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Why do you use Noteworthy?

There must be any number of reasons why people adopt Noteworthy.
 In my case. Although I  have produced professional quality scores for a local choral society from difficult to read hand written originals, I use the program for my own amusement.
I would have very much liked to become a first class organ player, but for various reasons this has not been my fortune.  Using Noteworthy I can transcribe complex organ works and eventually “play” them, using a decent speaker system and a good quality sound card and sound font. I get an esoteric pleasure from listening to “my” playing!
As an example of what an old fellow of 88 years can produce, have a look at my Boellmann “Suite Gothique” in the Scriptorium, transcribed entirely by hand with no score reading software.


Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #1
I'll spare everyone a few "Page Downs" and attach a response.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #2
I mainly use it for transcribing or arranging works for various bands that I've been in over the last ten years or more.

When I first started with Noteworthy Composer, however, I was really taken by how it could empower me to hear keyboard pieces that I wished I was able to play - so long as I had the time to transcribe them. However, time is a scant resource for me nowadays, and my NWC is in partial hiatus.

The main reason I use NWC is that it is so easy to use. Much less fiddly than all those more expensive programs.

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #3
Over the years the reasons why and the ways in which I have used Noteworthy Composer have been numerous.  When I first purchased NWC (version 1.55 on a 3.5" floppy disk in December of 1998) it seemed to me from the forum discussions that a large majority of people used NWC to input orchestral scores for MIDI playback.  This was not the reason I sought out Noteworthy Composer.

The initial reason why I first started using Noteworthy (version 1.55) was to notate and transcribe a piccolo trumpet part for "Let the Bright Seraphim" by Handel that I was performing with a vocalist.  It made it a lot easier to read parts than the ones that I created with my poor handwriting and manuscript paper.  I then continued using NWC to notate and transpose parts for my Bb Trumpet and A Piccolo Trumpet for hymns for Sunday morning services, music for special occasions, and for weddings gigs.  I also used the MIDI playback capability as my accompanist to rehearse and play along with.  With the ability to playback the accompaniment as piano, organ, harpsichord or even full orchestras the variety of styles and genres of music I could rehearse were endless.

About a couple of years after dinking around with Noteworthy in this way, I became music director at a local church and began to use NWC with my choir for its ability to play back midi files on a keyboard.  I would input piano reductions of musical scores, sheet music, and choir octavos.  This allowed for anytime rehearsals with choirs and vocalists when the accompanist was not available and to create rehearsal tapes and CDs to let the musicians and vocalist "hear" their parts and how the music and rhythm should sound.  Shortly after this I began to use NWC to compose original scores for musicals that the drama director at the church and I wrote.

I eventually inherited the worship ensemble at the church on top of the choir and began to start using NWC to create arrangements for the worship band and to create lead sheets for the vocalists.

I've recently taken an 18 month sabbatical from any musical activities but continue to follow the developments of NWC.  I like the recent developments of MBRs, orchestral bracket, and cue size clefs and cannot wait to dive back into composing and arranging with NWC.

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #4
Sometime in the early 2000's - maybe 2002 or 2003 - I reached a stage in my playing in church that having the ability to create a part for me to play became desireable.  Prior to this I usually just played the melody when I had a lead sheet or the root note of the chord if I had just a chord chart.  On a very few occasions I might have a useful brass part and would play that.  I didn't play by ear, and still don't very well, nor could I improvise. 

So I went searching for a notation program to help.  My son had seen a copy of NWC (1.55 I think) floating around and I checked it out.  I found it would do what I needed and the UI was really easy to pick up.  I also looked at several other products that I could get trial copies or found cracked versions of.  None of them were anything like as easy to use as NWC and were soon deleted.

I purchased a copy of V1.75 and away I went.  Early attempts were rather ordinary but I soon got the hang of producing reasonable music sheets.  I've done a lot of arrangements, mainly for myself ('bone, trumpet, euph) but occasionally for my wife too (flute), and sometimes for others but these are rarely taken up.  Another important use is retypesetting charts to reduce page turns.  I can usually get a 3 or 4, sometimes even a 5, page song down to 2 pages.  Really important to me.

I also use it to capture MIDI inputs from a keyboard that one of the guys from church will play so I can notate our "homegrown" music.  I'll then typeset and arrange this for use in church too.

Outside of church I usually use it to rewrite parts for ensembles I play in that are illegible.  I've also tried a few (very few) compiositions of my own but feel that I play better than I write...

I've also transcribed a few things (like that William Tell overture on the Scripto) for my own amusement.  Transcription in one form or another is probably my greatest need, next to using it to generate audio so I can hear how a song or more often a part, goes.

One of the very best things that's come out of NWC for me is how much I've learned about music.  It has been an amazing learning tool for me - encouraging lots of research to improve understanding.  Oh yes, I've also used it to aid in some of the classes I've attended.

I've probably missed stuff...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #5
I earned a master's degree in music theory and composition back in the Bad Old Days (1967) when you either had to do everything by hand or hire a copyist. I couldn't hire a copyist. For my thesis I wrote a piece for concert band and copied it out by hand on transparency paper, using ink, pounce (to roughen the paper), and a glass fiber eraser to clean up the mistakes. If I rubbed through the paper with the eraser I had to do the whole page over. Then I took it to an architectural firm in Spokane, Washington and had blueprints made from the transparencies. That was the "published" score, and it took me more time to prepare it for publication than to write it.

With no music job in the offing, I wrote nonfiction books (13) and eventually took a job as a reference librarian. Kept my hand in music by playing in a couple of folk bands (guitar, pennywhistle kaval, celtic harp) with my wife (fiddle). I did all the arranging for these bands, got tired of copying the arrangements out by hand, and began looking for software, apparently about the same time as Rick G. - used the same DOS software he did. Don't remember when I switched to NWC, but it was back when the program wouldn't superimpose master repeat closes and opens: if you needed to use them back to back (most folk arrangements do), your music would come out with a MR close, a space, and then an MR open. The software has improved immensely since then.

Someplace along the line I started using NWC to transcribe all the pieces I wrote back in grad school when I was going to be the next Beethoven (or possibly the next Schoenberg), and that got me composing again. Today, nearly 70 and retired from my library and writing careers, I once again consider myself a full-time composer. I use NWC to prepare scores and parts, and I even do some of the basic composition at the program instead of at the piano. One of my recent scores, published with NWC, took second place in an international competition sponsored by the American Recorder Society. I belong to a composers' association which produces concerts, all of our own music, so NWC-produced scores are regularly before chamber-music players in my area. The only complaint I've had is that the default lyric font is too small (it is!), so now I automatically enlarge it before printing a piece with a vocal part.

Thanks, Tony, for stimulating these reminiscences!

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #6
When I bought NWC back in 1998, our church just hired a new choir director and I met with him to play a few violin solos.  When I did so he had an anthem for me to read with a violin part--I could learn it but wanted to be able to conjure a choir and organ while rehearsing it.  NWC was suggested by someone on a usegroup for choristers and my early work with it was transcriptions of hard-to-read handwritten choir parts, creating training files for various choruses I was in, and transcribing the Thais Meditation (while working out how to do the three sets of pentuplets in it).

I very much enjoyed the NWC group where various users attached their most recent works and saved many of them.  Some the files I missed the most when an earlier computer died were Nachbaur's creations.  I also enjoy playing files in the Scriptorium and creating violin solos I played in the past and submitting them back to Scriptorium.

One file posted on the usegroup was a string quartet arrangement of "The Heavens Are Telling" by Silas Warner.  As both a violinist who has played a number of Haydn quartets and sung that anthem a few times, I practically adopted the piece.  Silas and I exchanged many emails as his piece evolved and our quartet actually played it.

With the advent of nwctxt both as a file type and the format for clipboard data from a NWC file, I was able to manipulate it first from The Semware Editor and later from webpages using javaScript.  As a (former?) IT guy, this was a natural new hobby.  I might learn enough VBS or PHP to do a regular user tool someday, but for now my webpages will have to suffice.

PS (2018) Rick G showed me how to do user tools in JavaScript:
Since 1998

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #7
Good question Tony.
I joined a Welsh Male Voice Choir in 2001, 10 years after retirement, having a reasonable grasp of music theory and performance from piano lessons during school days, and subsequently playing Piano and Tenor Saxophone in dance bands in my teens and twentys back in the 1940s.  I was computer literate but totally ignorant of MIDI protocol and notation programs.  A friend lent me a copy of Cakewalk which allowed me to learn the principles of MIDI-based music, but didn't produce very good-looking scores.  On the advice of another friend I tried NWC and liked it immediately for its more professional-looking scores and user-friendly interface, so soon became a registered user.

Initially I notated each new (to me) song with piano accomaniment and four parts and made additional training Aids for myself with the Baritone part emphasised.  Eventually a few other choristers heard these creations and begged me to make training aids for all four parts.  Slowly it became an essential part of the Choir's learning process and there's now a rush for me to make and deliver the training aids by email as soon as a new song is issued.  We now have over 200 songs each with 5 separate training aid files for 'Allparts', Tenor1, Tenor2, Baritone and Bass.

Initially for these files to be of any use for choral training all choristers had to use the Evaluation version of nwc1.75, which allowed stopping and starting and repeating of passages anywhere in the score.  Fortunately the new "Viewer" is now ideal for choral training purposes with its ability to pause, stop, repeat and easily change tempo.  The latest improvements to NWC 2.5 will make our scores look highly professional.

"Noteworthy" is almost a magic word among my choir colleagues.

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #8

   My turn!

   Once upon a time - back in the later 40s/early 50s - I was a golden-voiced Treble, leading the Decani section of my school choir.  Learning stuff was a doddle in those days - after all, we Trebles had the tune, and reading the top line of the score was no problem.  In due course, however - and in fact rather later than normal; all that singing has an effect! - my voice broke, and though I turned up for the Treble section practices I found myself attempting to sing the Tenor part ... until, just before the School Carol Service, the Choirmaster took me to one side, grabbed me by the throat, and said, quietly but menacingly, that I could stay in the Choir until after the Service but if so much as a single sound passed my lips he would personally kill me.

   So for the next 30 or so years I was a mere Congregation member, and sang nothing outside the occasional Church Service.

   But then my son, given the opportunity and encouragement, enthusiastically used his talent as a Treble in his school choir (St John's, Cambridge), and in the fullness of time became a solo-quality Bass (at Uppingham) , singing with his Cambridge college choir (Caius) - and now, ten years later, as a Lay Vicar with Salisbury Cathedral.  Somewhere along his way I thought, encouraged by his success, that perhaps I could get back into the Choral business myself.  And so I joined my local village (Haslingfield) choral society, and prepared to sing away joyfully and lustily as a Tenor.

   The Work was Mozart's "Coronation Mass".  Imagine my dismay when I discovered that learning my part, and reading the Tenor line in competition with all the other Voices, was really quite difficult, and that I needed help.

   I felt that technology should come to my assistance, but in those days - the late 80s/early 90s - "technology" was analogue rather than digital, and to start with I reached both for my trusty cassette tape recorder and for the flying fingers of my local piano teacher.  With the two of us listening to a recording of the Work, and her fingers tinkling out the Tenor line, I recorded - on a second recorder - the combination of the two, so that what I ended up with was a rather hissy recording of Mozart's Mass overlaid with my (Tenor) part.  And it worked fine (though, for all the sections of the Mass, it did take quite some time to get things right); at the cost of a box of chocolates and a bouquet, from then on I could listen to, and sing along with, my combination tape while reading the score.  Excellent.  But ... next term's Work was Messiah, and I balked at persuading the piano teacher - who did, after all, have other things to do, by which she earned her living - to help me with all of the 20 or so choruses. Surely, I thought, technology could come to my aid again?

   And lo, the Angel of the Lord ... no, sorry, it was actually Personal Computer World (at the time Britain's biggest computer magazine, but now, sadly, defunct) ... appeared to answer my prayer.  The specific answer came in the shape of an Ad for a free computer program of my choice, from a list, and all I had to do was pay £2.50 for the cost of the disk (a 3.5in floppy) and post and package.  And what was on the list?  Why, a "demo" version of Noteworthy Composer 1.1.  So I sent off the dosh, duly received the disk, installed it (in my old Windows 3.1 machine), and - Hurrah! - it worked perfectly, effortlessly, and was exactly what I needed.  Almost.

   Almost?  Ah, well, first the demo version would only allow me ten saves - but that was a mere irritation, for I discovered that I could open a second, new, Noteworthy score File window and copy and paste the "old" score into the new one and so carry on for another ten "saves" (don't worry, People: once I'd finished Messiah this way - boy, what a job! - I very happily coughed up my $49 and moved up to ... Version 1.3, I think, but that's lost history, and on a much older machine I don't have any more).

   And second?  That derives from why I wanted to do this at all, and how my ideas developed.  Unlike many Noteworthy users, I wasn't at all interested in printing out a score, merely listening to it playing so that I could practise.  My initial purpose, you will recall, was to help me learn my part - the Tenor line in whatever my Choir was singing - and that meant, really, that the Tenor line had to stand out when the file was played, and yet, preferably, all the other parts, and indeed all the backing (usually a piano reduction, most often not played as a piano but "converted" into orchestral sounds), had to be there as well, audible but sufficiently in the background so as not to confuse things.  I needed, then, to selectively emphasise the Tenor so that when I played the File - or, as was more usually the case, an audio recording of the File's output - it was the Tenor line that I actually heard, and could listen to and learn.  Unfortunately, the Noteworthy Composer of those far-off 1.1 days didn't seem to have a native ability for relative output volume adjustment (or if it did I was unable to find it!).  Now, of course, I can see that the MultiPoint Controller provides both Volume and Expression control, and apart from some problems these can help me do what I want.  But then ... I found myself begging for some sort of Mixer Desk system - and this has been a Noteworthy Wish List item for many years - and in due course my prayers were answered by a Freebie version (with an issue of, I think, Practical Computing) of a Sequencer program from Midisoft called "Recording Session", which allowed all sorts of changes of a Midi File on the fly, including savable-adjustment of the output volume.  So, all I had to do was save/output the Noteworthy File in Midi format, load it into "Session", adjust the volume sliders appropriately for each staff/channel in turn, and ... Bob's your Uncle; except for some very odd things introduced into the Midi File by Session, there I was with a suitably emphasised File, and the world was my oyster!

   It was so great having the world in oyster form that I thought that I should share my pleasure, and all my output, with the world.  And more: that if I could make Tenor-emphasised versions of a Work for me, then, in the same way, I could make Alto-emphasised versions for the Contraltos, Bass-emphasised versions for the Basses, and even Soprano-emphasised versions for the Sops (whatever I may have said above about the advantages of being a Treble, there are times when it's surprisingly difficult to pick the Soprano line out from a combination of all Voices).  And so in the early 90's there was born John's "make-and-flog-you-a-voice-emphasised-cassette-tape-for-a-tenner" business which did well, though not well enough for me to give up the day job.

   People were pleased, and grateful.  Well, fairly grateful; some felt that even a fiver was too much!  So eventually I burnished up my halo and decided to set the data base free - to throw open my efforts to the wide world by way of the World Wide Web.  And so in 2004 there was born "John's Midi File Choral Music site", currently residing at www dot learnchoralmusic dot co dot uk, and an ever-increasing collection of (mostly) great Choral Works in Midi form (with versions for all the appropriate Voices) became freely downloadable - a good complement, I hope, to the efforts made by the likes of CPDL, Choralia and CyberBass.

   But I would still like Noteworthy to include a Mixer Board!

   MusicJohn, 3/Sep/11

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #9
After having a stroke in 1998 I needed something for therapy and decided to learn to play an instrument for both dexterity and memory improvement. After 3 years of lessons my teacher got me involved in an orchestra made up of senior citizens

I couldn't read the old scores and someone suggested NWC so I started doing over the parts so I could read them easier.
Shortly after other members asked if I would do over their parts also The the director asked if I could seperate a piano score for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Violins etc .

Since I started I must avve 300 to 400 parts in my computer. This evening I just finished a 3 part Trombone piece
My musical background was as a vocalist

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #11

When PCs became available - I wished to be able to notate and play music by computer.
(My piano lessons had stopped in 1946).
NWC was recommended to me, by my friend, Barry Starfield -
in the days before V1.55, so that I could "do" music for my wife's orchestra(s).
I've been using NWC ever since.

All along, I've very much appreciated the helpful, friendly support of the NWC community
and am VERY thankful for all the User Tools, tips and advice
which have made life so much easier for me.

Yesterday (2011-10-16) Bettie's "Sentrumorkes 2011" had their FINAL performance,
27 years after starting the orchestra at the music center of HOëRSKOOL ROODEPOORT

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #12
Like MusicJohn, I found Noteworthy on a magazine cover disk - I think it was "Computer Shopper" some 17 years ago.  I tried it out on a piece my local Male Voice Choir was singing at a Christmas concert - the existing was hand-scored and difficult to read.  The members loved it!  I registered for the pricely sum of $39 and have not looked back since!  One of the members of the male voice choir I  now sing with uses Harmony Assistant to create MP3 files with the various parts emphasised.  Harmony Assistant can import NWC files, and any pieces I have in NWC he no longer needs to manually input.  One happy man.  I have used NWC on all flavours of Windows from 3.1 upwards, and NWC2 is currently installed on my Win7 Pro notebook.  True enough, one stave, one voice can be a bit tiresome, especially when only one or two "difficult" bars in a piece is involved, but that's what layering is for.  I have tried other score-writing programs, and every time come back to Noteworthy.  Even including the $15 (?) upgrade price, I would challenge anyone to find better value.  Thank you Eric, and a special thank you to the contributors on this forum who have written utilities and created add-ons, and who offer their advice and expertise. 

Re: Why do you use Noteworthy?

Reply #13

Years ago I used the "AccuMusic System" in DOS.  Along came other programs in Win 3.1 and onward. 

Then came NoteWorthy Composer on a Pentium II with Win98.  Since then has come a myriad of other notation software, including Mozart, Myriad, Sibelius, Vocaloid, and a score of others.

Each of them has its strengths.  Those strengths reside in two areas:  the effectiveness of the software itself, and the support standing readily behind it to enhance the effectiveness of the product.

NoteWorthy has remained as the music notation software.

Of them all, NoteWorthy scores for two reasons:

... its ease, logical interface, and efficiency in notating and playing music, and

... the support provided by its user community (not the same as its 'official' software support).

The hard nut to crack has been in showing others, notably music groups already entrenched in Sibelius for many years, how much better NoteWorthy can be.

Ultimately the software itself, supported by its users and by the wealth of scores available on the NoteWorthy Scriptorium, gets the point across.