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The Land Sighting Horror
      As promised, here is described the horror of using NoteWorthy to engrave a score which needed to be presentable enough to be used for more than the composer/arranger's scribbling.

   Toward the end of 2006, I was given the job of preparing NoteWorthy scores for the eighteen works to be sung in May 2007 by the choral society of which I am Librarian and Baritone Voice Leader.  Mostly this was reasonably straightforward, as Sharp Eye is rather good at scanning good quality scores published in the last fifty or sixty years.  Three of the works, however, were in manuscript, and the one here described was the worst of the lot.  As a quick glance at the scanned page attached as Land Sighting001.gif will reveal, it would be hopeless to expect anyone but Robert Wilson, our former accompanist and creator of this scribbled mess, to play or sing from these pages. 

   Believe it or not, Sharp Eye actually found all the bar lines and nearly a third of the notes, which provided a sufficient base from which to complete the score using it's truly marvelous proofing facility, which I believe is faster than anything but a perfect performance on a MIDI keyboard, which I have, but not sufficient skill to use.  I then passed the output of Sharp Eye through a midi file to NoteWorthy, converted the unholy messes of tied notes that represent triplets (how about detecting these, at least most of the time, automatically?), expanded the abbreviations for the numerous extended trills and replaced the symbols for repeated figures with copies of the figures in question. 

   At this point, I had eight staves, one for each choral division and two for each hand of the accompaniment, which is probably the minimum for any notation processor which actually tries to understand the music, as it must to play the score, and this was suitable as a home study aid where the voices really wanted to be separate and the keyboard parts could be suppressed.  I then went through the rather subtle drudgery of hiding redundant notation, and adjusting notes that would otherwise improperly overlap when the staves were layered, to make a score suitable for printing. 

   Here I encountered the "Orchestral Staff Property" bug.  I'm sure everyone reading this knows what it is, so I won't belabor the point except to note that it is listed as fixed in NoteWorthy 2 and has a line in the "What's New" section of the help file.  They lie.  The behavior of NW2 and NW1 are identical.  As it would be absolutely unthinkable to either omit the orchestral brackets or present the results NoteWorthy produces in a score to be displayed in public, I drew on my expertise in document restoration and forgery to correct the problem graphically, using the two NW2 files attached, printed and scanned, and as it turned out, I needed to do this twice.

   I blithely prepared and had printed a nine page score for the piece, and distributed it with the rest of the music at our first rehearsal of the spring term in February 2007.  The print proved too small for most of our membership to read, so I prepared a score in what was judged by a committee to be the smallest easily readable point size, and this is the twenty-two page version I would love to attach as a Microsoft Word file.  In several places, I could get only three measures per page, (one such measure is attached as Land Sighting 3 008.gif) and so the accompanist who replaced the virtuostic Mr. Wilson got a page turner for the first and last time in my tenure with the club, and still struggled with the piano part, which would in fact be the most interesting feature of this piece, if played really well.

Conclusions

   The best way of solving this problem would be for NoteWothy to understand things like the beamed open headed notes indicating a trill and the big sort of percent sign that indicates a repeated figure.  While you are at it, putting in notation for arpeggios, turns and other ornaments, also to be understood by the notation to midi-event processor, as simple grace notes are now, would be a good idea.  In the end, the "Moonlight" example file should play as it does now, but with no hidden staves.

   Failing this, nearly all numbers in NoteWorthy could be made signed floating point, including the "extra" note space attribute.  The staff position attribute is already signed, and I understand from discussion elsewhere in this forum that the internal representation of things like stem lengths are already non integral, so this massive but straightforward overhaul, mostly but not completely confined to the header files, should be doable.  True, a meaning and print representation for a tempo indication of "-33.333333" must be found, and notes probably shouldn't be allowed to migrate to the left of a note preceding them (though overlap really should be considered ok), but I have always found that being maximally canonical in language definition is best for both the user and implementer.  (My day job, before I retired, was in software development.)

   Finally, to those who have reacted to my previous recitals of obvious bugs with drastic consequences and minimal effort to fix by saying "what do you expect from a beta level product", I can only ask how many multiple years are legitimate for a so called beta test?  Or is NW2, for all of it that has been done, really just vaporware?  I hope not.  NoteWorthy's unique ability as a superior sound-attached-to-notation generator is something I and my Club depend on, and while we could survive on NW1 indefinitely, I really would like to be able to print a score and not be embarrassed by it's appearance.

  • Last Edit: 2007-09-12 06:03 am by bidderxyzzy

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #1
G'day bidderxyzzy,
RE: handwritten score - I've had to try to read worse and it ain't fun - this is one of the things I use NWC to compensate for too.

bug - I ain't gonna be drawn back into that - I think I'm right, you think you are - others will draw their own conclusions.  However, I do agree it is a design issue that needs to be addressed.

<snip>
Conclusions

   The best way of solving this problem would be for NoteWothy to understand things like the beamed open headed notes indicating a trill and the big sort of percent sign that indicates a repeated figure.  While you are at it, putting in notation for arpeggios, turns and other ornaments, also to be understood by the notation to midi-event processor, as simple grace notes are now, would be a good idea.  In the end, the "Moonlight" example file should play as it does now, but with no hidden staves.

All this would be nice, in the meantime see the attachment for an effective workaround for tremolo's (a trill is a specific form of tremolo).  The file is a cut down of your attachment.

The big "percent" sign is available in several user fonts I've produced as it is in Boxmarks - add it as a text entry and hide the notes doing the work...

Arpeggios, turns, acciaccaturas, appogiaturas etc. are so open to interpretation depending on the era of the musics' writing that attempting to interpret automagically would be painful - though still very welcome - provided there were sufficient controls available to manage the interpretation.


Quote
   Failing this, nearly all numbers in NoteWorthy could be made signed floating point, including the "extra" note space attribute.  The staff position attribute is already signed, and I understand from discussion elsewhere in this forum that the internal representation of things like stem lengths are already non integral, so this massive but straightforward overhaul, mostly but not completely confined to the header files, should be doable.  True, a meaning and print representation for a tempo indication of "-33.333333" must be found, and notes probably shouldn't be allowed to migrate to the left of a note preceding them (though overlap really should be considered ok), but I have always found that being maximally canonical in language definition is best for both the user and implementer.  (My day job, before I retired, was in software development.)

Cutting out the waffle, sub integer (floating point) and negative number controls for object placement would be very nice!

Quote
   Finally, to those who have reacted to my previous recitals of obvious bugs with drastic consequences and minimal effort to fix by saying "what do you expect from a beta level product", I can only ask how many multiple years are legitimate for a so called beta test?  Or is NW2, for all of it that has been done, really just vaporware?  I hope not.  NoteWorthy's unique ability as a superior sound-attached-to-notation generator is something I and my Club depend on, and while we could survive on NW1 indefinitely, I really would like to be able to print a score and not be embarrassed by it's appearance.

I agree - at this stage "What do you expect from a beta" is a cop-out.  Nevertheless, "What do you expect from a $39 US product" is a relevant point.

As I've mentioned numerous times on this forum, I've "auditioned" many notation products - many with just about exactly the bells and whistles you're asking for - and they're all far more difficult to use and don't really give that much better - and often not as good - results.  At upwards of 10 times the price (actually, some of them are upwards of 30 times the price) none of them can compete with NWC's user interface and flexibility.

I would rather notate ornaments manually in a hidden staff than put up with the disgusting user interfaces that other vendors provide - I would prefer it even more if NWC allowed me to notate the ornaments natively - with proper controls over behaviour as previously stated.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #2
Well, I got up to about measure 28 with some ideas (about 4 hours). Tremolos, fractional (and negative) notespacing sure would help. And at some point, augmentation dots must be fixed. The workarounds for these are brutal.
Registered user since 1996

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #3
In a modest way I too have produced  "proper"  scores from hand written and somewhat complex originals, so I have some sympathy with the complaints registered.    But before buying NWC I used trial versions of around 12 other notation programs. None matched NWC in  ease of use and value for money.
I  would be reluctant to criticise anything but basic faults with the program.

Tony

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #4
Quote
I  would be reluctant to criticise anything but basic faults with the program.

Damning praise indeed!!

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #5
Barry,

I perhaps explained myself too simply. I do not expect NWC to have all the features of, say, Sibelius; and I I would nor criticise a  to me minor omission in NWC  or something that doesn/t work exactly how I would like.
Tony

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #6
Lawrie

   Thank you!  Your suggestions are all workable, if not ideal.  This whole area of trickery, like combining a text expression in a music font with the blank note head attribute, is something I had not thought of at all.  I suppose with practice it will become natural, but I still would like to have NoteWorthy understand my intent directly.

   And yes, NoteWorthy is an amazing bargain.  And I agree, though I haven't looked that broadly at the issue, and have some complaints about NoteWorthy's interface, that it is the best around (except for Sharp Eye, which is not just in another league, but another game).  I just think that there are a few needless nits about NoteWorthy's performance that needlessly put it in the non-serious or even toy category.

Rick

   Fantastic!  Blank note heads and no stem!  I was wondering how to handle the difference between a short tremolo and two notes, beyond leaving the measure unfilled, as Mr. Wilson did in measure 16.  If your notation isn't already standard, it should be.

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #7
Both Lawrie and my hacks show the need for NoteWorthy to make the system font always available and properly scaled as a Text font. NWC2STDA as a User Font only scales and aligns properly in a subset of available System sizes.
Registered user since 1996

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #8
Lawrie
   Thank you!  Your suggestions are all workable, if not ideal.  This whole area of trickery, like combining a text expression in a music font with the blank note head attribute, is something I had not thought of at all.  I suppose with practice it will become natural, but I still would like to have NoteWorthy understand my intent directly.
<snip>

A pleasure.

Both Lawrie and my hacks show the need for NoteWorthy to make the system font always available and properly scaled as a Text font. NWC2STDA as a User Font only scales and aligns properly in a subset of available System sizes.

I concur.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #9
bidderxyzzy, I use Sharpeye too, and it produces a lot of errors, but I don't expect miracles.  Fortunately it identifies many of them, and generally I'm satisfied with what it can do. Editing in Sharpeye requires a lot of mousing.  I find it easier to do the editing in NWC.  Either way, Sharpeye cuts my input time by about a third, I think, but does produce artifacts that NWC2 won't recognize. 

Instead of creating a midi file with Sharpeye and importing that, try saving as a MusicXML file.  Then use the xml2nwcc.exe freeware program to convert the MRO file to NWC2.  Works like a charm.  And very quick.

You need to search this forum to find out how to acquire xml2nwcc.exe - I am falling asleep as I type so can't do it for you just now.  I think it's somewhere on the Niversoft site, but there's better info in the forum....zzzz




Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #10
Noteworthy surely has the best advisory board. Hardly ever fails, and it keeps surprising me.

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #11
You need to search this forum to find out how to acquire xml2nwcc.exe - I am falling asleep as I type so can't do it for you just now.  I think it's somewhere on the Niversoft site, but there's better info in the forum....zzzz

It's here

http://www.niversoft.com/downloads/mxml2nwcc.zip

Rich.

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #12
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Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #13
Is that a flat-brim Stetson?

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #14
   I think he's just resting his case !!


Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #15
   Most of the notation I am looking for is in MARL.TTF and TUFA.TTF available free at http://www.cerlsoundgroup.org/cgi-bin/Lime/Windows.html.  Lime is one of those wonderfully complete and capable and cheap engravers with, for me, two fatal drawbacks.  The interface is too complex and too infused with pen-and-paper engraving traditions, and it requires a postscript printer (or alternative like ghost script).  On the other hand, it's manual is a good tutorial on what correct notation is.

   I must say, too, that the NoteWorthy system font is incredibly impoverished compared to all others I have found around the net.  An excuse for not implementing the features? 

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #16
You're right, the user interface is awful - so much mousing - Aaaarrrrgggghhhhhh

As for symbol availability - did you check out Boxmark2 or any of my *Dings suites on the Scripto?  I think you'll find a goodly number of the symbols you're wanting - perhaps all...  Even if they don't have any effect on playback.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: The Land Sighting Horror
Reply #17
   Oops, I spoke too soon.  On examining the latest Lime 9.00 I find that they have gained the ability to print directly to a Windows printer.  The thing really shows its MAC origins.  There's no installation, in the Windows sense; you just run the .EXE from anywhere!   And they've added import of NIFF and MusicXML files. 

   It's still useless to me for my main application, though, because playback is limited to the piano instrument patch, and the page of music displayed (it's so print oriented it doesn't even have a "print preview", and doesn't need one) doesn't turn or have a note chase.  It might just be useful when I have to print, though.  At least it handles orchestral braces correctly.