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Topic: Help with Score writing

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Help with Score writing

    I am wanting to submit some of my music to an orchestra for performance but I have never printed or messed with actual score sheets. Now that I need to do it, I dont have a clue as to where to begin or how. I have always used Cubase and the projects that the songs were made from, range from SX1 to the current Cubase 4. Unfortunately, many of them were written without a tempo track or metronome so I know that nothing is going to lock to a grid. Can anyone please offer some advice here? Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

    Eric

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Score writing

    There are a couple routes that you could follow. I don't know Cubase, but I do know notation programs very well. I assume all of the data that you entered was through MIDI, correct? You could attempt to quantize, and then heavily edit your MIDI. From there, you could attempt to input that into a notation program like Finale or Sibelius, and then make your fine edits and corrections from there. That, however, could include more work with editing than it's worth, which leads me to my recommendation:

    Open up a blank score in Finale, Sibelius, or another notation program with the instruments that you need already set up, and transcribe everything by hand (or mouse, rather). I assume you know your music pretty well, since you composed it and played it in to Cubase by hand, haha, so the process will be long, but hopefully not so bad because of your knowledge of your own piece.

    If you don't have a notation program, you could go a third route of hiring someone to transcribe it for you and work with it. I might even be interested, as I'm sure some other forum members would. I don't want to overstep my bounds of the forum's rules, which I believe does not allow the sale of goods and services, so please PM with any further interest.

  3. #3

    Re: Help with Score writing

    Cubase does have score printing ability although it is probably limited in scope to that of notation programmes. Although you say you didnt use a tempo track do you mean that the music was just played in without the use of the metronome or the tempo setting in the transport (default 120 bpm) ?

    I did a piece like this once, when printed out it was obviously unplayable being full of ridiculous numbers of tiny rests and so on where I was ahaed of the beat or behind it. Trouble is when it was quantized it lost the feel and become very wooden.

    It depends on the quality of the finished work, but Cubase will do it mostly.

    You can get the speed using the beat calculator first on each section. This will enable you to construct a tempo track, then quantise, then send to the score print out and cover with biro like a real score.

    If you want it to be played exactly as written then Cubase will do this but remember it will look awful (also Cubase only prints 7 or 8 line per page) unless a large format printer is used or a pdf writer.

    I can help a bit if you need but probably dont have time for 100's of pages.PM me if you need specific help. I'm using Cubase 4
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  4. #4
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    Re: Help with Score writing

    Thanks for the help guys. Someone is looking at one of the midis now along with an mp3 to give me an idea of cost for a complete transfer to printed score. Man, I am really envious of those who are schooled to do this stuff. It is an amazing skill to me and one I hope to develop some day. For now, I'll leave it to the pros. But I would be interested in any suggestions that will help me in the future to make the copyist's job easier(= cheaper). Thanks again.

    Eric

  5. #5

    Re: Help with Score writing

    Quote Originally Posted by EricWatkins View Post
    Thanks for the help guys. Someone is looking at one of the midis now along with an mp3 to give me an idea of cost for a complete transfer to printed score. Man, I am really envious of those who are schooled to do this stuff. It is an amazing skill to me and one I hope to develop some day. For now, I'll leave it to the pros. But I would be interested in any suggestions that will help me in the future to make the copyist's job easier(= cheaper). Thanks again.

    Eric
    I was going to actually suggest the copyist route. In my experience orchestras are VERY picky about having a well-formatted score to reduce rehearsal time. There is even a set of guidelines for scores and parts that are very strict. I have a link below of the MOLA standards. In addition there are other little nuances (Horn in F almost never has a key signature-- timpani either, etc.) that one learns as they go... usually after a verbal beating by the conductor. Even those of us schooled in it often screw up (cautionary accidentals are my downfall).

    MOLA Guidelines
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  6. #6

    Re: Help with Score writing

    Quote Originally Posted by EricWatkins View Post
    Thanks for the help guys. Someone is looking at one of the midis now along with an mp3 to give me an idea of cost for a complete transfer to printed score. Man, I am really envious of those who are schooled to do this stuff. It is an amazing skill to me and one I hope to develop some day. For now, I'll leave it to the pros. But I would be interested in any suggestions that will help me in the future to make the copyist's job easier(= cheaper). Thanks again.

    Eric
    From what I'm reading, I'm under the impression that you've composed this piece "by ear". Is that correct? If that's the case, then I would highly recommend seeking out either a private music theory tutor or some beginning music theory classes at a local community college if that's an option in your area. Until you learn about musical notation and its structure, I don't see any other way (other than hiring a copyist) for you to get you MIDI recordings turned into proper music scores and parts.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  7. #7
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    Re: Help with Score writing

    I have a small background in theory and I can read music as far as timing, the staffs, note values and so on. But I'm just not going to kid myself into thinking that I can prepare a score for the conductor of a symphony orchestra. When I play in the notes, I know what notes I'm playing and what the intervals between notes are and the resulting chord structures, but to me, that's still a million miles from being able to do what a pro copyist or midi copyist does. I just want this done right and I know that, I never even gave transcription a thought when I first started doing this years ago and therefore, never bothered to play to a click or assign a tempo. It was all by feel. Now in recent years I have begun to always assign a tempo and use a metronome but some of the pieces I need rendered predate my more structured composing sessions. I'm a keyboard player first so that's how and why I always just played the notes in. You can hear the first piece I'm trying to get transcribed here: http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?songs=327701& . It's called "Finding My Way"

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