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  1. #1

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    Which do you prefer?

    I was talking to NYC ace trumpet man Joe Magniarelli the other night about this. We both lean towards writing by hand, feeling it is more personal and less generic than using a program.

    I realize that especially younger musicians nowadays prefer and even expect computer-generated music. It's just that I enjoy the process of writing by hand. Maybe it is partly that my first medium as a young creative person was visual art. Even using whiteout reminds me of painting. And I like that my handwriting and copying has steadily improved over time.

    I also like to read by-hand charts by others, and check out their styles, markings, etc.

    Of course I also appreciate the advantages software offers, especially if one is writing for a larger ensemble it can save many copying hours.

    I think that eventually composers using programs will be able to 'personalize' their work with individual fonts, etc.---if they aren't already.

    Thoughts?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Sorry, Joel, not that it matters to anyone else, but I prefer Sibelius or Finale. There is something about the architecture of formal notation. Even though Sibelius has fonts that mimic "jazz" notation and handwritten, I still prefer the standard.

    Call me irresponsible....

  4. #3

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    You woulnt wanna see my hand written charts, trust me! Lol. No, Sibelius is my steady choice, and it has handwrtten kind like font. No way im going back to hand writing anything!

  5. #4

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    I had Sibelius, and kept it shelved since 2004. When I finally got around to wanting to try it recently I couldn't find the damn CD.

    Everybody I asked told me Finale was too hard.

    There are free, less feature-heavy systems for downloading. Will give those a shot, I think...

  6. #5

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  7. #6

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    Software is consistent. Hands are not. Some people write and draw much better than others. With software it's all the same, and easy to get used to reading it.

  8. #7
    Musescore is great. I think you'd like it once you get the hang of it. I have the keyboard shortcuts printed out and posted in my office.

    I look at notation software much as I would look at spreadsheet software. When you make one mistake with an adding machine, you have to go back and re-add everything, figure out where you messed up, as opposed to spreadsheet software, where you fix the one thing and everything else automatically adjusts.

    It's not as bad with had handwritten music charts , but you still have to fix it, and sometimes deal with gaps and holes in the visuals, if it's by hand, as opposed to just deleting the part which doesn't work and reprinting the score.

    ...even more so, if you have multiple parts. Musescore and the like are pretty handy for printing entire scores and then, automatically splitting them into separate parts when you're ready to go. Maybe it wouldn't make as much of a difference, if I made fewer mistakes, but I can't tell you the number of times I've gone back and changed scores. If it's big enough chart, or has enough parts, it can be serious pain to edit a measure here and there, by hand, as opposed to editing a master score which is later split and reprinted.

    Musescore has jazz "real book" style fonts by the way, if you want more of that hand-written look.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 09-17-2016 at 09:18 PM.

  9. #8

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    Perhaps you should consider Staffpad if you enjoy the physical writing process; perhaps the best of both worlds


  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Software is consistent. Hands are not. Some people write and draw much better than others. With software it's all the same, and easy to get used to reading it.
    I have accumulated a few of Tom Harrell's (a man not without problems) handwritten charts. They are steady as she goes, and rather beautiful to look at.

    I myself am nervous as a baseline. I find notating by hand therapeutic and calming. And i'm proud of how the results often come out. Writing lead sheets and such nearly daily I have quite a library in my own hand.

    Again, I also love looking at how others handle it. It is educational to me...

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by keith
    Perhaps you should consider Staffpad if you enjoy the physical writing process; perhaps the best of both worlds

    I sure would! This is what I alluded to before. The future is now!

    In the words of Cyrano: 'I thank you, I thank you---and again I thank you...

  12. #11

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  13. #12

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    Keith, you have made me a happy man! If I can use this with a laptop I am in like Flint. I was getting ready to pay a guy $25/page to copy music for intended publication. Now for a cool $50 total expenditure I can do it myself and save...

  14. #13

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    Sadly, I cannot. There is no 'active pen' feature on my Samsung Notebook 9---and Staffpad requires it.

    Ah, well, it was a nice thought...

  15. #14

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    I use StaffPad and LOVE it.

    I absolutely HATE reading handwritten music. Why? Because most people are not careful enough in their markings to show unequivocally whether a note is ON the line or IN the space between lines. And the note-heads end up being inconsistent, varying in size and shape. And instead of really BLACK and white, you usually get grey and white, which is more difficult to read on the fly.

    StaffPad is my ideal (though it has some bugs...)

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco
    I use StaffPad and LOVE it.

    I absolutely HATE reading handwritten music. Why? Because most people are not careful enough in their markings to show unequivocally whether a note is ON the line or IN the space between lines. And the note-heads end up being inconsistent, varying in size and shape.
    Strongly disagree. I know scores of writers who write quality and very readable scores and never do what you allude to.

    Part of the problem may be that younger musos start out writing with programs, never learning to properly notate by hand. IMO this is their loss, for previously-stated reasons...

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco
    StaffPad is my ideal (though it has some bugs...)
    Not only bugs: not compatible with my laptop, and Surface tablets---which Staffpad claims it works best on---start at ca. $400. Sorry, but f that noise. I ain't made out of $, and just dropped $800 on a laptop.

    Too bad, I was hoping it could work out. Maybe, down the line, another product will...

  18. #17

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    My handwriting was f-ed up from the start, before I even start learning music. It's just bad, it is what it is. It's not a requirement for musicians to write accurately. Hell, Django couldn't write anything at all, period! AFAIK there were special people with nice handwriting who would get pay to write scores. Now with computer everyone can do that, and I'm happy the handwritten scores became thing of the past.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    Now with computer everyone can do that, and I'm happy the handwritten scores became thing of the past.
    'They say it's idiot-proof, but I found a way to beat it'


    John Eckert...

  20. #19

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    Joel, obviously everyone has their personal financial situation - mine currently is "unemployment" which does tend to discourage discretionary spending. But one advantage that cannot be underestimated to some other notation solutions is that Sibelius has the performance playback with midi files plus the capability of transposing the score. Performance playback for me is a big deal. Verify what I wrote is correct and rehearse tunes or to compose. Transcribes what I can play in real time. One could literally use sections for recordings.

    And the kicker? When I bought my now legacy Sibelius G7 software eons ago, it cost me $60 or so on sale at GC. Best money I ever spent.

  21. #20

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    Agreed, Sibelius is great. Never said it wasn't...

  22. #21

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    Finale is much easier to learn than it used to be. It also includes Garritan sounds for playback, and some are amazingly good. I think it's an excellent way to learn orchestration while developing your own style at the same time. It is, of course, just one of many, but I settled on it once the learning curve was flattened.

  23. #22

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    Just wrote out And the Angels Sing for tonight. In hand.

    It'll do fine. Will have to...

  24. #23

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    And Dorico, the new Steinberg software created by the Avid fired Sibelius development team, is even better and easier to use since designed to address many usage problems of Sibelius

    No affiliation with Steinberg !

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhch
    And Dorico, the new Steinberg software created by the Avid fired Sibelius development team, is even better and easier to use since designed to address many usage problems of Sibelius

    No affiliation with Steinberg !
    I bought Steinberg's Cubase, over 20 years ago. Set me back over $400, and I never used it...
    Last edited by fasstrack; 09-18-2016 at 04:41 PM.

  26. #25

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    I've been a busy lad today. Working tonight, and getting to call the tunes---so I wrote out the 1 I mentioned, plus Once Upon a Summertime (in pen).

    Time to chill. Badass Alessio Menconi coming to listen and play, Kevin McNeal, too. Maybe Pasquale G.

    Should be fun, maybe a mini-guitar fest.

    I love​ NY...