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Topic: Review of NWC on my blog (Read 1980 times) previous topic - next topic

Review of NWC on my blog
I recently finished a string quartet (written with NWC, of course) and haven't started a new project yet, so I've had a little time on my hands. I used some of it to investigate the wider world of music notation as it currently stands. You can read the result on my blog: here's the link:

http://www.williamashworth.net/blog.htm?post=1073008

While you're on my website, which hosts the blog, you can also listen to some of my music. No scores up yet, though I may eventually post some. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas.

Bill

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #1
Hi
I left you a comment on the blog that's still awaiting moderation,

I wondered if you could post here about adjusting scores for page turns. I have searched and didn't have anything come up. A step-by-step with screen shots helps incompetent people like myself, lol.

Thanks for your help!

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #2
I'm not sure if SEBC is asking for help or just asking for a comment to be added to the blog.  In case it's a call for help, on the top visible staff, press the ] key and select Force a new system.  Since this only works on the staffs that are in the edit window, you'll need to add it whenever you hide the top staff and add it to the first visible one.   But that's OK because each part has its own optimal page turns. 

If the forced page breaks cause some bars near the end of the page before the break to stretch out too far, just add a few system breaks in the last 20 or 30 bars on that preceding page.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #3
Hi

Sorry about being unclear. I'm happy to receive help here, there, and everywhere!

Off to try it! I can't just read it, I have to do it for it to stick. Sometimes, I even need to write it down on a cheat sheet.

Thanks

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #4
Ok, that worked well. Thanks again!

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #5
I'll give you a quick step-by-step run-down here, without screen shots; perhaps someone (perhaps even me) will write a more complete guide to place on the Scriptorium later on.

For adjusting system lengths ("casting off" in publisher's terminology), your main tools are the spacer, the system break (which can also be adapted for use as a page break) and the "Disable Justify" switch in Print Preview.

  • To insert a spacer, press the <Insert> key on your keyboard. Repeated presses will increase the width of the spacer. A spacer overrides the program's automatic spacing, so the space you're adjusting usually shrinks to begin with; it widens again as you keep pressing <Insert>.
  • A system break can be obtained in either of two ways: as an attribute of a barline, or as a boundary object. In either case, it has to be placed on the top staff of the score. Boundary objects are the recommended method. To place one, move the cursor to the measure where you want to begin the new system and press the right bracket key (<]>). Go to the bottom of the "Notation Properties" dialogue box that appears and click the radio button beside "Force a new system (top staff only)". If you want the new system to begin on a new page, click on the "Start a new page" checkoff box on the same line of the dialogue box.
  • To disable justification in Print Preview, press <F11>, or go to the menu (obtained by clicking on the three-line symbol between the two arrows in the top right-hand corner of the screen) and click on "Disable Justify". A red line will appear at the right-hand margin of the page, and each system will shrink to the length it would be with the minimal spacing NoteWorthy considers adequate. The space between the red line and the end of each system is the extra space you will have to work with in that system.

There are a number of places you may want to use these tools - to create convenient page turns in parts, for example, or to move a rehearsal letter or time signature off the beginning of a system - but their most common use is to improve the appearance of the last system. To do this:

(1) go to Print Preview and press <F11>. Look first at the last system. If it contains only one or two measures, you will probably want to try to get those measures up onto the previous system. If it contains three measures or more - but still looks bad - your fix will probably involve bringing one or more measures down from the previous system.

(2) To bring an orphan measure up into the previous system, look back through the score until you find a system with plenty of space at the right end. (It also helps if the first measure in the next system is short enough to almost fit in the space at the end of the previous system that you're working with.) Look for blank places that can be shrunk in the system you've identified. Good candidates are whole notes and whole-measure rests, but you can work with smaller note values if you have to. Press <Insert> to insert a spacer in your chosen blank space - you may also have to insert spacers in the same measure in other staves - and then keep pressing <Insert> to widen the spacer until the measure looks good. Check Print Preview again. If the orphan measure has popped up, you're done. If it hasn't, first try reducing the size of your spacer. (IMPORTANT TIP: do NOT use the <Backspace> key - it will erase the whole spacer. Highlight the spacer, press <Alt><Enter>, and adjust the width in the Properties dialogue box.) If that doesn't work, or if you get it to work but the measure you've been adjusting looks too short, find another spot where there is room at the end of a system and go through the same process again.

(3) to bring a measure down, find a system with very little space at its right end and insert a system break in its last measure. The almost-full system will still look good, and everything below it will bump down, usually all the way to the system you need to fill out. If the last system doesn't change, that means that one of the systems between the break you placed and the end of the piece absorbed the bumped-down measure. That system itself will now be almost full. Use Disable Justify to find it and go through the same process again.

Hope this quick review helps. I'll consider turning it into a pdf, better organized and with screen shots, when I have a bit more time. One more tip: if the score has more than one place where system lengths need adjusting, start with the one closest to the beginning of the score. It is likely to change system breaks all the way down, and you may find that just that one adjustment will fix everything.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #6
Neat trick re [F11], Bill, thank you!

I suggest a couple of minor changes to your forthcoming PDF:
Quote
To insert a spacer, press the <Insert> key on your keyboard. Repeated presses will increase the width of the spacer...
The insert key allows you to insert a spacer or increase its width.  To reduce the width, select the spacer and edit it ([ctrl][e] or [alt][e]) by using the horizontal spacer width window.
Quote
A system break ... has to be placed on the top staff of the score.
should say top staff in the edit window.  You don't always want to display or print the top staff in the score, for instance if you're printing parts.
Quote
...look first at the last system. If it contains only one or two measures, you will probably want to try to get those measures up onto the previous system. If it contains three measures or more - but still looks bad - your fix will probably involve bringing one or more measures down from the previous system.
Even when the score is justified, the last bar often won't extend to the right margin.  To make it do that, add a section close bar line at the end of the last bar and change its properties to forced system break.  

If you end up with some awkwardly stretched bars in the last system, so back 5 or 6 bars and force a system break there.  Do it again 5 or 6 bars earlier, and so on, if needed.

 (A little off topic - generally I stagger the number of bars per system to help the eye move to the next line when reading the printed part.  If the systems all have the same number of bars, it's easy to skip a line when reading a part.)

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #7
Thanks, David. Good suggestions.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #8
Sorry guys for being a bit tardy in my thanks. My notifications were going to my spam folder. I think I have that figured out now.

I am learning new tricks and tools on the forum and thank you for taking time to make it clear for someone who is technically challenged. Pictures will help. Just like with a toddler.

It's nice to know that there is an alternative to shrinking the font sizing to make scores line up better.

Speaking of font sizes, is there a list of standard sizing for different types of composition? I've googled but haven't found anything authoritative.

Many thanks
SEBC

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #9
Speaking of font sizes, is there a list of standard sizing for different types of composition?
No.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #10
Quote
Speaking of font sizes, is there a list of standard sizing for different types of composition?

Rick is right.  As a rule of thumb, however, I suggest a minimum staff metric size of 16 if your music is going to printed for older musicians. 

Eyesight dims with age.  Most of the guys in my band are over 50, many over 60, a few over 70 and even a couple who are 85.  They need to be able to see it to play it.  I've also printed at size 18 when I had one fellow who had particularly poor vision. 

A bigger staff metric means using more paper but you can sometimes compensate by reducing your upper and lower staff heights with {F2}.




Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #11
I'm going to give you a qualified "yes." There's a useful chart in Elaine Gould's book Behind Bars on appropriate rastral sizes for different types of music (a "rastral" is the distance between two adjacent lines on a staff). You'll find it on p. 483. If you're not familiar with Gould's book, you might want to check it out - it's the "Bible" for current notation practice.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #12
Too tired last night to add this list, but here it is now, for those who don't have access to Behind Bars. The space between staff lines for the different rastral numbers is given in millimeters in Gould's book: I've done a quick conversion to computer-font point size (1 mm = roughly 2.8 points).

  • Rastral 0:  26   pts   (educational music)
  • Rastral 1:  22.5 pts  (educational music)
  • Rastral 2:  21 pts     (piano music, songs)
  • Rastral 3:  20 pts     (piano music, songs; single-stave parts)
  • Rastral 4:  18 pts     (piano music, songs; single-stave parts)
  • Rastral 5:  17 pts     (piano music, songs; single-stave parts)
  • Rastral 6:  16 pts     (choral music, cue staves, ossia)
  • Rastral 7:  14 pts     (choral music, cue staves, ossia)
  • Rastral 8:  10.5 pts   (full orchestra scores)

Keep in mind that these are only guidelines: smaller or larger font sizes may be needed to make the music balance properly on the page.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #13
Thank you,  William, for taking time to include the rastral information.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #14
Hi again

I have tried to move an orphan measure up and am not having any success with the above. I can make it longer but not shorter!

Help?

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #15
There is a trick to bringing up orphan measures by using the Spacer (Insert key). Namely, when your score has multiple staves, you will usually need to insert the spacer in the corresponding measure on each staff. Once you have gotten the measure to "shorten", you can usually adjust the width of all of the measures by adding/removing space to just one of the measures. I forget if it works best to use the top or bottom one; I suggest experimenting a bit to get the hang of it.

Edit: I notice that Bill said the same thing in his instructions above:
Quote
- you may also have to insert spacers in the same measure in other staves -
Further Edit: You also need to insert the spacer after the note in question, not before it. I.e. if you want to trim off the space at the end of the measure, insert the spacer between the last note of the measure and the following bar line.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #16
One other point that may not be clear: to pull an orphan measure up into the previous system, you need to be inserting spacers in the measures of the previous system, not in the measure you're trying to pull up.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #17
How many spaces will need to be inserted? I'm not having any luck so I had to change the font size.

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #18
Would you be willing to share a copy of your score with one of us? It might be easier to show you how to make the changes if we can see the actual score you are trying to adjust.

If you don't want to share it publicly, send me a private message and I can provide my email address.

Mike

Re: Review of NWC on my blog
Reply #19
I'd like to thank everyone for helping me to understand the orphan issue, and especially to Mike who took a look at the score and experimented. I have now successfully completed the process on another score.

There are two things I would like to add to the discussion:

Only one space per measure per stave is to be inserted otherwise the opposite effect will happen - the measure will get longer. I missed that important information the first time.

Sometimes a piece will just have too many staves and notes for it to be successful. In that case, try unchecking the "increase spacing for longer notes" option in the Page Set Up, Options tab. This is what I needed to do with the original piece in question which was a 7 part polyphonic vocal score. Additional spacing can be inserted if needed to make the last note note look so odd, as well as balancing the whole thing by adding an ending system break.

I hope I have explained that correctly. If not, feel free to clarify things.