Interesting article ...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by GJG, May 25, 2005.

  1. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    ... here:

    [For those who are interested in this slightly tired debate!]

    (Mods: please move this if necessary; however I'm not really sure where it belongs - not specifically "brass-band" related, but too music-related for "random chat" ??)

  2. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    That's really funny! :D
  3. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Why so? :confused:
  4. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    It's an interesting article and many of his points are quite valid.

    But one aspect he doesn't touch on - which is of paramount importance to me - is speed. Sibelius is highly automated to allow users to make fewer decisions and therefore work much more quickly. I must confess that I've never been concerned about the width of hairpins relative to their length, for example; in most repects Sibelius gives me all the control I need and the ease/speed of use allows me to concentrate my efforts on composing or arranging, rather that typesetting.

    But I have to confess I've never had to buy a copy since the College's licence allows me to use the programme at home and at work. Maybe I'd feel differently if I had to fork out...

  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    And Sibelius and Finale are not the only choices. The package that I use, Lime, is a product that costs one-fourth of what Sibelius 3 does (and I'm using the academic price of Sibelius for comparison, not the full price). Does it produce publication-quality parts? No, but I'm not using it for that. And I could probably produce parts equal in quality to what many commercial publishers are putting out with just a little work. (And I can control the width of hairpins - even if it does mean a little mouse action!)

    Even in the days of engraved music, publishers did dumb things (SP&S - why, o why, did you ever think it was a good idea to put rehearsal letters in the middle of measures?). And one of the reasons why long-standing and well-known errors are still being published in many older pieces is because of the prohibitive cost of making new plates.
  6. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    I have to say I use Sibelius both for personal music and "engraving" for various publsihers. I know what quality plate engraving is about and have plenty of experience in it -- as an editor and proofreader. I've also seen plenty of rotten work produced on a music typewriter. In my opinion, Sibelius is superior to the latter without a doubt. It isn't fully automated -- you still get a chance to use your eye to make adjustments. The poor fellow gets upset because he has to choose symbols occasionally. Well, that's still a lot faster than finding various hand tools, pens and ink, templates and rulers. And when it comes to making corrections, thank goodness we don't have to hammer out an indentation on a pewter plate before making a correction, or sticking bits of paper over errors in processed music.

    No, Sibelius is not perfect -- show me a method that is. I think in general its shapes are better and closer to "engraved" originals than Finale. One of the better computerised programs is SCORE. I know many fine operators, but I found it a bear to work with (my mind didn't work that way).

    Brasscrest wrote:
    Publishers doing dumb things is another matter, but I can't say I ever saw rehearsal letters in the middle of measures in SP&S music -- not deliberately. Brasscrest, are you refering to band parts which had too much music to fit comfortably on a page?
  7. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    It happens quite frequently, particularly in parts printed in the 50s and 60s. The situation is usually that the "section" of the piece begins with a pickup, and the rehearsal letter (and usually an extra, confusing bar line) is inserted before the pickup rather than at the beginning of the next bar. I guess so that the conductor can say "start at letter B" instead of "start at the pickup to letter B".

    The band parts that don't fit on a page are also annoying (although I understand that the General and Triumph Series are now going to be printed on A4 paper, which is an improvement), particularly when they dispense with the key signatures at the beginning of each line in order to save space.

    Anyway, back on topic for the thread - another key point is that most notation software doesn't necessarily make the best layout choices without some work - most evident is the issue of proper page turns, which take a large amount of planning in some cases.
  8. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Sibelius 3 does that for you!


    TIMBONE Active Member

    :) I would never knock Sibelius, as I have never used it. As far as I am aware, Sibelius innovated certain methods of music notation via the computer, which Finale, older and established, added to their programmes. I must admit that it frustrates me a little when a lot of people talk as if Sibelius was the first proper music notation software. I am not sure about Sibelius being faster to use. When I first decided to take the plunge, I purchased Finale PrintMusic. It was recommended to me because it was (and still is) less than £100, and was fine for brass band scoring. I have never upgraded to the full blown Finale package, as I am happy with what I have, I have only upgraded the PrintMusic software. It works at a speed I am quite happy with, and I have had several feedabcks from those who have aquired my music commenting on the clarity of the score and parts. Having said that, I have also read scores and parts as a conductor and player, produced on Sibelius, which have also been easy and clear to read. So, to sum up, stick with what you know.
  10. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    I love Sibelius :)
    Very happy with it and wouldnt change to finale....

    Think the earlier version of Sibelius (1.4) is better than 3 though.... various reasons for this... not gonna go into them cos thats not what the thread is about :p (and it's like, way too early to think)

    The article is interesting.... but that's it...
    One guys opinion on it... mine are slightly different...
    Correcting scores "manually" means that you're actually taking notice of what it's looking like before printing, publishing, whatever you use it for... Even if I didnt publish my work, I'd still make sure the presentation was 100%.... so what, you have to pull down the odd bar to prevent overlapping, and adjust hairpins....not gonna hurt anyone is it :p

    (incidentally, I treat some of the scortch files on my site differently... theres a few things that are "wrong" due to the "weakness" the files have ;-))

    As Tim says, just stick to what you know...

    Stick with what you're happy with.... and let us get on with it the way we like to.

  11. If you're really into producing a nice aesthetic engraved style you can always use the completely free open-source 'lilypond':

    This produces very nice looking manuscript, with full control over just about everything. However, perfection comes at a cost and it's just an engraver. Manuscript instructions are entered as text files! (no point and click)

    I've used this for a few bars of corrections to parts and it's quite easy to use, but you don't get to see the score as you're working so you're forced to note it down by hand first before you engrave.

    I believe there may be a free point and click gui called RoseGarden which can generate lilypond files but I haven't used it and think it's only available on Linux.

    Pip, pip.
  12. tsawyer

    tsawyer Member

    Seconded. I'm using it for writing a drum tutor book at the mo. There's an article on their web site about their emphasis on quality for the engraving.


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