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Mander Organs
Choir Man

Music Notation Software

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I've never had any trouble doing that with my old copy of Finale 2000. You just put each polyphonic "voice" in a different layer on the same staff. Gets very messy with more than two though, obviously.

I should have been clearer :blink: Yes, of course multiple layers (or voices) work as you suggest, but what I'm talking about is a form of dynamic reduction so that, for example, the three trumpet parts might be on one stave or three in the score depending on the complexity of the parts but always on separate staves when it comes to the individual parts. What attracted me in the past to Mosaic and Igor were their structure where parts and score are merely different views of the same file. I switched to Sibelius when they adopted this feature.

The reason I got Finale was that, in those days, it was so much more customisable than Sibelius. You could tweak pretty well everything: length and thickness of note stems, their position relative to the note head, the thickness and design of bar lines, spacing of accidentals, thickness and spacing of beams, you name it. I was into early music so needed to be able to produce prefatory staves, super-and subscript accidentals, ligature and coloration symbols and design my own musical characters. Finale could do this; Sibelius could not (though it may be able to now). The downside was that Finale's default spacing options for the actual notation were naff, though I believe they improved that in later versions. However, Sibelius was always a much easier programme to use, particularly when it came to entering the notes and for that reason alone I would recommend it, at least so long as you don't need to indulge in any unusual notational quirks. How customisable is Sibelius these days?

I think Sibelius is much more customisable than it used to be. You can certainly edit the House Style for barline and beam thickness etc. along with a zillion other parameters. The default note spacing is still not "perfect", to my eyes and I'm told that its treatment of n-tuplets can be erroneous. It now has quite good instrument changes, for example for wind "doublers" in musicals but even that isn't perfect, the new key signatures can be confused with the old ones (but maybe that is my fault!).

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Be gentle with me - this is my first post!

 

I use 'Sibelius 4' to compose and to write arrangements. I use it every day and am gradually becoming more familiar with the processes and the programme. Initially I found it difficult to use - and still find writing in a 'free time' a bit of a pain! However, the 'Guide' is well laid out, gives clear examples and is relatively easy to use.

 

When I submitted my Ph.D I used 'Capella 2000' - the programme did things that Sibelius, (at that time Sibelius 3), didn't seem to do and that suited the way I wanted material to be presented. Even though I use Sibelius every day I'm not sure I would know how to present that particular material using either version 4, 5 or 6 - all three of which I am reasonably familar with.

 

I think it depends on what you want to do.

 

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I also, like Malcolm, use Music Publisher 7 from Braeburn Software. Its author, Bernard Hill, is an organist as well as a software developer. It costs a mere £100, peanuts conmpared to what the big boys charge. Bernard is a thoroughly nice and very helpful man, and will answer email queries within 48 hours, usually sooner.

 

For choral and intrumental music it can handle part extraction, and for an extra 70 jimmy o'goblins you can get a score reader which allows you to scan in scores which are then converted to MP7 and can be transposed or otherwise edited.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide!

 

Peter

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I see that "Igor Engraver" is not dead! It was a very good free programme (then became a low-priced programme) that produces very professional results. It was a bit unstable and tended to crash. I used it for years and was sad when it disappeared and I still use it occasionally. From the website (noteheads.com)

Due to rumors about NoteHeads circulating on the Internet, we would like to make the following statement: The company has been inactive for a couple of years, after we saved the software from disappearing due to the canceled development in the previous NoteHeads company.

We have an upgrade coming out in the near future (free upgrade for current users), together with a new release- and pricing strategy. All owners of the current Noteheads company are still onboard and agree on the current strategy.

 

I previously mentioned Musescore which is a free notation programme - has anyone tried it? I haven't had time, but would be interested in knowing how good it was: http://musescore.org

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I also, like Malcolm, use Music Publisher 7 from Braeburn Software. Its author, Bernard Hill, is an organist as well as a software developer. It costs a mere £100, peanuts conmpared to what the big boys charge. Bernard is a thoroughly nice and very helpful man, and will answer email queries within 48 hours, usually sooner.

 

For choral and intrumental music it can handle part extraction, and for an extra 70 jimmy o'goblins you can get a score reader which allows you to scan in scores which are then converted to MP7 and can be transposed or otherwise edited.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide!

 

Peter

 

It also alloows a one-click command to export a file as a PDF.

 

Peter

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For a free score writting program, Musecore is briliant...

Useful for transposong when arranging for my Tenor Horn.

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I think I've read somewhere that you can purchase Finale at a generously-discounted price if you're a church musician.

 

...and the same is true for Sibelius.

 

 

I used Sibelius 7 on an Acorn computer, and have used Sib 3,4,5&6 on Windows since then. I (almost) couldn't ask for more, although it's important to remember that, as with anything, it is best to stick with what you are familiar to as each new version will build upon what you already know how to do. Switching to a different program now would be next to impossible as doing even the simplest of tasks would take longer as I re-learnt how to do them - and as for the more powerful features that lie under the bonnet.....

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What software does everyone else use for writing music? I know there are a number of different packages out there, but what are your experiences?

 

Of course Sibelius is very fine but it's possible for something to be too sophisticated (and it's costly). It doesn't surprise me that no one recommended to you Noteworthy Composer because that program seems little known but is well-established in America. I use it all the time. Their 'help' service is very fine. Any problem: just copy your file and mail it and a reply giving the answer will reach you within a few hours, day or night, it seems.

 

You seek the facility to save as a PDF file. Noteworthy doesn't offer that but conversion within seconds via CutePDF.com is your answer. If you want to see samples and print out of my work using Noteworthy Composer, go to my site: http://sebastianbach.webs.com Page 9. I should mention that Noteworthy is completely free, though it seems there is an advanced version available for a small charge. Try it from : www.noteworthysoftware.com

 

David Rogers verdi6@talktalk.net

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I was hooked on Sibelius after attending a demonstration and I've never used any other programme. At first, it was certainly expensive because it needed an Acorn computer to run it, but it was definitely worth it. From opening the box, assembling the computer and loading the programme, to actually using it took about twenty minutes. I'm not a compter buff but it was that easy. I felt at home with it immediately.

 

I'm not a born composer, either, but Sibelius made it so very much easier to produce something original if the need arose. The manufacturers claim that it acts as an amanuensis without holding up the creative flow, and they're right.

 

Most of the work I do with Sibelius is setting up public domain choral scores, and there's no doubt it has paid for itself many times over.

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In retirement I decided to buy a Notaton programme and, about three months ago purchased 'Sibelius 6'.

 

I'm so glad I did. I found myself playing, rehearsing and composing for a little church for their Easter Triduum. 'Sibelius 6' did everything I wanted it to do - an excellent programme and I would thoroughly recommend it.

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You wrote: Also, almost the entire works (not just organ)of J S Bach are available in Capella format at .......

 

How often does a casual remark turn out to be more important than the original topic.

Thank you for the link http://www.tobis-notenarchiv.de I didn't know of it but realise now what a remarkable facility they offer. To have access to all the scores of so many, if not all, the Bach oevres is something undreamed of even ten years ago.

 

I'm having trouble opening up Cappella after downloading 5.1 (because of unknown files association), however.

 

Any advice you cared to throw my way would be appreciated: David Rogers verdi6@talktalk.net

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Greetings to all, as this is my first post please be gentle on me. I want to buy some software to convert the ideas in my head to music that is readable by others, rather than my appalling hand-written scribble. I would like something to write for Organ + SATB + occasional other instruments. Other requirements would be the ability to enter a separate lyric line for each vocal part. Also if it can save the finished article as pdf file that would be useful.

 

What software does everyone else use for writing music? I know there are a number of different packages out there, but what are your experiences?

 

The Cakewalk series of music software is very good value for money at £45 for the version I have. It tends to be orientated at the pop market and includes all sorts of things you wont need which can be more of a distraction. However, it's still good for score work and also has good midi facilities so copes with our pipe organ well if needed.

 

John R

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