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Messages - SEBC

General Discussion / Re: Orchestration Template
It’s definitely a craft! I’m blessed to have musicians willing to work with me and correct my writing. I just performed five new pieces with piano, oboe and vocals on two of them.
I’m going to start with an oboe template and see if that helps me remember the details!

Do you have any oboe suggestions?

I downloaded  your marker but I need step by step directions to use it. Could I colour the notes above the staff as blue for Thin tone and the Lower notes as orange for warm and out of range notes as red? How will I use it  to help me in a new piece?

General Discussion / Orchestration Template
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,
General Discussion / Re: Composing for Brass especially trombone
That's a lot of great info there! Thanks so much for sharing it.

I am a complete novice when it comes to brass instrumentation, conventions, idioms, etc. I've been locked in my art song tower for a while, lol. I write very serious works...but every now and then I just have to compose something that sounds fun and happy. Now I just have to learn to do it with integrity so that performers won't scoff, ha ha.

As far as the notation goes, I think I see that the actual quarter notes, etc. have a different hand-drawn look to them in that article. Is there a way to change that in NWC? I did discover your swing fonts. Is there a difference between them that I should know about or is it just a matter of taste?

Thanks again.
General Discussion / Composing for Brass especially trombone
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.
General Discussion / Re: Composing for Harp and Flute Tips
I confirm everything Bill wrote.

I'd add a note regarding "overlapping" hands. The harpists try to keep the fingers on the strings as much as they can to dump the resonances (imagine playing piano with the sustain pedal always pressed...) and also to play louder. When the hands "mix up" the things gets easily messy. Alternate them as much as you can.
Usually an acceptable surrogate of a chromatic scale, practically impossible on the harp, is a simple glissato.
Remember that you can make two adjacent strings play the same note (e.g. C# and Db). This is often used to play fast, odd "scales" simply with a glissato.
Modern "jazzy" players use pedal bending, pedal half tone/tone portamento, soundboard clapping and clusters. (An example for all: Pearl Chertok's "Around the clock", that includes Harpicide at midnight)
Last but not least: don't forget the wonderful sound of the harp harmonics! (Normally only octave harmonics.)

That was great! Didn't know harps could play jazz. Thanks for sharing.

I have a first draft, and was told that it's sight readable, so clearly there's not enough going on yet!
General Discussion / Re: Composing for Harp and Flute Tips
Thanks for those pointers, Bill. My pianistic ways lead me astray. It's always good advice to find someone to show you the ropes. I think there are a few harpists on this forum. It was the instrument that I wanted to play as a child, but my mother called the local university to ask about the cost of lessons and instrument. She got off the phone and said, "I think we'll get a piano." I am still interested in giving it a try one day.

I am fortunate that my master's studies have brought two eager harpists into my life this fall who have offered to workshop my piece. I was hoping to give them something mostly playable for our first time together! I've got my orchestration manuals out...they refer to pedal charts at the beginning of the piece. Is that doable in NWC?

I'm also wondering about balancing things out with the flute. I'm inclined to notate the flute's dynamics one level lower than the harp. Do you have any opinion on that?

Ha, Mike! You're allowed to be funny because you're so helpful around here!
General Discussion / Composing for Harp and Flute Tips
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 / 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?
General Discussion / Re: Tripets - Vertical Positioning
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!)
General Discussion / Re: Bells Used Chart
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.
General Discussion / Re: Bells Used Chart
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

General Discussion / Re: sideways wavy line
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]


General Discussion / Re: sideways wavy line
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]

General Discussion / Re: Bells Used Chart
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.

General Discussion / Re: New Strange Sound Issue
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.
General Discussion / Getting user tools in right location

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 / Re: New Strange Sound Issue
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.
General Discussion / Re: Bells Used Chart
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.
General Discussion / Re: Bells Used Chart
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...
General Discussion / Re: Bells Used Chart
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.

General Discussion / Re: Chord member spacing
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?
General Discussion / Re: Chord member spacing
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?

General Discussion / Chord member spacing
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.



General Discussion / Re: New Strange Sound Issue
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.

General Discussion / Re: NWC keyboard cheat sheet?
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!
General Discussion / Re: NWC keyboard 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!
General Discussion / Re: New Strange Sound Issue
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.

General Discussion / Re: New Strange Sound Issue
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.

General Discussion / Re: New Strange Sound Issue
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!