From Darren Mark
Posted September 9, 2013 at 05:15 AM
I was wondering if anyone could recommend me some music editing software for Windows.
I've been working on the first Bach Cello Suite. I've looked at 3 or 4 different editions but I haven't found one that I liked all of the fingerings and the slurs. IMSLP has an edition with no slurs that I am using as a base. From the four editions I have, I am cherry picking the fingerings and slurs that feel the most comfortable for me.
If possible, I would like to import a pdf and modify that but if I have to recreate the wheel I'll do it.
Any suggestions? Would prefer free but if I have to pay I have to pay.
There are many usable music files on the web that some notation program can import (for example on the mutopia site), maybe this is for you. There may be final files, lilypond files and others.
MuseScore improves constantly. It is now better than the old Encore that I used on Windows 3.1, 95 and 98! It accepts, and produces, MusicXml files, which facilitates exchanges with Finale and Sibelius.
These two big and very expensive programmes produce more elegant and complexe scores more easily. I have use both extensively, and for a similar result, Sibelius is much, much easier, faster, and more geared to the musician's mind-set. No, I don't have shares in Avid!!
There are progammes which can scan a PDF score and produce a MusicXml file (e.g. SmartScore and PhotoScore) but I find that I usually spend more time correcting the result than if I had made a new Sibelius score from scratch..
If you have any background with scripting language of any sort, LilyPond is fairly easy to understand and very effective although it can take some work to get the output consistent.
I was a long-time Finale user but switched to Sibelius for arranging/orchestration work for Orchestra and String Quartet. I've downgraded to Sibelius 6 since I found version 7 (after the AVID acquisition) frustrating to use. Waiting to see what the former Sibelius developers (who were all axed by AVID) come up with now that they are with Steinberg!
However, my own musical mind is very attached to the graphic side of "normal" notation: I don't "think" note names when I am playing or notating music, even if they are always in the back of my mind.
So I like a programme which behaves nearest to using pencil and paper on staves. Sibelius is, in this respect, much more intuitive than Finale.
If I were to try my hand at programming, I would start with a vectorial graphics program such as Inkscape, (rather than a text-based one like Latex) and link it with background scripting, midi, etc.
Many of my violin students use MuseScore, and I should love to be capable of helping its development. It would be an investment, since Sibelius development is effectively over, and Finale has never addressed its very numerous shortcomings.
I am open for any example that can prove me wrong.
Re Finale: brr...
I am going to try Lilypond. I do a lot of work with scripting programming languages so it sounds perfect for me!
If anyone's interested, I was thinking about making a blog about my journey doing this and eventually sharing whatever I create. No point in spending all of this time working on this without sharing, right?
See, like any other programming/scripting tool, it takes time to become proficient with it. The whole "app" paradigm has made it so that previously-designed content (papers, resumes, web sites, photo mashups, pamphlets, etc.) looks good when users just plug in content.
However, music engraving isn't about just plugging in content (the rhythms, notes, dynamics, tempo, articulation, etc.) but also about DESIGN. And many people (myself included) absolutely suck at it. This is why Sibelius tends to produce more usable scores for me as an end-user...I simply have not committed enough time and effort to be able to engrave beautiful looking scores given the tools that are available.
As for the complaints about spacing, the output is customizable to a great extent; you can do things like squeezing the staves a bit closer together, for instance, to prevent a single line from overflowing onto a new page. Again speaking as a programmer, I advise users to RTFM (Read The... uh... Fine Manual).
For those who aren't programmers, Denemo provides a graphical front-end for Lilypond which my wife - who is definitely not a programmer - finds quite usable.
Oh, and by the way, Lilypond is available for Linux (including FreeBSD) and Mac OS X, as well as Windows.
Actually I'm not so sure, Darren. I went down this track a few years ago, and as a programmer I chose Lilypond. I thought it would be great to add my stuff to the Mutopia or other repository. I duly hacked out some Bach Inventions, Busoni edition, with all his markup, and I was quite proud of the result. I transposed them to a different key for a singer with a flick of a char. However, I realized that no one else would ever use a couple of random pieces of unknown accuracy. I would have to do the whole set (a big job), and then over time they would be rated and perhaps used. But used for what? I realized that for people who wanted to play the pieces, it would be much better if I just uploaded scanned images to imslp!
The only point to a *.ly file (same for Finale or anything), which contains the logic and structure, compared to a pdf, is if someone else wants to edit it -- unlike for an image, which is "what you see is all you've got". Fact is, very few Lilypond hackers would download my files, to get a jump start, and modify them. In a few years time, sadly, Lilypond will fade away, and end the glorious dream of a people's repository with lots of people merrily hacking the scores.
So I would say just to get the job done quickly, use MuseScore. It wasn't an option a few years ago, so I haven't used it personally, but it looks good. Use Lilypond if enjoying hacking is an end in itself. The Bach cello suites are relatively simple, but with anything non-trivial you will run into twizzlers that you have to ask about on the forums, whatever tool you use.
(sorry, couldn't resist)
But yes, I would say that many people would say they were Lutherans whose lives are not affected by it and would not claim to believe that the Bible is true.
I believe Schumann may have been a Lutheran, but even in extremis no serious Lutheran would have set the Requiem Mass without incorporating critical comment.
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