Skip to main content

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - William Ashworth

Thanks for responding, Maurizio. Stay well.
Flurmy, are you OK? We haven't heard from you in a bit, and I know Italy is dire.
General Discussion / Re: Multi staves
You have to enter them on every stave. But it can be done with copy and paste. Goes pretty fast.
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....
Thanks for the report from Italy, Flurmy. I have a friend, an opera composer, whose wife is from Italy and still has family there, so I'd heard a lot of that, but your first-hand report was - well, "welcome" isn't the right word for something so dire - but strongly appreciated. Here in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown has ordered schools, restaurants, and bars to close, limited public gatherings to 25 people or less, and asked people not to leave their homes except to run necessary errands, especially if you're over 60 (my wife and I are both 77). The libraries are closed. Most stores remain open but are poorly stocked on things like eggs and bread (and, of course, toilet paper. What IS that about?) Our weekly outdoor farmers' market plans to operate on schedule tomorrow, with thoroughly trained vendors and plenty of hand sanitizer available. Patrons will be asked to socially distance at six feet or more. Perhaps we'll be able to get eggs there - we're almost out. Hiking, fortunately, has not been forbidden: we're planning to take a walk with our youngest daughter (41) this afternoon in a large nearby wild area. We'll get to see her and converse with her, but without the customary hugs - which will be greatly missed. The upside of all this is that I get to spend more time with my music. Stay well, everybody - Bill
General Discussion / Re: NWC on Facebook
I agree that FB shouldn't replace this forum, but there are some indications that it may be doing that, at least partially. Eric has answered several support-type questions on FB recently. We haven't seen him here since a year ago August. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt on this, though, for exactly the reasons David mentioned. If someone knowledgeable isn't monitoring the FB page and answering user questions there, the advice given by other well-meaning but uninformed FB users may lead the questioner pretty far astray. Eric could quite reasonably be trying to head that off. For questions that come to the forum, we have a pretty good cadre of experts here, and Eric clearly trusts us to give accurate advice. I appreciate that - even as I wish he would show up more and let us know the state of the current update cycle.
Mike, I don't think the arrows are necessary.
Brief historical note: tempo equations used to be placed after the barline (pre-1950s) with the new tempo on the left and the old tempo on the right. Common practice since then has been to place them with the equal sign over the barline and with each tempo on the side of the barline it goes with: old tempo on the left, new tempo on the right. There's been a recent discussion of this on the "Music Engraving Tips" Facebook page. So: left justified after the barline with the NEW tempo on the left if you want to emulate the old practice; centered over the barline with the OLD tempo on the left for the rest of us.
"Above" and "Below" can also be controlled in a note's Notation Properties panel. Select the note, press <alt><enter>, and check the box labeled "use stem for articulations" to move the articulations to the stem side of the note; uncheck it to move them back to the head.
I regularly set pan differently for different staves, especially if the staves have similar instruments, so that it's easier to aurally separate the voices of, say, a string quartet. I've never had the problem you mention. I have a hunch it's in your MIDI setup, or in the way your MIDI setup interacts with NWC, not in NWC itself.
For single = single, I know there can sometimes be confusion as to which side of the equation relates to which part of the score...
I believe the original convention was:
"new time value" = "old time value", but
current convention now seems to be:
"old time value" = "new time value".

Gould ("Behind Bars") clarifies this. Current practice is to center the = over the barline and place the time values over the measures they apply to. That makes it old = new. However, it would probably be wise to have an option to notate old scores in the old way, for those who value history. That would be with the entire equation placed after the barline (over the new measure) and the order of tempi reversed, to new=old.  ("Old", by the way, means roughly before 1950.)
There's a disjunct between the labels as stated in the FAQs and the labels on the "Record" tab. The in port is chosen under "Echo Input to Play Device"; the out port is chosen under "Echo to MIDI Channel".
In some places a glissando is requested with the following notes: Ab, B#, Cn, Db, E#, Fn, Gn.
Interesting tuning - essentially, Ab, Cn, Cn, Db, F, F, Gn. I'm guessing the gliss comes in the middle of a passage with a lot of rapid repetitions of C and F: perhaps tremolos?
That would be really good, Mike. Here's the deal: harps have seven strings per octave. In "open" position - quotes around that for reasons I'll explain in a moment - all the strings are tuned to the Cb scale. So: Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb. Harps also have seven pedals, one for each pitch class - a C pedal, a D pedal.... you get the idea. Each pedal changes ALL the strings of that pitch class on the instrument, and each has three positions: flat, natural, and sharp. The "open" position is the flat position. (It happens to be the top position, physically, of the pedal, which can get confusing because we're used to thinking of sharps as physically high; but never mind.)

The meaning for this for glissandi on harps is that you can have only seven notes per octave, and for any given tuning those seven notes will be the same seven notes in every octave, BUT the chromatic position of each of those seven notes is independent of all of the others. Harpists make a lot of use of enharmonics: you can have a C and a C# in the same tuning, for example, but only if there are no Ds in the tuning, because the C# that everyone else in the ensemble is playing will have to be spelled as Db on the harp. Cb and Fb, and B# and E#, are common in harp writing for that reason.

The bottom line, here, is that every glissando on the harp will have to have one, and only one,  of the chromatic spellings of every pitch class; and that the particular grouping of chromatics being used for a given gliss has little or no relationship to the scale or mode the music is in. Every tuning on the harp is basically an artificial scale. So it would be really, really nice if your glissando object could tune each pitch class individually - to match the current tuning of the harp.

I just kind of jotted this explanation down, so let me know if any of it remains unclear.
The harpist I've worked with likes to see the line. But it isn't handled quite the way you would in piano writing. You indicate the harp's current tuning with seven cue-sized note heads at the beginning of the gliss, in chromatic order in its direction; then you draw the line, starting at the last note head. You can get away with leaving the note heads out if you place a pedal diagram under the beginning note of the gliss, but it's best to use both.
Do you have any idea how this might deal with voicing? I.e., which octave each note of the chord is in? It makes a big difference in the chord sound. Guitars voice differently depending on the fingering you use for the chord; banjos voice differently than guitars; pianos voice depending on the whim of the player, or the composer, or the way the music is moving; you get the idea. Given that reality, I don't see much use for automating the placement of chord tones; they would usually have to be moved after the program had placed them.
The answer is a qualified "yes" - depending on which version of NWC you are using and what attribute of the note you want to edit. If you are using ver. 2.51 or later, place the mouse cursor on the note you want to edit and right-click. This will give you a context menu that will allow you to change the note's accidental, color, or notehead shape, and add or subtract a tie. For any other changes, you will have to delete the individual note and replace it with the new one. To delete an individual note from a chord, place the cursor directly to the note's right and press <Ctrl><Backspace>. (Note that you can't erase a rest in a restchord in this manner - you have to erase the entire chord and start over.)
I always put the "collapse" and "end collapse" in at the same time. You don't have to be exact - just place the "collapse" at the first place where it can take place and the "end collapse" at the first place you need to see that part again. The program will take care of any rests that are needed to fill in the staves before and after.
Just write "(2nd time only)" in front of the lyric line.
In this case, I'd replace the first "e" with an apostrophe: "kin-d'ren". that's a standard way to represent an elided syllable in English. If you want the tie, though, you can do it on a different layer, using notes with blank noteheads and with stem lengths set to "0" as the anchors for the slur.
Can someone please explain why the staff boundaries set on the "Visual" tab of the "Staff Properties" dialog box don't match the actual staff boundaries?

On the piano piece I'm currently working on, I have the boundaries set in "Staff Properties" at 18 above and 12 below (right hand staff) and 10 above and 18 below (left hand staff). The actual boundaries, as shown by the shaded space on the active staff and confirmed by the boundary offset figures in the "Notation Properties" box, are 14 above and 8 below (right hand) and 6 above and 14 below (left hand) - a discrepancy of four units in each case.

I suspect that the problem is that "Staff Properties" measures from the center of the staff and "Notation Properties" measures from the upper and lower staff lines. Whatever the cause, it would be nice if the two dialog boxes could be brought into conformity with each other.

General Discussion / Re: text position
I had a hard time finding it also, until I realized it is actually named GlobMod.og.
Interesting. My copy of it is named GlobalMod.og. Opagust....?
I was thinking along the same lines as Rick. What seems more useful to me isn't fractional font sizes, but percentage scaling, as we already have for text objects. That should be a relatively easy addition to the dialog box for lyric configuration. Perhaps we'll see it during this beta cycle.
General Discussion / Re: text position
What Lawrie said, plus this: if you don't want to have to work out the proper command syntax, use GlobalMod.og instead. It'll walk you through designing the command using a set of easily-understood queries.
You don't have to use that diagram. Just give the letter names, in two rows. The four right-foot strings go in the upper row; the three left-foot strings go below them. Like this:


With appropriate accidentals, of course. I've also seen it on one line, with a separator: D C# B | E F# G A

If you have access to Elaine Gould's book, the complete instructions are on pp. 355-57. Basically, her advice is to write just the letter name and accidental (e.g., C#)  for a single accidental change, at the time the new accidental is needed. She also suggests writing the complete current pedal settings at the top of each new page and at each rehearsal letter.
One further observation, which Flurmy has reminded me of: harpists like to form a hand position and then place it on the strings. They CAN change positions on the fly, but the preference is to do a bit of work in one position, then change to another position for the next bit of work. Again, unlike pianists, who expect the hand shape to change pretty much with each new note.
The best thing you can do is to sit down with a harp and a harpist and get a hands-on look at the instrument's limitations - which are many. It's not at all like writing for the piano, or any other instrument for that matter. I play Celtic harp, and have recently attended a workshop on writing for pedal harp, so I can give you a bit....but there is no substitute for the direct experience.

A couple of thoughts. First, always remember that the harp is a diatonic instrument. There are always only seven pitch classes available. The pedals allow you to get any conceivable accidental, but each pedal controls ALL the strings of its pitch class, so you can't do, e.g., a G in one octave and a G# in another. Second, changing pedals requires time, so rapid passagework can't contain two different flavors of the same pitch class. Third, harpists use only four fingers on each hand - the little finger can't actually reach the strings when the hand is in playing position - so you can't write five-finger chords or arpeggios. Fourth, the low strings require a slightly different seating position due to their distance from the performer, and that makes playing the upper strings awkward, so you have to watch that the spacing between the hands doesn't get too large. Fifth, the harp does well as a melody instrument, but unless the melody is extremely simple it is likely to require both hands, so accompanying chords have to be fit in around the melody notes - it's not just one hand playing melody and the other accompanying.

You begin to get the idea. Really, sit down with a harpist.
The "Copy Page" menu will also allow you to copy to the clipboard and then paste directly into an image editing program, where you can save it in the file format of your choice. At least, that works with FastStone.
Can't resist posting this link to a video on the design flaws of Sibelius.
It just LOOKS like code. It's actually an NWCtxt file - that's the way NWC normally stores your music.  Just select it all and hit the download button. It should save as [file].nwctxt; if it doesn't, add the .nwctxt extension. You can then load it directly into NWC.
There's an easy way to hear your NWC files with far better sound than the crap that comes from Microsoft allows. Simply download and boot up the current version of the NWC Viewer - it's a free program that plays NWC files through sound fonts. You'll find it on the NWC website, along with a downloadable copy of FluidR3, probably the best free sound font out there.
Thanks. I'll give that a try.
I created a custom selector this morning which didn't work as expected, and rather than try to make it work right I decided to "empty" it - to return it to the default empty state. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to do this. There is no "reset to default" command on the context menu, and the only "default" command I can find in the dialogue box appears to refer to a whole toolbar, or perhaps the entire toolbar setup - I'm not going to risk upsetting everything to find out. I tried erasing all commands on the staff that defines the selector, and that took away the functionality, but it didn't take away the glyph. I've now removed it from the toolbar, which is temporarily satisfactory, but it gives me one less user selector to work with. Any ideas?
David, I think this was one of Eric's own User Objects.
General Discussion / Re: Support???
I am very happy with a product which needs no changes. I think that it is very wrong to expect that a software is updated often.

I fully agree. I also agree that, for my purposes, NWC is the best thing out there. I've been fooling around with MuseScore, and while it is very powerful and makes nice-looking scores, the UI is awful - NWC's is much better, and NWC is also very powerful and makes nice-looking scores. I have friends, too, who sing the praises of Dorico. Most of those praises have to do with the way the interface improves upon Finale and Sibelius, including - wait for it! - an insert mode! Which I always have to point out that NWC has had for many, many years. At $50 instead of $600.

However, NWC is not a "product that needs no changes." It still has flaws, some of them fairly serious, and while many of these have been taken care of by user objects, and I have yet to meet anything that can't be worked around in some manner, it would be easier for me to sell it in places like the Music Engraver's Page on Facebook - I mentioned it there just today - if the more glaring of these flaws were addressed by changes to the program. Pedal lines, 8va lines and cue staves should be native, to name three commonly-used notations that are currently taken care of by user objects, with varying degrees of ease and accuracy. n-tuplets would be nice. The collisions that take place between dynamics and hairpins are annoying, and the beam anti-aliasing is lumpy compared to the competition, making scores look less professional than they might. I could go on, but you get the idea. It is really time to address some of this stuff.

Mind you, I'm not planning to switch to Dorico, or even MuseScore, any time soon. I love NWC and will undoubtedly stick with it until it dies or I do. It's just that it could be significantly better. Facebook's MEP (Music Engravers Page) is pretty heavily used. Someone did a survey there recently to find out what software was currently in use by regular posters. Probably 50 of us responded. I was the only NWC user. That number could be much higher if some of the product's current shortcomings were taken care of. I'm tired of Dorico users trying to sell me on their baby. I'd love it if I could sell them on mine.
General Discussion / Re: Support???
This adds to my concern, fueled also by the exceptionally long time since the last update and the virtual disappearance of NoteWorthy Online from this forum, that NWC is rapidly becoming abandonware. Say it ain't so, Eric....Please?
Flurmy, the problem I'm dealing with isn't solvable by correcting the score, only by adding a kludge of some sort. It arises from NWC's failure to shut off all sound from muted channels, plus a quirk in the way the program handles ties from muted notes - the muted notes being necessary to use Mike's "arpeggio" object.

Mike, thanks for the possible fix via the one-line change in the lua code. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Looks like I'm stuck with the layers kludge, which is a PITA, but which does work. Thanks for trying....

Thanks much, Mike, but we probably need "All Sounds Off" in my situation. The object works great for stuck notes in the same staff as the object, but in a multi-staff score, they still sound in the other staves, and inserting it in a staff without a stuck note appears to have no effect.
Object Plugins / Re: (2.0c)
Rick, I haven't tried your kludge yet, but I'm assuming from what I'm seeing in it that it only stops notes on specific pitches. That's helpful. But what I'm looking for is something generic that can simply be placed anywhere in the score you want everything to stop playing.
Object Plugins / Re: (2.0c)
It occurred to me this morning - struggling once again with the arpeggio object and ties - that a handy user object to have would be one that simply sent an "All Notes Off" command.
Object Plugins / Re: (2.0c)
A related problem: the object doesn't mute when the staff it's on is muted. If the notes of the arpeggiated chord are tied, the object doesn't send a noteOff command, and because the staff is muted, the end of the chord doesn't send one either. As a result, NWC thinks the chord is still playing all the way to the end of the piece, and will sound it if you start play at any later time - a little ghost piano chord that sounds off even if every staff related to the piano part is muted - even if the piano staves are incomplete and you've started play well beyond the place where they end. Took me a while to figure out where that ghost was coming from.

And related to THAT is the fact that the note with the incoming tie (in yesterday's example) doesn't receive a noteOff until the next time a note is sounded at that pitch, even if the staff isn't muted.  In that case, I get a bright little ghost note instead of a ghost chord when I start play after the arpeggio. Apparently the object depends on NWC to send a noteOff, and NWC thinks it doesn't need to send one because the note has been muted.

I was postponing the creation of the second layer, but I guess I'd better get to that right now....

EDIT: the new layer didn't help. The ghost chord still sounds. Evidently no noteOff is being sent with the ties present, whether or not anything is muted.

EDIT 2: removing the ties from the arpeggiated chord on the new layer has eliminated the ghost chord. The ties from the muted chord in the original layer still work to carry the sound over, even though they are on a different layer from the sounded chord (well, they're assigned to the same MIDI channel). Crisis averted for now.
Object Plugins / Re: (2.0c)
Thanks for the response, Mike. I'll look forward to an eventual fix - playing only half of a split-stem chord as an option would probably handle most circumstances. In the meantime, there is still the layers option.
Object Plugins / Re: (2.0c)
Hi Mike -
Small problem with the Arpeggio object, shown in this clip from the accompaniment to a song I'm working on:

Code: [Select · Download]
|Instrument|Name:"Acoustic Grand Piano"|Patch:0|Trans:0|DynVel:10,30,45,60,75,92,108,127|Pos:16.5

The arpeggio should only apply  to the new notes in the second measure (the F4 through the Eb5); it shouldn't extend to the tied C6 from the previous measure. I can fix this with a layer, of course, but I don't think I should need to. A fix would be appreciated.


General Discussion / Re: Hidden Staffs
If you hide staves the way the rest of us do, you hid them by going to the "contents" tab of the "page setup" dialog and unchecking the checkbox beside the name of the staff. Just go back to the same tab and check the box again. You'll find the "page setup" dialog in the "file" menu, or by pressing the button that looks like an open book.
I didn't know that. It's another advantage of nwc. Do you have that one in your blog post?
Just to be clear: using separate layers for separate voices on the same staff isn't unique to NWC - it's standard across most if not all notation programs. NWC is unique in allowing you to use as many layers as you want, though: Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore, Dorico, etc., all limit you to four layers per staff.
General Discussion / Re: Quintuplets?
Try this:

Code: [Select · Download]

You need to have the user object tupletmarks.fso installed. The tempo change is figured by multiplying the regular tempo by the value of the tuplet (e.g., in this case we have 5 notes in the time of 4, so you need to multiply the regular tempo by 5/4). Note that this is not necessarily the same as the hidden time sig, although it is in this case. However, if your quintuplet was 5 8th notes in the time of a half note in 4/4 rhythm, you'd still need to multiply by 5/4, because it would still be 5 notes in the time of 4 (5 8ths in the time of 4 8ths).
Do you mean a shortcut that will switch between Viewer Mode (the button with the glasses on the button bar), which shows layered staves layered together, and the editor, which usually shows them separate (you can have it show staves layered if you prefer)? That shortcut is F11.
The current version of the NWC Viewer supports soundfonts, and the excellent FluidR3 soundfont is available from this forum post. It takes a little work to decompress and install it the soundfont, but if you do that, you can play your own files with the Viewer and get a sense of how much better they sound. Another alternative - which avoids some of the work involved - is to export one of your files as a MIDI and then go to SolMiRe (, upload the file, choose FluidR3 from the list of soundfonts the site gives you, and tell the site to convert it to an MP3. It's a very simple, clear process. The site keeps metadata from the file you upload (NOT the file itself) for statistical reasons, but you can opt out of that if you prefer.


Sometimes one instrument will mask another, if the timbres are similar. If you hear it "trying to sound," you may be hearing the attack, but the sustained sound beyond the attack may be blending in with something else. What instruments are involved, and what notes are playing in each instrument when the sound disappears?