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Writing music scores

GUEST,John Musgrave 10 May 03 - 04:20 AM
smallpiper 10 May 03 - 05:33 AM
JohnInKansas 10 May 03 - 06:07 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 10 May 03 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Jon 10 May 03 - 07:12 AM
JohnInKansas 10 May 03 - 08:07 AM
John P 10 May 03 - 10:19 AM
smallpiper 10 May 03 - 10:50 AM
Snuffy 10 May 03 - 01:28 PM
Crane Driver 10 May 03 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 May 03 - 10:22 PM
pict 10 May 03 - 11:22 PM
Mark Clark 11 May 03 - 01:14 AM
Barry T 11 May 03 - 01:23 AM
GUEST,Jon 11 May 03 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Jon 12 May 03 - 02:30 PM
Steve Parkes 13 May 03 - 10:52 AM
Steve Parkes 13 May 03 - 11:03 AM
Mitch the Bass 14 May 03 - 06:13 AM
Pied Piper 14 May 03 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,rlong53@yahoo.com 05 Jun 04 - 01:37 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 05 Jun 04 - 02:10 PM
Mark Clark 05 Jun 04 - 02:17 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Jun 04 - 10:24 AM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Jun 04 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Jon 06 Jun 04 - 10:48 AM
JohnInKansas 06 Jun 04 - 01:00 PM
Anglo 06 Jun 04 - 11:41 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 08 Jun 04 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,MCP 08 Jun 04 - 03:31 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 08 Jun 04 - 04:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Jun 04 - 11:57 PM
s&r 09 Jun 04 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Tony Pearson 27 Jun 04 - 06:42 PM
Mark Clark 27 Jun 04 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Tony Pearson 28 Jun 04 - 07:57 PM
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Subject: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,John Musgrave
Date: 10 May 03 - 04:20 AM

I play for a ceilidh band and am trying to collate and print several tunes - usually 16 or 24 bars in length - on one sheet of A4. These may involve key changes. Most of the software that I have seen will not allow a new tune to be created on the smae page. At present I have to print the first tune and then reposition and reprint the subsequent tunes. However I need to print several hundred tunes and this method is just too laborious.

Any help would be greatly appreciated


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: smallpiper
Date: 10 May 03 - 05:33 AM

Try Cutting and pasting into a word processing package (like word)that is what I do when printing a load of tunes on the same page it dosn't take long either.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 May 03 - 06:07 AM

The simplest method is probably to print each of the tunes once, trim to size, paste them to a sheet and then copy the whole sheet. If you keep the bits and pieces clean and flat, you can tape with the non-reflective (Scotch MagicMender) mending tape and usually the edges won't show. The biggest problem is that the tape picks up "grunge" on the roll. Touch them up with type correction fluid (WyteOut?) if you need to.

Once you have the "paste-up" sheets made up, use the copy machine to get a clean "master copy" and use the master to duplicate as many as you need.

If your scoring program permits it, you may be able to "select" a line of score and paste it into Word for an "electronic" paste-up as smallpiper suggests, but neither of the scoring programs I use works very well this way. You can also do a print-screen copy (Alt-PrtScr) to paste a picture of the screen into Word, which you can then crop down to the line or two that you want.

The usual methods for full page layout involve printing or saving the individual tunes as individual graphics and "placing" the graphics in a layout program. This isn't really too hard to do, but it depends very much on what specific software you have and on how much you know (or want to know) about how to use it. The cut-and-paste method is simple, and it does work with the tools most people have.

If you need the ability to print directly from your machine, the copy-shop (or your local library?) may have a scanner that can make a .bmp or .jpg from the master, that you can use to print from your home machinery.

I don't know of a scoring program that allows you to put more than one tune directly onto a "page" that's affordable enough to be worth talking about.

For a tunebook I put together a couple of years ago, I reset each tune in my scoring program, then printed each tune to file using a PostScript print driver to get an eps file of each tune. Open each eps file in GhostView to determine cropping dimensions. Open each eps file in Word to edit the bounding box (crop). Paste each tune into the Final Document, resize as needed, and add appropriate text and a few other graphics. Total labor for 848 tunes (2 to 3 per page), a little over 2,000 hours.

A "disadvantage" of the above method is that the eps graphics require a PostScript printer. Many recent laser printers have this ability, but hardly any inkjets are equipped for it. (And cost to "home print" (toner and paper only) is $19.46 per book - and about 5 hours printing time per copy on my "fairly fast" LaserJet.)

John


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 10 May 03 - 07:07 AM

I have had a similar problem (though not as vast). I just tried Smallpiper's suggestion and it didn't work; in my old WordPerfect format the "paste" tool isn't available if what I've highlighted is not a recognized document (I used Noteworthy Composer). Rats! It was a great idea!
(When my son takes this computer to college in a few years (with upgrades) I'm getting me a real computer!)


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 May 03 - 07:12 AM

abcm2ps will do that and is free. You'd need to be messing around with command line programs and installing and using ghostscript is you don't have a post script printer though.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 May 03 - 08:07 AM

Actually, the easiest way to get an eps is just to install a PostScript driver and print to file through it. Anything that any program can print comes out as an eps that way. Pictures/graphics will be "embedded," usually as bitmaps, and some programs "balk" at the eps format that you get, but that's sort of true with quite a few "real" conversion programs. It's not uncommon for any given graphics program to refuse to load the eps files saved from another program, due to variations in the PostScript "flavors" used.

The eps files are not very useful unless you have a way to convert them to something else, or have a PS printer. The only "manipulation" I found necessary was to reset the bounding box to crop excess margins, so that the eps graphics can be placed close together without framing to overlap them. (Difficult, since you can't see the picture - only a place marker - in Word, for example.) You can, with a PS printer, print the eps and measure the print to get the correct "crop" dimensions, so no ghostview is really necessary, it's just more convenient.

And you MUST have a PostScript capable printer to print any document that embeds an eps graphic.

John


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: John P
Date: 10 May 03 - 10:19 AM

John,
Without knowing what program you are using it is hard to give you specific advice. I use Finale and it is easy enough to do with that. I haven't tried the inexpensive version of Finale, but I suspect you can do it with that as well.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: smallpiper
Date: 10 May 03 - 10:50 AM

So cutting and pasting to a word document didn't work Animattera you could try copying it to somthing like Paintbrush then save it as a bit map image. you can the go back to your word processing package and insert the bitmap do that a few times and you have a page full of tunes.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 May 03 - 01:28 PM

abc2win allows to to put several tunes on a page - only costs about $20 for the full version, or there is a free lite version.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Crane Driver
Date: 10 May 03 - 04:56 PM

I also use Finale, and there's no problem. The whole page is treated by the program as a single score, usually 12 x 8 bars, but it allows key (and time) changes wherever you want them. The end product looks like it has up to 6 separate tunes on it. Takes a little bit of thrashing with a stick to make it do what I want, rather than what it thinks I ought to want, but I've more or less beaten it into submission now. You can even widen the gap between every other stave, to make the tunes look more separate.

Just apply lateral thinking!!

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 May 03 - 10:22 PM

Why can't you just put in some empty measures, write in the name of the new tune (text, probably) and keep going? In Noteworthy, I can do that.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: pict
Date: 10 May 03 - 11:22 PM

Have any of you Finale users tried Sibelius?


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Mark Clark
Date: 11 May 03 - 01:14 AM

Here is the home page for the ABC Plus Project. You'll find everything you need there or a link to it. The abcm2ps will print any number of tunes on a page and allow you put text in between tunes if desired. You can also enter lyrics so that they line up with the notes in the score or set them as poetry below the score. The program is very flexible and permits setting polyphonic music on multiple staffs if needed.

As it happens, I just finished explaining Ghostscript and the creation of PDF files over in another thread.

As I recall, abcm2ps will also create EPS (encapsulated PostScript) files using a command line option and you can embed the EPS file inside another document if desired.

John in Brisbane is our resident ABC expert. To learn more about ABC notation and its possibilities, check out the Mudcat ABC Tune Guide then chase down all the links provided there.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Barry T
Date: 11 May 03 - 01:23 AM

I've used screen print > paste > crop > insert into MS Word, but I agree with Snuffy... the *registered* version of ABC2WIN is superb for maintaining tunebooks!


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 May 03 - 04:46 AM

I have a couple of doubts over abc2win and the abc draft standard but need to check them out.

I can be sure of abcm2ps though and know that Jean Francios Moine is an active developer and regular contributer to the abcusers mail list which is the difinitive source for any queries regarding abc.

If you wish to use abcm2ps, I believe Steve Mansfield has some useful instructions on using macros and or shortcuts to simplify the task from something like wordpad at http://www.lesession.vcisp.net/. Altenatively, you could try my hack at http://www.folkinfo.org/abctest.zip. It was only designed to run abcmidi, abcm2ps and ghostscript for test purposes to ensure things work before posting abc to folkinfo and in spite of a couple of bugs works well enough for that, but I should be able to expand its functionality and make it available as freeware should there be any interest.

ABC and websites in general: Although I've no doubt I'll be seen as trying to "poach trade", I'd seriously suggest asking at folkinfo. There are a couple like me who post at both places but we are the only site I know of that is putting the use of abc as the storage format and manipulating it for MIDI and graphics for songs (there are plenty for tunes) into practice and do sometimes manage to attract some of the abc software authors. Phil Taylor (author of Barfly), in particular has been very helpful.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 May 03 - 02:30 PM

Steve Mansfield has just posted to the abcusers list informing people of changes to his website. This does affect one of the links I gave above.

I can't access his site at the moment but apparently, he now has his own domain name, http://www.lesession.co.uk. The address for his tutorial on abc is http://www.lesession.co.uk/abc/abc_notation.htm.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 May 03 - 10:52 AM

NoteWorthy Composer will do it. You'll have to copy all the tuines into one satve -- cut & paste 'em -- and put a "system break" (i.e. a newline) at the end of each one. You can insert text anywhere, so the titles can go above the appropriate line of music. You can change toe page setup to make the staves big/small enough to fit neatly on the paper.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 May 03 - 11:03 AM

If you prefer, you could copy all the tunes into one stave!


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Mitch the Bass
Date: 14 May 03 - 06:13 AM

John,

I only know of 2 music notation file formats which have the ability to represent more than one tune in a file. By this I mean each tune has separate attributes such as name, key, time signature etc. Most notation applications will allow you to have a single piece with changes of key, time etc. and to insert text as titles and space the stave out but this isn't the same thing. Specifically I like to keep all the tunes individually and then compile them into pages or books as appropriate e.g. for a musicians' workshop.

The two file formats are abc and the xml2abc/abc2xml opus format - see http://home.austin.rr.com/johner/abc2xml/abc2xml.htm. As the latter is related to abc, it's really only abc which provides this feature.

So you can either use abc as your main format and use one or more of the abc applications and/or text editors to create and manipulate the files before printing or you can go the graphics route and use any of the notation applications to produce graphics files and then produce page layouts from them.

I prefer to use an application which allows me to manipulate music notation on screen, format it and play it rather than edit the file directly. I've not had any success here with any of the available abc-based applications but I'm open to suggestions. When I need to use abc either as the source of a tune or to produce it from a tune in another format I prefer runabc http://www.ifdo.pugmarks.com/%7Eseymour/runabc/runabc.html which is a wrapper for many of the command-line abc applications. I've added a facility to call abc2xml which I find useful.

For producing graphics files I've found Sibelius to have some very useful features. It can output tunes in eps or bmp format and in the case of eps automatically reduce the bounding box to a minimum so you don't have to crop the image. It also has a batch command to convert a folder of files to graphics format.

You can insert eps files into Word and compile pages or for professional layout I prefer the Adobe suite especially when mixing music and text and other graphics.

Hope some of this rambling helps

Mitch


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Pied Piper
Date: 14 May 03 - 07:13 AM

I've managed this using Melody Assistant by printing the first tune at the top of the page and then running the same piece of paper back through the printer with the next tune placed further down the page, and so on.

All the best PP


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,rlong53@yahoo.com
Date: 05 Jun 04 - 01:37 PM

Where is there a place that will write out the music for a piano lesson book I' m putting together


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 05 Jun 04 - 02:10 PM

What do you mean?

Are you looking for some sort of a web-site that will print Sheet Music for you?

Sorry, but I'm not aware of such a site. HOWEVER... There are programs you can buy or download. One such freebie is the Finale Notepad. It's a smaller version of the Finale program and is free, and totally usable for printing sheet music.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Jun 04 - 02:17 PM

GUEST,rlong53, You don't really give us enough information to help you. What do you mean by “a place?” Are you looking for software or are you looking for a Web site that takes your input and produces your book in electronic form? Or, maybe you're looking for a typesetting house that will do all the layout and typesetting work for you and send you proofs ready for publication. And what encoding system are you using to specify the music? ABC? CMN? LilyPond? If you're using commercial software such as Finale, they can help you, either directly or through their user forum.

The best free software for producing entire books that look commercially done is LilyPond. LilyPond requires the free TeX/LaTeX typesetting system and probably MusiXTeX as well, though I'm not certain about that one.

The easiest way to get all these programs correctly installed without having to spend a lot of time researching each one is to install Cygwin, a complete GNU Linix implementation that runs on top of (and together with) Windows. Just install directly from the Web—you'll definately need a broadband connection—and make sure you go down through the individual installation options so that TeX, LaTeX and LilyPond are selected for installation. They won't be included in the basic installation. If you miss something on the first install, just repeat the process. The Cygwin installer will look to see what's already installed and only install the new stuff you've requested. Periodic updates are installed the same way, Cygwin keeps track of what you've installed and updates everything that has had a new release since you last updated.

Hope this helps. If you can give us more details, we may be able to provide better answers.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Jun 04 - 10:24 AM

I took it that out questioning guest has not yet learned how to write out music by hand in staff notation.

If you can only produce the music you want to have included in the book in hand written format, many people will (for a fee) enter it into any appropriate computer/typesetter readable format.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Jun 04 - 10:31 AM

Tried to get the free version of Finale Notepad - it won't let me until I have submitted the serial number for a previously purchased Finale Product. Looks like it's only free to existing customers.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Jun 04 - 10:48 AM

Slight drift here but Mark, as you know I've been on/off dabbling with Linux with a sometime future view of moving entierely off Windows (I refuse to go to XP and the continued MS polocies so when Win 2K stops being supported it is the end of the line for me) but have found that dual boot is impractical (always something I need on Windows so I never boot Linux) and I could do without 2 PCs...

This time round, after reading this thread, I have decided to try Cygwin as at least a means to an end. Which brings me to your comment: "you'll definately need a broadband connection". I've just managed a successful minimal install (let's say I at least have bash running) by downloading the files and installing locally over a 28.8K connection.

(Still have a lot to learn and other downloads to do but am unlikely to do that for a week or more - should have a PSR290 keyboard tommorrow and also planning on getting an Ibanez 5 string bass so I think my time will be fully occupied with other interests for a while...)

Jon


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Jun 04 - 01:00 PM

Some experimenting with the tune book mentioned above has resulted in a rather handy concept for putting strange things into documents.

The program I used to set the scores for the tunebook is an ancient one, and was giving me some problems running on my current WinXP machine. (It was written for WWG3.11, I think.)

As described above, I used a PostScript printer driver to print to file to get an eps file, used ghostview to edit the eps, pasted the edited eps files into Word, and used a PostScript printer.

I have found that Photoshop Elements 2.0 will import and rasterize the .eps files that my PS printer driver produces. Once imported into PE2, they can be converted easily to any graphic file format you want, and resized to whatever you need. I have NOT found any other general purpose graphics program that will reliably import .eps print files.

Admittedly, PE2 is a commercial program that you'll have to pay some bucks for, but at $70 US it's a real bargain. If you have a digital camera, you need it anyway. (Personal opinion, but there is no other program available that makes it as easy to work miracles on those over/underexposed shots you are going to get with most digital cameras any of us can afford.)

Anyone can download a PostScript printer driver from Adobe - no cost. (I currently use the HP LJ1200PS driver, since I have that printer; but I've also used others.) You do not need a PostScript printer to install a "New Printer" using this driver in any version of Windows, since you will use it only to print to file. Any program that can print anything can be "printed to file" using the PS driver, given a filename with the extension .eps, and imported into PS2 to make a .bmp, .jpg, .tif, or whatever graphic format works for you. Since the .eps file is a vector graphic format, you can select any resolution you want during the import. Once the graphic is sized the way you want it, you can paste it into another program like Word just like clip art. You don't really even need to know anything about PostScript, except that the print file needs to have a filename with the .eps extension.

I've just finished converting the 848 .eps (print to file) "pictures" of tunes from the book. Using batch mode, PS2 asks, for each image, what resolution you want for the conversion; but once you set the first one, it "remembers" the setting, so all you have to do is click "OK" once for each image. Approximately 2.3 seconds per picture, and now they're all .psd pictures (PS2's native format) that I can see and edit in PS2, or convert to something like .jpg to paste back into the book, so that the book can be printed on any printer.

(Batch mode for conversion between graphic formats can run unattended. Since .eps loading is an import, you have to give it the OK for each image. Conversion from one "normal" graphic format to another one shouldn't take more than 5 or 10 minutes for this whole set of pictures, and requires nothing more than "turning it on" and letting it run. I put them in .psd format, rather than going direct from .eps to .jpg because I may want to resize, and otherwise edit, some of them for some other uses.)

If you're willing to come up with Photoshop Elements 2.0 this is a "no-brainer" way of getting anything that any program can print into a graphic that you can put into any other program that accepts clip art. (Actually, 2 or 3 working brain cells wouldn't hurt, but it really is easy - at least in my experience with it to date.)

John


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Anglo
Date: 06 Jun 04 - 11:41 PM

Foolestroupe - to download Notepad from the Finale website you do need to register, but you don't need a serial number - just give them an email address and a password. Try again - let me know by PM if you have a problem and I'll try to help further.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 02:43 PM

Foolestroupe, you DO need to register, but you don't just to download it. Try again. Notepad is TOTALLY free. Been playing with it for 2 or 3 years now. I use it once in a while only, so it's a great deal.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 03:31 PM

As with Finale, Finale Guitar (the next program after PrintMusic in the sequence Notepad/PrintMusic/Guitar/Finale, or thereabouts) will also let you do this. This is a relatively cheap package (not free - it was about £60-£80 in the UK I think) and despite its title is a general notation package. The extra cost over PrintMusic was worth it for the features (and I didn't need the full Finale package). You do need to do a little work - move the right margin on the last line of each tune to the last bar to split the tunes (a simple Page Mode drag). You can then space the staffs further apart if desired and edit in a title. Not the simplest method, but not the worst. (I do have a copies of Notepad and PrintMusic somewhere, but don't know if the same feature is available).

When I was doing something similar a few years ago I actually created an Access database which could import abc tunes (I have about 1900 in there at the moment) and separate out the information. I could then select tunes into different notional tunebooks and print out each tunebook (generating an abc file, using yaps (comes with abc2midi), to convert to postscript (although almost any converter will do. My standard printing these days is done via abcm2ps) and Ghostgum to print the tunebook). (The other thing I did was use it to print an abc cue sheet with the name of the tune and the opening bars on one line).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 04:10 PM

Mick, that sounds like a useful tool. HAve you made it generally available?


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 11:57 PM

I usually refuse to 'register' with my personal details for what is allegedly a free product, unless it also gets free updates/upgrades/bug fixes. I get enough crap in my email already.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: s&r
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 01:23 PM

John (original query) I asked Finale - I use Finale 2004 - this was the simplest method

"another option you have it to save a tiff of the file (Graphics tool menu >> Export pages). Then import the tiffs into a Word processor and do the page layout there. This would also work very well, and is much easer than formatting the pages within Finale."

Stu


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,Tony Pearson
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 06:42 PM

I see you folks have had a fair amount of travail with printing scores etc. I notice several of you have have tried ABC2Win (I paid my $20 last year). Do any of you know of an independent tutorial that might show me how to print 2 numbered pages with (say) 6 tunes on and which will allow me to edit/resize any of them. Most programmes like this should be intuitive, but this one has beaten me. The best I can do is single page printing. If I put several tunes on one page the programme will only allow me to edit the top one . . . and if I mess around with this and try to redraw anything - I lose the lot!

Anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Jim Vint (the author) hasn't got back to me (yet?)- I'm beginning to get the impression that I should be running ABC2Win alongside another desktop publishing programme and shuttling single tunes between each application to get the right layout. . . but I originally thought ABC2Win had obviated the need for this?

Any comments most appreciated

Regards, Tony P.


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 07:33 PM

I hadn't used this program in quite a while and had to slide over to my other computer to try some things. I figured my version was probably hopelessly out of date by now but, checking at the Web site, I see 2.1i (1999) is still the most current version.

I loaded an ABC file that contained three tunes, highlighted all the tunes and clicked the Draw 1 button. Only the last tune in the list appeared on the page. Then I simply selected (highlighted) one of the other tunes and clicked Draw 1 again. The new tune was added to the page below the earlier one. I did the same thing with the third tune and wound up with a page containing three typeset tunes. I have no reason to believe I couldn't have added more tunes if there had been more in the ABC file I chose. I presume they would have exceeded the first page and automatically flowed to the second but I didn't really take it that far.

I like Jim Vint's program and I remember I exchanged some email with Jim back when I bought it. Now, though, I depend on all the advanced features available with ABC+ (abcm2ps) so Jim's great little program just sits gathering binary dust.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Writing music scores
From: GUEST,Tony Pearson
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 07:57 PM

Thanks Mark
I'm afraid I couldn't get a second page (I'm informed by the programme that I've run out of space - so there's no apparent flow to a next page). If I try to resize a tune using the 'spin' buttons as Jim calls them, I select 'draw' again and simply get a reshaped duplicate below the original. I can't work out how to delete just the unwanted original from the page.

But thanks anyway . . . regards, Tony P.


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