, idiomatic figurations and use highlight colours to indicate problematic areas, change in timbre, etc.

Does this exist already?

What else would you include?

What about transposing the templates in concert pitch?

Thank you for your feedback,
I'm branching out! I've got some jazzy compositions for brass solo instrument and piano accompaniment. I hear trombone in my head because of its jaunty quality. What do I need to know about this combo?
Is there a way to make the score look handwritten and articulated like in this document?:
Any tips for taking the piano part and breaking it into orchestration for other instruments so that it becomes a band arrangement?

I know there are some experts here and look forward to learning from you.
Good morning

I am currently attempting to write my first piece for pedal harp and flute. I've written for piano and flute before, but I'd appreciate any tips for the idiosyncrasies of the harp, and how to notate things in NWC, and get a good playback. This will be performed by actual performers, but it's nice to have a sample recording to get an idea of how it sounds. It's a Celtic ballad sounding piece. The harp and flute take turns with the melody at times, but mostly the harp is providing arpeggiated accompaniment.

General Discussion / sideways wavy line

I'm notating for handbells and need a wavy line that extends from the note to the next note or bar. It would sort of look like a sideways arpeggio line. It is to notate shaking the bell.

Does anything exist?


I'm having trouble with the new computer, making sure the files are all where they should be. Where should the user tool kit be located? Will it go there automatically when I download it? I think I have already done it but it's not in the program so it's sitting somewhere else.

Thanks for the help,
General Discussion / Bells Used Chart

I'm looking for help on creating a bells used chart for a score that includes handbells.

This is what it will look like: centred under the title, non-playing, measures would need to start with the actual piece, not the bells.

There was a NWC discussion on this years ago here:

but I'm not sure if that is the best approach these days. I'd appreciate your input.

Is there a way to get the top dotted quarter to move over in the chord? It looks strange to me and I'm not sure how to fix it. I experimented here with increasing the dot spacing to .2 but it doesn't seem to change the actual note position which looks too far to the left.



Does it exist? It would make my life a lot easier!
General Discussion / Swing rhythm
Is there a quick way to change the playback to swing style?

I've just spent a long time making a hidden staff with triplets and will mute the visible staff.


I was happily working on a score that contains three staves but when I played it back, about half way through, one staff stopped playing audibly but I can hear it trying to sound the notes. When I removed all the other staves, it played normally. I need them all to play together as I'm trying to export the midi. When I try to export, the midi file behaves the same way.

I am perplexed! What should I be checking?
General Discussion / Placement issues
I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but something is up with verse 3. Is there a hidden space somewhere?

Is there a better way to achieve verse numbering? I've used the number/underscore/first word of verse method for a long time.

Edit: I guess I need to insert a screenshot! That would show the issues. Basically, the third verse number does not line up with the others and I can't see anything that is stopping it.


Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
General Discussion / boxed text
Good morning
 Here is a new question which I haven't found an answer for.

Is it possible to box text and place it anywhere on the staff? Some text instructions should be put in a box for better visibility, and I was able to do this with some at the barline using the bar label tool. I couldn't find any other way to accomplish it. Is there another way to do this? What happens if the text needs to be in the middle of the phrase? The bar label tool won't work then.

I will try to attach a sample. This works ok but could be moved over to the right:
Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
|User||Pos:14|Text:"With Audience"

The text "Spoken" should  be boxed:

Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
|Text|Text:"  Spoken:"|Font:PageSmallText|Pos:7

Thanks for your help.
General Discussion / Hairpins
I am looking for help in getting those hairpins to behave satisfactorily.

I found this topic from 10 years ago.

Have there been any new tricks or tools discovered? I've tried using an invisible muted grace note and that helps sometimes. Not always, like when I want a new hairpin after a whole note to show a crescendo on the note moving into a new dynamic range.


I know you guys are probably tired of my questions but when I search for answers I don't usually find what I'm looking for and then I wonder If I am looking at the most recent information.

I found this discussion

My  midi files are not usually very good because I can't seem to control the subtle nuances that I can produce on an acoustic instrument. Now that I am sending the files to conductors along with my scores for their consideration than I really need to step up that part of things.

I also have trouble with piano notes decaying too quickly in the left-hand. For example I had a two  measure cord in the left-hand and by the time the second measure came around the sound had completely disappeared.
I've been rethinking my workflow. I'm sure I'm being inefficient and missing some key things. I'd welcome suggestions.

I start with a melody staff.

Then I create just one hidden staff full of notes that I attach chord names  to as lyrics. This helps me think through my harmonic progressions. I will usually delete this by the end of the composition because the chords tend to clutter up the score and the
Harmony is Contained in the voices and instrumental parts.

What else could or should I use h s for? I do find my staves are quite cluttered with dynamics and tempo and text and lyrics etc. It's hard to move things around because I keep grabbing the wrong thing. 

General Discussion / Italics again
I need to use a Hebrew phrase in an English piece and would like to italicize it. Is there a tool for this?

General Discussion / Printing to PDF
I'm having issues with this new computer. On my other I had installed cute PDF writer and used that to create PDFs of scores. On my new computer I installed that PDF program and am not getting a dialogue box to save anywhere and so am not getting any PDFs. 😫

Can anyone help or is there another free program that I could be using? I just downloaded open office today because I needed something on this computer other that notepad! I'd love to combine PDFs into one document so I can include program notes and a biography.

Thanks for any help.
This is a question for all you composers out there. How do you decide what dynamics you are going to apply to your works? It's something that's a creative challenge to me and I would like to hear your process.

I always struggle with picking a font size and type for my compositions. The default is too small I think.

Also, I hear from other engravers that italics is not preferred for text instructions on the score. I don't want to keep rethinking this with every score and could use some guidance. What does Gould's B.B. recommend for tempo instructions, etc? Any other advice?

It's probable that this has been discussed before but things change over time.

Many thanks!

 Hello everyone!
I have had a busy performance season and I am now getting back to some scores on my new computer. I have what may be a silly question but I cannot figure out the answer.

When I insert dynamics, I press on my keyboard and usually a little box comes up with a visual representation of all the options and I just press M or F or click on whatever I need.  However every now and then instead of that box, a different box comes up entitled notation properties where I have to scroll through different options and it takes longer. I cannot figure out why it switches and how to switch it back.

I am sure there is a simple explanation and that my intelligent friends here will enlighten me.

Many thanks!
User Tools / Line over notes
I was trying to use one of Mike's tools to put a line above some notes that are optional. I got the line ok but when I added text then the line disappeared. I'd like both. Is it doable within the tool or do I need to add text separately?
General Discussion / Musical theatre
Are there any musical theatre writers using NWC? I am in the midst of developing a project. I searched the forum and some posts came up from 15 years ago!
My 8 year old lap top is slowly gasping out its last breaths and I have decision paralysis.

Any recommendations? For me it's like buying a new car...they all look nice and shiny.

I am working on updating an older arrangement and I noticed that the concert pitch playback is off by 2 semitones. I must have messed it up when I was transposing originally with that box about playback staying the same or not. It was some time ago and I don't remember anymore what key I came from.

I figured out how to fix it and will list the steps for anyone else who searches the forum for this answer:

1. Determine what key your piece is playing back in, as opposed to what key it is written in.
2. Calculate how many semitones higher or lower that is from the key that it is written in.
3. Transpose your piece either up or down to the key that it is playing back in (using the above semi-tone calculation), BUT KEEP THE "Update staff playback transposition" BOX CHECKED!!
4. Now, transpose it back to the original key that you want, but this time keep the "Update staff playback transposition" box UNCHECKED!!

The result should be that your piece is playing back at the pitch you see written on the score.

I figured this out all by myself. It may be obvious to others, but it wasn't to me! That pesky box has got me in trouble before. Sometimes I do numerous transpositions when deciding on the correct key for an arrangement or composition.



One more helpful tip for unraveling this mess: Alt+T+T will get you to the transpose box without the mouse.

I hope this helps those of you lost in the tangle of transposition playback! If there is an alternate way to do this, please comment below. Thanks!

Good morning.

Is there a quick way to delete copied information and insert rests when I am creating a layered part. For example, I might only need additional harmony on the last verse and chorus of a long piece. What I have been doing is copying an entire staff, pasting it to a new staff, then adjusting the sections that need new harmony. This works fine for printing a layered score, however, if I want to print just that harmonic part, then I should really have just rests instead of another sections' notes. Is there a quick way to accomplish this?

Also, a related question is regarding lyrics for that third part. Is there a fast way to insert the lyrics at the point they are needed at the end? I have been doing it by just guessing at how many _ underscores_ I will need in the lyric control box to get to the location in the score. I am usually wrong and there is a great deal of back and forth to get them in the right position.  I can't have all the lyrics there because they will usually be in a different location ex. above the staff, and I only want lyrics above the staff for the ending/additional harmony section, not throughout the entire piece.

If I just had hidden rests (see the first part of my question) then it would be a simple thing to have the lyrics in the right place.

Thank you for your help,
General Discussion / Creative process
This is a related but different question for those of you doing original arranging and composition. What is your creative process? We all are unique in our approach. I have read some different books on the subject and have incorporated some habits into my life as a result.

I keep my iPhone handy and if I get a melodic idea or lyric idea I will sing it into my voice memo section. Once I hid among the veggies at the grocery store to record the melody for a new composition.

I have lots of Notebooks. One is full of lyrics which are all tabbed by name. I probably could take years to work on all these pieces generated by that book.

I have a notebook where I am writing down people I have contacted and what we talked about regarding music. Some of you will end up in this notebook! I can't rely on my memory anymore.

I have lots of notes in my iPhone and am trying to decide the best way to organize them. It gives me something to read on long journeys. I have a lyrics section there as well as other material.

I have started leaving pencils and erasers in all the important spots: pianos, couch, table where I sort my scores, computer desk. I'm trying to get out of the habit of using pen because pencil can be erased much more easily! And I hate wasting time hunting for them as they seem to have legs.

Care to share any ideas?

I've been pondering my process for proofreading. It's not very systematic and it needs to be because I have
Versions of the same score for different ensembles or soloists.

What is your step-by-step process for checking all the elements in your scores?

Is there a plug in that could be developed or exists already to somehow aid in the process?

Spell check for lyrics and text objects would be a start!

I look forward to your responses!
General Discussion / Self publishing
It had been on my mind for a while to ask about this topic. I'm thinking of setting up a website to promote scores and offer them for preview and sale.

How achievable would this be with NWC? People would need to use NWV viewer. The scores would have to appear as a preview copy. How do you protect copyright
and avoid piracy?

Anyone else doing this?

General Discussion / Performance Notes
I would like to ask a question to those of you who put text notation in your scores to help in the performance.

Where do they generally appear?

At the top before the piece starts?
At the bottom of the first page?
At the point of performance?
All or a mix of the above?

I am having some issues with having them inserted as a txt object using  "x" as sometimes they go off the side of the page if they are too long, or if I change by staff font size then it might up in the middle of the page instead of at the bottom of that page.

Is there a way to insert it using page text maestro and only have it show up on a certain specified page, like the final page. For example, I had a foreign word in my text and included a footnote of how to pronounce it. I tried to put it on the bottom of the page in which it first appeared, but it kept moving around as I edited the score and so I ended up moving it multiple times. This seems like a waste of time if it can be done only once. (Yes, I could have waited, but I like to get everything down on the score initially).
Hello again

I am editing previous scores. Turns out my clarinet guy told me to put all the dynamics on the top of the staff when the correct and common practice is to have them all at the bottom of the staff. (Perhaps I misunderstood him, and I will need to follow-up with him on it. ) Is there a shortcut that will move them all at the same time?

I'd also like to know if it's best to have them all in a fixed position on the staff? I'm always having to fiddle with them because I try them out too low and then they have collisions with high notes or hairpins or directions further down the line. It is a frustrating aspect that I would like to solve.

I did a search and there were some discussions from 4 -5 years ago, so maybe things have changed and are simpler now? Plus I don't speak code.

In a related question (and maybe this should go into a separate thread, but is anyone familiar with this resource:
Guidelines for Manuscript Preparation (Revised 2002) By Gayle Giese, Pick Edmondson. I do not have the $ for Gould's manual and wondered if this would do the job?

Thank you for your help! I am in the process of putting subtitles in all my scores and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
General Discussion / Handbell Help
Hello to all handbell composers out there!

I am going to venture forth into this unknown territory. I have rung a bit, but never composed for bells, but I have several choral pieces I would like to add some bells to.

What do I need to know? How can NWC help me in my efforts? I see some posts, but one was 18 years ago, and I'm pretty sure things have changed since then. I don't want to spend a lot of time doing something that has a better solution, if you know what I mean! Oh, and please explain things like you would to a small child...

Thanks in advance
I had the unpleasant task recently of trying to go through 8 drafts of the same piece and figuring out which one to keep...I am really bad about keeping track of changes I make, and being organized. ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED.

I have asked other composers and they are no help at all. Most of them say they struggle with the same thing, or just delete all old versions. The problem is that I take time to commit to one idea, so I like to keep the other drafts until I have decided for sure. However, sometimes a lot of time has gone by since then and I can't remember what was unique about a past draft.  Or, I may have the same piece arranged for different voices/instruments, so there are slight changes to the arrangement (i.e. give the piano runs to the flute and change the piano accompaniment to adapt). Any advice on this? Where do you note things? I can be taught new tricks, just need ideas of what will be the easiest method.

What I ended up doing was opening them all up using the tile feature and then shrinking them down to one measure width, and then going through them all measure by measure... sigh. It seemed like the best option without me losing my mind completely and flipping back and forth between full size scores where I kept losing my place! I haven't completely recovered but I was able to delete all but 2 drafts.

I have rearranged my computer files several times to try different ways of organizing my projects. Also, I print off drafts of the scores. Is there a way to print dates on the scores to help keep up with the changes? Or another way to keep track? I have been putting a number in the title and that helps somewhat.

I have a big unwieldy binder divided by Choral, Piano, Vocal, Instrument then subdivided by current, in process, complete, source material. Then I have a smaller binder that is just alphabetical and regardless of genre or voice, it gets filed under the title if I am still working on it at the piano or in reading session. Then when the piece is finished it is supposed to go back to the big binder. (Not always done to be honest) I'm not sure which way is better. I probably should change the big binder to alphabetical since I have different versions of the same piece all over that binder and it makes me feel unorganized.

I'd love to hear how others are staying organized and on track. I know we all work differently but ideas would be helpful. I apologize if some of the answers seem obvious. I am technically challenged.

Thanks and Happy New Year to all!

I am doing lots of score edits and find that I need to jump back and forth between similar sections to compare and make sure changes are made consistently. Is there a way to mark where I have been working so I can jump back to it, other than by using the Go to feature? I've tried searching and can't seem to find what I'm looking for on the forum. Any other tips and tricks to help in this endeavour?

Thanks for your help!
I'm having a playback problem related somehow to transposition. Here is what I did:
I am arranging "Joy to the World" . I started in the key of A, and am modulating to the key of Bb. So, I input the notes in A, then I copied those notes to a new staff, transposed it to Bb using the staff transpose function, and then copied and pasted the new key onto the staff that had the original. Now, it will play through until the key change and then stop. I don't understand what I did wrong. Any ideas?