Digest Number 26

Susan Tucker <novice@...>

Hi Steven,

I think we're basically in agreement. I've got a couple of thoughts and
questions, below.

First, making a key change is not even just a notation issue and as an
auto-accompaniment tool, modulating keys should be very necessary.
More than a notation issue? That's a new idea to me.

So ... lots of jazz tunes modulate, but generally the fake books I've
seen don't change the key signature; they just write in the appropriate
chords and accidentals. Is this a problem, too, do you think? What
tunes were you working with?

when you add in the other capabilities like melodist and soloist, it is
one thing to generate notes based on the chords (which I assume that it
does) but it sounds kind of funny when the key doesn't change to reflect
the modulation.
I think those capabilities are based strictly on the chords and ignore
the key signature anyway. Have you found behavior that you believe to
be a counter-example? In the settings for these capabilities (soloist,
anyway, not sure about melodist), there is a parameter for how IN or OUT
the solo will be. IN means very close agreement with chord symbols.

If you get further into the specifics of this and want to share some
files and discuss specifics, I'd be interested.

Second, since music is fundamentally tied to "time", if you can't
control the time element of a melody line that you enter with basic
elements like rests, ties, dots, etc. (and I'm not talking about codas,
repeat endings, tacets, etc. and various other time related features)
then it renders the program from this standpoint virtually unusable.
Yeah, I know and agree. It stops short of making really good lead
sheets, even without the fancy stuff. I HAVE found it possible to
control the gross features of the timing melodically to the point of
making BIAB an acceptable practice tool.

So if I understand correctly, then the most accurate way to do this, is
to create a melody line (exactly) in a notation program. Then export
that to BIAB where you add the chords (and lyrics if you like, but I
haven't gotten to that point yet). From there you should have a somewhat
useful compilation closely resembling the original song, assuming you
can find a decent style to make it sound real. Then finally, if you
want to use this song and print out lead sheets, you need to take this
back into a notation program again, to clean it all up so that the band
members can follow it.
Awful, ain't it? Personally, I wouldn't go all the way through this
process unless I was highly motivated!

Tell us about your band (instrumentation, repertoire). Would you really
have a pianist reading a piano accompaniment, rather than playing off
the chord symbols?

I guess the bottom line is that if you bought the program primarily as a
practice tool you will probably be happy. If you mainly wanted to make
lead sheets, you probably won't.