NoteWorthy Composer Forum

Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-14 05:45 am

Title: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-14 05:45 am
   It is a universal rule of all engineering practice (I am also an EE) that a system incapable of producing a required output, such as a refrigerator that will not cool, is seriously deficient.  In the software trade we call these deficiencies bugs.  In the case of the orchestral staff attribute, the standards of music engraving demand that all and only those staves so marked should have an orchestral bracket, and that the tops and bottoms of each such bracket in the system must have little circular finials.  NoteWorthy puts a bar across the entire system if any stave is marked orchestral, and the finials appear only on the top or bottom staff of a system.  The designer of a system that is to interface with the outside world in which standards already exist does not have a free choice of the way he wants to handle such items.  I provide four examples from the 138 scores I have made Worthy of Note in the last three years, and will testify under oath that I have seen no counterexamples.
 
   This one wart on its nose makes NoteWorthy a joke as a serious printing program, for all the wonderful things that have happened with respect to slurs, hairpins and stem controls.  It is all the more ironic, then, that after finally reviewing the entire example directory in detail, I find that NoteWorthy can produce a virtuoso performance, at least if the performer it emulates is a precision monger like Glenn Gould.  For God's sake, get this fixed, issue NW2, and start working on NW3, which should print, understand and play all the standard abbreviations for tremolos, repeats, arpeggios, trills, mordents, turns, appoggiaturas, acciaccaturas, glissandos and whatever else one can find in ten minutes of googoling, as well as provide an alternative to dragging over items to select them, and the ability to select and modify a note in a chord, as well as a fully floating C-cleff (see the Chorus of Peers example) as well as countless other rarely needed but essential when required bits of feature and notation.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-14 05:48 am
I wonder why I am now thinking of that old but famous (and often parodied) book "How to win friends and influence people" ?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-14 07:45 am
Some people don't realize how negative they are in their writings.   Scanning some of bidderxyzzy's 21 posts to this forum, I came across:

Quote
This one wart on its nose makes NoteWorthy a joke as a serious printing program


Quote
... the horror of using NoteWorthy to engrave a score

Quote
This whole area of tricker

Quote
I just think that there are a few needless


Constant harping isn't going to get his demands pushed to the top of the cue, especially when they aren't ones that have been identified as priorities by many users.

Quote
the standards of music engraving demand that all and only those staves so marked should have an orchestral bracket, and that the tops and bottoms of each such bracket in the system must have little circular finials.
What is your reference to support this, Bidderxxy?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-14 08:14 am
That's "...xyzzy", as in the oldest adventure game.
If you ever try a textual game of long ago and you find the program saying things to you like "You are at the end of the road again" of "You are in a twisty maze of passages, all alike" you are there. Xyzzy (and "Plugh") ware magic words, having effect at crucial moments.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: K.A.T. on 2007-09-14 03:15 pm
Quote
the standards of music engraving demand that all and only those staves so marked should have an orchestral bracket, and that the tops and bottoms of each such bracket in the system must have little circular finials.
Quote
What is your reference to support this
bidderxyzzy is correct in this, but I cannot quote a reference right now (I'm not at home), but there is probably something in the Lusk/Gerou notation book.
There are other threads which discuss this issue, along with a few simple solutions posted by me and others (don't have time to search for those right now.).
I don't agree, though, with the use of the term "bug," unless you also want to include "cleff" as a bug.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Robin L. Øye on 2007-09-14 03:35 pm
bidderxyzzy is correct in this.  Though he expresses himself rather strongly, we mustn't get defensive on Noteworthy's account just because we don't like his tone.  Whether this is the way to "win friends and influence people" is not the issue.  The issue is the one he states, so let's not try and sidestep the point.  As for not being an issue for many people:  I expect it is an issue for many people, but that those people haven't found a succinct way of articulating it.  Or, there are people like me who are not ones to complain about things like this, or figure that mentioning it is not going to do any good.  I have, for example endeavoured to carry the flag for the inclusion of a breve, as have others.  That has always come to nothing.  This isn't necessarily saying that Noteworthy doesn't listen, as I believe they do, but they may not always respond or explain their actions or inactions on every point.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-14 04:08 pm
Is it a coincidence that those who "express themselves rather strongly" have non-human names? Remember user111?

The thing is: if you have a girlfriend who(m) you want to present with some chocolate, you do not give her a paper bag in which you indiscriminately, and in an unorderly fashion, have deposited lumps of chocolate.
You find a box of the finest (the one you know she likes) and present this neatly wrapped box with strings attached (no coincidence?), uttering a few appropriate words, to the object of your affection.
The message (Here, Chocolate!) is the same. The effect is not.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-14 04:59 pm
Gentlemen:

   Yes, I am aware of my tone and yes, that is part of the reason I don't identify myself by my "human" name.  Another reason for the name is to emphasize that I have been in the software business since 1965, and have an in depth knowledge of the development of programming techniques over the decades, which now make massively extensive but conceptually simple tasks, like enumerating [music notation] abbreviations and their meanings, routine.  For example, I just installed a new Windows XP driver for my TV tuner card, freeware written by a lone hacker, which understands some two hundred or more different models, and includes a user definition language for describing a card for which a good technical specification exists but the author overlooked.

   Yes, again, "cleff" is a bug, and I have never found denial helped me produce better work or learn to spell better (which is a work in progress). 

   My "reference" is contained in the scores displayed.  Or is "authority" the only way of establishing a fact?

   If I were wooing a girl, the comment about chocolate would be germane.  In this case, I think the best tired old saw is "the squeaky wheel gets the grease".  One of my boss's comments when I stopped getting complaints about Data General multi-user basic (which supported twenty users on a 16 kbyte mini running at .8 MHz, and on which "Adventure" first ran), which was "maybe no one is using it" is also germane.  No one can use an unusable (in this case for producing quality engravings, not "some computer printout") product.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-14 07:26 pm
Oh, wow! Did you ever work with Nova-3 or Nova-4? Did you ever play Empire or Star Trek on an MV-4000?
I wrote Fortran on Nova-3 and Nova-4. 24 K to work with (if at all), with Edit, and later Speed, as editors. We even resorted to assembler where necessary. Couldn't anymore, for the life of me. But I can still solder connectors to a serial cable ;-) 2 x 3, 4 x 5, 7 - 7, 6=8=20, never mind the DSR, DTR and DCD. Such fun.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rick G. on 2007-09-14 08:04 pm
In this case, I think the best tired old saw is "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". 
Not in this forum. I won't discuss the merits of anything you write while you alternate between screaming and bragging. Perhaps in a different topic where you establish a better tone. But not here.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-14 10:07 pm
Rob,

   I played Star Trek on a Nova 800, but left the company before the internal support lab got an Eclipse.

Rick, Sir:

   There are things in my background I could brag about, but I think a sober mention of where I am coming from, to help the other members of this forum evaluate the technical content of my comments, is not "bragging".  And since your input may well be of value, or even sorely missed, I hardly think your denying the community the benefit of your wisdom because I insist on playing hardball will do anyone any good.  But then it's your call.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-14 10:38 pm
I've been having the same reaction as Rob has to bidderxyzzy's posts. I suspect some of my posts have had a similar effect on some people, but I do try to modify my tone when others point it out to me, or when I spot the problem myself. I'm afraid I don't see any such conciliatory attempts here.

bidderxyzzy, some of the rest of us also have some programming experience (I worked in C before C++ existed). We also recognize that NWC is largely a one-man operation, and that one man is only human. Suggestions are welcome. Demands are another matter. Demands coupled with insults to the program really don't belong in this forum - or anywhere else, for that matter. Cut us all (including yourself) some slack. You'll be much more likely to get problems like the orchestral brackets (which you are correct about) fixed.

And by the way, a bug is a flaw in the code that creates unexpected results, not a part of the rfp that hasn't been fully implemented yet. If you're going to bitch, can you at least bitch with the correct terminology?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-14 11:10 pm
Bidderxyzzy, William's message expresses my thinking very well. 

I have written 3 lengthy reponses to your negative postings.  Each time, I decided not to send my comment, remembering the adage, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Written messages are prone to misunderstanding.  After you've drafted one, you might consider letting it sit unsent for a while.  Before you send it,  have a cup of tea or whatever, then read the message a couple of times.  If you still want to convey the message in the same tone, send it.  I suspect you'll find yourself editing the message quite a bit.

Then your intended audience won't then react by thinking, "Good Golly, Molly, here we go again..."  We may even see the merits of what you have to say.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-14 11:55 pm
G'day bidderxyzzy,
umm, no offence intended mate, but have you read the manual/help at all?

...as well as provide an alternative to dragging over items to select them.

From the "Keyboard Guide" in NWC help:
Shift+L/R Arrow Selects notation as the insertion point moves

Not that this should be a surprise - it's standard CUA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_User_Access) as used in all m$ products (although m$ have made additions now - like a "Start" button) - as well as those of the rest of the world...

<sigh> "cleff" is either a typo or you simply can't spell...

If I may offer a small suggestion: "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar".  If you want to be deliberately offensive then that is your choice, but in the past those who have behaved that way seem to have made a big noise, displayed their ignorance and then disappeared.  I hope this won't end up applying to you.  You are insightful and articulate - please be friendly too.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-15 03:01 am
   Having been properly chastised, I will try to tone things down a bit. 

William

   I do recognize that NoteWorthy is a one-man operation, but it isn't Windows Vista.  Note that I am not strident about things that would be great to have, like beaming between staves, only things that are bugs.  The behavior of the orchestral staff attribute is not an unimplemented RFP item, it is something that is implemented and is done wrong.  It is even called out in the documentation as being "improved", but there has been no change between NW1 and NW2.  (Oh, and I worked in 7094 assembler and even 1620 absolute bi-quinary long before "C" or even BASIC existed.)

David

   I too use your method, and I don’t think you would like to see what I wrote as a first draft.

Lawrie

   Your keyboard synonym for a mouse movement, which I use along with shift and click to select long stretches without worrying about "catching" the scroll at the right instant are still "dragging over".  And they don't solve the problem of editing notes in a chord.  The ability to select and modify the individual notes of a chord in the same way as notes not combined in chords would go a long way toward making NoteWorthy a whole lot better.  But it doesn't make the thing unusable, so I can wait for it.  Remember, "Only Death comes to he who waits."

   And Yes, I can't spell.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-15 03:33 am
G'day bidderxyzzy,

Lawrie
   Your keyboard synonym for a mouse movement, which I use along with shift and click to select long stretches without worrying about "catching" the scroll at the right instant are still "dragging over".  And they don't solve the problem of editing notes in a chord.  The ability to select and modify the individual notes of a chord in the same way as notes not combined in chords would go a long way toward making NoteWorthy a whole lot better.  But it doesn't make the thing unusable, so I can wait for it.  Remember, "Only Death comes to he who waits."

I, perhaps erroneously, differentiate from between a mouse drag and <Shift-Arrow>.  My reason for this is accuracy.  There are some objects you just can't easily catch with the mouse pointer which a simple cursor movement with the <Shift> key down does get easily.  But you know this already.

To be able to select an individual note in a chord would certainly be useful, but how to do it with the keyboard?  This is important - IMHO NWC's biggest claim to fame is the user interface which is heavily keyboard oriented.  Perhaps an <Alt-Arrow> combination with the cursor at the right height?

To be honest, I don't find the current situation a big problem, <Ctrl-BkSp> to delete the dodgy chord member, choose the right attributes and <Ctrl-Enter>, could end up being just as fast as selecting and modifying the offending chord member.  That said I wouldn't mind being able to test it out.

There are other things that probably should have priority, including better orchestral staff bracing.  I'd prefer to be able to control the grouping without resorting to the workarounds that already exist.  BTW, have you checked them out - they may be quite useful for you.  Unfortunately I don't remember which particular discussion had the best suggestions, but I do recall that they usually involved additional (single line) staves as separaters...

David Palmquist does this semi regularly IIRC

Then there are slurs, augmentation dots, fractional positioning (both vertically and horizontally), negative horizontal positioning - you've named several yourself.  Not to mention direct CC access in the MPC dialogues, proper gliss control (a 2 tone range in the pitch bend MPC just ain't enough!) - the list continues.  Ultimately we will see many if not all of these updates, in the meantime I can get most of what I need in my printouts which is, of course, the primary requirement for most of us.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-15 06:26 am
Quote
The behavior of the orchestral staff attribute is not an unimplemented RFP item, it is something that is implemented and is done wrong

Nevertheless, it is not code that is doing something unexpected, it is code that is doing something incomplete. It isn't wrong from the standpoint of what the code was designed to do, only from the standpoint of what the code should eventually be designed to do. That isn't a bug, just a shortcut to get things up and running. A sort of built-in, temporary kludge. I suspect all of us have done a few of those.

....but thanks, bidderxyzzy, for offering to tone things down a bit. And welcome to one of the most literate, well-informed, creative users' forums on the Net.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: kahman on 2007-09-15 07:26 am
About the main problem of finials and orchestral staffs:
When I first joined this forum, I wanted desperately to complain about it.  However, although it is an incomplete implementation, there are workarounds.  (I don't know how to get the finials, though.)  See attached for the best possible.
What is done here is that a blank "standard" staff is placed under the end of a group through layering.  (I didn't make it invisible, but it does work.  This was mentioned on a previous post, but I'm too lazy to look for it.)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-15 04:34 pm
Greetings, Gentlemen,

   There is a good reason that I harp on the Orchestral Staff Attribute, and that is that it's use is required in nearly every score of any complexity at all, while NoteWorthy's behavior is utterly unacceptable for any purpose whatever.  It would also seem utterly trivial to fix.

   My main use of NoteWorthy requires that I distribute .nwc files, in which kludges, workarounds, separate visual and sounding staves and the like are unacceptable.  My workaround is to print the music without using orchestral staves, print separate pages with orchestral braces of each required length on otherwise blank staves and combine them graphically using Windows Paint.  This is acceptable because I scan all the music I deal with anyway, and before I do the OMR step with Sharp Eye (or when I print music my club holds copyright to (or which is public domain)), I usually need to do considerable graphical restoration (like fixing loose leaf holes punched through clefs) of this same sort.

   Indeed, one of NoteWorthy's better attributes is its nearly complete bilingualism between keyboard and mouse, which is getting rarer every year.  The ability to select by clicking on as well as dragging over would be completely compatible with the current usage, and Lawrie's suggested keyboard synonym for a click on a chord note is, as far as I can see, perfect.  The need for such a facility is acute in my case because of the extensive editing I must to do in correcting NoteWorthy's atrocious enharmonic spelling, especially in the piano accompaniment.  I would also like to see the requirement that all selected notes have the same duration before the duration set button (or keystroke) is activated be dropped, as it adds nothing to either function or safety, and makes the correction of the tied figures MIDI input makes of triplets more difficult.

   Finally, I must insist that neither "unexpectedness" nor the programmer's intent has anything to do with the definition of the term "bug" as used in the software industry.  If the result is wrong, it's a bug, period.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-15 07:12 pm
Quote
   Finally, I must insist that neither "unexpectedness" nor the programmer's intent has anything to do with the definition of the term "bug" as used in the software industry.  If the result is wrong, it's a bug, period.

"When your program contains a bug, it is of course because somewhere there is something which you believe to be true but actually is not true."
- Norman Matloff, Guide to Faster, Less Frustrating Debugging
http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/~matloff/UnixAndC/CLanguage/Debug.html#tth_sEc1 (http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/~matloff/UnixAndC/CLanguage/Debug.html#tth_sEc1)
----------------------------
"In computer technology, a bug is a coding error in a computer program."
- SearchSoftwareQuality.com Definitions, What is a bug?
http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid92_gci211714,00.html (http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid92_gci211714,00.html)
----------------------------
"A bug is unexpected and undesirable behaviour by a program."
- Ian Lance Taylor, Debugging
http://www.airs.com/ian/essays/ebug/debug.htm (http://www.airs.com/ian/essays/ebug/debug.htm)l


With all due respect, bidderxyzzy - just what software industry are we talking about?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Cyril Alberga on 2007-09-15 07:29 pm
Of course, the original "bug" was the moth that Grace Hopper removed from a relay in the Harvard Mark 1, and taped into the log book.  A little before my time, though if the "my first computer was smaller than yours" food-fight is still going on, I claim a IBM 650, 2000 10 digit signed decimal words of storage.  One that I worked on even had floating point and three index registers.  [Unless you count board-wiring on tabulators and 101 Statistical Sorters.]
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: tony smedley on 2007-09-15 08:29 pm
I am an old dodderer of 84 years of age who has found NWC and NWC2 to be highly useful and interesting programs, which do most of what I want without difficulty.
I do wonder why others with greater aspirations do not purchase Sibelius or some other program which I am sure will meet all their requirements.  Incidentally, my car does not have climate control, which means that I have to fiddle with knobs to get an acceptable comfort level in the car ; of course  I could have purchased a Rolls-Royce .

Tony.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: MusicJohn on 2007-09-15 10:57 pm
   Hi, Tony.

   Congrats.

   You see, Bidderxyzzy?  Some of us are old enough to have been at Bletchley Park.  Of course, programming Colossus was rather ... how can I say ... different to the sort of stuff one does nowadays.

   MusicJohn, 15/Sep/07
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-15 11:00 pm
G'day bidderxyzzy,
   There is a good reason that I harp on the Orchestral Staff Attribute, and that is that it's use is required in nearly every score of any complexity at all, while NoteWorthy's behavior is utterly unacceptable for any purpose whatever.  It would also seem utterly trivial to fix.

I wonder if it is truly as trivial as you suggest?  What impact will such a change have on the rest of the code?  Just how difficult will it be to code around the dependancies?   - only Eric can truly tell.

Afraid I must disagree with you here...  NWC's behaviour is mostly just fine for my needs - far from "utterly unacceptable for any purpose whatever".


Quote
   My main use of NoteWorthy requires that I distribute .nwc files, in which kludges, workarounds, separate visual and sounding staves and the like are unacceptable.  My workaround is to print the music without using orchestral staves, print separate pages with orchestral braces of each required length on otherwise blank staves and combine them graphically using Windows Paint.  This is acceptable because I scan all the music I deal with anyway, and before I do the OMR step with Sharp Eye (or when I print music my club holds copyright to (or which is public domain)), I usually need to do considerable graphical restoration (like fixing loose leaf holes punched through clefs) of this same sort.

If it is the visual representation that is paramount then what's the problem with hidden staves that do the actual work for playback?

Quote
   Indeed, one of NoteWorthy's better attributes is its nearly complete bilingualism between keyboard and mouse, which is getting rarer every year.  The ability to select by clicking on as well as dragging over would be completely compatible with the current usage, and Lawrie's suggested keyboard synonym for a click on a chord note is, as far as I can see, perfect. 

I concur, and thankyou.

Quote
The need for such a facility is acute in my case because of the extensive editing I must to do in correcting NoteWorthy's atrocious enharmonic spelling, especially in the piano accompaniment. 

Hmm, I've read complaints about this before, but haven't really experienced it.  In fact, whenever the enharminic spelling has been a problem I simply make sure the key signature is correct and do a |Tools|Audit Enharmonic Spelling| - this usually fixes things quite well.  'Tis a good idea to Force Accidentals before and key sig change...


Quote
I would also like to see the requirement that all selected notes have the same duration before the duration set button (or keystroke) is activated be dropped, as it adds nothing to either function or safety, and makes the correction of the tied figures MIDI input makes of triplets more difficult.

I have found this to be a minor irritant too.

Quote
   Finally, I must insist that neither "unexpectedness" nor the programmer's intent has anything to do with the definition of the term "bug" as used in the software industry.  If the result is wrong, it's a bug, period.

Perhaps we need to examine in whose eyes the result is wrong...  Eric has written the code.  It is my understanding that the code does what he wrote it to do.  To me this is an expected result - whether I like the result or not is totally irrelevant.  Thus not a bug.  Simply a disagreement in design preferences between people. 

If he had written the program to behave as we would prefer but got this result instead then it would be a bug - and knowing Eric's responsiveness in the past, it would be quickly fixed.

While I'm almost certain I've seen it mentioned somewhere I can't remember, or don't know - amounts to the same thing - what reference(s) Eric has used in defining the design parameters.  Perhaps what we are seeing actually corresponds with said reference - I can't tell you for sure 'cos I ain't seen it!

============

You seem to use SharpeEye quite a lot - PLEASE, stop using MIDI as the intermediate step and export as mxml and use mxml2nwc to import - gets rid of the enharmonic spelling and triplet problems altogether.

Try it, it works!
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-16 12:05 am

I have been thinking of buying SharpEye myself.
But my wife complained already - who it going to walk this dog every day?

cheers,
Rob.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-16 02:49 am
            How utterly careless of me not to have emphasized even more that my differences with NoteWorthy are in the nature of a lover's quarrel.  Who else would enter the Augean Stables and attack the knot of seagull guano creating a hazard at the door, which the combined rivers Alpheus and Peneus could not wash away?  For another thing, who would buy a used car, however well restored cosmetically, offered with five unevenly bald tires?  Is this Eric person I keep hearing about trying to avoid having to pay income tax on his earnings from Noteworthy?

 

            About bugs.  The industry I refer to is the one in which I worked from 1965  to 1996.  I have never been in a real life situation where the programmer's intentions count for diddelysquat.  However intended a program behavior may have been, if it is unsatisfactory to the customer, and especially if it conflicts with a requirement beyond the control of the immediate customer, the program has a bug.  Surprise has nothing to do with it.  When, during one of the Mercury space flights, the flight computer became overloaded, it stopped displaying engineering data until the more essential flight control tasks were complete, behavior that was unplanned for, and in fact wildly unexpected, but certainly not a bug.

 

            And now for some social chat.

 

Cyril

 

            Hurrah!  At last someone who remembers farther back than I do.  I can only claim to have been in the same room as a Bendix G15, and that was when I interviewed for a summer job (there were no unpaid interns in those days).  I did some very minor rewiring of a 407 tabulating machine, but couldn't do very much as the machine was used as a punch card printer and had most of it's registers removed.

 

Tony

 

            I repeat again that I find NoteWorthy extremely useful 99 and 44/100 percent of the time.  I hit on it in January 2004 (Rev 1.75a) April 2000 (Rev 1.55b) after looking at only five other music editors and never looked any farther, except to briefly review Sibelius Scorch as used by another Glee Club in my city.  It's Sibelius Scorch is a diamond studded gold watch with rusty works.  (I try not to say anything I can't confirm, so I accepted the oldest version on my current computer as the start of my use of NoteWorthy, but I just found my distripution package, and so make the correction.  Also, I am not being critical of NoteWorthy as compared to other music software, but rather pointing out a nit which I, as a software manager would never have let any of my people get away with.)
 

Lawrie

 

            If you can't respond to the general tenor of my remarks, at least reply to full sentences.  I never said NoteWorthy as a whole is unacceptable, only it's way of handling the Orchestral Staff Property.

 

            You got me backwards.  It's the sound that's important, and for distribution to forty or more choristers of varying sophistication, anything tricky would only cause problems.

 

            In my experience, audit enharmonic spelling gives the same results as midi input conversion, as it should.  It's just that whoever wrote the code apparently wasn't a musician.  Enharmonic spelling is not totally straightforward and there are cases where a composer will shift the spelling of a note to indicate it's changed function in the harmony, but I am told by my conductor that NoteWorthy just plane gets many unambiguous cases wrong.

 

            Look at a couple of hundred scores and find one that does it NoteWorthy's way (an orchestral brace extending through the piano grand staff with a finial at the top but not the bottom).  If you do, I will show you an engraver who didn't know what he was doing (or a score printed from NoteWorthy).  In this case the only acceptable authority is actual practice.  Some random joker's signed statement doesn't hack it.  And I advise you to stop embarrassing yourself by trying to defend Eric, I'm sure he can do a better job himself, and when the discussion gets to the point where he chooses to do so, I'm sure he will.

 

Rob

 

            SharpEye is no dog.  Not only does it make very few mistakes on good copy, when it does go wrong it is usually consistent about it, which makes things really quick and easy to correct. 

 
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-16 04:44 am
G'day bidderxyzzy

Dammit - I promised myself I wasn't gonna get back into that bunfight - we shall simply have to agree to disagree.  But yer still wrong ;)

<snip>

Lawrie
            If you can't respond to the general tenor of my remarks, at least reply to full sentences.  I never said NoteWorthy as a whole is unacceptable, only it's way of handling the Orchestral Staff Property.

My apologies - I was sure I had read what you wrote correctly:
   There is a good reason that I harp on the Orchestral Staff Attribute, and that is that it's use is required in nearly every score of any complexity at all, while NoteWorthy's behavior is utterly unacceptable for any purpose whatever.  It would also seem utterly trivial to fix.


            You got me backwards.  It's the sound that's important, and for distribution to forty or more choristers of varying sophistication, anything tricky would only cause problems.

Surely if the "tricky" bits are hidden, the sound is correct and the visual score is appropriate then there is no conflict - I'm very sorry - I just can't seem to grasp what the real problem is here.  I don't know if you aren't explaining it well or if I'm just plain being thick.


Quote
            In my experience, audit enharmonic spelling gives the same results as midi input conversion, as it should.  It's just that whoever wrote the code apparently wasn't a musician.  Enharmonic spelling is not totally straightforward and there are cases where a composer will shift the spelling of a note to indicate it's changed function in the harmony, but I am told by my conductor that NoteWorthy just plane gets many unambiguous cases wrong.

Audit enharmonic spelling isn't perfect - E.G. it can't take into account the odd chord spellings that can occur with minor keys etc..  Nevertheless, it ain't all bad and can seriously reduce the workload when making the necessary corrections on imported MIDIs - PROVIDED you use it correctly - Force accidentals, fix the key sig, Audit enharmonic spelling and finally audit accidentals.


Quote
            Look at a couple of hundred scores and find one that does it NoteWorthy's way (an orchestral brace extending through the piano grand staff with a finial at the top but not the bottom).  If you do, I will show you an engraver who didn't know what he was doing (or a score printed from NoteWorthy).  In this case the only acceptable authority is actual practice.  Some random joker's signed statement doesn't hack it.  And I advise you to stop embarrassing yourself by trying to defend Eric, I'm sure he can do a better job himself, and when the discussion gets to the point where he chooses to do so, I'm sure he will.

So place an orchestral staff under the lower grand and layer - voila, a finial...  See attachment.

No one has stated that NWC is perfect, it is definitely a WIP, but there are many effective workarounds that seem to be completely unacceptable to you and I truly don't understand why...  Or is it that you simply aren't aware of what the workarounds are?

Now I acknowledge that we should not be satisfied with mediocrity but if you expect to buy a Rolls Royce at a Trabant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabant) price then you will always be dissapointed.  N.B. This is not intended as an excuse for development to remain static.

==========

Importing MIDI - I'm gonna say this again 'cos you haven't commented on it so I'm not sure if you grasped it - If you're using SharpeEye then DON'T use MIDI as the export/import intermediary.  Use mxml.

In SharpeEye export to mxml, in NWC2 import with Nicholas Hatier's (sp?) wonderful MXML2NWC user tool that I know you've seen 'cos you've commented on it.  It DOES import multi staff scores...  AND there are no mispelled chords AND triplets import fine.  Your workload will significantly reduce from MIDI imports.

I'd give you some examples but my SharpeEye demo has expired and I haven't needed it enough to justify buying it.  If the need arises I most certainly will but it hasn't as yet.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-16 05:12 am
bidderxyzzy, I don't get it. Where does this attitude that you can't ever possibly be wrong come from?

I'm a retired reference librarian, so I know something about finding information; and when I looked up those three definitions of a bug, I wasn't even breathing hard. I could easily find you a hundred more. They would all say the same thing: a bug is a coding error, not a design error. It is something that makes the program do something the programmer doesn't want it to, not that the user doesn't want it to. The use of the word for a glitch in a mechanical or electrical system predates computers. Thomas Edison used it. That famous moth in the IBM in the 1940s was seized on gleefully by the programmers, not because they were looking for a new name for computer glitches, but because their bug was a real insect bug and it struck them as funny.

I could go on like this, but it would be pointless, because you would undoubtedly dismiss it all as wrong, no matter how impeccable the source. Why?

In the matter of the orchestral brackets, yes, they are "wrong" in NWC. I put "wrong" in quotes because the rules of score preparation are conventions, not laws. As long as the music is easily read by performers, and represents the composer's intentions accurately, it doesn't really matter where the brackets go. It would be better if NWC followed the convention. It's not the end of the world that it doesn't. Look at some of the scores from the 1950s and 1960s - the ones with bar lines between staves instead of in them, or with the music's contours represented by wavy lines instead of notes, or with staves that circle around a central point or fly off in several different directions. They don't follow convention either. I don't write music that looks like that, but that doesn't make me right and John Cage wrong. I would prefer standard orchestral brackets. I can live without them until Eric implements them, and so can the people who read my scores. Why are we spending so much time on this?

My academic training, back in the sixties, was in music history, theory, and composition. I have an MA in theory and composition, plus a couple of years. I once directed an early music group. That doesn't make me better than anybody else in this forum, but it does mean that I know a little bit about how to write a score, and what scores have looked like in other eras, and how the current conventions developed. Let's not argue about this, OK?

You strike me as an intelligent person with a lot to contribute. Please get that chip off your shoulder, lose your perfectionism, and get down here in the real old imperfect world with the rest of us. You might find you're having as much fun helping to mold this great little program as we are.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-16 05:21 am
And by the way, Lawrie, I really admire the even tone you've managed to keep through all of this. Wish I could do the same thing.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-16 06:51 am
Sharpeye is no dog. But a Sharpei is. It's a joke.
Boy, have you still a lot to learn. You lucky man.

cheers,
Rob.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-16 08:19 am
Quote
I would also like to see the requirement that all selected notes have the same duration before the duration set button (or keystroke) is activated be dropped, as it adds nothing to either function or safety, and makes the correction of the tied figures MIDI input makes of triplets more difficult.

Select the notes, then hit the plus key a few times.  When they all become whole notes, any that are dotted will lose their dots.  Now hit the minus key to make them the duration you want, you can dot them if you need to (not logical if you're working with triplets).  

I think it takes me about one and a quarter seconds to perform this onerous task. 

Of course, that's using the keyboard.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: kahman on 2007-09-16 10:04 am
Or, a little macro could be written to do that for you, and save half-a-second or so.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-16 01:46 pm
G'day bidderxyzzy,

Sharpeye is no dog. But a Sharpei is. It's a joke.

A word of warning :)

Rob is our resident punster - his language based jokes are very entertaining but it is wise to check for the "gag" before taking him too seriously.  If there isn't one, and it's usually easy to tell, then his comments are usually spot on.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-16 02:07 pm
G'day bidderxyzzy,
in reading back I discovered I'd missed responding to this part:

<snip>
In this case the only acceptable authority is actual practice.  Some random joker's signed statement doesn't hack it.  And I advise you to stop embarrassing yourself by trying to defend Eric, I'm sure he can do a better job himself, and when the discussion gets to the point where he chooses to do so, I'm sure he will.

a) Umm, to which "random joker" and what signed statement are you referring?  Please enlighten me as I'm somewhat befuddled.  <edit> If it is a reference to one of the many authoritive references works around like Alfred's "Essential Dictionary of Music Notation" then I don't really understand your position as all the ones I've read agree with you in essence.  I assume this is in response to the putative reference work that I suggested Eric worked from.  As I said I do not know its' name, therefore I don't know its' content so I cannot respond further.  I was simply pointing out that we don't know all the conditions that have influenced the design choices.

b) I wasn't aware that I was embarrasing of myself, nor do I think now that I have.  To make reference to a products designer when making a point doesn't strike me as "defending" him or her.

c) It is very unlikely that Eric will step into this conversation - he seems to have a policy of not doing so - probably very wise or he'd end up spending all his time arguing instead of coding - I prefer him to be coding.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: tony smedley on 2007-09-16 02:54 pm
bidderxyzzy,


You only tried 5 alternative notation programs? Then you should not be ctiticising one of them . I tried 12 before choosing Noteworthy as by far the best of the bunch for all normal amateur musicians.  Ax for Sibelius, well it might be OK for professionals but I couldn't even get satrted in what I wanted to do.

Tony,  85 next November.. 
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-16 11:23 pm
William,

A fuller quote from your source is:

Debugging means removing bugs from programs. A bug is unexpected and undesirable behaviour by a program.
 
Occasionally there is a formal specification that the program is required to follow, in which case a bug is a failure to follow the spec. More frequently the program specification is informal, in which case people may disagree as to whether a particular program behaviour is in fact a bug or not.


http://www.airs.com/ian/essays/debug/debug.html

Mr. Taylor is a GNU honcho, which is why he could say "occasionally".  Back when I was working in the field, a customer who would not accept having a formal spec would be avoided like the plague.  In the case of NoteWorthy, the spec is a little less than formal, but is contained in the thousands of scores one can find published by commercial printing houses employing professional engravers.  Sure there are unsettled fringes, but the specific point at question is not among them.

Also, your link was broken.  Ever think of using cut and paste to avoid typos?

"William Ashworth, I don't get it. Where does this attitude that you can't ever possibly be wrong come from?"


Lawrie,

You got the reference to the unknown authority you assume Eric to have worked from correctly.  If you are not embarrassed by throwing such a thing out in defense of someone who did not ask for your help, you should be.  I agree that Eric is unlikely to join the forum on this; he will most likely either continue to ignore the issue or fix it silently.

You apparently have never sent an .nwc file to a non-computer savvy singer.  All the things that are "hidden" in the printout just hang out in a different color.  It is the NoteWorthy file that is my product, and I must expect my customers to further edit it, so hidden staves are also not really hidden.  Trickery of any kind would be fatal to this enterprise.

Tony,

I consider myself very lucky to have hit on NoteWorthy so quickly.  And I am not criticizing it, but asking for an improvement to a "feature" which has been documented as improved between NW1 and NW2, but in fact has not been fixed.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-16 11:52 pm
Lawrie,
You got the reference to the unknown authority you assume Eric to have worked from correctly.  If you are not embarrassed by throwing such a thing out in defense of someone who did not ask for your help, you should be.  I agree that Eric is unlikely to join the forum on this; he will most likely either continue to ignore the issue or fix it silently.

I may not know the name of the reference document(s) but I do know it/they have been referred to.  I still don't understand your the tenor of your comments on this - I was simply pointing out that there is stuff we don't, and at this point, can't know.  Bluntly, this is effectively a "shrink wrap" product - not a commisioned one, so the designer, in this case Eric, defines the design parameters.  Not us.  However we do have the opportunity to suggest, recommend, ask, wish for and sometimes even beg for changes.

In the end it's his product and we'll get what he decides to give us.  If we don't like it there are alternatives.  At no time do I consider myself to have been defending anyone - merely pointing a few things out.

BTW, I am never embarrased to stand up for people who are unjustly treated - though I shamefacedly admit that I don't always do it.

Quote
You apparently have never sent an .nwc file to a non-computer savvy singer.  All the things that are "hidden" in the printout just hang out in a different color.  It is the NoteWorthy file that is my product, and I must expect my customers to further edit it, so hidden staves are also not really hidden.  Trickery of any kind would be fatal to this enterprise.

Waaiiiiittttt a minute - what are you talking about???????

A hidden staff is NOT visible in the editor.  A staff whose objects are set to Print-Never is BUT if you go to |Page|Setup|Contents (tab) and remove ticks from the staves you wish to hide they simply can't be seen in the editor until that status is changed.

No wonder you got me confused - you're mixing up "hidden" and "invisible"/Print-never.

Now, why do you want your singers to further edit?

Perhaps, rather than explain your current solution you could define the needs you're trying to address.

I.E.  Tell us what you want, not how to do it.  You should understand this approach - I'm sure you've faced it umpty times over the years in software development - the customer who tells you how to do it rather than what they want to achieve - they're next to impossible to work with sometimes.

<edit>  I notice you registered on the forum in August - I seem to recall you mentioning that you've used NWC for, was it 2 years?

Given the relatively short time you've been in the forum you can't possibly have learned all the standard techniques that many of us have used for years.  May I recommend that you take a little time to explore the possibilities and not assume you already know all there is to know?  You will, I'm sure, be pleasantly surprised at the creative genius of some of the users of this product.

E.G. Have you yet explored NWC2 "User Tools"?  Talk about labour saving!  Andrew Purdams "Global Modification" is amazingly powerful and flexible.  RickG has produced several neat tools in VB, Kjeld Hansen has produced a "Multi bar rest" tool that does exactly what I used to do by hand.  I've even submitted one myself for creating chords (it was more of a learning exercise than anything, though I find it useful).

On the Scripto (http://nwc-scriptorium.org) there are many useful tools, hints, tidbits of information, fonts - the list goes on.  Broaden your horizons with this product - it is not as limited as you think.

I also note that you still haven't commented about either importing from SharpeEye via mxml or the orchestral finial example I posted.

May I hear your thoughts on these?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: K.A.T. on 2007-09-16 11:58 pm
I didn't get the "Sharpei" gag at first either, because here we pronounce it "Shar-PAY."
A woman in my orchestra has one of these dogs - she has named it 449...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Peter Edwards on 2007-09-17 08:53 am
Two points.

First the simple one. If you want all the notes to be of the same duration then select them and press the appropriate key from 1 to (thru) 6.

Secondly the bug. This one's marginal but I'd say it is a bug. The user expectation of how a program should behave is as valid a criterion as the designer's intention. For instance if a notation program printed out XML rather than the score when the print button was hit then I don't think many people would baulk at this being described as a  'bug', even if the programmer had always intended this behaviour. It seems only to be a matter of degree.

Now say I select the top two staffs and make them orchestral. That's what I expect to see, two staffs linked by an orchestral bar and with top and bottom finials. But I don't. Apparently all the staffs are now orchestral (although the bar lines don't act accordingly).

So that's a bug. And does it stop being a bug because the designer chooses not to fix it? I think not.

Now how should it be fixed? The answer is staring us in the face. The grand staff feature can more or less be duplicated as it stands to produce the orchestral staff. All we need is a 'lower orchestral staff' option. And if we need both types then use layering or allow a staff to have two co-existing properties.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Robin L. Øye on 2007-09-17 04:33 pm
I am wondering if it is worth bringing an issue to this forum.  If I'm polite, nothing will happen, and the issue ignored.  If I'm not, nothing will happen except that I'll be given a lot of silliness about not being polite. In all events, I'll be given a lot of smart-assed "erudition" but no answer, discussion of issues, or anything else helpful.  I have campaigned in the past for civility, too.  I will again now.  Much of what has gone on with this topic in response to the original post is no less impolite.  Making weak jokes and puns, going off on side issues and completely unrelated issues, lecturing people on being polite: these things are all just as impolite as the less-than-well-chosen language of the original poster.  Precious little has been discussed concerning the issue brought forward.  Yes, we should take Dave's advice and have that cup of tea before we write so as to calm down, but we also might have that cup of tea before we launch into the kinds of responses that we've seen here.  Frankly, most of the time of late this forum has degenerated into pun-making and wise-cracking by the usual lot, with little else of any value.  I am tired of the endless inside humour and erudition contests.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-17 05:19 pm
Well, we'd need both an upper orchestral staff and a lower orchestral staff attribute, and the groups should be connected by a single line on the left rather than simply extending the heavy-thin double line pattern of the bracket across the break. But Peter has the right idea. The breaks in bar lines between staves within systems are already implemented - standard staves and upper/lower grand staves break them now, and these can be interpolated into a score, and layered if necessary, as has already been pointed out in this thread. Mostly what we need now are the finials.

However, my earlier point still stands: this is pretty trivial. No score of mine has ever been rejected by a performance group because the instrument groups weren't bracketed properly. I suppose it could happen, but the possibility seems remote. I'd like to see this fixed, but there are other things that affect the readability of scores more - properly drawn slurs come to mind - and if Eric chooses to fix these first, he has my blessing.

As to the bug/not bug argument, I give up. If you want to use the term in a different way than the vast majority of the world does, that is your right. The reason I have been harping on it so hard is that it makes communication difficult when we define terms in different ways. I once wrote, singlehandedly, a 300.000 word encyclopedia. It is now considered a standard reference work in its field, but that is beside the point. The point is that before writing each article I looked up multiple definitions of each term and then went with the consensus. Sometimes the consensus differed from the way I had always used a word (I had worked in the field for twenty years a the time), but when that happened I had to assume it was I that was out of step, not the majority. Otherwise the work would have been rejected for poor scholarship. Habit is not always a satisfactory guide.

Finally: there is much in Lawrie's last post that is very wise (as Lawrie's posts usually are). The point about hidden staves vs. the invisibility attribute is particularly well taken. If you haven't found the hidden staff function, which is pretty straightforward and obvious, then I have to wonder if you've really explored the program's capabilities adequately. Please do that before you complain about other features of the program. You may find, as Lawrie said, that the answers to your problem already exist.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Peter Edwards on 2007-09-17 07:00 pm
Quote
we'd need both an upper orchestral staff and a lower orchestral staff attribute

I've always thought that the upper grand staff was misleadingly named since you only need to specify the top staff(s) as grand (the intervening ones are neither upper nor lower) and then just the bottom one (you can't have more than one) as lower to define the end of the group. And on the same argument you don't really need an upper orchestral staff since we already have an ordinary one. But what the heck!

But I disagree vehemently that the shortcoming is trivial, and so do quite a few others.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-17 08:34 pm

I will not be that vehement - but it is true: at times I cannot copy the picture that I see into Noteworthy. I can live with the shortcomings because I do not publish music, but the shortcomings are there. So are (some) workarounds, I know. I do not use them much. Rather, I will wait for Noteworthy to supply the non-workaround answer.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-17 10:01 pm
G'day Peter,
<snip>
But I disagree vehemently that the shortcoming is trivial, and so do quite a few others.

One thing this discussion has certainly proven is that each of us have different needs and priorities for our notation product of choice.

I can see how getting this right is important for some.  Me?  I never use the orchestral staff at all.  NOT because it is "wrong" but because it is inappropriate for my needs.  My output is for single or 2 (for piano) staff parts - up to 18 of 'em at a time, though usualy only 2 or 3.

I don't create 2, 3 or 18 different files, I create one.  When I print a part I hide everything else so the last thing I want is orchestral bracket finials on my parts - they look silly on single staff parts.

However, I am fully aware that I represent only a small proportion of NWC users in this regard.

I agree that an upper and lower orchestral staff attribute would be an effective solution.  This way we could have multiple groupings of instruments properly delineated.  I still wouldn't be able to use it unless NWC automatically removed the finials and thicker starting barline when extracting single parts.

Now, some enlightenment please:
I can quite easily see the advantage of grouping for a conductors' score.  But who performs from a conductors score?  I couldn't, I complain if I get one page turn in a song let alone one every few bars!  I can see the advantage for choristers to have combined scores but surely only the vocal parts need be on their combined score - what need do they have of the piano part, or the solo whosiwhatsit part - surely a few cues is a better solution?  But what do I know - I'm not a chorister.

Speaking of cues, for my needs properly functioning cues and ossia would far outweigh correct orchestral brackets.  But again, these are only my needs.  Others will undoubtedly have different priorities.

Back to the enlightenment - aside from the conductor, who really needs it?  I'm not belittling this, I really want to know.  In any case, the conductors score is not trivial so it should undoubtedly be fixed for them.  But what priority should it be given?

As for the bug/not bug argument - I'm not getting back into that.  It is so obviously a matter of interpretation that we will never reach a concensus.  This is a bit sad really 'cos it highlights that communication can never be complete between us all.  Why? 'Cos if we cannot agree on a definition of terms we cannot communicate fully - there will always be misunderstanding - like the hidden versus print-never mixup between bidderxyzzy and me...

I say "to-MAH-toe", you say "to-MAY-ter" or however the phonetic representation should be...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-17 10:17 pm
I am wondering if it is worth bringing an issue to this forum.
<snip>

Robin, I apologise.  If I have ever responded to you inappropriately or offended you I'm very sorry.

I try to address the points and questions raised in every post I respond to, regardless of whether they are germain to the subject heading or not.

I also try to introduce somy degree of humour as it is so easy to offend when writing things - one can't see the writers' body language...

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-17 10:28 pm
To answer your question, Lawrie, just about any of us who regularly perform single parts from multi-voice scores find it helpful to have groups of parts set off by brackets. This includes choirs (especially those performing with piano and/or soloists), piano quintets, chamber groups with unusual instrument combinations (such as, say, two winds. three strings, and a couple of percussionists) - lots of possibilities there. Groupings make following your own part easier. And, of course - as you recognize - the conductor's need is not trivial....

But I do agree that ossia and cues are more important, as are (for me) several other things, including better slur drawing and a pause button. And you are certainly correct that all of us can never fully agree on one single priorities list for improvements to our favorite notation program.

Thanks again for your always clear, helpful, and friendly comments.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-17 10:48 pm
G'day William,
To answer your question, Lawrie, just about any of us who regularly perform single parts from multi-voice scores find it helpful to have groups of parts set off by brackets.

Thankyou, I can see how this helps.  But I guess the next obvious question is:  If one is preparing scores for multiple parts/instruments/voices why wouldn't one print the separate single parts?  To me this seems such a logical move.  Reduced page turns, easier to find your place, thinner portfolio...

Though I suppose for choirs it is easier to print all parts on a couple of staves and reduce your parts inventory - all singers have the same part so to speak.  At least a chorister dosen't have to let go of their instrument on order to turn a page.

Possible downside to single parts - harder to know how you fit in with the other parts...  still, when I'm performing I don't really have time to read other peoples parts in addition to my own...  In any case, cues can resolve this.

Is it a very common thing for you to see multi-voice scores from which you perform single parts? 

My own experience is quite the opposite - I've almost never had a multipart score to perform from.  The one book I have that is like this is not my favourite.  The extra page turns are a pain when you hold a trombone...  Fortunately we don't use works from it very often.  :)

Quote
Thanks again for your always clear, helpful, and friendly comments.

Thankyou <blush>
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Richard Woodroffe on 2007-09-17 11:18 pm
If one is preparing scores for multiple parts/instruments/voices why wouldn't one print the separate single parts?  To me this seems such a logical move. 

Well - speaking personally, If I am singng in a double choir - or even if I am singing in a piece with first and second bass (in my case), I will always want to see what the other choir / other bass line is doing or about to do. It helps! And then there are the conductors who say ....  at measure xx, will the first basses of choir one sing with choir 2  /  and quite a common one - will first basses back up the tenors at that point  (tenors seem to be hard to find)

and so on.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-17 11:20 pm
Quote
If one is preparing scores for multiple parts/instruments/voices why wouldn't one print the separate single parts?  To me this seems such a logical move.  Reduced page turns, easier to find your place, thinner portfolio...

Well....

A couple of years ago, I had a piece for soprano, flute, bassoon and vibraphone that was headed for performance by a local chamber group. I very carefully printed out all the parts individually and handed them to the instrumentalists, with a full score for the soprano. When I got to the final rehearsal, I found that the instrumentalists had all gotten together, pasted up their parts into a full score minus soprano, and made copies for each of them. (They could have just asked me or the soprano for a copy of the full score, of course, but that's not what happened.) Their explanation: cues weren't enough. They wanted to see each other's parts and see how the counterpoint fit together in order to perform the music properly, even if it meant they had to run the music across two stands each to avoid page turns in awkward places. You just never know.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-17 11:41 pm
G'day Rich and William,
thanks for the quick response!

Rich, I can see your point very clearly - thankyou.  Makes a lot of sense.

William, silly musicians - they should have talked to you :) 

Hmm, having never performed in a chamber group it is hard for me to identify with their needs.  However, I would have thought that for a performance they would have preferred the single parts.  For rehearsal I can absolutely understand but by the time a performance came along surely they would know the piece well enough that their single parts would suffice?

In my church band we play from 1, 2 or 3 parts depending.  Often we all work from the same lead sheet (which I will have reduced from 3, 4 or 5 pages to 2 or 3), when I can I create a 'bone part for myself and occasionally I create a flute part for my wife.

The singers either know the song or read from a words only display - most of 'em can't read music anyhow...

The guitar, bass and keyboard player all work from the lead sheet.

In the Big Band, it is quite different.  We all work from our own part and listen to everyone else - after a few times through we usually have a good idea who is supposed to be prominent at any given point and remember...

Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-18 02:00 am
Quote
However, I would have thought that for a performance they would have preferred the single parts.  For rehearsal I can absolutely understand but by the time a performance came along surely they would know the piece well enough that their single parts would suffice?

I guess most people have no idea how professional chamber music groups operate. There were only two rehearsals - the one in which I handed out the parts, and the final one. The performance was the next day. The piece wasn't scheduled to be performed again, so that was it. What you suggest would make sense for amateur groups, though.

But there's a P.S. About a year later, I had a piano trio performed. Same chamber group - different subset of players. Having learned (I thought) from the earlier performance, I handed them each a full score. They politely handed them back and asked for individual parts. Like I said, you just never know. ;-)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-18 02:06 am
<snip>
They politely handed them back and asked for individual parts. Like I said, you just never know. ;-)

Ahh mate!  Ya just can't win sometimes, can ya?   :)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-18 05:38 am
Gentlemen,

   Today I will be addressing core topics, not individuals, so please do not feel slighted if you don't see a reply to a comment of yours here. 

   As to what I am trying to do with NoteWorthy.  I am using it in a live professional environment to provide practice aids for home study to two choral societies.  I issue, by e-mail, packets of around eighteen works averaging ten to twelve pages each in four choir voices and piano accompaniment, which often requires two staves per hand.  The singers must edit their personal copies to get a proper balance of volume out of the various staves, both because there are two incompatible "standards" for interpreting the midi velocity attribute (in synthesized and wave table implementations, with much variation even within a group) and because each singer will want a different balance between his voice and the others, perhaps starting with the others muted, then quieter than his, then all at full volume and finally, especially for quartet singers, his own voice muted while the others sing out, as he will experience in performance.  To slow faster works for initial practice sessions, the tempo must be adjusted by edit, as there is no tempo slider on the tool bar (that being the one and only advantage Sibelius has over NoteWorthy), and in songs with major tempo changes mid work, the singer must master NoteWorthy enough to find and change embedded tempo indications, which sounds trivial, but often causes trouble.  More advanced singers will want to add breath marks and dynamics, which I cannot put in the distribution because they aren't decided until rehearsals are well underway, as well as correct errors, both mine and those in the original scores I work from.  I routinely exclude accompaniment staves from the display, but they pop up anyway in the mute list, and besides, I cannot control what a customer who discovers the page setup button does with it.  It is in this sense that I said there is really no such thing as a hidden staff.

   I am in no way attacking either NoteWorthy or Eric.  I am only trying to raise the profile of a bug that is surely causing lost sales for this program.  A professional musician observing the result of his choosing "orchestral" for a staff would probably throw up his hands in disgust and move on to the next candidate without discovering how nearly ideal NoteWorthy already is.   And if the product sinks, I won't get any of my suggestions for improvement, which I have hardly started to mention, implemented.

   It is true that, although I have been working with NoteWorthy for seven years, I have only just begun to wade through the forums and scriptorium, but they are full of irrelevant jokes and comments like "I don't know where Eric got his "spec" from, but he must have gotten it from somewhere, so don't criticize what he does."  Or the even more frequent "I recall seeing x somewhere but I'm too lazy to look it up."  These add nothing to the discussion, and make for slow going. And while sneaky tricks may be amusing for those playing with NoteWorthy or using it to format their own compositions, for me they are mostly useless.

   I have been unfocused, and have mentioned some difficulties with the user interface that don't belong in this thread, for which I apologize.  I will not further comment on them until they appear in their own threads, except to say that even minor problems become significant when, as happened to me at the end of August, one has thirty seven pieces of music to NoteWorthyize in three weeks.  I checked out the suggestion that in NW2, notes of varying time values could be forced to a common value with a single keystroke, but the tool bar still grays out the note length toolbar buttons, so the problem is only half fixed, and this introduces a bug in that the product is now inconsistent with itself. 

The suggested MXML translator requires a fourteen hour download of net frameworks for Windows 98SE, and while I am in the process of converting to XP professional, that will take some time, and I suspect it will need the download too.  The user tools require learning PHP, which is significant even for a multi-lingual former professional, and my time is limited.  Also, for my purposes I must strip most dynamic and tempo markings out of the .nwc files anyway (I am building a skeleton outline of the music containing only the basic tones and rhythms for musicians to learn the notes from), so if the spelling and triplet detection problems were fixed, a midi file would contain most of what I need.

   Finally, everything I do must be compatible with NW1, as this is all that is available to my customers.  I considered distributing the beta to them under the strictures that they must make all complaints and comments to me and that they promise ; ) to buy the product when it came out, but for a lot of reasons this is a bad idea.  If I don't hear from Eric on this in the next two weeks, I will reconsider the issue and probably not do it, but it may end up as the least of many evils.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-18 06:05 am
Quote
Yes, we should take Dave's advice and
David, not Dave, please.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-18 06:39 am
G'day bidderxyzzy,
I won't try to address everything you've mentioned - this is quite a meal you've served up :)  However, I'll try to hit a couple of highlights and see if I can help in some things.

<snip a big bit>

It seems that you already expect quite a bit from your customers.  While I'm quite sure you know them better than I do ;)  I have found that users can often surprise - both pleasantly and frustratingly so I do understand your pain, but I suggest that you may also be underrating some of them.

I say this 'cos if they have mastered as much as you say then they can probably cope with a little more.  But as I said, you know 'em better than I do.  I only mention it because I occasionally must remind my staff that our customers aren't actually idiots - though some can make you wonder...

That said, I agree that simplifying things as much as possible from a user perspective is a good thing.  I am a great believer in the KISS principle.

Quote
<snip another big bit>
I checked out the suggestion that in NW2, notes of varying time values could be forced to a common value with a single keystroke, but the tool bar still grays out the note length toolbar buttons, so the problem is only half fixed, and this introduces a bug in that the product is now inconsistent with itself. 

Hmm, confirmed - I've never noticed this as I practically never use the mouse when editing in NWC - too slow.  Nevertheless, using the keyboard does work so this may save you some pain.  I recall suggesting you learn the keyboard shortcuts - you won't regret doing so.

Quote
The suggested MXML translator requires a fourteen hour download of net frameworks for Windows 98SE, and while I am in the process of converting to XP professional, that will take some time, and I suspect it will need the download too.

Sorry 'bout that - I sometimes forget that not everyone has broadband...  Do you know anyone with broadband that can download it for you and burn to CD?

Quote
The user tools require learning PHP, which is significant even for a multi-lingual former professional, and my time is limited.  Also, for my purposes I must strip most dynamic and tempo markings out of the .nwc files anyway (I am building a skeleton outline of the music containing only the basic tones and rhythms for musicians to learn the notes from), so if the spelling and triplet detection problems were fixed, a midi file would contain most of what I need.

OK, here goes:
You don't need to learn to program in PHP, or VB or any other programming language to use the user tools.  I cannot cut code - I freely admit it - I'm a glorified user who builds, maintains and services networks and their connected resources.  This is how I and my staff make a living - we have no need to cut code - that's what programmers are for :)

Yet I use user tools all the time.  The "Starter Kit" comes with a grab bag of tools that covers a large proportion of identified needs:
Arpeggiate
Compound Autobeam
Global Modification
Parts
Ranges
Retrograde
Statistics
Transpose Chords
Variable Dump

My personal favourites from this list are Global Modification, parts, Variable dump and Transpose Chords.

There are several others available including a "tripletise" tool for fixing imported MIDIs - 'taint perfect but it does work.  I agree it would be better for NWC to import MIDI triplets natively but until it does, this tool helps.

Enharmonic spelling problems can be improved a lot in the way that I have already mentioned:
Force accidentals
Correct the Key sig.
Audic Enharmonic spelling
Audit accidentals.

It won't be perfect, but it WILL be a lot better.

You can also try transposing to a different key and back, while specifying sharp/flat preferences.

This also won't be perfect, but again, can help a lot when working from a raw MIDI.  I'm not sure how well this can be improved in NWC - it is partly a function of the MIDI spec itself that gives us these poor results, though I'm sure a sufficiently motivated programmer could improve things.  I suspect that it would need more user intervention in the import setup though...  Like specifying the key sig. for the import - bit hard when you don't even know what it was supposed to be...

Barry occasionally mentions a pair of tools: mf2t and t2mf which convert MIDI to text which you can edit and then convert back.  I'm sure this will also help.

Dynamics can be deleted with a global mod user tool command:
Dynamic DELETE
and also tempo markings:
Tempo DELETE

Quote
Finally, everything I do must be compatible with NW1, as this is all that is available to my customers.

No problem, NWC2 now has the ability to export to NWC1.75 - some formatting detail will be lost, like:
Highlights greater than 3 will revert to highlight 3
"hairpins" will disappear - I don't know if there is an automatic cresc. decresc. replacement - I suspect not.
If you use alternative system fonts these will revert to the standard NWCV15

There are almost certainly others but I can't think of them - I never use NWC1 any more - regardless, I'm sure they can be compensated for and still leave you with a reduced workload.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-18 07:11 am
Bidderxyzzy wrote
Quote
I checked out the suggestion that in NW2, notes of varying time values could be forced to a common value with a single keystroke, but the tool bar still grays out the note length toolbar buttons
The note length toolbars are greyed because the note values are varied.  So you can't use the mouse to force all the notes to the same value.  However, press the + key a few times, and once all the notes reach the same value, the note length toolbars will be active and available again.  Or you could just press 1,2,3,4,5 or 6 to get the value you want. 

I was wrong when I said dots would disappear.  They didn't just now in my test file.  Pressing the dot key a few times did the trick, though, and since the duration toolbar was active, clicking the dot icon twice did it too.


Quote
The suggested MXML translator requires a fourteen hour download of net frameworks for Windows 98SE, and while I am in the process of converting to XP professional, that will take some time, and I suspect it will need the download too.
Would you please clarify this?  I don't undertand the expression "net frameworks," but I run XP Pro, and I did have Win98 (not SE) and Windows 3.1 after several years with DOS.  I think my first modem ran at something like 9 baud (does that sound realistic? It's been a long time).  I've downloaded and installed a lot of freeware and shareware, and I don't think I've enver encounterd a 14 hour download, even on a telephone modem. The XML conversion file is only 56Kb, and is accompanied by 3 text files that combined come to 6Kb.  Obviously I'm missing something about your setup.

Quote
To slow faster works for initial practice sessions, the tempo must be adjusted by edit,
Have your people download the shareware version of Amazing Slowdowner, and they can vary the playback speed with it.  Alternatively, the NWC files are so small that you could produce and send several versions of each, with each version being a different tempo.

Quote
I routinely exclude accompaniment staves from the display, but they pop up anyway in the mute list, and besides, I cannot control what a customer who discovers the page setup button does with it.  It is in this sense that I said there is really no such thing as a hidden staff.
Well, you could make the hidden staff have only one line, and you could make all its notes headless with stem length zero, so if they do make the staff visible, only a single line will show. 

Quote
Or the even more frequent "I recall seeing x somewhere but I'm too lazy to look it up."
You're being snarky again.  At least your correspondent gave you a hint that the information was there to be found, and you can use the search tool as easily as he can. (That may have been me?)

Just out of curiousity, you tried 5 different programs, I think I read.  Have you tried Finale, and why are you using NWC2 instead?


Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-18 08:39 am
G'day David,
Quote
The suggested MXML translator requires a fourteen hour download of net frameworks for Windows 98SE, and while I am in the process of converting to XP professional, that will take some time, and I suspect it will need the download too.
Would you please clarify this?  I don't undertand the expression "net frameworks," but I run XP Pro, and I did have Win98 (not SE) and Windows 3.1 after several years with DOS.

Bidderxyzzy is correct here - mxm2nwc mxml2nwc requires the Microsoft .NET (pronounced "dot net") Framwork (V1.1 IIRC) which is a large download for '98.  I think XP came with it but I'm not absolutely certain.  It is certainly a broadband type download, not a dial-up one...  It is about 23 MB which should be about an hour at 56kbps dialup in a perfect world...  As we know, the world ain't perfect so more than an hour I would expect, but I must say 14 hours seems a bit on the high side - unless there were other bits coming down too.

Quote
I think my first modem ran at something like 9 baud (does that sound realistic? It's been a long time).  I've downloaded and installed a lot of freeware and shareware, and I don't think I've enver encounterd a 14 hour download, even on a telephone modem. The XML conversion file is only 56Kb, and is accompanied by 3 text files that combined come to 6Kb.  Obviously I'm missing something about your setup.

More likely 300 baud, which, incidentally is also 300 bits per second.  Unlike the old 1200 bps modems which were also 300 baud IIRC (may have been 600) the additional bps was obtained through better encoding (QAM - Quadrature Amplitude Modulation - again IIRC)

Baud (named after a chap called Baudot) was a measure of change of state from mark to space or space to mark - didn't exactly apply to modems faster than 300 bps...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: tony smedley on 2007-09-18 09:05 am
As a humble sometime chorister I believe that most of us, for most pieces, prefer to see what the other parts are doing, and what the accompaniment is up to, although the piano reduction is probably more convenient even when accompanied by a full orchestra.
All this seems to suggest that we want a notation program which will do all kinds of alternatives for all kinds of people.  But would most of us be able to handle such a complex creation?

Tony
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-18 01:38 pm
G'day Tony,
NWC should be sufficient - it almost is...

I do confess to being a little surprised at how demanding you choristers seem to be - it has never really occurred to me to feel a need to have everyone else's music in front of me - it has always been enough to manage to plow through my own and let the others worry about theirs...  :)

Is singing in a choir so different to playing an instrument that you really need that much information?  Or is it a "comfort" thing?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-18 01:58 pm
G'day bidderxyzzy,

<snip>
   As to what I am trying to do with NoteWorthy.  I am using it in a live professional environment to provide practice aids for home study to two choral societies.  I issue, by e-mail, packets of around eighteen works averaging ten to twelve pages each in four choir voices and piano accompaniment, which often requires two staves per hand.  The singers must edit their personal copies to get a proper balance of volume out of the various staves, both because there are two incompatible "standards" for interpreting the midi velocity attribute (in synthesized and wave table implementations, with much variation even within a group) and because each singer will want a different balance between his voice and the others, perhaps starting with the others muted, then quieter than his, then all at full volume and finally, especially for quartet singers, his own voice muted while the others sing out, as he will experience in performance.  To slow faster works for initial practice sessions, the tempo must be adjusted by edit, as there is no tempo slider on the tool bar (that being the one and only advantage Sibelius has over NoteWorthy), and in songs with major tempo changes mid work, the singer must master NoteWorthy enough to find and change embedded tempo indications, which sounds trivial, but often causes trouble.  More advanced singers will want to add breath marks and dynamics, which I cannot put in the distribution because they aren't decided until rehearsals are well underway, as well as correct errors, both mine and those in the original scores I work from.  I routinely exclude accompaniment staves from the display, but they pop up anyway in the mute list, and besides, I cannot control what a customer who discovers the page setup button does with it.  It is in this sense that I said there is really no such thing as a hidden staff.
<snip>

I may have a surprisingly simple alternative for you...

Rather than distribute NWC files, distribute MIDIs - bear with me here...

There is a very good MIDI/Karoke player that addresses almost all your requirements and may well be sufficient.  It is called "vanBasco's Karaoke Player".

It can:

They can't edit the music as they can in NWC of course so inserting breath marks etc. is not possible unless you also distribute the NWC file.

You may find that they'll be happy with a PDF that they can print out and insert breath marks by hand during rehearsal.

Perhaps not a perfect answer but I think it could be more helpful than not.

However, as I said in a previous post - you know your customers better 'n I do.

You can get Van Bascos here:
http://www.vanbasco.com/

It's worth a look even if you decide you don't like it.  It's only 864kB...

<edit>  I forgot to mention - as vanBasco can select its MIDI output independantly of MIDI mapper or NWC etc. you can advise your users to all use one very common softsynth with vanBasco, and balance your NWC files to suit...

It is the ubiquitous, and rather ordinary, "Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synthesizer".  Yes, I know it can be pretty awful to the discerning ear, but from '98 (with DirectX installed) to Vista it is the same wavetable - thus everything will be consistent for all your users (I can't believe I'm recommending a m$ solution... <shakes head>).
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-18 03:37 pm
Quote
I do confess to being a little surprised at how demanding you choristers seem to be - it has never really occurred to me to feel a need to have everyone else's music in front of me - it has always been enough to manage to plow through my own and let the others worry about theirs...  :)

Is singing in a choir so different to playing an instrument that you really need that much information?  Or is it a "comfort" thing?

Since I can't carry a tune in a wet paper bag, I don't know anything about choral music, but if the market is one or more groups of professional singers, I wonder why counting their parts isn't enough? 

Same with chamber musicians.  I played a lot of trios and quartets when I was in school, lo these many years ago, and we always had just our own parts in front of us.  And we were just kids. 

If professionals are expected to perform with the benefit of two rehearsals, I would expect them to be excellent musicians well trained in listening to each other and remembering the nuances of a piece.  And of course, they can always use digital recorderd to capture what they don't remember.

Not important questions/observations, just wondering.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-18 04:02 pm
The same goes for me. When I sang the solo-part of the Armenian Oratorium (I think "oratory" refers to bricks and mortar) I had only the sheet music of the tenor part. I had to count the measures where I had to wait. I hated it. At the risk of alienating joke-haters: I am no counter-tenor!
It was much easier for me to read along with a score where nothing was missing. A reduced score would have done nicely, there. Example: in the Messiah, very often it's quite easy to find the bassoon part, even in the piano reduction.

And yes, tenors are hard to find. I am always welcome in (nearly) any choir!
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Peter Edwards on 2007-09-18 04:19 pm
Quote
Is singing in a choir so different to playing an instrument that you really need that much information?  Or is it a "comfort" thing?

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-18 05:45 pm
Quote
The human voice has no intrinsic pitch so it must get its notes relative to the other parts. So it helps to know what the other parts are singing

That's the crux of it. You really do need to able to match pitch with a note from another part, or at least be able to match an easy interval (a third or a fifth) from another part, in order to find your entrance. Hence, you need the other parts in front of you, plus the accompaniment, because sometimes the note you need to match is there instead of in another voice part. This doesn't hold for those with perfect pitch, of course, but they are few and far between in the choral world.

And that's why distributing MIDI files probably won't work for bidderxyzzy's application (although it might if he also distributed printed copies of the score). I've been trying to think of ways that would work without allowing access to all the editing tools, and I'm stumped. If one could change tempo and mute individual lines in Noteworthy Viewer, that would go a long way toward solving the problem, but it still wouldn't help those who needed to mark their scores - and singers need a lot of marks. It looks to me as though bidderxyzzy's particular application of NWC does need to be set up in the way he has done it. The one suggestion I would make, bidderxyzzy, is to trust the singers a little further and go ahead and use the hidden staves for playback. You might highlight them in a different color from the rest of the score so they really stand out if they are accidentally unchecked in the contents box - but that problem can also be minimized if you tell them what that checkbox does, and how to make the score look normal again if they (or their inquisitive children) play around with the page setup functions a bit too much. That, again, is a matter of how far you want to trust their ability to work with the program.

As to professional instrumentalists not needing full scores - they usually don't, but my experience (recounted earlier in this thread) suggests that there are times when they prefer them. Surprised me, too, at the time.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: MusicJohn on 2007-09-18 06:13 pm
   Well, William, voice-emphasised Midi Files work well for the several Choirs I sing with and prepare music for - hence my Website (http://www.thehoopers.demon.co.uk).  And I'm a rubbish Tenor, too, but still worth my weight in gold-pressed latinum, apparently  [:-)]

   And all the choral singers I know seem to prefer to have the score showing all the voices plus the piano reduction.  On the few occasions when we've been forced to sing from a score showing only "our" voice, it's been bloody awful!

   MusicJohn, 18/Sep/07
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Robin L. Øye on 2007-09-18 08:12 pm
Quote
When I got to the final rehearsal, I found that the instrumentalists had all gotten together, pasted up their parts into a full score minus soprano, and made copies for each of them. (They could have just asked me or the soprano for a copy of the full score, of course, but that's not what happened.)

Much the same has happened to me.  I try and give a full score to everyone for their edification. And, I've been asked to make large-sized scores for players to follow.

Lawrie: You've never been anything but kind.

Robin
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-18 11:23 pm
Wow, what an interesting and educational set of replies!

I now have a much better understanding of the problems facing bidderxyzzy.  I will be very interested to hear his thoughts on using vanBasco and a printout.

In that regard a thought occurred to me - it might be necessary to have multiple versions of the MIDI in order to have each part's lyrics show up independantly - this may well be more of a problem that I realised last night (it was around midnight local when I wrote my last message)

I hate counting long periods of rest too - I have a particular part in mind where I have 40 or 50 bars rest (can't remember the exact figure - may be more - it's broken up into 8 bar blocks) and then have to come in dead on time in a highlighted solo - always makes me nervous I'll miss it as there are no cues in the score and the other parts are somewhat non-descript in the leadup...  :(

That said, I still think cues would be sufficient...  Or at least I think they would be for me.

Robin, thankyou.  I try not to offend but sometimes it's hard to tell.

However, to get back onto the original subject for a moment - There is no doubt that the orchestral staff attribute/properties needs some improvement.  I'm sure we have concensus on this no matter what each of us wish to call the deficiency.

bidderxyzzy, I know others have 'cos I've seen reference in other posts, but have you visited the wishlist to request improvements to this.

My understanding is the the wish list is the only "officially recognised" method of asking for enhancements - bug reports go here in the forum but just in case Noteworthy Software doesn't consider it a bug, an enhancement request won't go astray.

While I'm sure Eric has read over our recent spate of waffle and is thus aware of all the reasons and opinions that have been expressed, a succint "wish" certainly won't hurt.

The wishlist is here... (http://www.noteworthysoftware.com/composer/wishlist.php)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: NoteWorthy Online on 2007-09-19 06:05 am
No need to submit to the wish list...we are well aware of this topic. It is one of my favorites. We have previously acknowledged these issues, and understand the concern.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute - Possible Enhancement/Fix List
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-19 06:12 am
I've been thinking about this a bit.  It occurs to me that this is not a trivial change if it is to be acceptable to all so I'd like to start a list of necessary results and possibly some suggestions on preferred methods of managing them.


That's all I can think of at the moment - it occurs to me that the best way to implement this may be as simple as a checkbox that indicates that the staff is a "group boundary" - perhaps with supplementary radio buttons that indicate upper or lower.

There may be some backward compatibility issues here - perhaps Orchestral staves should also provide finials automatically if "group markers" aren't defined..?

<G'day Eric, I notice you've posted while I've been writing this little missive>
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-19 07:13 am
I guess I'm venturing into controversy here.  My scores generally consist of 5 staffs for the reeds, 3 or 4 for trumpets, 3 for trombones, 1 for guitar or banjo, 2 for piano, 1 for bass, and finally 1 staff for a drum kit.

If I understand it correctly, the finials in my score would be on the first reed staff and on the drum staff.  I need an upper and lower grand staff group for the piano right and left hand part.  I need a grouping for the reeds and a grouping for each of the brass families.

So:
Group 1 (reeds):
First staff needs a finial, all the reeds will be connected at the left with a thick/thin double line an the left, and with ordinary bar lines connecting the group.  A standard otherwise blank staff layered under the reed 5 part, to break the connecting lines.

A thin single line at the left margin to connect the reed group to the trumpet group.

Group 2 (trumpets)
All staffs orchestral, connected at the left with a thick/thin double line an the left, and with ordinary bar lines connecting the group.  A standard otherwise blank staff layered under the last trumpet staff, to break the connecting lines. No finial in this group.

A thin single line at the left margin to connect this group to the trombone group.

Group 3 (trombones) - same as trumpet.

Guitar/banjo - standard score, not connected except by a single thin line at the left margin. 

Piano - upper and lower grand staffs, thick/thin double left line (?), bar lines extending to connect just these two staffs.

Bass, same as guitar/banjo.

Drums, same as guitar banjo, except it would have a lower finial at the left.

Alternatively if one wanted to group all the rhythm section, the entire group could be configured as orchestral except piano, which would have the two grand staff braces.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-19 01:28 pm
G'day David,
actually, the attachment shows, rather poorly, pretty much what I had in mind.

Each section/group has its' own finials with the entire system being joined by a thin line.  Each grouping adds the thick line and finials.

The particular example only shows a single staff for Piano but I would expect the piano staves (upper and lower grand) to have a brace as well - much like what we get now...

You might note that in the Sax group the 2 Alto staves do not have what we call "orchestral" barlines while the rest of the section and most of the other sections do - I especially want this flexibility.  I don't want the barlines to extend unless I specify, hence my slight redefinition of the orchestral staff type.  However, I don't care if the piano (grand) staves have the extended barline or not.  Pianists may have a preference that should be considered.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Warren Porter on 2007-09-19 02:04 pm
Also, there may be a grouping within a grouping.  In addition to an orchestral bracket around the strings, there may be an additional bracket around just the 1st and 2nd violins.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-19 02:14 pm
G'day Warren,
how would that work, another thick line joining the affected staves with additional finials?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rick G. on 2007-09-19 03:51 pm
how would that work, another thick line joining the affected staves with additional finials?
Like <this> (https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=6100.0).
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-19 04:46 pm
Quote
how would that work, another thick line joining the affected staves with additional finials?

I got curious about that, too, so I checked my collection of orchestral scores. Warren may have a different experience, but what I found was a piano-style bracket outside the orchestral group bracket. That is: orchestra bracket surrounding the string section on the left; piano bracket to the left of the orchestral bracket, enclosing just the violin I and violin II staves. Layering allows us to do this now. Just place an empty set of upper and lower grand staves between the orchestral staves you want to bracket and then layer every other staff. I'd attach a file, but I'd apparently have to upgrade my membership, and I'm too lazy to do that right now. ;-)

....but I think you're getting more complex than necessary, Lawrie. Here's another way:



That should do it, I think, although I may be missing something, and there are certainly other possibilities.

(just looked at the link you posted while I was writing this. There are evidently further layers of brackets in some scores, which I haven't run into. My workaround doesn't work for those, and my suggested program modification wouldn't, either....more thought is obviously required.)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-19 10:06 pm
G'day William,
<snip>
....but I think you're getting more complex than necessary, Lawrie. Here's another way:

  • When an orchestral staff is followed or preceded by a standard staff, the program puts the appropriate finial on the orchestral staff.
  • The beginning barline of a standard staff is optional (same set of choices as the ending barline is now).
  • Connecting barlines default to the barline style of the standard staff, except within brackets.

Perhaps, but...

...or did I misunderstand something?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: K.A.T. on 2007-09-20 01:50 am
Seems we've been discussing this for at least a year:  https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=5658.msg36766#msg36766
See Reply #3 in particular:
It would be nice if we control over the Starting Bar, just as we have control over the Ending Bar:
Staff Properties...
    General tab
        Starting Bar: Section Close
                          Master Repeat Close
                          Single
                          Double
                          Open (hidden)

    Visual tab
                Style:  Upper Brace
                          Upper Bracket
                          Upper Brace and Bracket
                          Lower Brace
                          Lower Bracket
                          Lower Brace and Bracket
                          Standard
                          Orchestral
                          Open

The last one would be for layered staffs for a single part.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-20 03:14 am
Wouldn't our needs all be addressed if we had two more staff choices, upper left finial and lower left finial?

Lawrie, I don't see why you don't connect alto 1 to alto 2 and both to tenor 1, but the point is, it's your score and you have the flexibility to make that choice.  I'm not too concerned if my score meets some degree of perfect presentation, as long as the user can use it easily, which means what I do has to make sense to my user.  A missing twiddly bit here or a variation from a standard might annoy someone, but as long as the grouping is clear and is satisfactory for the conductor, that's all I need to produce.

Then again, I wonder if there is a universal standard?  Here, we have one finial in a professionally engraved score: http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=698256421&context=set-72157600610497413&size=l (http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=698256421&context=set-72157600610497413&size=l)

Here is a hand drawn sheet of music from 163 years ago.  Big brace, no finial.
http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=423811184&context=set-72157594503455058&size=l (http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=423811184&context=set-72157594503455058&size=l)  And here, no braces, no finials and no connecting bar lines either: http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=423864656&context=set-72157594503455058&size=l (http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=423864656&context=set-72157594503455058&size=l)

So I looked in The Enjoyment of Music, Sixth Edition, Joseph Madhis with Kristine Foreny, a text used by the Royal Toronto Conservatory of Music.  On page 147, there are 2 examples.  The first has two staffs in the system, with a double thick line connecting them on the left, with finials.  The second is a single vocal line over what looks to be a piano line.  No finials.  Upper and lower grand staff on the piano staffs, but no connection to the vocal line except a thin line on the left edge.  On page 369, five staffs.  The top two are soloists, the bottom 3 are the chorus.  Left end, one single line connecting all five staffs, with the bottom three also having the lines doubled, an upper finial on the top staff  and a lower finial on the bottome staff.

Rattenbury's Duke Ellington Jazz Composer has a full score in example 6.23.  The five reed parts are connected, and on the left connected with a thick/thin double line, finial on staffs 1 and 5.  Staff 5 and 6 are only connected at the left, with a single line.  Staffs 6 to 11 are connected by bar lines and on the left, the thick/thin double with finials on 6 and 11.  The guitar line (staff 12) is only connected to staffs 11 and 13 by a single line on the left.  Staffs 13 and 14 are the piano part, connected with single bar lines only, even on the left, but there's the brace on the left.  Staffs 15 and 16 are only connected by the single line on the left.  There is no finial on the bottom staff.   Elsewhere (his example on page 234 et subs) are for small groups, with four horns and rhythm.  Single bar lines extend top to bottom, connecting them all.  There's a double thick/thin on the left for staffs 1 to 4, with appropriate finials, then there's a braced pair of staffs for the piano, and staffs 7 and 8 are connected with the double thick/thin, upper finial on 7 and lower finial on 8.


For whatever that was worth...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-20 03:51 am
Thanks for the reality check, David, especially since you seem to be echoing comments I made earlier in this thread...;-) (But you're doing it better because you're including examples.)

However, I think K.A.T. has it right. It would be really, really nice to have the same kind of control over the left-hand end of each stave as we currently do over the right-hand end. Then everybody could have it the way they wanted.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-20 04:22 am
You guys have gone off the deep end here.  The current dialogue box is sufficient for a basic but correct implementation of the orchestral brace.  The rules are; 1) all and only those staves marked orchestral have the extra line at the left, 2) adjacent orchestral staves are connected, both at the left and by bar lines for the rest of the system, 3) loose ends get finials.  If you must have orchestral braces overlap a grand staff, which I have never seen in any score I have read, you would need extra windows or attributes, but I say leave it out.  Nested orchestral braces are used, but I would call that an advanced feature for the wish list.


In answer to those who have suggested that I look at xxx, here is a reply, not really part of the thread.


I hit on NoteWorthy very quickly, but over the past seven years, I have examined the following audio/music packages.

Awave Studio – Accepts about 200 audio formats (.wav, .mp3, .wma, .midi, numerous midi instrument fonts, proprietary sound card instrument fonts, etc.) and will translate any to the about 100 formats it knows how to write.  Acts as a midi sequence editor and sound font creator/editor.  Will do wave table rendering of midi files into .wav files.   Does not have a music notation display format.

GNMIDI – An alternative midi file editor.  Will save midi file as a readable text file, print a midi file as a score sheet, write it as a karaoke file, enter a new midi file from the PC keyboard and generate cell phone ring tone files among many other functions.

Igor engraver – Full function professional music engraver.  Too expensive

Lime – Very early music engraver effort started at university of Illinois and kept up to date.  Manual is still a good reference on music notation and engraving.  Display format is page oriented and not suitable for my purposes.

MIDI Editor – Primarily oriented toward use with external midi instruments by YAMAHA, ROLAND, KORG, KAWAI, etc. 

Music MasterWorks – Good for entering new music.  Will attempt to notate from microphone or wav file, or compare mic input with score.  Scrolling display is cluttered and printout very primitive.

Music Publisher – A pure graphical editor.  Does not understand music or provide playback.  Claims to be descended from a DOS program called "Note Worthy".

Music Ease – A lot like NoteWorthy in style but much more complete.  Designed to interface directly with Sharp Eye.  Expensive.

Personal Composer – Full featured engraver with playback.  Allows direct control of graphic page layout.  User control of enharmonic interpretation.  Wonderful set of formatting tools, but interprets them graphically only; there is no check that output makes musical sense.  Scrolls by measure rather than by note.

Finale – At least Finale PrintMusic® required to get scrolling, currently available version requires Windows XP.  Price at $100 per copy thinkable for me, but probably too high for my singers.

Sibelius – Hideously expensive.  Basic product needs costly add-ons to make it fit for my use.  Installing Scorch trashed my font directory; scrolls but no note chase.

vanBasco's Karaoke Player – Intriguing, especially as it's freeware.  But NoteWorthy minus just a couple of bugs would be exactly what I want, so this would be a distant second choice.

NoteWorthy player – Adding enough to this to make it minimally useful to me would make it essentially full NoteWorthy.  Besides, if my push my guys to buy legit copies of NW1 (most just use the evaluation version), that would help pay for some of the improvements that I really want, as well as help push NW2 out the door.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-20 04:38 am
G'day David,
Wouldn't our needs all be addressed if we had two more staff choices, upper left finial and lower left finial?

Lawrie, I don't see why you don't connect alto 1 to alto 2 and both to tenor 1, but the point is, it's your score and you have the flexibility to make that choice.  I'm not too concerned if my score meets some degree of perfect presentation, as long as the user can use it easily, which means what I do has to make sense to my user.  A missing twiddly bit here or a variation from a standard might annoy someone, but as long as the grouping is clear and is satisfactory for the conductor, that's all I need to produce.

If we can get away with the existing staff choices and simply add a checkbox (and maybe radio buttons for upper/lower) to enable finials on a staff this would IMHO be simpler and more flexible.

The example is actually from a Sibelius score - but it does demonstrate what I usually see.

As for not connecting the barlines between staves in a group - I simply prefer this to be optional.

I think it was done in the example to separate the primary voices in the sax section for that work.

Your examples show that any solution is not going to be a trivial exercise.  That's why I made the 6 suggested points above - I think these capabilities whould allow sufficient flexibility to cover a vast majority of requirements - not 100% mind, but maybe 80% plus?

Did you realise that you're your first example shows almost exactly NWC's bahaviour?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-20 05:04 am
G'day bidderxyzzy,
You guys have gone off the deep end here.  The current dialogue box is sufficient for a basic but correct implementation of the orchestral brace.  The rules are; 1) all and only those staves marked orchestral have the extra line at the left, 2) adjacent orchestral staves are connected, both at the left and by bar lines for the rest of the system, 3) loose ends get finials.  If you must have orchestral braces overlap a grand staff, which I have never seen in any score I have read, you would need extra windows or attributes, but I say leave it out.  Nested orchestral braces are used, but I would call that an advanced feature for the wish list.

Whaddya mean "deep end" - you opened this can 'o worms  :)

Mate, you've only expounded one set of rules - that happen to suit you.  If you look at David's very first example you'll see a grand staff brace overlapping the orchestral - and this is certainly not the first time I've seen it... - If I have to have a personal preference here then I would grudgingly vote for no overlap BUT it would be better to be able to have both.

My example shows a situation where barlines in staves within a group are not necessarily connected.  As I said in my reply to David, a checkbox and 2 radio buttons is all that's really needed.

It isn't here for me to quote (I'm at my office, not home - gotta work sometime I guess), but my Alfred's isn't particularly prescriptive - it simply shows a simple example and mentions that the finials mark the beginning and ending of groups of instruments.


Quote
<snip a lot of other products>
vanBasco's Karaoke Player – Intriguing, especially as it's freeware.  But NoteWorthy minus just a couple of bugs would be exactly what I want, so this would be a distant second choice.

Have you actually looked at it?  May be better than you think given that you want people to be able to mute staves and play with relative levels.  Give each sounding channel the right name and there won't even be any confusion.  Plus no difficult training of people in some of the intricacies of NWC which seems to irritate you...

Quote
NoteWorthy player – Adding enough to this to make it minimally useful to me would make it essentially full NoteWorthy.  Besides, if my push my guys to buy legit copies of NW1 (most just use the evaluation version), that would help pay for some of the improvements that I really want, as well as help push NW2 out the door.

I'm sure more sales wouldn't hurt  :)

<edits in italics>
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-20 05:41 am
  • Choristers in general are not professional or trained musicians. Few would be able to read a single line of notation and fit it in with others doing or failing to do likewise
That varies with the size of the choir. The smaller the choir, the better the choristers are in reading notation and fitting in with others.
There seems to be a relation between the number of music stands and the general ability to read and understand music. Also, when choir members bring their own tune fork, they are usually very good.
(Unfortunately, buying a tune fork does not make you a very good choir singer overnight.)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-20 05:54 am
At the risk of offending you again, bidderxyzzy (and just when we were getting along so well, too - viz. my support of your position a few posts back ;-), I have to say that Lawrie is right. There are no rules for the LH end of a system, just conventions, and your conventions may not suit my needs. In my large (though not overwhelming) collection of orchestral scores, almost all use grand-staff-type braces outside (to the left of) the orchestral brackets to connect the first and second violins. The few that don't usually use nested brackets, although at least one uses nothing. This is on the basis of a number of random samples I pulled out just now - mostly Kalmus editions, though one was a Belwin and another (the one that used nothing) was a Heugel.

I do agree with you that if the default was as you suggest, it would be better than the current situation. But we would still need controls to take care of individual needs and/or quirks. This is art, not engineering.

I also agree with you that nested brackets are something for the wish list rather than an immediate need. What most of us who have been contributing to this thread appear to want, essentially, are four simple binary choices: (1) finial/no finial; (2) brace/no brace; (3) thick line, thin line/thin line only. (4) barlines connecting staves/barlines not connecting staves. And since (2) and (4) can be kludged, all we really are asking for is control over the finials plus an orchestral bracket that stops and starts where the orchestral staves do instead of continuing from the first orchestral staff all the way to the bottom of the score regardless of the actual staff properties down there - which is, I think, the behavior that caused you to start this thread in the first place.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Peter Edwards on 2007-09-20 06:07 am
Quote
As I said in my reply to David, a checkbox and 2 radio buttons is all that's really needed.

Lawrie

Your ideas are basically sound but your implementation is too complex. And I got in first and I'll say it again: all you need is an additional Lower Orchestral Staff

This then gives you your groups. That is anything between an Orchestral Staff (possibly renamed Upper Orchestral Staff) and a LOS. In between you can have ordinary staves and Grand Staffs if you want: it actually doesn't matter: it's up to the user.

If you want connecting bar lines then you set the staffs to UOS. If you don't then leave them as Standard. NWC actually has all this bar line capability already - it connects adjacent orchestral staffs but not standard ones.

As an aside the behaviour of Grand Staffs is different. UGS always project downwards and LGS upwards.

Orchestral bar lines don't connect to Grand Staffs but you can layer an orchestral staff with the following UGS to achieve the desired effect.

Essentially, all that is missing from NWC is an instruction to Start/Stop drawing the orchestral thick line which my suggested UOS and LOS do precisely. Every quoted example in this thread is then possible (with a little ingenuity with layering) including all the left hand edge varieties and connecting bar line requirements.

What to do if there is no LOS. Either do as NWC does with UGS without a corresponding LGS and ignore any UOS, or, better, just connect the first and last Orchestral staffs leaving any others above and below as standard.

As to backward compatibility there is a small problem. There's absolutely no reliable indication as to what the user actually wanted since it wouldn't have made any difference once there was one Orchestral staff. But the worst that could happen is that the Orchestral line started only from the first OS rather than the top of the system and finished before the bottom, but perhaps a warning dialogue box when opening an earlier version file would be sufficient here.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-20 08:14 am
G'day Peter,
you're right, that would do it - I guess I just like a little more direct control...

When you first proposed it I thought:  UOS, OS and LOS - too many staff types.  My thought then was - no additional staff types, just a checkbox for finials and change the bahaviour of the OS so that the finials defined the thick line instead of the OS.  You have just corrected that notion - only 1 more staff type, not 2...

Either way the end result should be the same.  Yours just might have better backward compatibility as OS (or now possibly UOS) would still behave the way it always has.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-20 02:53 pm
   Sorry about the deep end, and I agree control over connecting bar lines would be good, but if you think about it there is no need for lower and upper orchestral staff attributes.  Any number of staves (including one only) can be marked orchestral, and any number of staves between be unmarked.  Then all raw ends get decorated, and the direction of curve is obvious from the context. That "backward compatibility" need not really be an issue here is one sign (though not a defining one) that the current behavior is a bug.

Lawrie,

   VanBasco does not display music notation, and helping the less musically trained singer learn to read is a big part of my objective. 

   I am not irritated at the "intricacies" of NoteWorthy, which is about the simplest music editor around to use.  It's just that I have singers [snark alert] almost as clueless as some of the contributors to this forum, through my conductor (a sophisticated trained musician who earns his keep as a computer analyst), to the group's floating voice leader who sings any voice at sight.  And although he hasn't shown up yet, I must be ready to face the singer even more computer savvy than I am, so I want everything neat and tidy.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: William Ashworth on 2007-09-20 03:18 pm
I just reread my post of last night, and I spotted this:

Quote
an orchestral bracket that stops and starts where the orchestral staves do instead of continuing from the first orchestral staff all the way to the bottom of the score regardless of the actual staff properties down there

"...all the way to the  bottom of the score regardless of the actual staff properties..." Hmmm. That sounds very much like.....Oh, no! A bug!

Let's face it. If the staves below the orchestral staves were exhibiting the properties we are already telling the program to give them, the problem would disappear (almost - see below). In other words, unwanted and unexpected behavior from the code. The tone of bidderxyzzy's earlier posts (he has improved lately) had kept me from seeing the obvious.

However, there is still the matter of layered staves of other types in order to make the workarounds happen. If the orchestral brackets stop and start for those, we're in trouble. So I think Peter is right - we will need a lower orchestral staff type. And for the same reason, I think we'll need an upper orchestral staff type. We need to be able to designate where we want the brackets to start and stop.

But correcting the staff attribute display is the right place to start.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Peter Edwards on 2007-09-20 04:20 pm
Quote
And for the same reason, I think we'll need an upper orchestral staff type. We need to be able to designate where we want the brackets to start and stop.

That's not really the case. If you examine the behaviour of Grand Staffs there's only the need for two types. You can have as many instances of UGS as you like but only one LGS. The brace then starts from the topmost UGS and finishes on the single LGS. Then you can repeat the whole process lower down.

I'm proposing the same for Orchestral Staffs with (possibly) the OS becoming an UOS to keep the terminology consistent.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-20 04:31 pm
G'day bidderxyzzy,
Sorry about the deep end,

Don't worry about it - gave me an opportunity to be a smart aleck without actually offending anyone (I hope)

Quote
...and I agree control over connecting bar lines would be good, but if you think about it there is no need for lower and upper orchestral staff attributes.  Any number of staves (including one only) can be marked orchestral, and any number of staves between be unmarked.  Then all raw ends get decorated, and the direction of curve is obvious from the context. That "backward compatibility" need not really be an issue here is one sign (though not a defining one) that the current behavior is a bug.

I still think extra control is needed - there are times when layering sith different staff types comes in handy and I wouldn't like to break that.  But then, I am a bit of a control freak - just a bit... ;)

Quote
VanBasco does not display music notation, and helping the less musically trained singer learn to read is a big part of my objective. 

Yup, I know - that's why I suggested the PDF option - or you can still use NWC and let 'em print from that.

I know there would, of course, be no note chase but I was more interested in the ability to highlight and/or mute staves.  I figure they'll be reading from a printout in their performances anyhow...

In any case it was offered as a consideration, not a definite solution.

Quote
   I am not irritated at the "intricacies" of NoteWorthy, which is about the simplest music editor around to use.

That wasn't quite what I meant - rather it seemed to me that you had been frustrated at trying to teach the less cluey ones in how to use NWC to their advantage - some people really do have no idea at all, but I bet they have other skills neither of us have!

Quote
<snip the snarky bit>
 through my conductor (a sophisticated trained musician who earns his keep as a computer analyst), to the group's floating voice leader who sings any voice at sight.  And although he hasn't shown up yet, I must be ready to face the singer even more computer savvy than I am, so I want everything neat and tidy.

Don't see him/her (the savvy singer) as competition, but rather as an ally - mayhap with ideas you haven't yet considered - a second opinion is always valuable.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: tony smedley on 2007-09-20 09:16 pm
A bit late in the day and probably now irrelevant, but a number of modern programs require the presence of Microsoft  "net.framework"   This comes in more than one version and some programs require a specific version. I am on broadband with a rather modest speed, but I do not recollect the net downloads as being very long. The quoted time for dial-up is just under 1 hour.
I am now on XP but I believe I am correct in thinking that net.framework will not run with 98SE

Tony
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-20 10:23 pm
G'day Tony,
I just checked and .net framework V1.1 and V2.0 is supported for Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2k3 server, 2k3 server for Itanium, 2k3 Server 64 bit editions, ME, '98 and '98SE, and all versions of vista.

They are both around 22 MB...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-21 03:41 am
Lawrie wrote
Quote
Did you realise that you're your first example shows almost exactly NWC's bahaviour?

Almost, except NWC puts a finial on the lowest staff.


Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-21 03:47 am
Almost, except NWC puts a finial on the lowest staff.
Not if it's a lower grand as in your example...  That's the characteristic that bidderxyzzy first mentioned when getting started on the "bug" thingy...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-21 03:52 am
Well... it is a long thread.

Is it the longest we've had in the forum so far?
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-21 03:57 am
Not quite - there are a few longer ones in "General Discussion" - 2 of which are locked, but it's the longest in "NWC2 General Discussion"
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-21 04:36 am
You guys can argue about special cases and the possibility someone may want to do a "nonstandard" thing (as far as standards exist) all you want.  I just want to get the thing to work for 85% of the cases that need orchestral braces instead of the 0.1% that get covered now.  (A two staff barbershop rendering is got right, finials and all, but this victory is tempered by the fact that barbershop is usually sung from memory.)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-21 05:58 am
G'day bidderxyzzy,
You guys can argue about special cases and the possibility someone may want to do a "nonstandard" thing (as far as standards exist) all you want.  I just want to get the thing to work for 85% of the cases that need orchestral braces instead of the 0.1% that get covered now.  (A two staff barbershop rendering is got right, finials and all, but this victory is tempered by the fact that barbershop is usually sung from memory.)

I don't think that it's so much about catering for a "nonstandard" thing as it is about catering for as many standards as reasonably possible.  As you said "as far as standards exist".  An additional problem in this regard is regional differences.  No matter how much we may want to ignore it, the written language of music has dialects...  At least the vast majority of us (musicians) can understand each others dialects well enough to play together...

Then there's period differences - witness trills...

If the code is going to be changed, let's get it as nearly right as possible - If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right!

In addition, there are so many thousands of works already in existence that it would be irresponsible for NWC to simply change mid-stream without allowing for backward compatibility if possible.

IMHO: In the grand scheme of things, getting the braces "right" is welcome, desireable and an all round good thing to do - It will certainly help the conductor, and probably choristers when sight reading, but as long as their parts can be read without ambiguity it won't actually make the musicians or singers perform any better in the long run.  In any case, the finials aren't absolutely necessary for defining blocks of instruments, most scores I see also have wider gaps between staves at the instrument group changeover.  They're still nice though...

That said, it should still be fixed in the interests of improving the professionalism and therefore acceptability of the product.

As for the "barbershop" comment - methinks you are exaggerating again...

BTW, you never commented about my example that gave you the finial on the lower grand that you asked for...  Surely that small "kludge" resolved a goodly proportion of your problems...

<edit> I added a bit - it's in italics.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: K.A.T. on 2007-09-21 01:53 pm
Quote
...orchestral braces overlap a grand staff, which I have never seen in any score I have read...
I see it all the time.
Quote
but I say leave it out.
NO!  I've been wanting this for quite some time.  And I do want total control over what goes where.  And I want to be able to do it without layering.
Also, the examples without any bracket are so old that the stems are on the wrong side of the heads, so...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Cyril Alberga on 2007-09-21 02:51 pm
Here are a few more examples, including one which doesn't seem to be covered in the discussion above.  In both the Bach Violin Concerto and in Thompson's Four Saints in Three Acts there are single staff orchestral markings, which would require a staff to be marked both beginning orchestral and ending orchestral.  I chose 17th century and a 20th century examples to show that this isn't a "flash in the pan".

There are also various nested orchestral markings and grandstaff overlapping orchestral.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Peter Edwards on 2007-09-21 04:32 pm
The Handel example of a brace on a brace is just an old-fashioned variant of the Grand Staff on brace which appears in the Beethoven.  I can't say I'd lose too much sleep about not having it.

The single staff orchestral barace could be achieved in the same way as a single staff Grand Staff, that is layer an upper and a lower staff together.

Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-21 09:04 pm
Lawrie, I must agree with bidderxyzzy here.
The great fun of barbershop music is that the performances are done without sheet music. That means that whenever barbershoppers meet, and if T-L-B-B (Tenor, Lead, Bari, Bass) are present, you can sing together - you know the words, the music, the works!
Never done it myself, but my wife has, for many years. As in the Newsgroup, I have been "Eagle Earing" the Noteworthy files for them. Many barbershop choruses in Holland use Noteworthy.
cheers,
Rob.
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-21 09:53 pm
G'day Rob,
oops, mustn't have been very clear - it was the 0.1% part of the comment I was referring to...  I reckon that, warts and all, NWC is getting this right more often than 0.1% of the time hence my remark that I feel he is exaggerating...
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: bidderxyzzy on 2007-09-24 04:03 am
   First, I never would consider a singer more computer savvy than I am "competition".  On the other hand, he is the last person to whom I would want to explain why I used an ugly kludge to get a desired result. 

   If you read back to my comment about adding braces and brackets graphically, you will see that I can get all the results in the previous post by Mr. Alberga just by setting no staff to orchestral, and invisibly fixing things in the print image.  Please note also, that only the  Thompson_Four_Saints.jpg actually uses a grand staff.  The first two use the curly brace in the same way that the third uses nested brackets, notation I have never seen for the obvious reason that the only time I look at a full orchestral score is when I need to take an opera or oratorio chorus and boil it down to four voices and something my conductor can turn into a piano accompaniment.  I don't pretend to be anything but an advocate for my subspecialty. 

   As far as "backward compatibility" goes, I think it very unlikely that fixing this problem would change the result of a successful kludge, except to make it unnecessary.  I leave it to the usual gadflies to provide a counterexample. 
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-24 04:32 am
G'day bidderxyzzy,
First, I never would consider a singer more computer savvy than I am "competition".  On the other hand, he is the last person to whom I would want to explain why I used an ugly kludge to get a desired result. 

Ya never know - s/he might understand completely - or even have some better ideas!  :)

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<snip>
I don't pretend to be anything but an advocate for my subspecialty. 

Allsame the rest of us - but I do try to be open minded about others peoples needs and not simply focussed on my own.  This is not criticism BTW, just an observation.

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As far as "backward compatibility" goes, I think it very unlikely that fixing this problem would change the result of a successful kludge, except to make it unnecessary.  I leave it to the usual gadflies to provide a counterexample. 

I dunno...  Maybe it would, maybe not - it will depend entirely on the current code and how the putative change is impemented.  I imagine you are correct, but I don't know.

Ya know, I've never been called a gadfly before - do ya think i could get much altitude?  How hard would I have to flap my itty bitty wings?  I'm pretty heavy ya know, but I've always dreamt of being able to fly!   ;)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: David Palmquist on 2007-09-24 04:49 am
Hmm.

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2 : a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism
(Mirriam-Webster)

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1. A persistent irritating critic; a nuisance.
2. One that acts as a provocative stimulus; a goad.
(The Free Dictionary)

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2. a person who persistently annoys or provokes others with criticism, schemes, ideas, demands, requests, etc. 
  (Dictionary.com)

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"Gadfly" is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempt to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.
(Wikepedia)


Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Lawrie Pardy on 2007-09-24 05:21 am
Aww shucks David - does that mean I won't be able to fly afterall?  ...  

<sigh> another dream gone...

;)
Title: Re: The Orchestral Staff Attribute Bug
Post by: Rob den Heijer on 2007-09-24 09:10 am
G'day Rob,
oops, mustn't have been very clear - it was the 0.1% part of the comment I was referring to...  I reckon that, warts and all, NWC is getting this right more often than 0.1% of the time hence my remark that I feel he is exaggerating...
There's truth in that! The good thing is, together we have made a few points clear.
Sorry I misunderstood you.
cheers,
Rob.