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Topic: Various suggestions (Read 11483 times) previous topic - next topic

Various suggestions

Just some a couple of random things I always wished I could have in NWC and that'd be great to see in NWC2 if possible:

- beaming notes over bar lines (REALLY helpful; like here)

- tenor clef (rarely used, but nice to have handy and easy to add methinks)

- tying between enharmonics (i.e. being able to tie from D# to Eb)

- (edit) oh and I forgot to mention that the squiggly for rolling chords would be very useful!

As for the new stuff in NWC2, it's extremely awesome! The new slurring and (de)crescendi features are great, but I have to say that the slurring system seems a bit tight to me at the moment; it adjusts to the notehead of the last note and so when (in, say, a four note slurred phrase) the first three notes (though this could be any number) have their stems down and the fourth its stem up, the slur practically collides where the stem and notehead meet. Also, and this is a very picky and particular thing, it might look a bit better if the beginning of slurs were more rounded and maybe even started just a millimeter or two back (from where it is now).

In any event, fantastic job so far on NWC2, the improvements have been great!

 

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #1
  • I'm sure there are workarounds for beaming across bar lines.  I made a hack using two layered staves, which is attached.
  • You can insert the Tenor clef through Insert-Clef-Tenor.
    Here's an example:
Code: [Select · Download]
|Clef|Type:Tenor|OctaveShift:None|Color:0|Visibility:Default
    [/li]
  • There are probably workarounds for tying enharmonic notes.
  • Your squiggly for arpeggios, the image is available in any -Dings fonts by Lawrie Pardy, available at http://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful.html#Fonts.  The sound would have to be put on a separate staff that's hidden.
I"m sure some other users will chime in here, so this is just my bit.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #2
Quote
tying between enharmonics (i.e. being able to tie from D# to Eb)

I'm not sure I've ever seen this - but if it's what you want to do, use layered staffs.


On the top staff:
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:#2^
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:#2|Visibility:Never
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End

On the bottom staff:
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Rest|Dur:Whole|Visibility:Never
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:b3
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End



Re: Various suggestions

Reply #3
Quote
- beaming notes over bar lines
I have a workaround for this, but I would rather not have to use it.
It would be very nice to have it native to the program.
Quote
- tying between enharmonics
This is not done.  Tie from D# to D# (even if the key changes from, say, B Major to Eb Major), then all subsequent occurrences are called Eb.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #4
I have a workaround for this, but I would rather not have to use it.
It would be very nice to have it native to the program.

Those were my thoughts; I like that workaround kahman but it's a lot of effort (compared to highlighting and Ctrl-B, as is possible across rests) for something relatively simple and very useful.

This is not done.  Tie from D# to D# (even if the key changes from, say, B Major to Eb Major), then all subsequent occurrences are called Eb.

I've definitely seen it in choral music (pain to sight sing because you're tempted to move), though very rarely.

David- that's definitely a viable solution (though Eb to D# would probably look a bit better; the tie looks funky the other way around). The suggestion is starting to sound silly to me because it's not really worth implementing given how rarely it occurs or is desired (especially versus K.A.T.'s pointer about tying to the same note again and then changing all subsequent notes appropriately).

kahman- I never noticed that we had tenor clef! Talk about observational skills. Thanks for pointing that out.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #5
The nice thing about NWC and NWC2 is the size and price of the program.  A lot of things are possible in this program with the tools that are available, that if programmed would start to cost heavily.

It is also ridiculously easy to learn the basics, and as you gain experience, if you can't discover the way to do something in help, you just need to pop in to the forum and you'll probably get answers within hours.


Re: Various suggestions

Reply #6
The workarounds for beaming across barlines do not always work.

Many of the User Wishes for NWC2 would require changes to the way objects are stored.  Beaming enhancements should not.

You can beam across a Rest, RestChord, Dynamic, TempoVariance, Instrument, MPC, PerformanceStyle, Tempo, SustainPedal, Text and DynamicVariance.  I can't see why a beam must break for a Bar, Clef, Flow, TimeSig, Key or Ending. Ties can be interrupted by all objects (except a Clef), why all the restrictions on beams?

The logic to position, start, and stop slurs at a system break is already in NWC2.  It should not take too much to apply it to beams.

I look forward to the day when this:
Code: [Select · Download]
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:-6|Opts:Stem=Up,Beam=First
|Note|Dur:8th|Pos:1|Opts:Stem=Down,Beam=End
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End
will produce a proper "knee".  Currently, producing a knee requires 2 layers and digital whiteout.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #7
Quote
I've definitely seen it in choral music...
I've seen a lot of things in print that aren't correct also.
A lot of things...

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #8
Tying between enharmonics is most certainly done. Take a look at Gounod's Sanctus in the bass part. On measure 62 there is a tie between G-flat and F-sharp (different enharmonic spellings of the same note). It is actually confusing because five measures later there is a slur between G and F-sharp that looks similar, but is clearly different. One has to look carefully to know that in the first instance the basses are singing the same note on the dotted-half and the dotted quarter-note -- and it is tied -- and in the second they drop a half-step from G to F-sharp!

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #9
It's important to write for the musician who will read the notation.  If you expect it will be sight-read during performance, or only briefly rehearsed before performance, you should make the notation as easy as possible to understand.  That means getting rid of these rare usages, because they just aren't "known." 

If the person is going to study the score and rehearse it to death, you possible can afford to be a little less clear, but then, to what purpose?

In concert band and pit orchestra music, I think the most difficult parts to interpret on the fly are those that are extracted by those who stick with the theory and don't enharmonically transpose notes so they're easiest to understand.  A reed player plays one note at a time, and doesn't need usually to understand the "correct" spelling of the chord his note belongs to (although some would argue the point).

 


Re: Various suggestions

Reply #10
As I've noted, I've seen a lot of things in print that aren't correct.  I suppose the Gounod Sanctus should be added to that list.  Some things should not be done simply because they can be done. 
Quote
It is actually confusing...
and that would be why. 
Quote
It's important to write for the musician who will read the notation
whether
Quote
it will be sight-read during performance, or only briefly rehearsed before performance,
or one might
Quote
rehearse it to death.
Quote
the most difficult parts to understand are those that are extracted by those who stick with the theory and don't enharmonically transpose notes
Ding!  Another point for Mr. Palmquist.  Always write horizontally, as that's the way it will be read.  There (usually) is no need for vertical correctitudes.  [Like that word?]  There was only one time in all my years of playing orchestra music that F F# Fn was preferable to F Gb F, and that was for intonation purposes only (yes, it made a difference, surprisingly).  It was still annoying to read the first few times, until I Noteworthyed it.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #11
If you're a singer then it can be very helpful. In a chord progression Ab G#7 C# for instance where you are asked to sing the root notes then the interval Ab to C# is not very obvious, but change it to G# (tied to the Ab) then it immediately stands out as a perfect 4th.

Singers, you see, have to understand the key structure since they don't have a mechanical method for producing the correct pitch.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #12
I would simply change the chord progression to Ab Ab7 Db.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #13
Two points:

1) I was pointing out the Gounod Sanctus as an example of what has been done. That does not imply that it should be done that way. It would be better to write in such a way as to not be confusing. My church choir which recently did that piece as an anthem (Easter Sunday) has a very wide range of abilities. Very few of us have the ability to read music well enough to examine intervals, understand chord structure, or understand the key signature in more than a rudimentary fashion. I am one of the exceptions, although I have no formal training in music theory, I am also one of the soloists (bass-baritone) and sometimes I am not even available for rehearsals, but I can read well enough that most of the pieces we do I can show up on the day of performance and do far better than most of those who have been to several rehearsals. However, even I found that particular part confusing! On the other hand, that was the way it was done by the publisher. So you can be stuck, in producing rehearsal parts or whatever. I use NWC for individual rehearsal of my part when necessary and for arranging solo pieces and for doing some of my own pieces for the choir as a whole or for our organist, etc. However, when we first read the Sanctus, I did not have to time to look at my part with NWC. It took our Soprano soloist who is working on her doctorate in music to point it out. I guess we all make mistakes or get lazy sometimes. The publishers should not have done it that way, but they did!

2) With regard to singers, most of the time I do not pay that much attention to intervals, unless it there is no other way to figure out the pitch. I don't know of very many singers, even with solo quality voices and professional level abilities who would spend that kind of time. I can read that well, but I would not even bother. Most of the time I can get my pitch from either my previous note or another part, but I don't have to think about it or analyze. Most of the members of my choir would not even be capable of thinking that far. Even though I am capable of making that kind of analysis, I generally do not have to -- I simply instinctually, below the level of consciousness, know where my pitch is and how to get there without gliding to the note or any other mistake of that sort. And it is no different than any other instrument player who does not look at the keys on his piano, or where his or her fingers are on the fingerboard of his/her violin, etc. I am very, very good, so I do know what I am talking about and my only instrument is my voice. My hands do not work well enough to play the piano anymore because of arthritis.

The short and long of it is that composers/arrangers/publishers should try to make things with as little confusion as possible for the sake of the poor performer, but they often do not. And if you are simply using NWC to reproduce someone else's work you may not have a lot of choice or risk creating even more confusion. (Sorry this is so long). Anyway, I think it would be nice to have sufficient bells and whistles in NWC to make it possible to reproduce things as written when necessary, even though it might be wrong in theory, just because it can create more confusion to try to change things -- remember the enemy of good is perfect!

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #14
Wow, what a great snooze I just had!

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #15
Quote
I would simply change the chord progression to Ab Ab7 Db.

That's a bit presumptious of you. The piece in question changes key from Eb major to C# minor at that point so your treatment would be musically totally incorrect and utterly confusing to anyone who did have a proper understanding of music.

Quote
Very few of us have the ability to read music well enough to examine intervals, understand chord structure, or understand the key signature in more than a rudimentary fashion.

I'd dispute that. I accept that some people cannot actually make any sense (musically) of a score but the majority of singers do understand the number of steps between two notes and fit those to the current key. But if the key changes then that approach doesn't help, and you have to work out what the next note is in some other way.

Whatever your preference (tonic solfa soh/doh; harmony analysis V/I; interval analysis perfect 4th) you have to calculate what is happening, and G# to C# is much easier to see than Ab to C#.

There is a genuine need for enharmonic spellings and to argue that just because people personally can't see the use for them is not a valid reason to suppress them for everyone else.  Presumably in a similar vein you'd like to suppress double sharps and flats too!


Re: Various suggestions

Reply #16
Quote
Presumably in a similar vein you'd like to suppress double sharps and flats too!

Would not that be presumptuous on your part?

...as he ducks quickly....

:-)
John

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #17
...
I'd dispute that. I accept that some people cannot actually make any sense (musically) of a score but the majority of singers do understand the number of steps between two notes and fit those to the current key. But if the key changes then that approach doesn't help, and you have to work out what the next note is in some other way.

Whatever your preference (tonic solfa soh/doh; harmony analysis V/I; interval analysis perfect 4th) you have to calculate what is happening, and G# to C# is much easier to see than Ab to C#. ...

This is simply a wrong assumption. Many people who sing in church choirs have little training. They know no more than that their part goes up or down. I have sung in such choirs since I was a little boy (I am now 55 and have been singing church for nearly fifty years). It can be frustrating for a trained singer, because learning notes is like pulling teeth. ... I try to patient and understanding, but I know people who aren't, and it creates friction and I have seen some very bad "scenes" as a result.

Nor do even well trained singers engage in the kind of technical analysis you suggest. There is not enough time. The director does make such an analysis when necessary to help him understand the piece in order to direct it properly. The performer does not. I am a performer who is capable of making the analysis -- it just is not done, generally! When I make such an analysis, it is because there is a dissonance or other difficulty in the piece, where it helps me understand my part and when it is difficult to "hear" my note from whatever else may be going on. Many other members of the choir simply have to tune to those of us with the best pitch sense. And it is exactly that a sense -- an unconscious knowing, not a technical analysis.

What you suggest would be like Tiger Woods technically analyzing his stroke on every shot or a Michael Jordan thinking about every move. It does not happen.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #18
I meant to add that I was not against having the ability to properly tie enharmonic spellings. Read my previous posts. All I said was that the particular case was confusing, even to someone who is well-trained. Despite that, it would be wrong to simply change something simply because it is confusing. It is part of the key structure of the piece. A better suggestion for clearing up the confusion would have been to flag the instance in some way and provide a footnote to the effect that the G-flat and the F-sharp were the same (the problem was that the flat for the G was in the key signature and the sharp on the F was an accidental). I have seen such footnotes. It was not done in this case, but would have been helpful. However, it would be wrong to simply change the notes as written for several reasons -- it can only create more confusion for those who are looking at the original score as well, and it is also theoretically wrong because of the modulation that is going on. As I said, it would be nice to have more "bells and whistles" in NWC, not fewer because there is some sort of "work around."

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #19
Quote
That's a bit presumptious of you.
Well, yes, it is.  I presumed the key changes from Eb major to C# Major because the
Quote
chord progression Ab G#7 C#
implies Major if minor is not stated.  I don't know the piece in question so I had to presume.  If minor had been specified, my reply would have read differently, but I'm still sure there is a clearer way to notate the passage. 
Quote
There is a genuine need for enharmonic spellings and to argue that just because people personally can't see the use for them is not a valid reason to suppress them for everyone else. 
I totally agree.
Quote
Presumably in a similar vein you'd like to suppress double sharps and flats too!
Don't presume that.  I use x and bb more than anyone else I know.  Even in jazz charts.  My bandmates usually (always?) need to ask "What's that thing in front of the C in bar 33?"  I use them to make the music look the way it sounds.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #20
Quote
Nor do even well trained singers engage in the kind of technical analysis you suggest. There is not enough time.

Oh yes they do. I don't mean that they actually name the interval as they sing it, but they certainly recognise it, in exactly the same way as keyboard players recognise chords as they play them.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #21
Woah, intense. While it's true that members of church choirs often don't have training, that does not represent the entire body of volunteer choirs. I'm 16 and a member of Canticum Novum, an entirely volunteer choir, and most of the singers are excellent sightsingers, the rest are at least good and quick learners, and several have studied quite a bit of music and have a fair amount of technical training both in singing and theory.

I don't consider myself a "well trained singer" but I've worked hard to develop the relative pitch and sightsinging that I have in addition to music theory, and even if I'm not consciously marking every harmonic progression into the score I certainly recognize the chords and make an effort to contextualize as much of the music as possible. Part of that is just doing a brief technical analysis to yourself, and if some 16 year old kid from New York can do it I think professional singers can (and do) as well.

What you suggest would be like Tiger Woods technically analyzing his stroke on every shot or a Michael Jordan thinking about every move. It does not happen.

It's not too difficult to imagine Tiger Woods walking away from that last shot thinking, "The stroke was too heavy and angled a little off, I should've taken the wind into consideration. Execution was alright though..." I know next to nothing about golf but regardless of how inaccurate my example, the point stands that they are probably always judging their move and always trying to learn what they can from their mistake (or success), no matter how great or small.

As I said, it would be nice to have more "bells and whistles" in NWC, not fewer because there is some sort of "work around."

That's what I was thinking, I love the versatility and possibilities in layering staves and making notes hidden and all sorts of sneaky puzzle stuff that you can do in NWC but even just going back to being able to beam across barlines, that occurs pretty often in music and would be helpful to have as a feature as easily implemented (if I'm not mistaken) as beaming across rests (and it occurred to me now that beaming across clefs and key signatures would also be helpful).

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #22
What happens "all the time" in one person's opinion, "seldom occurs" in someone else's world.  That's ok.  We have diverse backgrounds and experiences.  I think the points I wanted to make are primarily:
  • Know who you're notating for
  • Know their expectations
  • Know how they are likely going to interpret what they read
  • Give them a chance to successfully play your music

What I want from NWC is a program that allows me to easily do most of the things that I need when I'm writing out music, provides workarounds for most other things,  and produces a reasonably readable product.  But I don't want the program to take up all the memory in my computer, to take forever to load, to crash frequently, to cost a fortune, to take dozens of hours to learn, and to be very difficult to "end-process" my scores and parts. 

Quote
It's not too difficult to imagine Tiger Woods walking away from that last shot thinking, "The stroke was too heavy and

I agree.  But he has several minutes to reflect and plan his next shot.  The musician performing a part has to react quickly, before the note is played - and 3 beats go by every second in common time at mm=180.   Make it triplet 16th notes, you won't have a lot of time to reflect on how you played the last note before you hit the next one.


Quote
I use x and bb more than anyone else I know.  Even in jazz charts.

I encounter them more often in jazz charts than in concert band music graded at levels 4 and 5.  They're also very common in wind parts in pit orchestra music.

Quote
flag the instance in some way and provide a footnote to the effect that the G-flat and the F-sharp were the same

That's an interesting idea.  We can't assume "one size fits all" and that all musicians will know the theory, but perhaps the level of expertise needed to play your chart would include only those who know how to read well. 

My point was that you should write for the person who you expect will play the part.  If they will be studying the score ahead of time they will have time to read footnotes, but the user of the part may be a musician called in at the last moment to sub, who will sightread 10 to 20 charts in an hour in front of an audience. 

It's fine to be unconventional and write uncommon things, but you risk shooting yourself in the foot when nobody understands how to interpret it.  Notation is just a written common language. 


Re: Various suggestions

Reply #23
I agree with most of David Palmquist's comments. My point was not necessarily about capabilities as what one does in practice. I can do all kinds of analysis of a piece of music, but most of the time that is relevant. Determining pitch -- even for the best singers in sight-reading a new piece or in concert singing something that is well-rehearsed is a matter of a subconscious sense, listening, but not really a matter of analyzing. A lot of times that kind of analysis does no good for the singer because a lot of choral singing is antiphonal so you are reading horizontally. The only time you are looking at other parts is when you need to "hear" your next pitch after several measures of rest from some other part or the accompaniment. If you are learning music theory, it's a good exercise, but a performer does things not as a calculation, but from subconscious memory without thinking -- just like an athlete. Tiger Woods does not analyze every stroke, but he might if he was doing something consistently wrong or he wanted to do something special. The same is true of the vocal performer -- or even an instrumentalist -- a good musician does not do an in depth analysis -- except for maybe the director -- on every piece, but every once in a while, there might be a strange dissonance, or something else unusual or a particular difficulty in finding the pitch, etc. In the Gounod that I mentioned, the problem I was talking about was not a matter of anything that was theoretical wrong or difficult, but a matter of editing -- a matter of the way it was presented to the performer. The same rhythmic figure occurs several times in the passage I am talking about. In the subsequent instances, the bass part does indeed move down by a half-step. Only the first instance, is there a G-flat tied to an F-sharp. That instance is also at the bottom of the page and at the beginning of the last staff on the page. All of those facts make it confusing to even someone like me who is a soloist and who sight reads very, very well. And if it was confusing to me, it most certainly was confusing to less well-trained singers. That's why I think the editor could have been more helpful. Anyway, I only intended that as an example of a tie between different enharmonic spellings of the same note. That does occur.

As far as church choirs, I think nearly fifty years of experience is sufficient: They come in all kinds of abilities. I have sung in groups that had a very level of knowledge and ability. But most of the time the sanctuary choir, unless you want to hire pros, is made up of a handful of people with real ability and the rest do not read music that well and are followers -- good followers, and often very dedicated -- but they are not capable of any kind of theoretical analysis. If you talked about tonic and dominant and the like, you would get a puzzled look. They look at a key signature and all they know is how many sharps or flats there are. Most of the time you are lucky if you have any real tenors, most of the tenor section is made up of mostly baritones who can get up high enough to sing an average tenor part. I have more than enough range to sing both tenor and bass, but I can't do both at the same time. And singing on the edges of one's range is hard on the voice. So I only occasionally help the "tenor" section. Most church choir directors are also aware of all this so they take such facts and limitations into account when they pick pieces for the choir.

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #24
I think we basically agree, Doc. 

Since you're into choral music, I posted images of all the pages of my great-great grandfather's tune book, dated 1843, on flickr.com.  You're welcome to go there and print out any pages that interest you.  They're not in order, but I've tried to include the page numbers in the file names.

http://flickr.com/photos/74689067@N00/sets/72157594503455058/

Re: Various suggestions

Reply #25

Since you're into choral music, I posted images of all the pages of my great-great grandfather's tune book, dated 1843, on flickr.com.  You're welcome to go there and print out any pages that interest you.  They're not in order, but I've tried to include the page numbers in the file names.

Thanks! That's interesting, I'll take a look at it.

My only message is that one needs to be kind to your performers, know their limitations. And even trained singers are fallible. I just think that as far as NWC there needs to be sufficient "bells and whistles" to do the job without making the program too costly and that the need for "work arounds" should be minimized to the extent possible to reduce frustration. And as far as the specific issue of enharmonic spellings, you cannot just change something in someone else's work or you risk even greater confusion from the performers, but you need to be able to find other ways to minimize confusion. As I said, even I initially missed what was going on in the Gounod and the editor could have been more helpful.