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Messages - SEBC

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.

That was fun.
General Discussion / Re: Support???
I think this is a very important discussion!!

I have years of scores invested in NWC. What would happen if it is abandoned?

Would the website become inactive and would we have to start up a new support forum?

Would the very clever users continue to develop tools and objects?
The marker is a great tool. I have been frustrated by out-of-control triplets for years.

Cyberhymnal, thanks for the work that you have put into your website. It is a resource that I always check when I start arranging a new sacred piece. It saves me some time. (What would really save me more time would be if the melody was always available alone without harmonization!)
Thanks, I understand the process now, but it really took a long time to set it up. Next time will be faster, unless someone comes up with a user object for me!

Thanks for all your help.
I just copied and clipped the beginning few measures and the spacing between staves is not the original spacing.
I'm back!

This is what I have used and everything is great except for that initial connection line connecting it to the other instrumental staves. Is there a way to eliminate it? I'm excited to report that a handbell group and children's choir will be performing this original composition together this Christmas.

Thanks for your help!

|User|XText.hmm|Pos:6|Justification:Center|Text1:"Bells Used"|Font1:PageTitleText|Scale1:50

The lining up part doesn't bother me but the squiggles seem to be going past the measure bar a tiny bit. This would be quicker unless there's a lot of fiddling around to do.

Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]


Thanks for sharing that. It was quite time-consuming to do for a chord member. I wonder if there is an easier way that doesn't involve the x and y axes? I thought maybe there might be a text character, but didn't find one in the character map.

Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]

I am attempting to use the first method described above but an having some trouble with allignment since I had to take out the bass clef on bells used and add some more notes: from Bb below middle C up to high C (two octaves above middle C). I had just cut and paste the first chart into my score and adapted from there. The result is that the bells used aren't in the middle but at the left margin.

Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
|User|XText.hmm|Pos:7|Font1:PageText|Text1:"Handbells Used"

I'm not sure how to copy and paste all the staves at once. This is the bells used stave.

Thanks for your help
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?

Object Plugins / Re: (1.0)
Thank you. Would you be able to post some examples?

I haven't been using cues but I know that it's helpful and expected.

The pieces I'm notating are for Clarinet and Piano. The Wind instrument sometimes has long measures of rest. I'm not sure how much to put in for showing the piano part. Another piece has choir, piano and clarinet. I have the cue show a measure of the melody for the choir in the clarinet part. I made the cue stems go the opposite direction as well as labelling it "choir".
Object Plugins / Re: (1.0)
Regarding cues:

What stem size do you recommend? Is there a standard? They definitely need to be shorter when they are stand alone cues.

There is a sample page on the website for converting the midi files to MP3 that plays the different sound fonts in various styles but none show the choral sound, which is what I am primarily interested in. I've been experimenting and "unison" isn't too bad.
Thanks. That was the problem. I hadn't finished the last step.

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,
Hi Mike
True enough. That's what it says. But I'm paranoid. Can someone hack into it and steal my work?  😳
I have been using the website that was suggested for mp3 conversion.

When I searched for some information on the tune that I used, I found this file (which is about my midi that I converted). Should I be concerned at all that this is on the internet? I may have forgotten to uncheck the box saying that the info could be kept in the database.
This is a separate question as well but suspect it might have the same type of answer. I'd like to provide an alternate  ending on a piece. Separated by space. I haven't attempted it yet but am thinking about it.
One idea is a separate staff that vanishes after the first line; and all the other staves emerge only on the second line (i.e., after a system break on the first staff) - see attachment BellChart-A.

A somewhat simpler solution is to use the top staff as the chart staff in the first line; however, it seems that one has, then, to live with a staff label on the chart line if one needs labels ... see BellChart-B.

Suitable gaps center the chart on the first line. Its notes are muted and, additionally, skipped via 1./2. endings. Bar counting is done with a BarCounter.nw object that starts counting after the chart.

Maybe something better can be developed from these ideas ...


Thank you for these ideas. It is a bit convoluted on the screen, isn't? It will get me started, but maybe Mike will have time to clean up the process using his technical wizardry...
Thank you for the suggestions. I had figured everything out except for the bar counter because I don't usually use that but this might be a good opportunity to try it out.

Mike, if you feel like that would be an interesting project to take on then by all means please do!  I will be writing more handbell music in the future, I believe. You fooled me there for minute, and I'm glad I did not miss an existing user object. We have to keep up with Muscore don't we?

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.

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.

I didn't know that. It's another advantage of nwc. Do you have that one in your blog post?
Oh, I see, it is layered...Mike was right all along.  ;)

Could one of you tech wizards figure out an easier way? When I hover my curser on the chord member, why can't more options come up like spacing and moving the dot up or down a space?

Yes, Rick, that's what I need. How can I recreate that next time? What's the secret step?
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.



I am trying out the FluidR3 soundfont through the website. Is this the best choice for a choral sound? There are a number of other choices there and I am unfamiliar with them all. I have a SATB a capella piece I am finishing up.

Success! Thanks again, everyone.
Thank you, everybody. I realize that I have been trying to highlight the chord instead of hovering the cursor.

This shortcut will save me time in the future. Thank you for the cheat sheet!
Richard Woodroffe said "I do not think you have covered right clicking on a note in a chord in order to change, for example, an accidental on one note in the chord, or to add a tie to that note."

I can't seem to do that using my laptop. Can you explain the process? Thanks!
How did I miss that all this time?
Thanks, Bill. I'm off to a rehearsal now but will have a look later. I have a feeling I'm going to be quite sad to hear the difference!
Does it exist? It would make my life a lot easier!
I'm pretty busy with composing and performing, but I would like to have some idea of the quality differences that you're talking about. Can someone send me an example of a better synth sound? I guess I have gotten used to what I have now and haven't thought about upgrading.

General Discussion / Re: Swing rhythm
Wow, those tempo tracks are a much much easier way to accomplish what I was trying to do (which entails rewriting everything!)

Thanks for sharing these options.

So, do you always use a tempo track in all your scores? I usually just paste it onto the staff somewhere. Obviously, something as complex as what you have shared would clutter the page.

General Discussion / Re: Swing rhythm
So I guess the answer is that there is no easy way.
Would it be possible to develop a user tool? Other notation software has a setting for swing.

Thank you for sharing your cheat sheet!
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 would suggest making the "singer" MIDI channel 1, the oboe  MIDI channel 2, and the piano a higher MIDI channel.

In the event of voice overload, synths are supposed to drop voices from the higher channels first.

I would also remove any sustain pedal down items. While the pedal is down, voices are not released. They can add up rather quickly. If this solves the issue, you can judiciously add the 'pedal downs' back in where needed.

By George, that's it! I had put the pedal down in the piano staves to try and give more legato.

Bill, the instrumentation is voice, piano and oboe, so there shouldn't be an issue with timbre masking.
I am using everyone's favourite:
Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth

It's actually only in the available playback box but I suppose since there is only one, then it gets used by default.

If I stop and start later, I do hear what previously didn't play, but then a new section stops playing until there is only one or two notes.

This is my new computer and I didn't have issues with the last one like this.

Thanks for any help you can offer!
If there's enough going on in the 3 staves you have, you could be running into a synth limitation...  There is always a limited amount of polyphony any synth can handle and some are better than others - some also have the ability to have their polyphony setting adjusted.

What synth are you using?

Where would I look for that information?
My midi channels are not overlapping.

Any other ideas?

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 / Re: Stacked Rests

Are you saying that you would need to write it into the code and that there is no way to do it otherwise? How exactly does one do that?

Could you make one or more of those rests invisible?

And when would you need to use this trick? I've not had to do this before but maybe I would want to one day.

General Discussion / Re: boxed text
P.S. Mike, I am still using your Bar Label for rehearsal numbers and letters. What % size is recommended for those? I have been experimenting and am not sure which is best.
General Discussion / Re: boxed text

I just wanted to say that I have started using xtext for boxed text and I like all the options that it gives me! I don't find it difficult to use for my purposes. Thanks so much for developing it and for your help here on the forum. Thanks to Mike as well for his help and referral.

Thanks. I'll give it a try and see what is easiest.
Thank you!  :-[
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]
Object Plugins / Re: XText.hmm (0.92)
Thanks. I'm giving it a try!