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I am delving into the art of creating a printable score.
most of my music I enter using guitar pro and then record the midi to wav file with reaper.
well I took the midi file and put it into sibelius and am working on getting a readable score.
any help would be greatly appreciated as I dont even know if this is readable by string players and if not what needs to be done to make it so.
also im not sure yet how to get the expression markings using the program (I'm a complete newbie with it)

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Hello I am only one opinion, but I find your score to be quite readable. The only two things I would suggest (aside from adding dynamics) are certainly not required and may just be a matter of personal taste.

1) I would suggest changing the entire score font to the more standard font as opposed to the jazz font you have in there now (I only see the jazz font used for pit orchestra gigs in musicals). It really helps when the written score needs to look how the piece needs to sound. Think of it like artwork on a CD you are trying to decide to listen to... because like it or not, your players first impression of your music will probably be the written score.

2) I would also suggest placing most (if not all) of the first lines in the 1st Violin part down an octave with 8va listed above. Reading 3 ledger lines is standard, but after that it can be a little time consuming to count all the ledger lines. I know some Violinists would prefer not to have 8va as I just suggested, so you might want to consult with whomever will be performing the piece when the time comes. If you decide to do it, know that switching between 8va and 'as written' can be a mind game if it goes back and forth in a short amount of time- so try to do it in sections. It might help to imagine reading it on guitar.
I agree with the 8va suggestion,

Does anybody know a reasonable cut off point for 8va for most instruments - I would say perhaps anything above the G which is an octave above that which sits on top of the stave.

In addition to this, I can't see any slurs in this score. String parts don't have to show up or down bow, but they should have slurs above all the notes done in one bow - which is going to be most notes in the average score. Look at another score to see what I mean.
A lot of what has been said is good advice, like:
Not using a Jazz font, because it can be confusing the performers in thinking this is a jazz piece.
Adding dynamics
and adding a 8va in the Violins and Viola to reduce the amount of ledger lines. Even though they can read it, its a pain to do so.

I would also add a key signature, the piece is in C minor but you need to indicate it with a key signature. This will also clear up all the enharmonic note misspellings.
Also check the double stops in the strings at the end, some are playable but other look questionable. Im not an excerpt on double stops but the one in the viola looks odd. Also, be aware that sound as pretty as midis make them seem. Like the second violin, the E will most likely be played on an open string which means there will be no vibratos and might sound harsh and stick out. If that doesnt bother you then you are ok, but just be aware that that will be the sound that is produced with live performers.

Other then that, for this being your first time notating music, you are doing very well. You actully notate things better then I did when I first learned to notate music. Every thing you wrote is very playable, and every thing is very clear and understandable. If I were you, once its cleaned up a little bit more, I would seek out performers or enter it into competitions to get a performance of it.
Good Job.
thanks guys. that is very helpful.
I had thought about the 8va thing but I am still trying to figure out the program to do that =p
and the idea of the font... I never even thought of that because the only music I am used to having is jazz fake books from back when I played guitar in highschool jazz band.

as for the notation on double stops, is there a good resource online that I could use to find out what double stops are normal for strings? and also the thing about the E, how do I notate to not be open?

y'all are great for the input THANK YOU LARGE!
to answer the doublestop part of my question myself..
...Usually restricted to intervals of an octave or less in the first two-and-a-half octaves of a string instrument. In their basic left-hand positions, violinists and violists reach an octave or some ninths with a strenuous stretch. Cellists reach a major seventh or an octave using thumb position. Finally, because of long string lengths and orchestral tunings in fourths, bassists can reach only a perfect fifth or some sixths with thumb position. All of these double-stop reaches open up more to larger compound intervals in the high registers of the instruments. Tenths are possible in the third octave of the violin, viola, and cello. ...

I would still like to know how to indicate on a score that a note should be stopped and not open.
Hello some excellent suggestions here. Sorry I do not know of any resource regarding double stops. I'm not sure which double stop you are answering yourself on, but all of them look good to me including the viola.

I agree- if the 2nd violinist were to play that last double stop in 1st position it would be an open string, but they can also play it in 3rd position so it wouldn't be open. The way to notate that is to just recommend which fingers to use by simply placing the numbers above the notes. For example:

However, it isn't common to suggest finger numbers for musicians unless they are learning how to play an instrument. I would only recommend telling them if an amateur quartet is performing the piece and happens to play an open string at rehearsal. Good college violinists and professionals would automatically know not to use their open string in that particular situation. Some situations where they would- if the double stop required them to do it (no alternative fingering), if the style of music required it (Aaron Copland's Hoedown), or in fairly fast passages.

I know you have already considered this, but you might make a subtle point of the importance of not playing an open string by swapping the 1st and 2nd parts for that last measure (this would be the notational way of telling your quartet how important the note is in relation to the other parts). This will be easier for the 1st violinist partly because they are already in 3rd position from the previous measure, and the 2nd violinist will enjoy staying in 1st position for the C and G double stop as opposed to both players changing into each other's positions. Also, the 3rd position double stop is significantly harder to play than the double stop you currently have in the 1st violin part. So simply from a tuning perspective I would recommend giving it to the quartet leader (who is more often than not the 1st violinist). Besides- you'll also be protecting the fragile pecking order of the string quartet.

Did someone already tell this joke? I just saw it online-
Definition of a String Quartet: a good violinist, a bad violinist, an ex-violinist, and someone who hates violinists, all getting together to complain about composers.
I play bass and guitar so I understand the positions concept but on though instruments not only is it tuned different so the positions and intervals lay at different places but the neck scale is also drastically different.

I think I may try to find some cheep used violin and cello just so I can learn the basics of the instruments.
and again LOL @ the jokes =)
I like the score easy to read, I especially like the chromatic half steps up and down throughout the piece really adding to the piece. Merry Christmas

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