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Feb 18th, 2019, 10:10am 
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   Feature request: polish score command
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wordmuse
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Feature request: polish score command  
« on: Nov 9th, 2018, 8:29pm »
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As I am proofreading my score for a piano quartet, I am working to be meticulous about how it will look to performers, should I have the honor of having musicians play my piece.  My computer doesn't care about such niceties. It plays what's there. And if that was the end of it, I wouldn't ask for this. But I would like people to play my piece and so cosmetics become very important.
 
I would find it incredibly useful to have a single "polish the score" command, which did the following:
 
* highlighted where measures were not full (e.g., where in a 4/4 score a measure had only 3 beats worth of notes)
 
* provided good visual offsets of dynamics markings (ppp, mf, ff, etc.) so that they never were mixed in with the notes themselves
 
* moved bar numbers so that they didn't collide with other markings
 
* provided an option to render notes so that the beat was easier for musicians to see. For example, instead of a dotted quarter starting mid-beat, perhaps showing an eighth note of the previous beat tied to a quarter note.
 
There are probably other cosmetic changes that I'd find useful. But just these would be a tremendous help.  My score, over 4 movements, is more than 600 bars. Such a command would greatly speed up my proofreading effort.
 
Is something like this already available that I've missed? If not, could it be considered?
 
~ Bal
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bubu42
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Re: Feature request: polish score command  
« Reply #1 on: Nov 10th, 2018, 10:29am »
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This will require a script along with HA's existing features.
on Nov 9th, 2018, 8:29pm, wordmuse wrote:

* highlighted where measures were not full (e.g., where in a 4/4 score a measure had only 3 beats worth of notes)

You can already spot the missing rests/notes if in the staff Display options you ask for "Display ghost rests with a mark". You'll then see grey arrows indicating the missing symbols. You can also ask HA to replace missing parts with actual rests in the same edit window.
But I believe a script could turn ghosts rests into actual rests and highlight them in a chosen color.
Quote:

* provided good visual offsets of dynamics markings (ppp, mf, ff, etc.) so that they never were mixed in with the notes themselves.

Dynamics are often placed too close to the staff and may clash with stems pointing up (e.g. when two voices appear on the same staff, stems up for the first voice and stems down for the second voice). What I usually do is place the first dynamic (hairpin or pp,ff, etc.) well above the staff, then select the whole staff and do Edit>Select>Dynamics to end with Edit>Align>Top edges. All the subsequent dynamics will be top aligned with the first one.
A script could also check the location of each dynamic compared to the notes on the staff, but would require a good deal of extra computing and programming... Quote:

* moved bar numbers so that they didn't collide with other markings

To my mind, the clearest way to position bar numbers is at the beginning of each line (not on each bar), enclosed with a frame. Look in Staves>Bar number display. If the "after time signature" box is unchecked, the numbers will appear just above the clef and you can adjust the vertical offset using the red triangle with a "N" in the icon bar (Ctrl+T if not visible in page mode).  
As the function is global, a script couldn't fine adjust locally the bar number in each bar. Quote:

* provided an option to render notes so that the beat was easier for musicians to see. For example, instead of a dotted quarter starting mid-beat, perhaps showing an eighth note of the previous beat tied to a quarter note.

That's a tricky issue... It looks as if the "dotted quarter note starting at mid-beat" is only one example. This can be done with a script : check each dotted quarter note, see if starts at mid beat, turn it into a simple quarter note, add an eighth in front of it and tie it to the quarter note with a slur. Not that simple... All the more complicated as there might be other cases requiring the same amount of computing. However, I agree with you as I often import MIDI files into HA and I like having the tied notes instead of dotted ones, showing better the beat structure of a piece. Quote:

There are probably other cosmetic changes that I'd find useful. But just these would be a tremendous help.  My score, over 4 movements, is more than 600 bars. Such a command would greatly speed up my proofreading effort.
 
Is something like this already available that I've missed? If not, could it be considered?

I hope my answer addressed a few issues. Try the hints and report on the forum. It might be a good challenge to write a proofreading script.
By the way, I've noticed that HA has a lot of trouble dealing with collisions of notes at a second interval (e.g. C/D or E/F) when they belong to two different merged staves (Voices). I wrote a proof reading script and published it on the forum years ago. You may find it useful.
I must also mention the excellent script made by D. Frouvelle (there's a link in the Myrscript Language section of this forum, here ) that deals with the score layout. Give it a try, too.
« Last Edit: Nov 10th, 2018, 10:31am by bubu42 » Logged
Tony Deff
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Re: Aesthetic dynamics   dynamic_alignments.png
« Reply #2 on: Nov 10th, 2018, 4:12pm »
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on Nov 10th, 2018, 10:29am, bubu42 wrote:
Dynamics are often placed too close to the staff and may clash with stems pointing up (e.g. when two voices appear on the same staff, stems up for the first voice and stems down for the second voice). What I usually do is place the first dynamic (hairpin or pp,ff, etc.) well above the staff, then select the whole staff and do Edit>Select>Dynamics to end with Edit>Align>Top edges. All the subsequent dynamics will be top aligned with the first one.

Top-alignment is a necessary first-step to centre-alignment, which I prefer.  
 
However, if the dynamics approach too close to the staff above or below, they can "mis-associate". The frame around the dynamic can be clipped to make the association to the required note, but you need to do this after alignment, not before.  
 
Page Setup can apply exact parameters to each dynamic - if you can keep track of which is dynamic number 9 or 29.
 
Alas, I have resorted to a score with untidy dynamics for acoustic purposes plus a copy with disabled dynamics (not played). This allows for better positioning.    
 
Why do I always choose "Align Vertical Centres" ?
« Last Edit: Nov 10th, 2018, 4:18pm by Tony Deff » offline


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wordmuse
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Re: Feature request: polish score command  
« Reply #3 on: Nov 10th, 2018, 8:26pm »
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I appreciate the work-arounds. Thank you!
 
So far, none of the music I'm writing has multiple voices and all my dynamic markings appear below the staff. So I would use bottom aligned rather than top aligned, but I get your meaning.
 
The bar numbering is still tricky for me. I do have it set for the beginning of each line. But I have a passage in my score that repeats. The marks for first and second repeats happen to be at the beginning of a line. So the numbering clashes there.
 
I guess it would be too difficult to program HA to just have it generally avoid clashes as a default and then let me adjust otherwise if I really had a reason to override that setting.
 
Ahh well - I'm spoiled. Beethoven might have given his right arm for the ability to score his music electronically.
 
Thanks again.
 
~ Bal
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Re: Feature request: polish score command  
« Reply #4 on: Nov 10th, 2018, 10:39pm »
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on Nov 10th, 2018, 8:26pm, wordmuse wrote:
The bar numbering is still tricky for me. I do have it set for the beginning of each line. But I have a passage in my score that repeats. The marks for first and second repeats happen to be at the beginning of a line. So the numbering clashes there.

I can't see why the repeat marks should clash if the bar numbering is located above the clef as the repeat marks are located at the right of the clef /key and time signatures. Could you provide a screen scan showing the issue ?
As for relocating indivually the bar numbers, I guess it could be made via a script using text effects associated to the clef, though a bit tricky to achieve.  
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Re: Feature request: polish score command   barnumberclash.png
« Reply #5 on: Nov 11th, 2018, 12:52am »
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Sure - here's a screenshot of the clash and after the clash.
 
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Re: Feature request: polish score command   Num.Compas.png
« Reply #6 on: Nov 11th, 2018, 11:15am »
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Particularmente, yo solo pongo el número de compás al inicio del sistema. Pero, si lo quiero poner en todos, cuando por circustancias gráfícas se puede solapar, simplemente lo oculto. ¡No es una desgracia!.
« Last Edit: Nov 11th, 2018, 11:18am by Oliveira » offline


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Re: Feature request: polish score command  
« Reply #7 on: Nov 11th, 2018, 11:49am »
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Interesting idea. I'll run it by my music teacher. Thanks a lot for the suggestion!
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Re: Feature request: polish score command  
« Reply #8 on: Nov 11th, 2018, 1:45pm »
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Very good hint by Oliveira !
I had forgotten the ability to hide locally a bar number. Here I can see two workarounds to address a clash in the first bar of a line :
1- Locally hide the bar numbering and force the bar number in the next "clean" bar, to make it easier for the interpreter to find his way through the score.
2- Locally hide the bar number and use a styled text object (with the proper font and possibly the "$X" escape sequence + bar number/$B to have it enclosed in a frame)
By the way, I've watched the screen san above, and it doesn't appear to be the first bar of the line (there is no clef and I can see the end of the previous bar), does it ?
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Tony Deff
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Re: Feature request: polish score command   Bar_number_staff.png
« Reply #9 on: Nov 11th, 2018, 2:39pm »
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And the third work-around (especially when there are several staves) is to place bar numbers only on a separate Text staff.  
 
Ctrl_Shft_A  (=Staves>Add Staff) > Simple Staves > Text Staff
 
Highlight the staff under which you want to add the Bar Numbers. Add > O.K.  
 
Click the black icon triangle in the left margin of this new (single-line) staff (Ctrl_T if required).
Un-tick Display Frames / Staff with lyrics / Staff Active
 
Below, there are two Text staffs, one (empty) for bar numbers only and the other for chord names.
These can then be displayed as and when required with other staves in any "View".
 

on Nov 10th, 2018, 8:26pm, wordmuse wrote:
Ahh well - I'm spoiled. Beethoven might have given his right arm for the ability to score his music electronically.

To be properly spoiled, why not do what Beethoven and other classical composers did - pay a copyist for a legible score!
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Re: Feature request: polish score command   barnumberclash-pm.png
« Reply #10 on: Nov 11th, 2018, 5:18pm »
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Bubu42 - the reason that the clef, etc. are not visible is because the screenshot was taken while HA was in scroll mode rather than page mode. The yellow line indicates the page break.  
 
But I just noticed something very positive!  When in page mode, HA handles this problem automatically after all!  See the new screenshot, taken while HA is in page mode.  Note the positioning of the bar number - above the clef - at the beginning of the line.
 
This makes complete sense because there is no way to place the bar number over a clef in scroll mode.
 
I think I now need to check on all my other requests to make sure that they hold when in page mode, which is the way HA will print my score.
 
Thanks for your feedback, Bubu42!
 
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bubu42
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Re: Feature request: polish score command  
« Reply #11 on: Nov 11th, 2018, 5:44pm »
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on Nov 11th, 2018, 5:18pm, wordmuse wrote:
Bubu42 - the reason that the clef, etc. are not visible is because the screenshot was taken while HA was in scroll mode rather than page mode. The yellow line indicates the page break.  
 
But I just noticed something very positive!  When in page mode, HA handles this problem automatically after all!  See the new screenshot, taken while HA is in page mode.  Note the positioning of the bar number - above the clef - at the beginning of the line.
 
This makes complete sense because there is no way to place the bar number over a clef in scroll mode.
Great ! That seems to solve one problem. By the way, I sould have noticed you were in scroll  mode (because of the yellow lines). Let's see what come about the next issues...
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Re: Feature request: polish score command  
« Reply #12 on: Nov 15th, 2018, 10:28pm »
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Remember that HA numbers each bar written sequentially for internal reference, but the displayed numbers are fully adjustable.  Not only can bar numbers be suppressed for specific bars, they can also be displayed for given bars.  Bars can also be omitted from the count..  This gives great flexibility, useful for an anacrusis, for when a score is a part of a larger piece, or for when there are uneven numbers of bars in first, second, (and third, etc.) endings, and the numbering needs to be made consistent.
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