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Rinaldo
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Date Joined Jan 2002
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   Posted 7/5/2002 9:09 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I am working on a long orchestral piece in Finale 2002 for Macintosh. The biggest problem that has arisen is the notation of the intended harp notes for glissandos.

The composer does not like the harp part to contain either pedal diagrams or text blocks giving lists of letters with accidentals. His requirement is a series of seven small noteheads (the size of grace-note noteheads, but without stems), each with appropriate accidental, with parentheses enclosing the set of 7 notes (to ensure that it doesn't get played by mistake).

I am having trouble getting this to happen correctly even once, let alone for each of the many occurrences. It was easy enough (well, not EASY, but perfectly possible) to create quarter-note grace notes on the beat before the gliss starts, and then give them stems of 0 length. But they don't stay in the right measure -- they're apt to spread back into the previous measure, or the key signature if it begins a system.

Then I tried having all the notes be 32nds, making them small, and hiding the stems and beams. But I haven't found a way to make all the beams vanish.

None of this addresses getting the open and close parentheses in place, which I suspect is just going to be a picky little job for each case.

Has anyone else dealt with this? My thanks for any advice anyone can offer.
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musicpubl
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Date Joined Dec 2000
Total Posts : 429
 
   Posted 7/5/2002 11:30 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Welcome to the constant hell that is working with Finale grace
notes.

However, a solution to your problem is to input the pitches to be
included in the parentheses as tuplet quarter notes, say, 7:1 or
something like that. Of course you'd hide any brackets and tuplet
#s.

Next, use the Special Tools Stem tool to hide the stems, and then
use either the % tool to reduce the noteheads or the Special Tools
Notehead tool to pick a new (smaller) notehead. The last part is of
course assigning the parens to the first and last pitch of the group,
or, create one text expression containing ( then lots of space and
finally ). Of course you'd have to play around with how many
spaces to include between the parentheses.
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Barbara Brundage
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Date Joined Jul 2002
Total Posts : 25
 
   Posted 7/5/2002 2:14 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The tuplet idea is one way. Another,
depending how many you mean by many,
would be to create metatools for the
notehead (option +q, I think it is), parens
and the accidentals and put them in as
articulations.

Annoying to set up, but if you have more
than four or five different glissando
settings to enter, it might be the easiest
way.
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Matthew Hindson
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   Posted 7/5/2002 2:52 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
IMHO grace notes or even real notes aren't the best thing for this as they will interfere with the music spacing for other aspects of the score (I suspect that you have moved them around with the appropriate Special Tool to get around this, and this is why they're crashing into key sign.s etc.).

What I would do would be to create them as an expression (Smart Shape). I'd create three distinct shapes within it to start off: flat+notehead, natural+notehead and sharp+notehead. Each of these would be grouped individually so you could just drag them to the appropriate place. Then I'd use the "Show Staff" item to see what I was doing, and then drag them up in order.

I hope you're getting paid good money to do this! Why the composer wants this notation in the first place is a good question, since the harpist who plays it will go through and put in the harp pedalling symbols in anyway.
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Bolksnotes
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   Posted 7/6/2002 5:49 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Gosh, what a pain to do this. What's wrong
with just giving the harpist a chord symbol
just before the gliss and then putting in the
pedal marking either with the pedal chart or
showing the list of notes. I use a font
called "Golden Age Music" which works great
for all this and I just type away under the
lyric menu using different verses, chorus, or
whatever your choice may be. Finale's pedal
chart works fine too. As was previously
stated, most harpist's will figure it out and
do their own thing anyway if they're a decent
player.
I think you just need to tell your composer
friend - "Give me a break!"
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cliffdzihner
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   Posted 7/6/2002 11:17 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
On 7/6/2002 9:49:00 AM, Richard Bolks wrote:
>Gosh, what a pain to do this.
>I think you just need to tell
>your composer
>friend - "Give me a break!"

Hey, if Jon is getting paid by the hour then it's just job security!



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musicpubl
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   Posted 7/6/2002 7:30 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
In terms of music spacing, inputting these notes even as note
expressions is going to create a major problem. In fact, inputting
them using that method is worse for many reasons.

One step to insure proper spacing would be to do the following:

Assuming the measure is a 4/4 bar, you would instead make it a 5/
4 bar but display a 4/4 time signature (the manual will tell you how
to do this.) Then, you will have to put in a quarter rest placeholder
in each instrument for beat one, and then hide each one, using the
"o" (letter) key. Then, in just the harp part, beat one would consist
of that tuplet, 7 quarters : 1 quarter.

If you input those harp notes as text expressions, you are going to
run into bigger spacing issues, just my opinion and experience.

Of course, as everyone else suggested, the entire practice is both
non-standard and ridiculous, but I understand firsthand how
difficult it is to convince a very stubborn composer what proper
notational procedures are.
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GT
It was some other guy.



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Date Joined Feb 2001
Total Posts : 1434
 
   Posted 7/7/2002 1:40 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Bingo... I've said it before and I'll say it again: There are a lot of people who compose music who have no idea how to write music!

But here's what I'd do: I'd create a Text block and do it all in Maestro. In the attached example, the opening and closing parentheses are at 18 points, the note heads are at 12 and the sharp is at 8. I then attached the text block to the measure. It's a total PIA, but it's workable.

(BTW, I'm typing this from a PC because I've just moved and my Mac isn't connected to the Net yet, otherwise I'd give you the key caps...)

And as a final step, tell the composer that if he presumes to write for an instrument, he should make the effort to learn the notational practices for that instrument!

Cheers.

Gary
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Rinaldo
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   Posted 7/8/2002 12:45 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks to all for the ideas (if people have more ideas, feel free). Much appreciated.

I have to humbly interject, though, that the "notate it differently" option is not really an option for me in this case, for the following reasons.

1, I think we would have to concede that this person does know how to write and read music. I disguised the context a bit, but he's one of the more respected and employed professionals in his field. (And in fact I've studied a bit of harp myself, and I have seen exactly this notation; it's one of several possibilities.)

2. This piece has been played from hand-copied parts (using this notation) for a good many years now. In using software to create a new score and set of parts, I (reasonably enough) face his suspicion that the process is apt to lose or corrupt things that he has included. (It's happened in other such cases, not involving either of us.) His point is that "the software is there to serve us, not the other way around," and I absolutely agree with him.

None of which diminishes my thanks for the suggestions, one or more of which should handle what I need to do.
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GT
It was some other guy.



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Date Joined Feb 2001
Total Posts : 1434
 
   Posted 7/8/2002 1:09 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Jon:

My comment was meant to point out that composers don't necessarily know the finer points of notation, but this is of course a generalization...

Anyway, two excellent resources for harp notation are Matthew Hindson, who has a good harp notation font, and Bill Duncan, whose Salzedo font makes nearly any type of harp notation possible.

Check 'em both out; it'll be worth your time.

Cheers.

Gary
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Barbara Brundage
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   Posted 7/8/2002 6:11 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
On 7/8/2002 4:45:00 PM, Jon Conrad
wrote:
>Thanks to all for the ideas
>(if people have more ideas,
>feel free). Much appreciated.

>(And in fact I've studied a
>bit of harp myself, and I have
>seen exactly this notation;
>it's one of several
>possibilities.)
>

I am myself a harpist, and I must say I've
been interested to see all the comments
about this. As an engraver, I fully
understand what an unbelievable hassle
it is, but as a performer, I would have to
say it's my own preferred notation.

There are several schools of how to mark
pedals and many of them are very rigid
and none of them agree. Also, particularly
in contemporary music, the pedals may
already be in some weird configuration
that would make enharmonic
substitutions work better. An awful lot of
us would usually rather have the pitch
scheme delineated and make our own
pedal diagrams, given the choice.

Barbara
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