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Eulogy on Noteworthy Composer - my favourite score editor

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If one wants to get the music onto paper, and is used to working visually, rather than midi sequencing to make the score, then I think Noteworthy Composer is hard to beat.

It is so fast and easy to enter a score, and one can immediately get a pretty good idea of what it sounds like.

The tempo changes, dynamic variance and flow directions on the score are respected in the playback.

E.g. when you do special endings for a repeat section, just click the play button and you hear them all exactly as written. Ditto for D.C Al Coda, D.C. Al Fine, D.S. Al Coda, etc.

Same applies if to dynamics, and crescendi, and diminuendi all respected. Also tempi and accelerandi or decellerandi.

Do any other score editing programs do that I wonder?

You can also save the whole piece immediately as a midi clip.

One thing I particularly like about NWC is the word processor like philosophy.

There's no checking of syntax - you can just type any sequence of symbols, and do the "spell checking" yourself. PLace several clef signs, time signatures and key signatures one after another followed by bar lines, then a cluster of notes, and all that is completely acceptable. Then one can move them around as one likes. It works really nicely; one feels so free, able to work just as one might when writing.

E.g. one can just go on adding a whole lot of notes with no bar lines at all if you like, then put the bar lines and time signatures in later. Most of the programs seem to not let you add any more notes to a bar when you reach the maximum number for the time signature at the start of the line.

That's pretty nice if one is using irregular rhythms and changing the time signature about a lot, or moving bar lines around, or repeating a section with the bar lines shifted to a different position, or something.

You can also add midi events to the score. Also has linear sweep option for the midi controllers, and one can use those to add pitch glissandi.

The midi keyboard is used in an interesting way as a method for entering music notation at ones leisure. (Also has an option to use it to enter notes by playing along with a metronome, which is the more common approach).

The designers of NWC have got a kind of interesting philosophical approach to the topic.

As program developer myself I much admire their program layout - it is extremely well thought out.

Some things aren't in it yet. Has triplets of all types, but doesn't have n-tuplets for larger values of n like 5, 7 etc. I believe there is some kind of a work around for those, but I haven't tried it.

It depends on your way of working.

If you work by writing the score out, and if your aim is to get something on paper as a composer, I think NWC is hard to beat, except possibly for scores with n-tuplets in them for n>3.

The speed of entering ones ideas really shows up here.

If you are a music publisher, maybe you'd use something like Finale or Sibelius.


Some things I'd like to see in future versions of NWC

I've added some of these to the nice NWC wish list web page:

Some way of saving a low resolution score suitable for web page graphics, harp glissandi (at present you have to write them out as a broken chord), trills respected on playback (at present you have to expand the trill yourself as a sequence of semiquavers), and n-tuplets respected on playback - at present only triplets are.

Also would be nice to have a word processor like spell checker - highlight a region of the score and get it to count the number of beats to check they add up to the time signatures, and have option to correct things automatically where it makes sense to do so, - but preserving the word processor like philosophy, and only correct it if one asks for it.

Or underline the "spelling mistakes" as is done in Word.