Hello Folks,

After posting a wind band piece about a month ago, and receiving zero feed-back, I guess there are three possibilities:

- no one is interested in band music;

- you didn't like the piece, but are too polite to say so;

- you liked it, but had nothing to say?

So, I'll try again, posting an orchestral work based on old Australian folk songs. The songs used are: KOORINDA-BRAIA; AUSTRALIA'S ON THE WALLABY; BRISBANE LADIES; CLICK GO THE SHEARS; ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR (National Anthem, 1878).

This is scored for full orchestra and includes use of traditional orchestral instruments simulating Australian folk instruments, like the Bull Roarer and didgeridoo. The piece begins with an old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander song, including a traditional koo-ee greeting. It ends with a blending of an old sheep shearing song with the Australian national anthem. I have submitted this to the Sydney Symphony as a possibility for one of their Pops concerts. They were at least interested enough to request a score.

I truly hope you enjoy this and will give me some feed-back. URL:




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      • Hello again Jon-

        I just listened to your Scottish Suite. It certainly fits the picture you provided, the Scotch lake and mountains - very dream like and peaceful. In fact, I was listening for a usual "Scottish Fling" song in the piece and wondered where it was until the very end. Needless to say, my tastes go to exuberance, so the last tune of the suite was my favorite.

        The use of the two voices alone is very effective at presenting the old tunes, as you say, unornamented. I can see your point. Probably the closest I get to this is in my Chinese piece I referenced earlier, where I stick to a smaller ensemble.

        Have any flute players contacted you yet about performing this? I could envision this being played while peaceful scenes were projected in the back round of the stage.



  • Hello folks -

    Based on several comments here, I downloaded MuseScore to try to get an initial impression. Notion does allow exports in the Music XML format, so I did a quick import of a brass quintet piece I'm working on now into MuseScore, just to see what would happen. The import went quickly, and the score was not bad initially (just missing things like barring all five staves together, for example.) The playback was horrible. Yes, I know this is a first impression, and I'm sure the sounds can be tweaked, but wow, the brass sounds are bad, especially the tuba. So, this leads to a question for someone, who knows how to use MuseScore: is there a samples library that is compatible with MuseScore that has realistic instrumental sounds? A library that does not cost an arm and a leg? Thanks.


    • Yes Ken, many third party are able to used with Musescore 4. The default sound libraries in Musescore, and most notation programs for that matter, are pretty poor (For Musescore it seems you can only use 3rd party sample libraries if you upgrade to the paid Musesounds / Musescore 4 - relatively reasonable sample libraries then)



      Be aware, many of these 3rd party libraries come at a significant cost if you want something that sounds decent, and there is a learning curve. No library will do it it all. For example, you may be better off using a solo brass ensemble library tailored towards chamber brass pieces for the piece you mentioned, verses buying one large orchestral library that just so happens to include brass. Additionally, Noteperformer (An AI based application that allows for more realistic playback based upon the phrasing and articulations you've entered) is not compatible with Musescore as of yet.



       For me personally, I still haven't found a "one size fits all" solution. I write the music in notation, then create more realistic renderings through a DAW. Noteperformer and some libraries are getting close, but they still haven't matched what a DAW can produce with sample libraries yet in my opinion.  sf



      I suggest you read through the following material;










      Best notation software to use with third party libraries?
      I'm wondering which notation software is the best and/or easiest to work with sample libraries. I have Finale and it is obviously not made for this a…
      • This reply was deleted.
        • Ah, maybe it is all free after all- I recalled reading somewhere that the MuseSounds library was with an additional fee or some sort of Pro plan, not sure why I thought so! 

          From what I've heard so far, the MuseSounds playback sounds pretty decent, although there seem to be a lot of complaints regarding it being rather finicky. 



  • Hi Folks -

    It seems that there is more interest in discussing software and equipment here than the music submitted. Firstly, I wonder what kind of equipment you use to listen to the music posted on this forum. I personally use a good pair of headphones and an excellent headphone amplifier. Using this combination, I do not find the performances generated using Notion to be "tinny" or thin for the most part. Obviously, a computer generated rendition will never be as good as human performers, but we all know why most of us use the computer. Affordability.

    I have now sampled MuseScore and find it has many advantages over Notion as far as producing a presentable score, but the packaged sounds are not good. I also looked at Dorico Pro and after seeing the price for this software, quickly rejected it for my use. So, I will stick to Notion. It still remains the most for the least.

    So now that we've run through all the discussion about software, I'm still interested in what you think of the MUSIC. So far all I've heard is that it is too decorative. Any other thoughts?



    • I myself don't want to get deeply involved in a software discussion here -- there are other places for that --- but nevertheless a rendering has to reach at least a basic standard so you appreciate the music. Actually in this particular piece, I think it does. The Southern Cross is quite an enjoyable and at times witty score but just a little too lightweight for my own taste. Nevertheless, you've shown considerable instrumental imagination in this and other works so I look forward to more.

      Incidentally, my Dorico recommendation was for Elements which, as I said, is a fraction of the price of Pro with much of the functionality.

      And one final point, the forum now has reached 50 members but the vast majority, far from posting work don't even bother commenting on anything. Apart from the odd one who's only in it for promoting a business or other spam, I'm not quite sure why some of the others are here. Perhaps there were good intentions to get involved but the music is not to their taste. Who knows!


      • David -

        Thank you for commenting on the music. I appreciate it!

        As I mentioned before, this was submitted as a piece for a pops concert in Australia. It is not "serious" music, but just for the fun of it. God knows, in today's world, there is plenty of room for fun, enjoyable music! There is no reason why a symphony orchestra shouldn't be used for this. And I think, if it is ever performed by human beings, the players will enjoy it too!



        • I agree there's a place for fun, enjoyable music. And indeed that it might well be fun to perform as well! Incidentally my comments on the rendering were more to do with your wind band piece than this although perhaps the fun element would be more brought out by a more characterful rendering. But quite enough of that!

          By the way, Dorico Elements can be tried out for 60 days free of charge and no restrictions. That should be more than enough time to see if it's to your taste.


      • Hello Again David -

        Thanks for your clarification about Dorico Elements. The cost is much more my speed and, from what I read, is promising. My only problem is that it will cost $100 to find out if it will work for me. For example, I've recently completed a new piece for brass quintet where many effects were used that the Notion sounds can render ok, but I wonder how Elements would fare. And there is no way to find out without spending the $100. Darn!



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