freeware musicnotation programm

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reinier
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 May 2009 19:46

freeware musicnotation programm

Postby reinier » 30 May 2009 19:53

Hello,

For my students I made a freeware musicnotation programm, the MCMusiceditor (release 3.0.2) for Windows. It has one great advantage: it's very fast and -in my opinion- easier to use than Lilypond, Sibelius or Finale. The output is high-quality PDF. Maybe useful for contributors of cpdl.org.

You can download the software at my educational website: http://www.bestmusicteacher.com/index.p ... usiceditor

A helpfile is included and code snippets can be found at

http://www.bestmusicteacher.com/index.p ... 20snippets

Regards,

Reinier Maliepaard
professor of music theory and music history ArtEZ Conservatorium Netherlands.

vaarky
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Posts: 1983
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Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby vaarky » 30 May 2009 23:04

Thank you for alerting us. I've updated http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Chor ... able_tools to add it. Can you let us know what file suffix it uses so our table can also show users how they can recognize files created with it? Or feel free to update the file type (I put "unknown") at the URL above directly, or make any other corrections needed.

I'd also like to create a page similar to http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php?title=ChoralWiki:MUP for it. Shall I put your name and title? Please supply the contact information you'd like listed (e.g. just CPDL username or an external e-mail address too).

reinier
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 May 2009 19:46

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby reinier » 31 May 2009 12:02

hello,

thanks! Your questions:

1. file suffix .mcm

2. name: reinier maliepaard
3. contact: info@bestmusicteacher.com

4. remark: the helpfile ofthe MCMusiceditor is included in the software and can't be found on the webpage with code snippets. However, the code snippets give an idea of the many possibilities of the programm

5. a tutorial can be found at: http://www.bestmusicteacher.com/downloa ... editor.pdf

6. you can get an idea of the PDF-output: http://www.bestmusicteacher.com/downloa ... ificat.pdf

regards,
reinier

fdoell
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Joined: 23 Apr 2009 02:02
Location: Ismaning (near Munich), Germany
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Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby fdoell » 01 Jun 2009 16:32

Hello Reinier,

as I am used to work with notation programs for a long time now, it comes to my mind very quickly when looking at your example pdf file that the program does not seem to add breaks automatically if the notes themselves do not fill the whole beat. Isn't that a bit risky when you are pinting out notes? In your example, I wouldn't be sure what to sing in some beats, eg. 1st voice beat 1, 2, 6, 11, 12, 26, 28 etc. (mostly less than 4/4, in beat 28 you got 5/4).

If this is a programming error, I suggest to fix it before offering it (even for free).

Anyway - thanks for your altruistic engagement!

Friedhelm

CHGiffen
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Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby CHGiffen » 01 Jun 2009 16:50

fdoell wrote:Hello Reinier,

as I am used to work with notation programs for a long time now, it comes to my mind very quickly when looking at your example pdf file that the program does not seem to add breaks automatically if the notes themselves do not fill the whole beat. Isn't that a bit risky when you are pinting out notes? In your example, I wouldn't be sure what to sing in some beats, eg. 1st voice beat 1, 2, 6, 11, 12, 26, 28 etc. (mostly less than 4/4, in beat 28 you got 5/4).

If this is a programming error, I suggest to fix it before offering it (even for free).

Anyway - thanks for your altruistic engagement!

Friedhelm


I think that by "beat" Friedhelm means "bar" or "measure". And my guess is that in Reiner's program, time signatures are simply informational (and may thus convey the wrong information) - there are other notation programs with this propensity, such as NoteWorthy Composer. It can be a blessing or it can be a curse, depending upon the musical situation. There are works with different time signatures and barrings for different parts, making measure oriented programs such as Finale rather difficult to use without special tricks. To conclude, I'm not sure whether this is a bug or a feature! ;)

Chuck
Charles H. Giffen
President of CPDL and
Manager of ChoralWiki
User pageTalk pageComposer page

Early Choral Music? Zephyrus (I sang 12 seasons 1992-2004 with this group).

Cdalitz
Posts: 139
Joined: 24 Apr 2007 14:42

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby Cdalitz » 01 Jun 2009 18:38

vaarky wrote:Thank you for alerting us. I've updated http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Chor ... able_tools to add it. I'd also like to create a page similar to http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php?title=ChoralWiki:MUP for it.

These help sites are quite interesting. What do you think about adding two other free (GNU GPL) music typestting programs that are even available on all platforms (Mac, Linux and Windows) to the help pages? AFAIK abc is used by a number of CPDL contributors; not sure of PMW, but it is definitely worth a try.

vaarky
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Posts: 1983
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Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby vaarky » 02 Jun 2009 05:13

Adding the additional programs would be great! I'll get to adding these plus creating the individual page for Reinier's software in my next batch of CPDL updates (concert week with extra rehearsals), but if you are more familiar with them or if anyone wants to beat me to it, feel free!

fdoell
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Location: Ismaning (near Munich), Germany
Contact:

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby fdoell » 02 Jun 2009 07:03

Hello all together,

the question if showing the bar measurement at one bar "informationally" but hiding it at all the other bars where measurement is different seems to be a question at 2 levels:

1. Does the program support the kind of optical presentation the composer wants to give? Reinier's sample pdf does not gove the answer to this question, it just shows a 4/4 at the beginning and then changes measurements during the piece a lot of times without showing the new measurements. So, Reinier should give an answer to this by himself.

By the way, programs like Finale that of course can work with different measurements from bar to bar (also different measurements in different lines, so the 1st voice may have 9/8 whilst the 2nd voice plays 5/4 and both end up at the same time at the end of the bar), also offer the opportunity to hide all the bar indications so that the music reader has to look from bar to bar which measurement is given in the actual bar (I don't know if this is a feature given in the simple Finale Notepad program but for sure in the full edition).

2. Does it give sense for musicians to hide the measurements even if they vary every bar? This question is to be answered by the composer or arranger themselves. If they want to write it this way, it seems to be correct then.

What disturbed me in the sample pdf is showing 4/4 at the beginning and then hiding the varieties of measurements. The 4/4 indicates a convention of showing the measurements but is not continued then consistently. In this case it would be more correct in my opinion to hide bar measurements from the beginning so that the reader knows they have to look newly at every bar which measurement occurs.


In my opinion, the discussion shows the following basic theme: should a software allow every nonconformance deviation of notation just as you can write everything manually - giving sense or not - or should a program provide some logic queries and error warnings facing conventional rules to avoid typical input mistakes? If the first option is your's, the program may indeed be kept relatively simply and ease-to-use. If you tend to the second option (as I do), some fundamental logic loops have to be build into the program lines which make it more complicated to develop or to use.

Anyway - if what comes out of the work with a notation software is a piece of music that gives the musicians and listeners the intended joy it does not matter which software was used. Just if you think of the time spent to bring the music into the software and check every detail before printing it out, the kind of software used may occur in your mind.

As I personally want to use more time an being creatively active than editionally productive, I prefer software that gives any help to make my sheets easier to produce and definitely usabale without surprises for prima-viasta players and singers - his was my point of view when giving my statement above.

Friedhelm

CHGiffen
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Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby CHGiffen » 02 Jun 2009 11:45

Hello Friedhelm,

As a composer, arranger, and music editor, I appreciate all that you wrote. Thank you for making it clear that there are wide variations in music notation methods - as well as now generally accepted norms and traditions. I am principally a Finale and secondarily a NoteWorthy Composer user and am well aware of many advantages and some disadvantages of each of these programs (which are somewhat complementary).

Finale is definitely "measure" structured and that is a very good "normal/traditional? behavior, which is partly why I use it for nearly all of my composing/arranging now, and it has a panoply of other features that make it possible to produce very high quality, finely tweaked output, which is why I use it for all my editing of historical works (although, even here, I find several shortcomings, alas, even some not covered by third-party add-ons). Sibelius has similar features and structure, although I am really not conversant with all its inner workings. Both of these programs have an excellent "default" behavior which adheres to currently perceived "norms" that also respect tradition.

Other programs have this default capability as well, even LilyPond and NoteWorthy Composer, although, in the latter case, the user must (may) insert barlines manually (wherever desired). In the case of NoteWorthy, this barline handling is actually a convenience for me on some occasions I am doing some "quick and dirty" work with variable-beat measures where including time signatures is not of importance (eg. in notating chant for psalms, canticles, etc.). On the other hand, from looking at the code snippets of the program introduced in this thread, I'm very much inclined to give it a try and perhaps adopt it as my program of choice for my chant notation. I do like the array of features in this new program, although I'm not quite sure if it has all the fine tweaking capabilities I might require for editing early music scores.

Note to notation program developers: give us early music engravers the clefs, the mensuration symbols, and neumes we need - as well as a structure that makes it relatively easy to use!

Chuck
Charles H. Giffen
President of CPDL and
Manager of ChoralWiki
User pageTalk pageComposer page

Early Choral Music? Zephyrus (I sang 12 seasons 1992-2004 with this group).

reinier
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 May 2009 19:46

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby reinier » 02 Jun 2009 14:09

Hello,

Thanks for all your comments. The 4/4 at the beginning of my Magnificat is a mistake: no measure should be there. Although the work has been performed by several conductors, no one has noticed is. I will upload a new score. MCMusiceditor -which is based on a modification of the abc-language and thus code oriented like lilypond)-, has the great opportunity to make flexible bars. So making a polymetric score of a Strawinsky work is as easy as making a score of a Bach-chorale.
The barlines are just given only for visual orientation (other solutions are possible). They do not have any musical meaning...Yes, each bar could have indications as 4/4, 2/4, 5/4 etcetera. But I don't like such scores...

Regards,
Reinier

Cdalitz
Posts: 139
Joined: 24 Apr 2007 14:42

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby Cdalitz » 02 Jun 2009 14:20

vaarky wrote:Adding the additional programs would be great! If you are more familiar with them or if anyone wants to beat me to it, feel free!

I could add flabc (or maybe a more general page on abc notation) and pmw pages, if I knew how to create these new pages. Is there some general index site on which links to the newly to create pages can be added?

vaarky
Moderator
Posts: 1983
Joined: 22 Aug 2008 07:28

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby vaarky » 02 Jun 2009 23:47

Glad you asked! Here's an answer, if I understand the question correctly. Wiki is very permissive about allowing users to create new pages. I make them by finding a page in the right format, such as the page for the MUP tool, then change the URL in the browser bar to what I want the new page for the new tool to be called. When I execute that revised URL in the browser, if it's a page that doesn't already exist, the wiki allows me to create it. I then copy the formatting from the sample page (such as the MUP page if that's the type of page structure I want to emulate) and tailor the text appropriately. This also helps get the same Categories onto the newly created page.

Then the newly created page for the new tool in this case can and should also be referenced on the Tools overview page which lists them all. Please feel free to take a stab at it if you're inclined; people can review and build upon it.

Regarding the earlier comments about what a specific music editing program can and can't do, I would love to see this type of discussion or a synopsis on the software's Talk page, since that's a place where users seeing the Tool indexed on CPDL are more likely to find the reference discussion than here in the forums, especially once it scrolls down and is not the most recent topic anymore.

DrewE
Posts: 28
Joined: 24 Oct 2008 03:37
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby DrewE » 03 Jun 2009 00:29

fdoell wrote:Hello all together,

the question if showing the bar measurement at one bar "informationally" but hiding it at all the other bars where measurement is different seems to be a question at 2 levels:

(snip....)

2. Does it give sense for musicians to hide the measurements even if they vary every bar? This question is to be answered by the composer or arranger themselves. If they want to write it this way, it seems to be correct then.

What disturbed me in the sample pdf is showing 4/4 at the beginning and then hiding the varieties of measurements. The 4/4 indicates a convention of showing the measurements but is not continued then consistently. In this case it would be more correct in my opinion to hide bar measurements from the beginning so that the reader knows they have to look newly at every bar which measurement occurs.

In my opinion, the discussion shows the following basic theme: should a software allow every nonconformance deviation of notation just as you can write everything manually - giving sense or not - or should a program provide some logic queries and error warnings facing conventional rules to avoid typical input mistakes? If the first option is your's, the program may indeed be kept relatively simply and ease-to-use. If you tend to the second option (as I do), some fundamental logic loops have to be build into the program lines which make it more complicated to develop or to use.

Anyway - if what comes out of the work with a notation software is a piece of music that gives the musicians and listeners the intended joy it does not matter which software was used. Just if you think of the time spent to bring the music into the software and check every detail before printing it out, the kind of software used may occur in your mind.

As I personally want to use more time an being creatively active than editionally productive, I prefer software that gives any help to make my sheets easier to produce and definitely usabale without surprises for prima-viasta players and singers - his was my point of view when giving my statement above.

Friedhelm


An interesting question or thought. I think we agree (probably most everybody here agrees) that, if a meter is specified, the piece ought to consistently follow that meter and avoid having missing or extraneous beats in a measure. Doing otherwise does indeed lead to confusion and difficulties in performance. (I immediately recall working on a lovely recent religious song, How Deep the Father's Love For Us by Stuart Townend, that was marked 4/4 and then proceeded to have five beats in every measure. This caused a little disputing during rehearsal about the timing of the opening phrases, I guess based upon whether one was working forwards from the start or backwards from the end of the measure. Of course, once we all noted the discrepancy in the score, we made much better progress.)

Modern engraving practice, in my limited experience, seems to usually be to indicate new meters as needed, even if it is every measure, at least if the piece has any consistent pulse at all. If one has separate parts, rather than giving complete scores to every performer, it's essential to have this information where there's a whole rest, since the length of the rest depends upon the meter. I suppose this is more commonly a concern for instrumental music than for choral music.

It's also worth observing that the meter can convey a bit more information than just the length of the measure; it also helps to indicate where the natural accents fall. The obvious example is in comparing 6/8 with 3/4. Likewise, 4/4 and 2/2 have a subtly different feel.

I guess personally, for these reasons, I prefer to have the meter specified explicitly (and, of course, accurately) whenever that's reasonably doable.

Cdalitz
Posts: 139
Joined: 24 Apr 2007 14:42

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby Cdalitz » 03 Jun 2009 20:48

vaarky wrote:Glad you asked! When I execute that revised URL in the browser, if it's a page that doesn't already exist, the wiki allows me to create it.


Thanks for the hint! I have added two entries for ABC and PMW under http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/ChoralWiki:Downloadable_tools#ABC. I have not figured out a consistent ordering of the tools on that site, so I have added them at the end. Please move them to a more appropriate position, if necessary.

I have not created two additional new sites, because I have not really understood the point of duplicating this information on a second page...

carlos
Site Admin
Posts: 1797
Joined: 19 Aug 2008 15:26
Location: São Paulo, Brasil

Re: freeware musicnotation programm

Postby carlos » 04 Jun 2009 02:01

Cdalitz wrote:I have not created two additional new sites, because I have not really understood the point of duplicating this information on a second page...

Hi Christoph, in fact there is a subtle difference: ChoralWiki:Downloadable tools lists software that may be needed to view the music files available at CPDL, while Category:Music notation programs lists softwares capable of generating these music files. But since today most software packages do both things, I agree that these definitions overlap a big deal.


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