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Messages - Bill Denholm

General Discussion / Re: Extra Notes for extra lyrics
William Ashworth wrote:

         "The point really is, as I said in my previous post, that one needs to make a careful choice of user fonts and characters to get the best results."

I heartily agree.  With this work-around the vertical extension necessary for any white-out character to cope with the curve of the slur makes it impossible to avoid dotting at least one line.


         "It appears that printouts vary from machine to machine more than we think."

Hear hear.  This causes me some angst with choral scores from time to time.  I guess I'll probably stick with bracketed slurs for the time being.


General Discussion / Re: Extra Notes for extra lyrics
That's a great idea Bill, but you can improve the outcome considerably by the following:
  • Set one of the user fonts to 14 pt Bold,
  • Type a sequence of capital "I"s
This produces a very convincing dotted slur.

Thanks for the idea.  See the attached.

General Discussion / Re: Can't fit the notes in the bar!
Thanks Peter. That's really useful when only a few bars require unusual tricky insertions of a second voice and (as Tony says) you don't want a long layered staff.  It surprises me that it also plays back correctly.  The dotted minim ignores the crotchet rest in the rest-chord and continues to sound for its full value.  I suppose this has been discussed before in the forum but I must have missed it.

General Discussion / Re: Real Music Composition Software
"Band in a Box" has a "Melodist" function that probably does some things the original poster was seeking.
Here is an extract from the User's Guide: 

"Using the "Melodist" feature you can compose a new song in the style of your choice, complete with intro, chords, melody, arrangement etc.  All you have to do is pick from one of the many Melodists available and press the [OK] button"

I hadn't tried it out previously, but a quick trial a few minutes ago showed that there is a large range of different styles of "Melodist", nearly all "pop', "swing" and a wide range of jazz styles, nothing traditional or classical that I could see.  The results are quite pleasant, but maybe a bit in the "Muzak" class!

I must admit I haven't given it a fair work-out by any means.

General Discussion / Re: suggestion re MPCs and initial staff settings

I have a "Hercules Games Theater 7.1" sound card that does respond to Expression MPCs with both NWC1.75 and NWC2.  This is quite a reasonable sound card with a Rack for connecting several analog and digital inputs and outputs and surround speakers, but with not a very good hardware synth.  Unfortunately I have discovered it will only accept *.dls soundfonts, not *.cls!

I was talked into it by one of the local Hawthorn cowboys 5 years ago, when I knew even less about MIDI business than I do now!

Those like me who distribute Training Aids for choral use, with one staff emphasised for each choir Section,
find the Expression MPC a real godsend.  Before I was awakened by this forum to the existence of these, it was quite a chore arranging playback of each long held note with a dynamic variation using Volume mpcs, because differnt volumes must be set for the "emphasised" and "un-emphasised" staves, so staff volume needed to be re-set after each dynamic variation.  This is not necessary if the <staff volume> is used for de-emphasis of the whole staff, while the <dynamic variation> of held notes is taken care of by the Expression MPC.


General Discussion / Re: Dotted Ties

For my choral scores where there should be a dotted slur I place text brackets around the slur.  It's now our standard convention and the choristers soon learned what it means.

Use <Justify Left>, <At next note or bar> and don't preserve width.

It ain't elegant but it conveys the message.


General Discussion / Re: nwc files to xml conversion
Greetings  Geoff,

A few months ago I downloaded and installed a program called nwc2xml, created by James Lee.  It was a DOS program and seemed to produce very good-looking XML files, but I was unable to import them into Sibelius, because Sib requires a later version of xml.  I have lost touch with James Lee and do not know whether he may have updated his program.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.  You could try searching for James Lee or for nsc2xml.


Bill Denholm.
General Discussion / Re: NWC Viewer limitation
G'day to you too Ole.

You say:

Allow me just one brief additional argument re the use of the full or evaluation versions of NWC – then I shall really clam up!

It is hard to grasp for young people who have been raised with a computer mouse in their mouths (!?), and probably also for older people who have been able to take command of the computer technology, including the adepts of NWC, how confusing and alienating computers still are to the majority of lay people

I'm happy to say that in our male-voice choir (nearly all retirees) we have been able to overcome the initial aversion to computers that afflicted many of our older members when I first introduced them to NWC back in 2001.  In many cases I had to seek out second-hand computers, set them up with NWPlayer, then spend a few hours teaching the initially reluctant chorister how to use the system.

After the limitations of NWPlayer became a source of irritation we all changed over to the eval version of NWC (mainly to take advantage of the stop/start capabilities).  Out of a total of 90 on our active list, I now have 53 very satisfied users.  50 of these are connected to the internet, so I can distribute each new training aid by email (with a few others by floppy disk to the very timid!).  Ole, nobody had to change anything other than installing the eval program.

(An interesting side issue in passing.   A few of the oldies still refuse to touch a computer.  A few others who have had a bit of musical training in the past, flatly refuse to have anything to do with "synthetic" music generated by a computer even though they may use a computer for other purposes!)

I do not have a bad conscience about using the eval version as we do, because my colleagues are  simply using it as an enhanced "Player" to replace the freebie Player or Viewer and do not use any of its other facilities.  A few (six at the last count) have taken out licenses because they enjoy the program so much.

I can see that I am very lucky that we based our whole training -aid program right from the start on the use of NWC files.  I think "Music John" is quite right in his praise of MIDI training aids, but my relatively untrained friends really appreciate having the notation on the screen with the lyric synchronised, particularly in the early learning phase for each new item.

I have one slight regret - that I can't distribute NWC2 files for playback with the eval_175 program.  I'd dearly love to be able to use hairpins for example.  This is why I strongly support Ole and others in begging for enhancement of NWC Viewer.  With that I could sleep with a really clear conscience, and use the full facilities of the <you-beaut> NWC2!!

Cheers to all,
General Discussion / Re: Another one
In Canada, by treaty, we grant the same copyright protection to residents of other treaty countries as we do to ourselves people, so the Canadian rule applies here for the Americans I named.

 David, How did Canada get away with it?

In Australia we entered into a Free trade Agreement with USA and were bullied into adopting the US <70 + years> time frame for American authors! :(
General Discussion / Re: NWC Viewer limitation
I placed the same request as Ole's on the wish list and pointed out (again) that choristers are a special case because a high proportion of them do not usually have much musical education, yet they may be quite intensive users of some features of the program.  They usually are not at all interested in writing music notation, but do need a versatile viewer/player for play-back of songs for home practice. 

I still have high hopes that the suggested improvements will eventually be made to the excellent NWC Viewer so that my 500-odd training-aid files can continue to be useful to my colleagues without their having to rely on the evaluation program as a substitute Viewer.

Bill D.
General Discussion / Re: NWC Viewer limitation
G'day to you too, Ole and Lawrie,

Having extolled the virtues of eval_1.75 as a temporary fix for a Viewer, I heartily agree with Ole that we all should urge for the additional features to be added to the existing Viewer.

There are plenty of precedents.  For example Sibelius supplies the freebie "Scorch" plug-in, which is a really fantastic viewer for Sibelius files with a tempo slider, transposing capability, ability to stop and start anywhere, ability to print, ability to save as Sib files etc.

Like Ole, I really wonder is it all that complicated to enhance the already good 'Viewer' that reads both v1 and v2 files?  The suggested enhancements are a regular feature of all the available MIDI players.

There must be lots of choir buffs out there who'd really appreciate it.

Bill D.
General Discussion / Re: NWC Viewer limitation
Greetings all,

It seems that quite a few of us are involved in generating training aids for choirs.  I am a member of a Male Voice Choir (with 70 active choristers on stage at our opening concert for this year).  Over the last 4 years I have gradually written 95 of the songs from our repertoire into NWC files, including the four Section parts (T1 T2 B1 B2) and the piano accompaniment, and have chosen strings for the play-back of the parts.  I send out 2 files to each chorister for each song, namely:

(1)   a "Section" version with the appropriate Section part at near full volume (120)and the other three parts reduced in volume to between 35 and 50, and
(2) an "Allparts" version with each part at full volume (so the chorister can practise singing against competing voices).
Certainly this means I need to make 5 separate files for each song, but this is fairly trivial once the full 4-part version is completed.

We have encouraged our choristers to get computers, and to activate email.  If necessary we set up the program and the folders of songs for them and instruct them how to use the program.  About 50 of them now use the system, and it makes an enormous difference to their rate of learning.  It is really quite easy to distribute each new file by email to the four Sections.   They just become "Groups" in my address book.

Like all who have contributed to this thread, I was disappointed at the limitations of the "Player" and later the "Viewer", but I quickly realised that the "eval" version of the program makes an excellent substitute.  I now distribute the eval version to all choristers.  This allows our choristers to stop and start anywhere, to change tempo, to play individual lines etc. etc.  In fact everyone has virtually the full facilities of the program available to him, but he only has to learn the few operations necessary to play-back the files, as if the program were a superior "Noteworthy Player" with all the facilities you have all been wishing for!  My mates do not want to know about the technicalities.

The one "limitation" of the eval version is that no-one can save a modified file when they've been mucking around with it!  As far as I am concerned this is an enormous PLUS - it saves me from having to repair untold numbers of corrupted files.  I wouldn't want to change this - ever.

I must say that the name "Noteworthy Composer" is treated with reverence by everyone in our Choir.  It has become absolutely indispensible, (and perhaps something of a rod for my back!)  Long may it reign!

Regards to all,

Bill D.

General Discussion / Re: Wishes...
I support all the suggestions in this thread, but as I use NWC mainly to produce vocal scores, I'd like to add one further wish: Word Extenders.

Christian, I agree word extenders would be a great help, but  in both 1.75 and 2, you can add reasonable approximations to word extenders as text in vocal scores, using  periods or underscores.  I like a string of dots, usually in <staff lyric> font.  I usually insert the text just before the word or hang it on a suitable object in the staff in the vicinity of the word to be extended.  Sometimes you have to fiddle a bit with leading spaces to locate the start of your line.  If the line is longer than the allowable text length you may have to extend it with a further text line and locate it by fiddling with justification and leading/trailing spaces.

I know it sounds tedious, but for my purposes it beats post-processing because I distribute NWC files as training aids, not printed scores.  Once you have a few extenders in a given score you can copy and paste earlier ones of appropriate length.

One thing you do have to remember for printed scores is to get your pagination right and ready for printing before you add word extenders or you can get into a mess.
General Discussion / Re: Wishes...
5) Master tempo slider built into the player, range from 10% to 200% of scored tempo. Master tempo imposed as a percentage over the scored tempo setting(s).

Has the addition of a tempo slider been considered by the programmers?  It was a natural feature of the old <Pianola> technology of bygone years and seems to be a common feature of all available MIDI players and Karaoke players.   It is also available in Sibelius and Scorch, so one would think it should be relatively easily implemented in NWC.  Am I correct in thinking this?

I'd dearly love to have this facility when I'm conducting extra "scratch" choir rehearsals at home during our summer shut-down in absence of an accompanist.

General Discussion / Re: .nwc to .sib, .xml, .abc, .mus ...etc???

I have a similar problem to yours.  In our choir we use NWC to generate our training aids, but our accompanist can only work in Sibelius, which is used at the school where she teaches.  When she wants to edit and enhance an accompaniment I convert the whole score including the accompaniment to Sibelius to save her having to re-write whole scores in Sibelius (when I've already written them in NWC).

I save the NWC file as MIDI 1 and import it into Sibelius 4.  It's almost a seamless conversion.  In our case we get four good choral staves and two piano staves but you do strike a few troubles, for example:

* You might need to try several notation alternatives (ie length of shortest notes and rests) during the importation
* Lyrics lose their hyphens between syllables
* Layered staves are "unlayered" into separate staves.  Sibelius actually has a near equivalent to <Layering> which it calls <Merging>.  It's a bit tedious to do this operation though. 
* Staccato notes appear as a half-length note and a rest.  (Rick's suggestion of making the staff <Legato> sounds    like an excellent idea (which incidentally I haven't yet tried myself).
* The dynamics do not show up on the score, but they are obviously still there because they play back correctly!
* Sibelius doesn't recognise NWC's method of notation of two voices per stave (eg chord notes of different lengths). and converts them to multiple tied notes.  (I think Sibelius can actually correct this, but I haven't taken the time to find out how to do it)

There are probably a few other problems that I can't recall at the moment.  The important point I want to make is that to produce a really <clean> conversion from NWC to Sib takes quite some time and a lot of fiddling.  You really need to have Sibelius on your home computer to do the whole conversion at home (as I do) - otherwise your poor daughter will be spending many valuable school hours converting your saved Midi-1 file to Sibelius!


Sibelius has its own built-in Optical Character Recognition program called <Photoscore>.  Unfortunately the <Lite> version that comes with the program is totally inadequate for most scores.  It is possible that the school has the full <Photoscore Pro> program that's much more versatile.  If they have it, you may be able to print your NWC files and scan them straight into Sibelius.  I haven't tried it 'cos I can't afford it!

David Palmquist has touched on the other method of scanning with <Sharpeye> which can produce a Music XML file that can be read by Sibelius 4 but not by earlier versions.  Again I haven't tried this because I can't afford it either.
Reading the Sibelius 4 manual makes me doubt that the resultant conversion will be all that good.

I had high hopes of solving the conversion problem when I was made aware of James Lee's program called <nwc2xml> for converting NWC files to MusicXML.  It produces excellent-looking XML files, but unfortunately they are in an earlier version of XML that Sibelius 4 can't read!!

So my advice would be to try the <Photoscore Pro> route if your daughter's school happens to have the <Pro> version with Sibelius.  Otherwise if you find a neat solution, please let me know.

Incidentally in passing I think lots of schools are doing a disservice to their students in pushing the use of Sibelius at enormous cost, when virtually everything they do with it could be done with Noteworthy Composer at a tenth of the cost (in Australia anyway), and with a fraction of the hastle and angst!  To me Sibelius is a huge pain in the Butt!
General Discussion / Re: Chord Transposer
Great little program.  I transposed a song on which I had written the chord symbols some years ago, including lots of 7ths, and it worked like a charm first go!

Thanks very much for that.  I'm sure it will be a great help to quite a few people.

Kind regards,

General Discussion / Re: NWC to Musix XML
Thank you <Juria90>.  I haven't yet been able to get it all to work so far, so I look forward to having another go at it tomorrow.  It's a bit late here now now to start! 

Kind regards,

General Discussion / Re: NWC to Musix XML
James, Thanks for your effort. 

I'd dearly like to have the capability to convert NWC files to XML, to see whether I can then transfer them seamlessly to Sibelius.  (Incidentally I do this only occasionally because our accompanist only knows Sibelius, while our choristers all use my NWC training aids).

It's a bit of a pain converting to Sibelius from NWC via MIDI (or vice-versa) because you lose a lot of notation detail, particularly where there are 2 voices on one staff .

But to get to the point - When I try to load your program from nwc2xml.exe I get the message: <This application has failed to start because zlib.dll was not found>.

Can you or anyone else tell me how to overcome this problem?  I'm using XP Pro.

Regards, and thanks in anticipation.