The original version of this page can be found at :
Posted By : Peter West - 9/20/2003 12:29 PM
There is nothing wrong with the file. I opened it in
Finale 2003 on mac and it seems fine. Finale does
not re-calculate the layout of the file on the pages
after re-spacing until you select "Update Layout".
When you do that all is fine. You can set update
layout to be performed automatically on each layout
edit. This is most convenient, except in very large
files where it will slow you down. Both these are
under the edit menu.

You can also set how Finale determines the update
of layout in the Update layout options dialog box, in
the Options menu

Music Publishing Services

Posted By : guser - 9/20/2003 3:37 PM
I likewise found no problems with the spacing. The music is pretty bad, though.

Posted By : swingband2000 - 9/20/2003 6:01 PM
I also opened the file on my PC and it looked fine.

However, with hopefully a little more tact than Mr. Anonymous, the lines you are writing are not totally playable on the instruments you had listed.

Unless you wrote this piece to be played strictly by midi and not by live musicians, do not expect any string players to be able to play the lines you notated. They are completely out of most of the instrument's range in many places, and the rhythms are impossible for a human musician to count and play accurately.

It was interesting to listen to, if not quite a bit monotonous, but it's not written with the instruments in mind at all; totally impossible to make the leaps of those huge intervals you wrote.

But keep on writing, and if you are truly writing for a specific instrument, I suggest you invest a couple of dollars in a transposition and range guide. And before you waste lots of time and money passing the parts out to an orchestra at a rehearsal or performance, go over each part with an actual musician to double check that what you wrote can be conceivably executed the instrumentalists.

Good luck!

Posted By : jcotton - 9/21/2003 4:07 AM
Thanks, the automatic layout update was turned off, so that was the problem. (I guess "Update Layout" doesn't really mean "Update Layout"??)

Sorry you don't like the music. Maybe I should give back the commission money?

Posted By : Dan Powers - 9/21/2003 4:08 AM
Alan, I'm sorry, but you're completely wrong. Granted, I've only given the score a quick look-over, but I didn't see anything unplayable in it (and I speak as violinist and violist with 20 years of professional experience). Yes, it's difficult, and clearly requires very good players, but seems to be idiomatically written.

Dan Powers

Posted By : Playflute - 9/21/2003 4:30 AM
I don't see special things with the layout... I'm on windows with F2004. Maybe ask more specific things... eventually include some graphic output in a .jpg file of what you find problematic...
Sorry not to be more helpful, but, to counterweight Mr. Anonymous... I liked the music... reminds me of some things I had to play as a pupil at the academy in an earlier life... As at that time, I didn't understand the music, but I still felt impressed by the composition work done and on learning it I ended up liking it.


Posted By : Peter West - 9/21/2003 6:30 AM
I agree with Daniel. The music is idiomatically written
for live stringed instruments and I believe it will work
well. Perhaps once players get to work on it they may
suggest small changes that will make certain things
easier without seriously affecting the sound. This
happens to even the best and most experienced
composers. The important thing is to learn from
their helpful comments and to ignore ill informed
adverse criticism.

Good luck

Music Publishing Services

Posted By : GT - 9/21/2003 6:50 AM
I opened the file with no problems, ran note spacing and updated the layout and it looked as it should.

I don't pretend to be able to look at a complex score and say what it sounds like, but I'll agree with Dan, Peter and Serge; on just a quick scan, I didn't see anything unplayable in it. And while some of the rhythms are moderately complex, they're certainly nothing that today's trained player couldn't handle. Indeed, I would think that a decent college quartet could play this without many problems.

(I downloaded the file and looked at it last night, then I deleted the file, so I'm writing from memory here. I was going to make a few points about the engraving, but as the original post with attachment seems to have been deleted by Mr. or Ms. Anon, I can't look at it again, so I'll withhold my comments.)



Posted By : jcotton - 9/21/2003 3:00 PM
Alan: like you, I am a fully seasoned professional within my end of this business. I've been writing for strings for 25 years, and have been composer in residence with a major orchestra and a chamber ensemble. This work is a commission from a professional string quartet. I think they would be very disappointed if the work I delivered complied with the high-school-level proficiency you're advocating.

I think it is inappropriate for any of us, regardless of our experience, to offer unsolicited composition lessons within this forum.


Posted By : guser - 9/21/2003 7:14 PM
>> I think it is inappropriate for any of us, regardless of our experience, to offer unsolicited composition lessons within this forum.
Well you're entitled to your opinion. Mine is that this forum is an inappropriate place for self-important snobs to throw little hissy fits.

Posted By : Jared Haschek - 9/21/2003 7:43 PM
"Mine is that this forum is an inappropriate place for self-important snobs to throw little hissy fits."

I think that is a pretty harsh call - no wonder you signed on as anon. This composer has posted his composition to ask a technical question about the file, and a few people thought they'd give him some advice on what the file contained. I think he has every right to be put out that complete strangers inferred that he was a novice when music is obviously his profession. Now if he had asked for thoughts on the composition, that would have been different.

If I posted an arrangement of a hymn asking a question on note groupings and people replied suggesting that I shouldn't believe in God, then I would probably be equally miffed.

Incidentally, it is taking all of my inner strength to refrain from making bad puns on Allan's surname. ;) Jared

Posted By : Tim Rowland - 9/22/2003 3:51 AM
On 9/21/2003 11:43:00 PM, Jared Haschek wrote:
>Incidentally, it is taking all
>of my inner strength to
>refrain from making bad puns
>on Allan's surname. ;) Jared

I think you just did Jared!

I had a look, and although that music wasn't my cup of tea, I can certainly appreciate it for what it is. Also, there didn't seem to be any range problem stand out (as someone suggested). As a bass player (and this really wouldn't bother me), the only thing that maybe would immediately cause a problem is the flats. We know how much smaller string instrument players hate them :)


Posted By : jcotton - 9/22/2003 4:26 AM
Thanks, Jared! (this is the orig. anon.)

And to the other anon, I appreciate the input on the flats! Generally, I've tried to write even very chromatic passages, such as the piece I posted, so that any given horizontal segment of music looks diatonic (with the given allowances for minor keys), in the belief (after many conversations with performers about this) that whether sharps or flats, musicians will sight-read better if the music seems to belong to a key. For strings I will favor sharps wherever I can, of course -- and this score hasn't been edited yet, so no doubt some of the flats will become sharps in the coming days...

Posted By : Michel R. E. - 9/22/2003 5:19 AM
On 9/22/2003 8:26:00 AM, Anonymous wrote:
>Thanks, Jared! (this is the
>orig. anon.)
>And to the other anon, I
>appreciate the input on the
>flats! Generally, I've tried
>to write even very chromatic
>passages, such as the piece I
>posted, so that any given
>horizontal segment of music
>looks diatonic (with the given
>allowances for minor keys), in
>the belief (after many
>conversations with performers
>about this) that whether
>sharps or flats, musicians
>will sight-read better if the
>music seems to belong to a
>key. For strings I will favor
>sharps wherever I can, of
>course -- and this score
>hasn't been edited yet, so no
>doubt some of the flats will
>become sharps in the coming

What happened to the file?
I'd certainly be curious to look at it!
I'm always interested in any music that causes a "stir".
Also, my latest work is also a large-scale work for string orchestra, so interest there too...

Posted By : swingband2000 - 9/22/2003 7:19 AM
OK, I would like to offer my apologies to the composer, as well as to anyone else who was offended about the comments I posted regarding this composition itself.

All of you are entirely correct in stating that I had no business commenting on the composition, when those comments were not asked for and apparently not welcome either.

I would very much like to keep on good terms with all of you, as you have helped me out with Finale many times in the past, and I'm sure with my somewhat rudimentary knowledge of notation programs in general, I will will asking for help in the future as well.

To be rigorously honest, I perhaps was overly critical of that piece because it was not a style I like--- and I therefore should have made no comments on it from that standpoint alone! I have been a "jazzer" all my life (and looked down on from the "legit" musicians for that as well), and I get way too opinionated about any other style of music. A fault I need to deal with, because I can't tell you how many times in the course of my big band writing I have had to revert to classical theory to get out of a compositional problem. I am always amazed at how often I utilize the techniques learned in college theory today, much to my surprise, for at the time I took those classes, I thought them completely useless in my career in jazz music. Yet again, I was wrong, wrong, wrong!!

And as for my surname, jeez! If I had could handle paying the legal fees, God knows I would have it changed! Some people have even asked me if I made up that name, but unfortunately, I was cursed with it at birth. Not a name I would have chosen, if I had the option.

In closing, please accept my apologies for my thoughtless and unsolicited criticism. I hope I can remain in good standing with all of you after this incident.

Alan Glasscock (damn, I hate the way that looks in print!:)

Posted By : swingband2000 - 9/22/2003 7:33 AM
I guess to further induce how bad I feel about my comments yesterday, I went back and re-read all of the other posts in this thread.

I did not realize that the composer (I think he was one of the "anonymous" posters) was a very experienced composer by profession, with many years under his belt. I feel totally stupid, writing my own commentary about the piece itself.

I thought I was so totally correct in my observations when I first looked at the piece, but now it appears to me as just a very difficult piece that feasibly could be executed by good professional players.

Again, please accept my apologies. Maybe I was just in a self-absorbed, know-it-all mood. I'm not justifying my comments, I'm just trying to figure out why I would have written something like that. It's really not typically me at all, and I'm so sorry that it was offensive. I WON'T ever write something like that again, as opinions are not necessarily always fact.

Sheepish and humble,

Posted By : jcotton - 9/22/2003 12:36 PM
Hi Alan,

I'm the original poster, and I'm sorry to keep remaining anonymous but, ...

I think this was very gracious of you! In fact, I use jazz harmonies a great deal in my music these days (including this piece). I have always loved the rich dissonances in jazz, and in more recent years have even rediscovered the joy of root progressions... :)

Posted By : Jared Haschek - 9/22/2003 3:07 PM
Allan, may I, on behalf of the board, say that you are forgiven, are still loved, and will still be helped with any future finale issues you may have :) You have enough to battle with in life without having to worry about a bunch of music nerds not liking you.

Jared Haschek (pronounced Hash-ek, which meant that I went though most of high school with drug references attached to my surname)

Posted By : GT - 9/22/2003 4:46 PM

Spoken like a gentleman.

Might I add that I'm a "classical cat" who is terrified of jazz and jazzers, because I always considered jazz to be a fraternity of which I'm not qualified to be a member.


Gary TomASSetti

(No one ever spells my last name right until I explain to them that there's an ass in the middle of it.)

Posted By : tbmartin - 9/23/2003 3:50 AM
Doesn't anyone out there have a NORMAL name? :-)

Terence Martin
(That's "Terence" with just 1 "r", and yes, I go by "Terry" which means sometimes people assume I'm female before they actually meet me.)

Posted By : Pete Sawchuk - 9/23/2003 6:07 PM
Hey Anons & Non-Anons,

Nice going! Looks like the Jazzers & the Classicals can get along after all
in the same space as the Finale-expert & the Finale-challenged always
have. Now if only we could get the diplomats at the UN & in the Middle
East functioning somewhere near this level.


Terence Martin wrote:
< Doesn't anyone out there have a NORMAL name? :-)>


Pete SawCHUK (feel free to substitute rude sound-alike syllables as
desired & by all means, add a "c" between the "u" & "k" if it suits you!}

Posted By : Dick Brodfuehrer - 9/23/2003 9:30 PM
There certainly are some interesting names here. Mine, for example, has been subjected to several very pornographic variations over the years.

But the record for the most unfortunate name for a professional musician has to go to the leader of the Whoopee John Orchestra. It was a polka band that worked out of New Ulm, Minn., and was one of the most popular polka bands in the country during the 1940s and 1950s. The leader's name was John A. Wilfahrt, Jr.

There was a story that one midwestern ballroom proudly announced on its marquee that "WHOOPEE JOHN WILFAHRT AND HIS BAND WILL PLAY HERE SATURDAY NIGHT." I don't know if that was true, but I certainly hope it was.



Posted By : cliffdzihner - 9/24/2003 8:39 AM
On 9/23/2003 7:50:00 AM, Terence Martin wrote:
>Doesn't anyone out there have
>a NORMAL name? :-)

I do.

Posted By : GT - 9/24/2003 10:50 AM

I would definitely attend this show.


Now if only we could get the diplomats at the UN & in the Middle East functioning somewhere near this level.

It'll never happen. Here on the Forum, even with the occasional flare-up, we all seem to respect each other, and we all have music in common. Over there, the only common ground seems to be that they've been blowing each other up for years, and it doesn't seem like they have any interest in stopping any time soon.