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Topics - MusicJohn

General Discussion / Figured Bass
    Does anyone know whether anyone - and Rick would have been the obvious man -
has done anything to let NWC read/write figured Bass?  I can guess that the figures would be inserted as a lyric, and that they could then be read and converted, possibly in real time, as the Score is played, to the relevant notes (which could perhaps then be inserted in ordinary note format into the Score).

   MusicJohn, 30/Jan/22

General Discussion / Symbol used in Vocal Scores

   In vocal scores where two voices - soprano and alto, say - are shown on the same staff it is occasionally the case that one or other voice is divided into two for a single bar.  When depicting this, and especially when the notes are semibreves, and thus without tails, it is common to show the divided voice with the two notes "combined" by a symbol character that looks like an open square brackets.  This shows that those two notes are sung by one of the Voices, the other (third) note being sung by the other voice.

   Does anyone know what this symbol is called - if it has a musical name - and how to implement it in Noteworthy?

   MusicJohn, 18/Oct/19

General Discussion / System broken?
The Forum "maintenance" carried out a couple of days ago seems to have broken something quite badly.  Is any one looking into this?
MuscJohn, 29May/17
General Discussion / Irritations when importing Midi Files

   Using Noteworthy I prepare a lot of Midi Files of major Choral Works, which Files I then upload to my Website for any Singer to use to help them learn the Work.  Sometimes I "borrow" Midi Files previously prepared by others, and import these into Noteworthy so that I can fettle them into my preferred format before uploading them (with thanks to their original maker).

   For the most part, Noteworthy is quite good about importing Midis, and provides an NWC version which is reasonably accurate and usable.  Sometimes, however, it isn't, and doesn't.

   Here is an example using NWC2.75.  It is the soprano line of the Agnus Dei from the Requiem by a well-known modern Composer, and I have shown the line in two forms.  The upper staff is as the Composer wrote it (or, at least, as I keyed it in).  The lower is what I get if I export the File as a Midi File, and then import it back in, otherwise untouched.

   There are, clearly, several things "wrong" with the imported staff.

   Firstly, all the time signatures are "misplaced", being positioned before rather than after the relevant bar line.

   Secondly, the staff has been given the "wrong" enharmonic signature.

   Thirdly, Noteworthy fails to "recognise" the triplets.

   Fourthly, ... there are other differences, but these are not Noteworthy's fault, because they relate to data not passed on in the Midi File - dynamic markings, beaming, some tied notes.

   It's the time signature and enharmonic tuning matters with I find most irritating.  My question, then, is: can Noteworthy be changed to deal with them, or am *I* doing something wrong, and is there any way I can force Noteworthy to get them right?

   MusicJohn, 8/Jan/17

General Discussion / Transpose a whole score

   I know that in the past a wish-list item has been an expansion of the "Transpose" function to work not only on one Staff at a time but in addition, and if so chosen, on the entire (multi-staff) Score in one fell swoop.  This latter would be very convenient when trying to match/compare a previously-written NWC Score with a recording of the Work that has been made at a lower pitch - typical of many Classical pieces which were originally intended for playing at "Baroque" pitch (C=415) rather than modern pitch (C=440).  Changing an orchestral score staff by staff, while perfectly possible, is a bit of a drag!  And it's especially irritating for me, when working on a Choral Score, such as a Mass, with maybe ten or more independent sections.

   So: can we do a "whole Score" transpose now, with 2.75 (if so, I can't find how!), or ... has someone made a User Tool for this?

   MusicJohn, 4/Oct/15

General Discussion / Drop-out with W10 ??

   Has anyone come across problems playing either NWC or Midi - or, indeed, both - Files under W10?

   I have a 5-year old PC originally using W7 but recently upgraded to W10.  I find that when I try and play a Midi File using large numbers of channels/tracks/staves I get repeatable drop-out of one (or more) of the staves (this might be channel-related, but I'm not sure).  Moreover, when I play the NWC File from which the Midi was derived, I get the same drop-out - as I suppose I might expect, since, or so I understand, NWC Files are actually played via Midi.

   An example is the orchestrally-backed 7-voice Zadok the Priest, which requires 17 staves, downloadable from the Scriptorium - I attach a simplified NWC sample of this (Bars 22 to 30 of the Work), in which everything has been set to "p" except for the Tenor voice which is "ff".  This plays perfectly OK under W2K (and I am told it does under XP, too).  However, under W10, the Tenor voice drops out again and again.

   The drop-out effect, which occurs whether using NWC 1.75 (which I normally do) or 2.51a, doesn't seem to be related to the usual Midi problem of having too many staves/instruments for the number - limited to 15 - of available Midi channels.

   Any advice would be gratefully received.

   MusicJohn, 21/Sep/15
Tips & Tricks / Breathing spaces

   Choral singing is full of punctuation, and sometimes this is where the singers are expected to snatch a breath.

   In my NWC 1.75 Choral Rehearsal Files I usually deal with this - providing a shortened note, and so leaving breathing room in the sound output but without actually deviating too much from the Score notation - by marking the note staccato but at the same time slurring it to the next note.  This lengthens the note sound to something longer than staccato but a little shorter that plain "semplice", with a significant gap before the next note. 

   This simple and easily-applicable technique provides a resulting breathing space gap that has a length that depends on the length of the basic note.  Generally it sounds fine, though some modification may be needed if the basic note is long - a semibreve, say - while the breathing space is required to be quite short.  I usually cope with this by splitting the long basic note into two shorter notes tied together, and then applying the slurred staccato technique to the second of the two.

   A problem arising from using this technique is that the NWC Score then looks rather odd/messy - which I don't usually mind, because I'm really only interested in what it sounds like, but it must be rather irrtating to the rest of us who perhaps want to print the Score out, and have to "clean" it up first.  So: can anyone suggest an alternative  (simple) method to achieve the desired breathing-space effect that leaves the Score looking OK?

   MusicJohn, 15/Jul/15
General Discussion / Floating labels?

   When working with a fairly complex score, with a large number of staves, it would be very convenient if each staff name, or staff label, or some bit of associated and relevant text, could "float" at the left hand edge of the screen, so that I could always see at a glance which staff is what without having to zip back to the start (and then back to my place).  This isn't possible with NWC 1.75 (which I am still using), and I don't think it can be arranged with NWC 2.5 et al, though I'd like someone to show me I'm wrong and how it can be achieved.

   Any offers?

   MusicJohn, 17/Jun/15
General Discussion / Confusion over Segnos and repeated sections
   Here's a sequence "extracted" from Schott's edition of Charpentier's "Messe de minuit de Noel" [the Agnus Dei on pages 64/5] (don't worry about the huge missing chunks; they're not relevant).

   I expect the red bit to be played (twice), followed by the green bit (twice) followed by the blue bit, and then back to the Segno and the red bit (twice) and the green bit (twice) again, and then stop at the Fine.  However, as you'll see, following the jump back to the Segno at the start it plays up to the 1st Special Ending then jumps direct to the beginning of the green bit (once only) and thence to the end of the blue (and stops).

   What am I doing wrong?

   MusicJohn, 13/Oct/14
General Discussion / Jeffrey Grossman, Master Engraver

   A lot of the chats in the forum are about printing the music - about the visual look of the printed score - so I thought you'd all be amused by engraver Jeffrey Grossman's Website at

   Perhaps Rick, or maybe Richard, could waste a few hours experimenting with Noteworthy to see if it can match the SCORE version of the example with the dotted sixteenth-notes half-way down the page.  [:-)]

   MusicJohn, 11/Jul/14

General Discussion / Bar lines and time signatures

   One of the "features" I don't understand about Noteworthy relates to the manner in which it converts Midi Files into Noteworthy notation when a Midi File is imported into Noteworthy, and specifically what it does with, and how it places, time signatures in the middle of the File.

   In all - I think - musical scores I've ever come across the notation used to show a change in time signature - from, say, to 3/4 to 4/4 - places the new signature at the very beginning of the bar/measure from where it is required to apply (although in some modern music the composer sometimes enjoys keeping us on our toes, and puts the new time signatures in the middle of the bar!), and it is normal to locate the new signature immediately after the bar line at the start of that bar (or, if there's a key change as well, immediately after the new key signature which itself is placed immediately after the bar line).  And yet ... and yet ...

   And yet it seems to me that whenever a Midi File having some such time signature change is imported into Noteworthy, the File shown in Noteworthy notation always has the new time signature placed right at the end of the last bar to which the old signature applies, and thus immediately before the bar line at the start of the bar to which the new signature applies.  And this applies to Midi Files correctly made from Noteworthy Files.

   So, the score shows the new time signature AFTER the bar line, and yet Noteworthy places it BEFORE that bar line.

   What am I misunderstanding?  Or is - which I admit is unlikely - Noteworthy wrong?

   MusicJohn, 20/May/14
General Discussion / Intermittent layering of Vocal Scores

   Vocal Scores, particularly those by more modern Composers (such as Rutter), frequently change back and forth between "open" format (where, for example, each of the S, A, T & B voices has its own, separate, staff) and "closed" format (where typically the S & A voices share a staff, usually tail-up & tail-down, and the T & B voices also share a staff, again tail-up & tail-down).  Layering enables the four S, A, T, & B staves to become the two S & A and T & B staves, but - so far as I can see - only for the entire Score, not for some parts of the Score but not others.  Is the latter possible - can a Score be viewed and printed out (in one piece) with the open/closed format being changed either from page to page or within a page?  Would it, I wonder, be possible to make the Layering Tool an insertable object, like the Boundary Change object?

   MusicJohn, 9/Mar/12
General Discussion / News Groups problem?

   I've been unable to access the Noteworthy News Groups for a couple of days now, getting error messages like

Your 'noteworthy.composer' folder was not polled for its unread count.  Account: '', Server: '', Protocol: NNTP, Port: 119, Secure(SSL): No, Socket Error: 10061, Error Number: 0x800CCC0E

   If it's not me, does anyone know what the problem is?

   MusicJohn, 30/Sep/11
General Discussion / Music Publisher, by Braeburn Software
   In the very early 90s there was born of Bernard Hill, of Braeburn Software, a piece of music software then called "Noteworthy".  Later it was renamed "Music Publisher" (whether that had anything to do with Noteworthy Composer I have no idea).  From a brief search I see that it has been mentioned a few times in the Forum, the last, rather dismissively, being in 2007.

   I've recently had a quick look at its website -
- which has some simple but neat tutorial video clips, and judging by what I've seen in these the Program appears to have quite a wide range of features (some of which would look good in Noteworthy Composer!), and doesn't seem at all bad. 

   Has anyone had a play, or any other experience, with this software recently?

   MusicJohn, 3/Sep/09

General Discussion / Default stem directions
   I spend my day keying in choral works - presently Handel's "Jephtha" - for rehearsal purposes, before uploading them in MIDI format to my Website ... .  I mostly use NWC1, though occasionally I use Version 2 (and I'm slowly getting to grips with the latter).  NWC seems every time to make the default stem for an unbeamed treble clef "b" (middle line) or bass clef "d" (middle line) a down one, and yet almost invariably the scores I work from make that note a stem-up one (I say "almost", because in a run of notes, especially in a choral staff, the stem direction in the score is adjusted to make it fit that of either the notes before or the notes after, whichever is most appropriate; I presume there are rules about this, though I don't know what they are).

   I know, of course, that the stem direction of a note can be manually adjusted (select: shift|cursor up, or down, as required), as can the stem directions of all notes for the relevant staff entered after the adjustment, but I would like to know why NWC always chooses the middle line default stem as down, and whether it might be possible optionally to change this default to whatever matches the score I am working from.

   MusicJohn, 7/Apr/09
General Discussion / Noteworthy Player v. Viewer

   Once upon a time - back in the days of NWC 1 - there was the Noteworthy Player, Version 1.75b of which is still downloadable from  The Player can read, notate and play not only .NWC files but also .MID and .RMI files.

   Now, as part of the package associated with NWC2, there is the Viewer, Version 2.0 of which is available from  The Viewer seems to play ONLY .NWC Files (1 or 2), and NOT to play .MID files.  That seems rather sad - and odd, considering that .MID Files can be loaded into NWC2 itself!

   As an aside, I see that the Noteworthy Site map includes two pointers to the Player (the page above) but no pointer to the Viewer!

   Any comment?

   MusicJohn, 4/Mar/09
General Discussion / Opening Files with the correct NWC Version
   I'm still using NWC1 (v 1.75), but recently I purchased NWC2 and have been using that.  I also have the latest version of the Player.

   Some time earlier, though, I found that my Operating System - W2K - kept trying to open Version 2 Files (that I'd downloaded) in Version 1 - and of course failed - rather than in the Player.  This surprised me, because I thought that the OS saw Version 1 and 2 Files differently, and would open the former in Version 1, and the latter in the Player.

   The situation is different - but no better, though - now that I have Version 2.  Judging from the chat I've seen in the Forum (including a comment some time ago from Eric himself), Version 1 Files should open automatically in Version 1, while Version 2 Files should open in Version 2.  But for me they don't; my OS opens Version 1 Files in Version 2, which is not what I want at all.

   Obviously I've done something wrong - and it presumably involves my associating all NWC Files with Version 2.  Can anyone tell me what mistake I've made, and how to put it right, so that each File type is opened by its own Version?

   MusicJohn, 30/Dec/08
General Discussion / Searching on the Noteworthy Website

   I clearly have no understanding of how these things work.

   Why is it that a search of the NWC Website for "boxmarks", using its own internal search facility, fails to find anything, while a plain Google search for "boxmarks" turns up User Tip No: 56 -

   And how do I get to this page from the Site - and how come an internal search fails to find the page, but does turn up (a mere) three specific FAQs?  And why, if I truncate that address after the "usertips" part and look at that page, does the list it provides contain nothing from before three years ago?

   And ... following the links from the Forum on page

I find the PardyPack page -

- and yet an internal Site search for "pardy" has no hits (though a search for "pardypack" does in fact turn up the same FAQ to which the Forum links)!

   I clearly have no understanding of how these things work!

   MusicJohn, 16/Oct/08
General Discussion / Backwards Searching

   The Search facility - initiated by Ctrl F - seems only to search forwards.  Does anyone know if it can be made to search backwards ... and if it can't, maybe this should be added to the Wish List?

   MusicJohn, 13/Apr/07
General Discussion / Keeping beamable notes unbeamed
   A succession of notes (like quavers, semi-quavers etc) can be beamed manually (select, then Control-B), and all beamable notes in a staff can be beamed "automatically" using Alt-TA.  Once beamed, selected ones can then be unbeamed if required (with Control-B again). 

   Is it possible, however, to prevent beaming in the first place - to force a note NOT to be included in any beamed group - in the same sort of way, say, that a note can be forced NOT to have a lyric syllable attached to it?  This would be quite useful in the instances I regularly come across when I'm keying stuff in, a line at a time, and Alt-TA beaming at the end of each line, but nevertheless want some notes to remain unbeamed no matter what (and although I could, eventually, go back and unbeam them manually, I'd rather not have to remember!).

   And I appreciate that sometimes a note can be left - and remain - unbeamed ... for example, when a group of 4 semi-quavers has either the first three or the last three beamed manually, the fourth one will remain unbeamed even when subjected to an Alt-TA ... but how can I *prevent* a pair of semi-quavers being Alt-TA beamed?

   MusicJohn, 5/Feb/07
General Discussion / Strange clicking noises
    Hi, People.

   Many, many years ago, when I was still using Version 1.1, I think I read somewhere - possibly in a Help File - about notes sometimes sounding with a sort of included tapping or clicking noise, and that this was curable by ... and I've forgotten what!  Perhaps increasing the buffer size/number (and I remember an initial "error" message which said there was too little buffer space, and would I like to increase it!)?  Or summat.

   I often experience such a tapping noise, and I would like to get rid of it.  Does anyone know anything about this?

   MusicJohn, 8/Nov/06
General Discussion / Too many staves
   Too many staves

   I have a problem that in the past I've simply brushed under the carpet, but now I need to deal with it.  Only, I don't know how.  Can anyone help?  It goes like this:-

   If you have two separate staves with the same channel (channel 1, say), and thus playing the same instrument (a horn, for example), and you place on them - one on one, the other on the other - two notes of the same pitch (middle C, for instance) starting at the same time but one lasting longer than the other (such as, one a crotchet, one a minim), the way midi operates is to send along the relevant channel a stream of command signals including "note on" and "note off" signals.  Unfortunately, because in this example the two are on the same channel, and of the same pitch, the "note off" signal for the shorter note also acts to turn off the longer note before it reaches its normal end.

   So the standard answer is to use different channels for the two staves, so that the midi signals go to two different places.

   Which is fine, except that I don't have enough channels!

   I am presently keying in Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, and essentially I require, all at the same time, 19 staves - 3 soloists, 4 semi-chorus, 4 First Choir, 4 Second Choir, and 4 orchestral (an expansion of the two-stave piano reduction).  Because in some sections they all sing or play together, I need all 19 staves at once.  And because they should all be able to sing/play something different, I need 19 instruments and 19 channels.  This, though, is not possible with my set-up; I have a single Soundblaster 64 Gold, giving me access to a single set of the standard General Midi 16 channels - of which Channel 10 is set aside for percussion sounds, so leaving me 15 channels to play with.

   I thought I would be able to cope by cheating, and giving my Choir 1 and Choir 2 the same four channels (and the same four instruments), and generally I seem to get away with this.  But just now and again it turns out that the Sops1 (for instance) are singing the same note, but shorter, as the Sops2 ... and so the Sops2 note gets cut off (when the Sops1 note ends) long before it actually should stop.

   That's my problem; does anyone have any ideas what I can do about it?

   MusicJohn, 05/Oct/06