Need Help - programs for writing brass music

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Ryan06, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Ryan06

    Ryan06 Member

    Hey all,my topic pretty much says it all. Does anyone know any programs (if there are any) to write brass music? I have lots of good tunes in my head that ive made up,But I have no idea how to put it all together down on paper.
    Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  2. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    Though its quite expensive, I'd say the best program is Sibelius. It's simple to use (the basics you do by pointing and clicking). You can produce professional looking scores in a short amount of time. Though it is primarily a notation package, the playback is very good too.
  3. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    One point to make is that Sibelius (or any other program) is not going to write the music for you! It's simply going to allow you to notate your thoughts and play them back.
  4. Ryan06

    Ryan06 Member

    Cool,thanks guys...does that Sibelius program have all the instrument sounds to playback? or just one sound? ill check that program out.
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    A good prog for creating music on the fly for you is called.. .believe it or not... Band in a Box.

    Take a lookie..
  7. steve_r

    steve_r Member

    Most notation programs only play back midi sounds which are not really going to get you anything which sounds like a band. If you have a sound card which supports sound fonts it is concevable that you will be able to buy or acquire a sound font (essentially a set of samples) for a brass band, but I have never seen one.

    If you are doing this for the first time and you dont want to cough for something expensive like sibelius you could try Noteworthy composer ( Its not going to produce printouts as good as sibelius but you can arrange and play back a full band arrangemen on it and its a LOT! less expensive. Then if you decide you are enjoying it and you need more ooomph you can move to sibelius later

  8. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Also, there is a free download version of noteworthy, although it only allows you to save 9 times, but this incurs no costs, and allows you to create decent scores.
  9. Di

    Di Active Member

    And if you try and print out from the free download you'll get a "unregistered version of Noteworthy" kind of message under each stave. Its very cheap to buy compared to other programs and quite easy to use. As Steve said though, it does have its limits. I bought it a good few years ago and have updated regularly and have created several full band scores on it. (I'm not a composer at all BTW, I merely did typesetting for composers/arrangers). Its biggest draw back was being able to notate the percussion parts. I haven't used it for a while though, so I couldn't say if that has been upgraded.
  10. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Sibelius is a good but only goes so far.... and yes, if you have a soundcard it'll play back the sounds, in MIDI of course... the better the soundcard the better the MIDI, obviously.... My site has plenty of examples as all MP3s are my soundcard....
    So long as you have a rough idea on what it sounds like though, thats the important thing....

    Or, you can use software like Cubase and use samples to make up a higher quality 'recording'... this is a service that I can point you in the right direction.

    As for notation, Sibelius is not ideal...
    Lilypond is a free piece of software (notation only, no playback) and the quality is so much better... the only thing is, you have to input code- there's no plonking random notes in like these "certified sibelius composers" do), but once you once you get the code, it isn't hard... there's a 307 page manuel to help you ;) ...

    If you go to, go in the catalogue, the Solo Cornet part of "Saving all my Love for you" is done on Lilypond... compare it to any other file and you'll see it's much better.... I'll eventually get down to replacing the lot, but it does take most of a day to get a piece done, drum kit parts are very hard to do.... and then tweeking things here and there can take a bit of time... but it's kinda fun to do and makes you really appreciate the music you've written.

    I've started retypesetting all my publications onto Lilypond and I'm never turning back to sibelius and only use sibelius to hear back my music...

    Too many people rely on sibelius and use it as a composing tool..... if you get Sibelius, don't let it drag you in... it's easy to spot when people have solely used Sib for their music...

  11. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    Even trying to keep my advice objective, this strikes me as a bizarre statement. I have yet to find anything Sibelius can't do, and do beautifully. I don't know Lilypond, and, looking at the sample you give, don't want to!!:eek:

    (Ducks down, waiting for flak!)
  12. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    That's your opinion Philip, which is fine :)...

    But when you print off a sib part and compare it to a lilypond one, lilypond beats it by miles... much sharper and crisper...
  13. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I can't see anything in this file that you can't do just as well in Sibelius :confused:

    It looks to me like it has all the same flaws as Sibelius does (for example when you start a piece with an anacrucis quaver it puts a full bar rest in all the other parts, rather than a quaver rest ;) ), and if you need a 307 page manual just to be able to use the software then I don't see the benefit.

    I'd rather just point and click and get the job done - but maybe I'm just unusual in that if I don't get a substantial chunk of the piece done in one go to begin with I just never seem to finish it. :(
  14. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I have to agree with the illustrious Mr Sparke on this one. Unless it has lost something in the translation to pdf?

    I know sibelius does that sometimes if you're not careful with making sure it uses the right page size.

    I have just been on the lilypond site and looked at the tutorial. I have to say that, compared to any other program since those for the ZX Spectrum and the Amstrad CPCs, I don't think I'd consider it worth the effort. If I really wanted extra quality that badly I'd pay for a proper typesetter to do it. I can't help feeling that it would distract from the actual composition process. I know it's free, but even so.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2006
  15. steve_r

    steve_r Member

    Lilypond does provide good typesetting (but only this?) if you have the patience to learn how to use it, but the original question included a request on if you could hear the sounds played back.

    Sibelius or a cheaper, similar, alternative to get started with seems the correct solution to the question that was asked.

  16. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    I knew this would start an argument! And I don't want to get into that as everyone defends the programme they like best, but I will say that sharpness and crispness has nothing to do with Sibelius, just the resolution of your printer. (But at least Sibelius has beams of the right depth - ie half a space!!)

    Danger of turning into a nerd, so resigning from thread here :frown:
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2006
  17. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Sibelius 4 actually does this right now. You want a quaver anacrusis and Sib4 gives you exactly that.

    With regards to quality of print I haven't come across anything that looks better than Sibelius. (Just my opinion ;) )
  18. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Ahh, that's good to know. I'm still on an antique Sib2 ;)
  19. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    At the risk of being accused of "siding with the big guns" I'd have to agree with Mr S. Silbelius is far superior to any other notation software I've seen and so far I haven't discovered anything I can't notate using it. Plus, it's easy to use straight out of the box, which many others aren't. I'd thoroughly recommend it for a beginner. Your printout quality will (I imagine) be purely down to your printer/driver combo; I print Sibelius scores and parts on commercial digital printing kit and can't fault them.

    As one of the UK's many "Sibelius Certified Composers" I'll try to avoid "plonking" any more random notes in, though...;)
  20. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Hmmmm - I was going to say that but you beat me to it. The better the printer the better quality of that not just common knowledge :confused:

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