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Matthew Hindson
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   Posted 4/14/2002 2:59 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Some publishers prefer the Sibelius output to that of Finale. Of course, we all know that Finale's entry methods are generally superior, and it's a much more flexible application.

To this end, I've created a "Sibelius Default File" that uses heaps of Sibelius' presets and default settings, such that you can create files that no-one will know were created with Finale!

If you're interested, send me an email at [email protected] and I'll send it to you with the associated Font Annotation files. You'll also have to download the Sibelius demo and install it to get access to the variety of Opus fonts. (It's worth downloading the demo just for these fonts - there are some excellent characters contained in them).

It isn't 100% possible to re-create the output of Sibelius files, particularly when it comes to ties and stem lengths, but I think I've got it close.
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Tim Rowland
...Rowland...Rowland, though the streams are...



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   Posted 4/14/2002 3:14 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
How could publishers say that they prefer S*******'s output over Finale's, when Finale has virtually unlimited preferences in the look of the music? Why would someone want their music to look like everyone elses? The good thing about Finale is that you CAN make it look different!

Cheers,

Tim
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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/14/2002 5:55 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Sibelius's default file adheres to traditional publishing standards much more than Finale's. For example, all lines in Finale are too thin, measure number font and position, shape of slurs & ties, multimeasure rest thickness, etc. These are quite easy to adjust due to Finale's flexibility, but most users will never get around to doing this. As a result, there is a lot of crappy-looking music produced with Finale.

A university in NYC always hires professional musicians to come in and perform the works written in a jazz arranging class and I was one of the performers for the most recent class. Out of about 20 arrangements, probably 12 were done in Finale, 2 in Sibelius, and the rest were hand-copied. These are students so the arrangements were generally created with the default file that ships with the program with little or no tweaking. The Finale output quite frankly looked horrible compared to Sibelius. As an experience Finale user who greatly prefers Finale over Sibelius, I was shocked at how bad the Finale output looked. I hadn't really even looked at the default file that ships with Finale in years.

If Coda could create a new default file from scratch for the next version, a lot of these problems could be eliminated. I think that Coda should take some of the best engraved, recently published samples from a publisher respected in the engraving community, such as Boosey & Hawkes or Schirmers, and try to duplicate their settings. These publishers generally use Score, not Finale or Sibelius. Coda should look at every setting in Finale and justify why their setting is at least as good or better than these respected samples. If it's not then it should be changed. The simple task of creating a default file that adheres to common engraving standards would greatly improve Finale's reputation in the engraving community and would drastically improve the output of beginning users.

Any chances of this happening Coda (or MakeMusic)?
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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/14/2002 6:37 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I just opened up the Music Samples folder on the Finale 2002 disk and many of these samples have engraving errors in addition to poor default settings. What is the intended purpose of these samples Coda? If they are do demonstrate Finale's ability to create professionally engraved music there should be NO engraving errors in the samples. In randomly opening a few I found collisions, misplaced measure numbers, percussion notation errors, and engraving mistakes such as using dotted half rests in 4/4 time. In 4/4 rests should never be consolidated across the middle of a measure. These samples should be a way for Coda to show-off and demonstrate how great music can look when engraved in Finale and they currently do not do this at all in my opinion. Whenever I have a prospective client ask me for samples, I always give a range of samples, including a simple but professionally and accurately engraved part (obviously with no engraving mistakes), a more complex piano piece, a vocal piece, and a very complicated and impressive large orchestral score. Instead of providing so many samples, I feel that Coda should pick a few of various instrumentation and really make them look good. Unfortunately, these samples don't compare well to samples done in Score, and from what I've seen, Sibelius, which kind of defeats the purpose of including them.
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David Young : chambermusic
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   Posted 4/14/2002 10:51 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I don't see Sibelius doing anything to make their product have the looks of engraving standard compositions. If you look at the Sibelius music website, you will see that over 95% of the entries have a huge number of engraving inaccuracies. Only a few, perhaps as many as 5 percent make any effort to make their manuscripts look good. And perhaps only 1 percent actually do look really good.

Here is a chance for Codamusic to look good.

Finale has given everyone a chance to make their manuscripts look publisher perfect (even if it means having to thicken the lines)... now Coda needs to make the effort to teach everyone how to make their manuscript look professional.

I have made a start (although it may not please everyone) by making a document and posting it on the Finale showcase. (Find "elements of proper notation" under the category "educational/notation/exercises). The same manuscript can also be downloaded from Jari Williamsson's finale tips site.

Creating a number of additional manuscripts may be a good idea as a group effort, to post 6 or 7 music manuscripts (just as I have done with a small chamber work) showing some of the elements and techniques to make a manuscript look good.

It could be a help to all of us. Particularly if it had the input of a number of professional engravers.

Cheers,

David
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tim
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   Posted 4/14/2002 11:17 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Now this is a good discussion. I have for a long time been embarrassed by the finale default files and templates. Who really needs a score that says "Conductors Score" or a part that has system one indented? When I was a lecturer I used to cringe when I saw an assignment that came in using default files or templates, but how can you blame a student for using the template that comes with a 'professional' program? You are correct in saying that finale should educate, at the moment they foster bad notation practices through their default files and templates. Most of us that are here reading this forum, have an interest in notation and would never use them. In the real music world, we are a rarity, we care about how it looks, not just how it sounds. I have not checked recently but last time I looked the finale showcase was an embarrassment to professional copyists. That maybe a harsh statement, everyone should be allowed to play etc, but maybe someone has to tell them or show them what is required in the real world. And that should be something that Coda does. Yes they do have many bugs and problems to iron out but there must be someone at Coda that knows how a real score or part should look and can spend 10 minutes to update the default files and templates.
PS I have just had 2 bottles of Champagne (yes the real stuff from France), so if I rambled a bit you will understand!
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Jari Williamsson
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   Posted 4/15/2002 2:02 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
On 4/15/2002 3:17:00 AM, Tim Davies wrote:
> or a
>part that has system one
>indented?

Many publishers use this "standard", such as Henle.


Best regards,

Jari Williamsson

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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/15/2002 4:23 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Tim, I agree with Jari, most good engraving I've seen has the first system indented. However, I completely agree with you on your other points. If Coda asked 50 different professional engravers for their preferred settings they would probably get 50 different answers. That said, there has to be some things that most of us can agree can and should be better about their defaults.
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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/15/2002 5:08 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
David,
I took a look at your example on the forum, and while I agree with many of your points, there are quite a few things I would do differently. Please do not take this personally, I'm just pointing out some things in your example that do not correspond to the current engraving practice in NYC. This is somewhat subjective and I'm sure others will disagree with some of my points, but this is how I've seen the best engravers currently do it. Some of these conventions and trends are relatively new and differ from fine engraving done in the past. I'm just presenting what I would change if I were editing this for publication.

Staff names: All your staff names are too small. If you've used 12 pt, bump it up to 14 but keep it Roman, not bold. Abbreviated staff names should have a period. I use some slightly different abbreviations, although all of yours are acceptable according to the Ross book.

Brackets: The bracket on your second staff group seems thicker than the first. Why? I would use the bracket second from the right in the staff group dialog box and set it at -18 EVPU's.

Measure #'s: The current trend is to position the measure numbers at the left of the staff system, not over the clef, and to use an italic serif font. I use the same serif font for all text in the music throughout the file. Most engravers don't mix serif and sans in the music, only for titles, page numbers, etc.

Tempo markings: I would use a bold serif font for all tempo markings, slightly larger than other text in the music (14 or 16 pt rather than 12). I would also use a bold serif for the metronome marking, not the music font.

Composer name: The composer's name should be right aligned with the edge of the music, not set in a bit. The copyright should be a few point sizes smaller than what you used.

I would not repeat tempi, rehearsal letters, etc. above the piano in the score. With only 7 inst. I think it's unnecessary. With a larger orchestra it is repeated above the strings.

Rehearsal letters: The enclosure is slightly large. I would use either a normal serif or bold, but not italic.

Tuplets: The number should be a bit closer to the beams and should be an italic serif font. Tuplet quarters should have the bracket on the beam side (see pg 12).

Endings: I would put a period after the number. There should be a bit of space between the close of the 1st ending bracket and the beginning of the 2nd.

Key sigs: In contemporary music, which is quite chromatic with frequent key changes, there is no need to cancel the outgoing key unless you're going to C (or open key).

Dynamics & hairpins: Excellent job throughout. I just wanted to mention TGTools Align/Move feature for this if some people are not aware of it.

Again, please do not take these comments personally. I would welcome feedback from other users to see if they agree or disagree with my comments. I'll post one of my scores later and let y'all rip into it. :)

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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/15/2002 6:09 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
David,

One other point, beaming. You should run the Patterson Beams plug-in on your file, it will greatly improve the looks of the beams. Also, all stems for ledger line notes MUST extend at least to the middle line of the staff. Check m 56 & 57 of your example. As promised, here's a sample score of my work. It's something I did for Quincy Jones and it's formatted for 11x17.
(Sorry about the file size bloat. I had to swap the PS fonts with the TrueType to get them to embed properly in XP and for some reason the file size dramatically increased.)
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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/15/2002 6:20 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
There is one thing I should say about the sample I posted. I usually use measure #'s in the score and parts, but the arranger on this job doesn't like to use them, preferring rehearsal letters only, so the #'s aren't there.
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David Young : chambermusic
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   Posted 4/15/2002 7:07 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
For those who have taken the time to look at my music notation file, I want to offer a great deal of thanks.

Giving details on how a manuscript should look is very helpful to me.

I should go back to that score, run the Patterson beaming plug in and review the other suggestions.

Even if I don't make the changes recommended, I will at least acknowledge the advice on the manuscript.

Sincerely,

David Young
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GT
It was some other guy.



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   Posted 4/15/2002 11:04 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
On 4/15/2002 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous wrote:
>As promised,
>here's a sample score of my
>work...

Anon:

What's the point of being Anon if your name is right at the bottom of your score???

;-)

Gary

PS: Very impressive work.
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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/15/2002 11:31 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Gary,
Oops, you caught me.
-Todd
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JSagala
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   Posted 4/15/2002 12:14 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hi, great thread. This an orchestra piece of mine with the default template tweaked(with a bit thicker lines!) and a custom font of mine used for some of the notation characters. It is in a bit different style than the previous two posts (which I both enjoyed looking at!) I hope someone finds this useful.

Jeremy
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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/15/2002 1:09 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Ok, I'll play Devil's Advocate again since this tread has morphed into a discussion on engraving practice. Jeremy, some of my earlier comments to David also would apply to your score. Here are some additional ones.

Time Sig: I like it. What font is that? Bodoni (or Didot) Condensed?

Tuplets: Tuplets should always be on the beam side unless there is a specific reason for them not to (continuity, lyrics, score collision, etc). Personally, I use a bracket hook of 1 space (24 EVPU's) and I find yours a bit shorter than that. The brackets are unnecessary on the beamed tuplets.

Staff names: I would bump up the point size and it is standard to position the 1 over the 2 for multiple instruments on a staff, not place them next to each other.

Brackets: Why did you use a different bracket for the brass? For the violins, I prefer the second thin bracket to be connected to the center line of the staff, not the top. I've seen it done both ways though.

Accidentals: There are collisions in the trumpets in the very first measure. Collisions between any elements are a no-no in quality engraving. I'm also confused why the accidentals are repeated in the tpts. I have seen some highly chromatic scores where the accidentals are always shown on every note, but the trumpet accidentals are not repeated in the 2nd meas. I would be consistent in this regard.

Page #'s: The page number should go at the upper right corner, right aligned with the music on all odd pages on a score for publication. Left on the even.

Again, don't take these comments personally. There's the showcase for showing off work, so I'm sure you posted your sample on the forum to encourage discussion. I'm not sure Matthew intended this thread to be a discussion of engraving practice and standards but it seems like that's what it has become.
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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/15/2002 1:16 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Jeremy,
One more thing, you could make much better use of the white space in your score. On some pages there are huge gaps between "empty" staves but small gaps between others. This can be a pain to fine tune in Finale since it lacks the VJ (Vertical Justification) command that Score has, but I would fix this and try to make it more consistent before publication.
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JSagala
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   Posted 4/15/2002 1:30 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for looking...I did in fact put it up to be notationally criticized.


>Time Sig: I like it. What font
>is that? Bodoni (or Didot)
>Condensed?

Yes, Bodoni Condensed. Traditional, easy to read.

>Tuplets: Tuplets should always
>be on the beam side unless
>there is a specific reason for
>them not to (continuity,
>lyrics, score collision, etc).
>Personally, I use a bracket
>hook of 1 space (24 EVPU's)
>and I find yours a bit shorter
>than that. The brackets are
>unnecessary on the beamed
>tuplets.

Thanks for that. I'll try the tuplet hooks a little longer...the shorter ones are kind of snappy looking though, it looks good to me.

>Staff names: I would bump up
>the point size and it is
>standard to position the 1
>over the 2 for multiple
>instruments on a staff, not
>place them next to each other.

1.2. instrument point taken..thanks.

>Brackets: Why did you use a
>different bracket for the
>brass? For the violins, I
>prefer the second thin bracket
>to be connected to the center
>line of the staff, not the
>top. I've seen it done both
>ways though.

Thank you....fixed

>Accidentals: There are
>collisions in the trumpets in
>the very first measure.
>Collisions between any
>elements are a no-no in
>quality engraving. I'm also
>confused why the accidentals
>are repeated in the tpts. I
>have seen some highly
>chromatic scores where the
>accidentals are always shown
>on every note, but the trumpet
>accidentals are not repeated
>in the 2nd meas. I would be
>consistent in this regard.

Thank you...

>Page #'s: The page number
>should go at the upper right
>corner, right aligned with the
>music on all odd pages on a
>score for publication. Left on
>the even.

I think you are right about this too. I think this might be a carry over from the default template. I never paid any attention to it. Thanks.


>Again, don't take these
>comments personally. There's
>the showcase for showing off
>work, so I'm sure you posted
>your sample on the forum to
>encourage discussion.

Certainly. I appreciate that you took the time to look at the score and comment. Thank you.

Jeremy
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tim
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   Posted 4/16/2002 10:00 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hi Guys

I am back, liquored up again of course. You guys are right, in the publishing world indenting is the norm. I was more referring to the education world where there is no reason for it. In fact I don't see any reason for it in any world, but I understand that certain publishers have there look. Maybe it was a bad example to use.
While we are on the subject why is the whole left margin bigger than the right in a the defaults? Is that one that the European publishers use to?

Cheers

Tim
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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/17/2002 3:17 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Good point Tim. If the left margin was bigger for odd pages only and the right was for even then I would assume that it was to make room for binding. However, since that's not the case, I think it's yet another screwy default setting that produces inferior output. Most users probably won't be binding anyway and those that will be probably know how to set this up. I would definitely recommend that Coda make the page margins even.
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Dick Brodfuehrer
Hack Arranger and C.O.G. (Chief Old Geezer)



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   Posted 4/17/2002 4:31 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I see three basic types of Finale users.

1. Professional engravers who have specific, but certainly not the same formatting requirements. Reading their comments on this forum reminds me of something Mark Twain said when outlining differences between man and lower animals; "Man is the only animal that has found the true religion --- several of them."

2. Arrangers and composers who have their own ideas about how their stuff should look. I fall into that category and find that my preferences differ in many respects from the professional engravers, even though I did that kind of work years ago when we were just called "copyists."

3. Those who couldn't care less.

Additionally, there are many different types of music with different formatting requirements.

It seems to me that no matter what Finale does with default settings, just about everyone in the first two categories will have to develop there own anyway. And a major strength of Finale in my mind is that we have the ability to do just that. I believe it would be impossible to develop defaults that would please more than a small minority of those in the first two categories.

Dick

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TTBashore
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   Posted 4/17/2002 6:47 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
"I believe it would be impossible to develop defaults that would please more than a small minority of those in the first two categories."

I disagree. Certainly no default file will have every setting acceptable to everyone, but there are fundamental aspects of good engraving that Finale ignores. This thread was originally started because the Sibelius default file "looks better" than Finale's. Sibelius is far from perfect but its defaults are without a doubt better than Finale's. Sibelius has taken the time to try to more closely adhere to standard engraving rules and Finale hasn't. Sure, the overwhelming majority of users don't care about those rules, but many people agree that Sibelius "looks better" and consequently Sibelius is rapidly gaining market share on Finale.

This discussion would never take place on a Score discussion forum. Score has fantastic defaults that require almost no tweaking at all and it is the program of choice for many respected publishers (Boosey, Schirmer's, etc.) Unfortunately, its interface was designed 20 years ago and I can't stand to use it. A complete default file and template overhaul would not take that long for Coda to do and would probably produce much better looking music than the hours and hours of coding that they have to spend implementing new features.
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David Young : chambermusic
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   Posted 4/17/2002 9:03 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I agree.

I would like to see Coda tweak their default templates for a better appearance.

Sibelius may have better defaults, but the majority of their users have little concept regarding very minor things, such as beaming (they never beam more than 2 8th notes together) or triplets (all sibelius users place brackets over 8th note triplets) or positioning of dynamics (always scattered every which way).

The demonstration file that I posted under "educational/methods/exercises" on the showcase is of no help to professional engravers who understand engraving conventions (and are particular in regards to some fine points of engraving) but should be of considerable use to the beginning composer, to instruct them and remind them of what it takes to make a manuscript look good.

Better defaults on the templates will be helpful as well.

I appreciate input from everyone how has advised me on the demonstration manuscript and I hope to implement the latest batch soon.

David Young
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Tim Rowland
...Rowland...Rowland, though the streams are...



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   Posted 4/18/2002 1:43 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
So has anyone actually noticed a change in the appearance of Finale's default file over the past howevermany years? I've been using since 3.0.6 (I think), and don't really recall any changes (or obvious ones) in the appearance of the default file except the change from Petrucci to Maestro (with the obvious exception that the file is in the same format as each new version).

I have no doubts after this thread that Coda people and beta testers might be able to whip up something good. At least the default file can be changed at any time with no programming things to take into account. Seriously, for the few hours work it would take for them to whip up an excellent set of templates, they'd only have to sell 1-2 copies extra of Finale to offset the cost.

Looking at the other templates, there's a lot that can be done also. For example, the Lead Sheet (Jazz Font) template has only 3 measures in the first line, with a total of 27 measures!!! Why on earth haven't they made it 8 lines of 4 measures? That would suit a larger number of users immediately. But of course, if I change the page size to A4, I now get 7 systems with 3 measures, and another 2 systems with 3 on the next page!

Also - how about we see some variations of the same template. We have a couple at the moment, with/without the Jazz Font, but why not ones with different staff spacing, layout, music options, etc. It wouldn't hurt to have a few defaults to pick from!

Cheers!

Tim
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zac100
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   Posted 4/18/2002 6:41 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
>Sibelius may have better
>defaults, but the majority of
>their users have little
>concept regarding very minor
>things, such as beaming (they
>never beam more than 2 8th
>notes together) or triplets
>(all sibelius users place
>brackets over 8th note
>triplets) or positioning of
>dynamics (always scattered
>every which way).

Wow, what a horrible series of generalizations.

You can beam more than 2 8th notes together in Sibelius. It's easy. It's not the default, but it's easy.

You can place brackets, slur-style curves, or no lines at all over triplets in Sibelius. It's easy. Brackets are the default, but it's easy to change.

Dynamics go wherever you put them in Sibelius. Then, if you put it in the wrong place, you can grab it and drag it to the right place. Also easy.

I must have missed the joke somewhere...

What IS difficult to do is to change the default setting itself in Sibelius.

Zac
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