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Topic: Music copyists?

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  1. #1

    Question Music copyists?

    I was wondering... How exactly does a music copyist service work? Could I give them a MIDI and my GPO-produced mp3 and they could transform it into a neat pretty score, readable by players?

    I use the Overture notation program, but I don't believe I have the skill (or time) to produce a neat and readable score... my scores in Overture end up yucky and confusing since I am more focused on the resulting MIDI/GPO output.

    How much do these sort of services cost? Could they also provide individual instrument parts?

    Any recommendations on a nice copyist service? I'm not sure yet whether or not I'll need one, but I'm looking into it now just in case, so I'll be prepared if things turn out nicely...

    Many thanks!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  2. #2

    Re: Music copyists?

    Sean, you could probably find someone to do all of that. When I did copy work I typically recieved a hand written score and I created a neat printed score complete with parts for recording sessions. The rules we used for recording were/are slightly different than the rules used for print. Reality is the average person who doesn't spend a lot of time looking at specifics of typsetting could care less.

    I also did a lot of clean up. People would do a score in Finale and I would come behind them, clean it up, make it look neater, pull out parts etc. I haven't done it in about 3-4 years, but there's still lots of people that do copy services. From my standpoint it would probably cost more to recieve a MIDI file and then have to create a score, but I could be different. I'm sure there's some people who have a good work flow for this system. It'll be interesting to see what other's say

    J-

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: Music copyists?

    Contact them. You will have answers...

    http://www.joannkanemusic.com/
    Kentaro Sato (Ken-P)
    Composer/Conductor/Orchestrator
    www.wisemanproject.com

  4. #4

    Re: Music copyists?

    I'm a copyist myself (not Overture, Finale only, sorry!), and I would prefer to get some kind of printout rather than a MIDI file. MIDI files can be transcribed, but they don't carry any information about articulations or expression markings (including dynamics), and rhythmic values are often transcribed incorrectly. These things would need to be added by the copyist in consultation with the composer, with the result that it would take longer and cost you more.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  5. #5
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Music copyists?

    Sean,

    Keep in mind that a MIDI file is often inaccurate/incongruent with notation. Actually it's more accurate in terms of sending the instructions for what sounds/duration/accent/velocity, etc., but when that information is turned into notation, whatever program is being used (Sibelius, Finale, and so on) has to guess what is meant by the MIDI commands. It's particularly problematic with multivoice instruments such as piano, harp, and guitar. So, even a printed score with all its problems is a better template from which to work.

    I do know someone who does this - if you want to PM me, I can get you in touch him.

    Ron

  6. #6

    Re: Music copyists?

    Sean,

    What I Do:

    I sequence my parts (one MIDI track per part). Hard Quantize everything (including Lengths). Create an MP3 and export a MIDI File.

    I send that to the copyist. They give me a printed score or .PDF with no articulations or dynamics. I write them in by hand. Email back a PDF or hand deliver.
    They enter that info and then print a score and parts.

    I have good copyists that I can connect you with in Nashville. Let me know if you need it.

    jmp

  7. #7
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    Re: Music copyists?

    Sean,

    I worked on a film last year as a copyist. The composer worked in Logic. He would send me midi files, crude notation printouts from Logic and mp3 recordings. I imported his midi into Finale, used the notation printout as a visual reference, and listened to the mp3's for a definitive reference.

    I would use my musical knowlegde to override some of the midi notation. Sometimes things are notated a different way from how midi interprets them. I would add dynamics, articulations, hairpins, phrase markings, etc., where I thought appropriate. Then send that file to the composer. He'd make a few revisions, I'd add them, we'd go back and forth a few times until he had a score that he was happy with.

    This process is extremely time consuming and very expensive. The more accurate information you can give to a copyist right from the beginning, will get you a quicker turn-around and save you some money.

    Jeff

  8. #8

    Re: Music copyists?

    Sean,

    Just to add....Create a copy of the MIDI Files that are specifically to send to the Copyist and forget about how it sounds. You want the note lengths to be correct for print.

    A Staccatto Quarter note will show up as a 16th or 8th note in straight MIDI output. You want to clean all of that up before going to the copyist.

    My Scores/Parts usually end up costing $300-$700 depending upon length and complexity. They charge by the hour. Other Copyists charge per Bar or Per Page....they are all different.

    I haven't had any Typo errors with my current copyists which is amazing to me. They Spiral Bind the Score, print a thick Cover Page and tape the Parts. Looks REALLY clean.

    I just had a few done for Live Performances with an Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and it went well with no complaints from the Conductors so I have faith in their work.

    My normal work is for recording sessions where errors or confusing layouts cost MONEY (30-60 players getting $125 per hour adds up quickly).

    I only do my own Copy for small group Pop songs.

    jmp

  9. #9

    Re: Music copyists?

    Wow, thank you for all the great feedback! I appreciate it!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

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