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I notice we're supposed to post scores in PDF.

Well . . . this is something of a nuisance for me. I work mainly with pen and paper, which doesn't copy well, and when rendered in PDF is almost illegible.

I'm old-school, meaning that while I own Finale and Sibelius, I've never used them, and will continue to write on manuscript with pen or pencil.

Further, I discourage the use of programmes such as Finale and Sibelius because they muck up the process of composition. They're far too slow, and are an unnecessary intermediate step in the process of getting music down on paper. This goes along with my shoot-on-sight policy where electronic tuning devices are concerned.

I do use a little programme called Anvil Studio for making quick facsimiles of works in progress, but have never gone so far as to use it to print a score.

Surely we can post handwritten scores in HTML or as jpeg's? What's with the PDF bias/prejudice?

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Oh, I'm trying, Gav, I'm trying. It's giving me fits, and taking up many hours of my time at the moment, but I'm doing as well as a dinosaur like me can be expected to do.

Gav Brown said:

PDF is the common format of our time and will allow your music score to be seen by the widest possible audience . Use it or don't, but don't complain if you don't use it and get little commentary on your postings -

I love it! I'll bet Cecil Taylor would get a big kick out of it!

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

Imagine a computer generated "score" that could record this music by Nancarrow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2gVhBxwRqg

And yet, a real piano roll, or computerized piano roll can do it quite easily.

if that doesn't illustrate the point, just imagine something with an even more irregular tempo
and more irregular note durations following one another.

Thanks- I'm finding exactly what you say on-line, all those on-line conversion "services".

Just for a lark, I want to charge a lot of people a lot of money to come listen to a composition, walk in to applause, hold up the score, taking my time to make sure everyone has seen it, rattle the paper a few times, then walk out.

On the score would be the words, "rattle paper".

Chris Alpiar said:

There are tons of programs (freeware) that will allow you to take ANY thing you can print and make it into a PDF. In the case of a scanned jpeg image, you can also easily add a jpg to a pdf document and have the pdf just be a "wrapper"  that houses the jpg. I write with pencil and score paper too, and while I have done many produced pieces with the computer, working with pdf files for a composer that writes dots on a page, well this is the current equivalent of being able to turn the lights on in your room with a lightswitch, its just part of the base expectation, especially if you are communicating about those pieces online. If you were going to a monthly OG composers luncheon, like a book club, well then bring your paper :-) Kinda hard online tho


Did you mean his sister-in-law? If so, I remember some of those, lol. I agree that what has been (distantly) diagnosed as his manic-depression would've been better managed, and I think also his hearing likely would've been saved, judging from an article I read a year or two ago. At what possible cost to his creativity these might have come, who knows, since Beethoven is pretty much all about overcoming.................lol. About not tolerating people from that century, I don't know, you might be right, but you would be less likely to be right about me in that regard than most others, although as much as I love Beethoven now, I have a suspicion I would've hated him then.     
Greg Monks said:

Beethoven was my kind of guy- short tempered, petulant, easy to set off. I get quite a kick out of reading his letters to his sister (a must-have for every Beethoven fan). He was one of the smallest, meanest, most petty human beings I've ever come across. I have a knack for getting along with curmudgeons. I've been called one many times, and I think the term applies to many of my friends.

Beethoven would have benefited, first and foremost, from 20th century medicine. It's too bad he was tormented by what was an easily cured or controlled pattern of conditions today.

Would he have got a kick out of our present-day technology? You can't ever know such a thing. He might have gone ga-ga over the capabilities of the modern workstation, or he might have considered the mere idea of it offensive. You have to consider the mentality of people of his day, which was not like that of today. People are saying all the time that they'd liked to have met so-and-so, when the reality is that you probably wouldn't be able to tolerate being in the same room with  anyone from the 19th century and earlier.

Paul Smith said:


Indeed, there were! I also think those giants would've loved all this new technology, for the most part, and would've been among the first to advocate its use. At the same time, I can also see a case being made for the quickness with which ideas can be rendered now perhaps leading to not enough careful thought being given to all the various elements in a piece, inasmuch as such things even apply to the gods I'm thinking of. But I feel sure Bach, for example, would've jumped all over something like Sibelius to help him get through all those required cantatas, or that Mozart would've loved it for the ease with which he would've been able to put down the masterpieces that were "already written in his head, anyway." Less inkstains in a case like that, if nothing else. Beethoven might have been a special case, though, in that it's pretty easy to imagine him taking the bat at the drop of a hat to a piece of misbehaving machinery, like those angry dudes in the movie 'Office Space'. 
michael diemer said:

I agree you should be able to do this. unfortunately I don't know whether you can or not. I'm sure another admin with more technical expertise will chime in on this.

I feel we should be able to accommodate this. After all, Bach Mozart and Beethoven used - quills, actually.  Incredible. And Hayden wrote over a hundred symphonies...there were giants in those days...

His sister-in-law, Johanna, yes. Ludwig tried to get custody of her son, Karl. What a soap opera! Like an episode of Coronation Street.

I'm unsure which I like more about classical music history- the music or the stories. Don Carlo Gesualdo remains my favourite, with the brutal murder of his wife and her lover, and his obvious mental-health issues, which were exacerbated by his having been a spoiled little rich kid. I'm still waiting for the movie.

Greg,

When you have your score on screen in Sibelius, you can go to the file menu and see different options. Save, save as... print, etc. Also in that section is export as Scorch webpage, export as sound file, and export as PDF, among other options.

Greg Monks said:

I have both Finale and Sibelius. I'm going to go with Sibelius and start transcribing some of my music.

As I understand it, Sibelius saves things as something called Scorch. So . . . how do I go from Scorch to PDF? Or is there a function in Sibelius I'm not seeing?



Gav Brown said:

Greg,

As you please. There are some composers on this site who will not look at a composition without an attached score. I will, but am less likely to comment on it if a score is not attached. Best -

Gav -

Thanks so much for that!

I'm still trying to figure out how to turn the programme on . . . :^)

René Torenstra said:

Greg,

When you have your score on screen in Sibelius, you can go to the file menu and see different options. Save, save as... print, etc. Also in that section is export as Scorch webpage, export as sound file, and export as PDF, among other options.

Greg Monks said:

I have both Finale and Sibelius. I'm going to go with Sibelius and start transcribing some of my music.

As I understand it, Sibelius saves things as something called Scorch. So . . . how do I go from Scorch to PDF? Or is there a function in Sibelius I'm not seeing?



Gav Brown said:

Greg,

As you please. There are some composers on this site who will not look at a composition without an attached score. I will, but am less likely to comment on it if a score is not attached. Best -

Gav -

Greg;

The movie is out there - well, a documentary - by Werner Herzog, titled 'Gesualdo, Death for Five Voices." Its set in his castle. Not only Gesualdo, but the whole town is crazy. The music is sublime.

Greg Monks said:

His sister-in-law, Johanna, yes. Ludwig tried to get custody of her son, Karl. What a soap opera! Like an episode of Coronation Street.

I'm unsure which I like more about classical music history- the music or the stories. Don Carlo Gesualdo remains my favourite, with the brutal murder of his wife and her lover, and his obvious mental-health issues, which were exacerbated by his having been a spoiled little rich kid. I'm still waiting for the movie.

Tell your wife for me that it is far from a useless skill. It's an art.

I started off my music life as a copyist, and the old-timers were so good at it that they did it freehand. If you look very closely at old piano music (WWI vintage and earlier), you'll see that much of it was done by hand. The easiest way to tell is by looking at the half and whole notes. They're done by turning the nib at an angle, and it's never possible to get them exactly perfect, although a good copyist can get very close. Enough to fool the eye when the reader isn't scrutinising every note.

I've long lost my calligraphy skills, but I'm still pretty good with a calligraphy ballpoint, although they've become very hard to find. The really good ones have a ball-point with an oblong opening for making your lines thinner and thicker. They're much easier going than a nib and ink, which can be a messy process.

Doing music by hand that way teaches patience, and it's great therapy. In its way it's like knitting or crocheting. When I worked on the boats, a lot of old-timers used to do their own knitting, sewing, crocheting, macramé.

It's funny you should mention bread because I make my own right from scratch. I buy a few bushels of grains from our local elevators (I live in agriculture-land), grind them in a high-end blender, and make breads, pastas (from semolina wheat), you name it. People around here grow their own . . . pretty much everything. I still have around 50 lbs of frozen tomatoes in the deep-freeze, for example.

People from out here rarely go to fast-food joints because they find the food absolutely disgusting. I went to a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Humboldt because I hadn't had KFC for years, and I literally couldn't eat it. There was about five times your daily allowance of sodium in the deep-fried batter. Yucko el stinko. We don't have many fast-food chains out here because they tend to go belly-up. You can sell crap to city people, but not to country people.

I got an earful from one of the old ladies at our local seniors' centre for buying Cheese Whiz when I first moved out here, ten years ago. From then on I've made my own. It's a lot cheaper, and tastes ten times better.

Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't take a lot of time to make things from scratch. It only seems to if you have no patience.

It's funny you should mention hearing your own music. I went twenty years without ever having heard my piano music. I used to write music at a desk after work (a lot of it is stained by coffee rings). I never felt the need to hear it acoustically. Never thought about it, actually. In many cases I didn't want to hear it acoustically, because for me it was like doing a crossword puzzle. Especially when I was working out the musical devices that were to become my classical Ragtime. It was more like solving a puzzle than writing music. A lot of my music is device-oriented, and each device is like working out a little puzzle. Remember those balsa wood and paper airplane kits they used to make? You'd make a Sopwith Camel balsa wood frame, glue the paper to it, cover it with "dope", which would cause the paper to tighten, and finish by painting it. Rubber-band-powered airplanes that seldom flew right. That's what the process of writing music is like for me.

We're all different, and that's part of the pleasure, too.

I've heard of it, and it's on my must see list, but I live in a rural area, so access to that kind of thing is difficult. I still haven't seen Beethoven Lives Upstairs, either.

But I can see the Milky Way at night out here . . . :^)


John Summers said:

Greg;

The movie is out there - well, a documentary - by Werner Herzog, titled 'Gesualdo, Death for Five Voices." Its set in his castle. Not only Gesualdo, but the whole town is crazy. The music is sublime.

Greg Monks said:

His sister-in-law, Johanna, yes. Ludwig tried to get custody of her son, Karl. What a soap opera! Like an episode of Coronation Street.

I'm unsure which I like more about classical music history- the music or the stories. Don Carlo Gesualdo remains my favourite, with the brutal murder of his wife and her lover, and his obvious mental-health issues, which were exacerbated by his having been a spoiled little rich kid. I'm still waiting for the movie.

Acrobat is capable of compiling image files (from say, a scanner) into pdf files.  I would think there are other programs which can do the same for less $$ or free.

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