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Topics - SEBC


I've noticed that when I make mp3 conversions of my work, the accompaniment (piano) always sounds like it is being "pounded", despite the dynamic level I use. I would like to achieve a more musical effect. Is this possible? I am not sure what to look for in the forum; I don't mind checking out other discussions on the topic. Is it a velocity issue?
I've recently started having that message pop up when saving that the program is unable to save a BAK file, and do I want to save anyway (which I do). It's possible that I have changed something I shouldn't during a computer housecleaning episode.

This started me thinking whether or not I should fix that issue, or if I actually need the BAK files at all. I've rarely if ever used them, and storage space is becoming an issue on my hard drive, plus I back up my computer onto an external drive regularly.

I did read through the postings on BAK files, and see that some don't use them.

I'm asking for some opinions here (and help for figuring out the unable to save to BAK issue or how to stop the message from appearing).

Edit to add:  my recent question to Mike here ( about having different versions of an object plug-in is linked to the fact that the multiples are BAK files, and I think I would like to delete them in that case. Is this a good or bad idea?)

Many thanks
General Discussion / Uninstall nwc 1
Is there any reason why I should not uninstall version one since I am now using the latest version? I am running out of room on my computer and I need to delete some apps.
General Discussion / Edit M4As?
I need to download a program to edit some sound files. Do you have any recommendations?

General Discussion / NWC on Facebook
I've noticed in the last week that there have been daily posts from NWC on Facebook, with a comment about support and an update in the works!
Even though I have followed the steps in the user guide, any changes that I make to my templates are not being saved. It says it is saving them, but then when I go back in a reopen the template, the changes don't show up. I am getting a message about not being able to create a back up, and also that it is being saved in a new format and the old format won't be able to open it. I'm not sure how that is influencing the problem, or why those messages are showing up.

Thanks for your help. I've wasted a lot of time on this and am getting frustrated!
I have a new choir and have been thinking about how to help them learn their parts. I'd welcome feedback on this topic:

What is the best way to deliver the tracks? CD, Internet - on a website, by email? I've got some choir members who don't use computers...

Has anyone (and is there a way to do it) made youtube videos using an mp3 version?

If I had to make a cassette tape (yikes) for someone (are those even still available to purchase?), what would be the best approach?

What else should I be thinking about?

Years ago, a group I worked with could download a trial version of NWC and practice with scores that way, but I don't think that possibility exists anymore, does it? The benefit was they could see the music part light up as they heard it.

Thanks for your input!

Is it possible to print more than one song per page? I've got some short rounds to print.
In a previous post on swing tempo, this was posted:

If you use NWC to print parts, the Tempo track is indespensible.  Things that all parts need to see like rehearsal symbols and tempo are all on a staff that is layered into the part you are currently printing.

Could I see some examples of what that track might look like?
I read that someone was using overlay printing as a solution for printing italicized and regular lyrics.

Any ideas on which print drivers will allow for this, and what are the steps involved?
Sometimes when I go to print, I find my text running off the printed page. It might be a label, such as "Children". This often happens after I have changed something and the text measure gets bumped over to a different position. When I first insert the label, I check to see that it looks ok.

Is there anything that I can do to keep the text from doing this?
Score Review: Who, What, Where and Why?

Also, can you change things in the score from the dialogue box or is it FYI only?
I would find it really helpful to have a keyboard shortcut for layering. Does it exist? If not, can it be developed?
General Discussion / Filtered Properties
I'm going to learn to do something new in NWC: use Filtered properties. I've used it before to move dynamics around on the score. It works really well. What else could I do with FP? What do y'all use it for?

General Discussion / Beginner Tuba range
This is not a notation question, but a composition question. I am writing a piece for a beginner tuba player (first year, first term). What range will he be able to play? I googled but couldn't find such a specific answer. Anyone out there know?


General Discussion / Disappearing Notes
Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]

These notes don't show up on the print out for some reason. They are layered with another two staves.

Thanks for your help.
General Discussion / NotePerformer
This sounds like a cool product but will it work with NWC?
General Discussion / Spacing out endings
Every now and then I revisit the topic: Should I switch from using NWC to one of the more common programs? Mostly, it does everything I have needed to do so far.  One thing that annoys me is having to figure out the best way to evenly space out the endings. Is it possible for someone to develop a tool that would do this automatically? I know how to use the "insert" method, but it takes a long time sometimes, and if I have single staff prints, sometimes I end up redoing them multiple times to work better for different instruments.

Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
|Text|Text:"Swing 8ths"|Font:StaffItalic|Pos:11

How can I get the last eighth note to sit correctly within the 4/4 measure?

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!