Topics

Notation


Susan Tucker <novice@...>
 

Steve,

In the new age vernacular, I feel your pain. A couple of observations
from a long time BIAB user:

IMHO, the root of your problem is that you've mistaken BIAB for a
notation program. It's not. It's an auto-accompaniment tool, which
supports a minimal set of notation for Lead Sheet printing. That
notation support is, uh, idiosyncratic in some cases buggy in others.
It often handy for me, but if you want to be able to do key changes,
have accidentals display in a conventional manner, have second endings,
specify precise note values, rests, ties, dots, etc.... you need a
notation program.

I have been pleased no end by Noteworthy Composer, an inexpensive
notation program:

http://www.ntworthy.com/

Once you have the melody entered in either program, it's relatively
straightforward to export it as a MIDI file and ship it to the other
program. Of course, you'll lose the formatting in that case, but for
example you could use a melody exported from NWC to play with a BIAB
auto accompaniment. You'd have to enter the chords twice: as text in
NWC, and in the chord window of BIAB.

**********************

About practicing with your personal library of music.

What I often do, if I have a lead sheet from another source, is just
enter the chords in BIAB and the read from the lead sheet while BIAB
plays. Better yet, I don't enter the chords but find the tune in the
collection of stuff I've downloaded from the web.

**********************

Anyway, good luck, and I hope this helps a little.

Susan Tucker

Message: 8
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 07:47:49 -0600
From: Steve Ginn <sginn@...>
Subject: Frustration

Well I sat down with BiaB last night to try and enter in my first piece of
music, hoping to begin the process of building my personal library. And
much to my frustration, I ran into the following problems which I couldn't
seem to find the answer for anywhere in the documentation.

First, I could not find how to put a key change in the middle of the piece
other than forcing all the accidentals to change the piece to the new key
manually which was extremely tedious.

Second, while entering in the melody, I found it very difficult to enter the
melody exactly like it should be. For example in one measure, I could not
enter a dotted quarter followed by an eighth note ... The program persisted
in entering a quarter note tied to a sixteenth note followed by a dotted
eighth, but when you actually played it back in Lead Sheet mode it displayed
the notes as two quarters (figure that one out). Also, I could not find
anywhere in the documentation about how to tie notes together within a
measure so they would be either slurred or held as a single note with the
combined duration.

Finally, the styles have little to be desired with most sounding somewhat
the same except for maybe the rhythm pattern when moving from a swing feel
to a straight ahead rock feel. It was also frustrating when changing a
style to learn that the melody line that I had painstakingly entered had now
been changed into a very mundane resemblance of its original structure.

All in all, very frustrating.

I really want to tough it out with this program because of all the messages
I have read from people on this list that talk about the wonderful things
this program can do. I can also see how this could help speed up the
creation of lead sheets (in conjunction with a real notation program) with
its creation of piano and rhythm sections. But if it is going to actually
create twice as much work in the process, as much as I would like to have my
library available for practicing along with, I think I will pass.

Sincerely,

Steve

to help, or know who to co


M. Steven Ginn <sginn@...>
 

Hi Susan,

thanks for your response

IMHO, the root of your problem is that you've mistaken BIAB for a
notation program. It's not. It's an auto-accompaniment tool, which
supports a minimal set of notation for Lead Sheet printing. That
notation support is, uh, idiosyncratic in some cases buggy in others.
It often handy for me, but if you want to be able to do key changes,
have accidentals display in a conventional manner, have
second endings,
specify precise note values, rests, ties, dots, etc.... you need a
notation program.
I understand its not a notation program as I have Finale for that. And
I am not looking for all the bells and whistles that you can get with a
notation program (like second endings, etc.). But, if PG music is going
to include notation functionality, it should at the very least include
some fundamental features.

First, making a key change is not even just a notation issue and as an
auto-accompaniment tool, modulating keys should be very necessary. Then
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.

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.

Once you have the melody entered in either program, it's relatively
straightforward to export it as a MIDI file and ship it to the other
program. Of course, you'll lose the formatting in that case, but for
example you could use a melody exported from NWC to play with a BIAB
auto accompaniment. You'd have to enter the chords twice: as text in
NWC, and in the chord window of BIAB.
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.

**********************

About practicing with your personal library of music.

What I often do, if I have a lead sheet from another source, is just
enter the chords in BIAB and the read from the lead sheet while BIAB
plays. Better yet, I don't enter the chords but find the tune in the
collection of stuff I've downloaded from the web.
This sounds like a great idea. I guess I was just hoping to prevent
double entry into BIAB and into the notation app for the lead sheet.

**********************

Anyway, good luck, and I hope this helps a little.
Thanks for the help!

Steve