piano reduction

• Jul 9, 2019 - 04:55

In Mastering MuseScore Marc mentions piano reduction but doesn't explain how. Is this an oversight or am I (once again) missing something? Can it be done simply or do I have to cut and paste each vocal part into the piano grand staff?


Comments

There is no simple automatic way to do this any more than is a simple button to arrange a piano piece for large ensemble - ti requires a human to make lots of decisions and then execute them one by one. MuseScore gives you the tools necessary to do this, but there is no one specific tool to talk about. Just lots of use of copy/paste, implode, voices exchange, and more.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

One can distinguish between a "grand staff reduction", which can be done mechanically (but not with one button), and a "playable piano reduction", and a "useful piano reduction/accompaniment", neither of which can be. MuseScore (like all similar tools) fuels the chimera of rough equivalence between "arrangement" and "changing the instrument for a staff".

In reply to by BSG

Thanks BSG. I write SATB parts for my choir, but then need a piano reduction of the vocal parts, for rehearsal purposes. Your valued suggestions seem to be close to what I'm seeking (in particular "playable piano reduction" - would it be possible to advise me of the steps I should take to achieve this?

In reply to by cariadmusic

This is a musical/musicianship question, not a MuseScore question. I would start by creating the straightforward reduction, and see what problems you encounter in playing it with two hands. You may have to transpose portions of the bass part up an octave now and then (being sure you do it to whole passages, not just a note here or there), or occasionally just toss out a note in an inner part to ensure reachability. If all that fails at any point, you might want to substitute a chordal texture in the right hand (never abandon the bass) if the soprano and alto can't be reached. As a composer, an SATB score should generally fit in two hands, not necessarily 2+2, sometimes 1+3. The four-voiced Bach chorales (e.g., http://www.bach-chorales.info/ ) offer a good model of how voices should be spread out. It is better that higher voices be closer together than lower ones (in accordance with the harmonic series). Hope this helps. As Marc and I said, it is not an automatic process.

In reply to by BSG

Thanks for your interest, BSG. I understand your advice, but it's rather missing the point. In Finale the SATB parts are reduced (imploded) to a Grand Staff which Finale adds below the SATB staves. I can of course implode the SATB parts but they all end up in the Soprano staff. Not really a solution.

Attachment is a fraction of my score after (1) .xml export from MS, (2) import into Finale, (3) pno reductn in Finale, export from Finale and import into MScore.

Attachment Size
Paul Kelly 3.mscz 17.17 KB

In reply to by cariadmusic

Imploding parts will not create a playable reduction, which is what you asked for. What you want is simply making a grand-staff reduction. If the bass sings G2 the alto middle C, and the soprano A5, it won't be playable no matter what music program you use, and that's what you asked me to solve. I frequently have to make grand-staff reductions of choral music, too, and it's not instant in MuseScore, but not rocket science, You start by copying the alto into the upper staff, then select the whole staff and move her to voice 2, then select all the soprano and copy her to the upper staff, 2, with voice select limiting to 1. Then you do the same thing with the bass, and then the tenor, into the lower staff. It's a bit of a nuisance, but gets easy when you've done it a few times, and is surely easier than exporting to another tool. I'm sorry I answered the question you weren't asking. MuseScore could make it easier with a "paste as voice n" feature, but it's straightforward if not trivial as it is.

In reply to by BSG

To simply put the parts on a grand staff I would

  • Add a piano above the soprano and delete staff 2 (all in one step in the instruments dialog i).
  • Select the piano, soprano and alto and implode. All notes from those are now in the top of the grand staff.
  • Open instrument, add a staff back to the piano, move it between the alto and tenor. (the staff will default to bass clef :)
  • Select the bass staff of the piano, tenor and bass voices and implode.

You now have a closed SATB score you can edit to make playable and do whatever you want with the piano staff. You can move it to the top or bottom or create a part for it so you don't have the voices on the same sheet. BSG's way works fine, but I prefer the implode method, it's simply a matter of taste.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks Marc, Could you please advise what steps I should take to achieve a playable piano reduction of the SATB parts I write. For rehearsal purposes. Actually I can transfer the SATB parts by .xml file to Finale and use the one-button reduction process in Finale and then export back to MuseScore but I'm trying to leave Finale in favour of MuseScore, so would prefer to learn a system within MuseScore, even if a little more complicated.

In reply to by cariadmusic

Well, a starting point would be if you posted an example of what Finale did, then we can see. As mentioned, MuseScorre has the Implode command, which certainly creates something resembling a piano reduction already - there's no gaurantee it's playable at all, Maybe Finale does something more than just a "dumb" implode, maybe it doesn't - impossible to say without seeing examples.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It went like this: I exported a .xml file of a fragment of my arrangement. I then imported that file into Finale, performed their "piano reduction" procedure, (which adds a Grand Staff to the file, then implodes the SATB parts into the Grand Staff ). The attached file is the resulting file with reduction I exported from Finale and imported into MuseScore. It's playable. I think (I'm not a keyboard player).

To try to find my own solution I've tried imploding SATB parts in MuseScore but the parts end up on the top (Soprano) staff which is then, of course, unreadable. Is there any way to ask MS to implode into an added (by me) Grand Staff? (I should add I'm not very computer literate by the way). If not I guess I'll have to use the export/import method every time.

Attachment Size
Paul Kelly 3.mscz 17.17 KB

In reply to by cariadmusic

Implode does indeed combine all selected staves onto one. So, if you don't all staves combined, don't select them all - select just the ones you want combined. In your case, there are four staves to begin with, you want the top two combined nd also the bottom two. So, select the first to, implode, then the bottom two, implode again. You can then delete the alto and tenor staves in Edit / Instruments. Or if you want all six staves - the original four plus the new piano two - you can add new staves, copy/paste, rearrange via Edit / Instruments - it's totally flexible.

BTW, this particular examples happened to be playable because it was simple enough. Try putting an orchestra score, or even a more complex choral piece, into Finale's piano reduction and see if it's still playablle.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Many thanks, Marc, for your further review of my problem. Along with the suggestions from BSG, Mike 320 and Soichi you've provided me with a few options now and it's up to me to experiment and see which works for me.
I guess 15 years of working with Finale's method has made me lazy!

Incidentally, I have used the seamless Finale tool for instrumental and vocal motet scores and it works OK, but I've never been asked to write for full orch so don't know. Anyway, I'm trying to put Finale in the bottom drawer now; after a very full, rewarding life as a pro musician in UK, Europe and more recently Australia I'm now retired/unpaid, and I find Finale's yearly demands for $200 "upgrades" too much of a burden. You can imagine how delighted I was to discover MuseScore offering a very affordable, highly functional system with the added advantage of the very helpful forum we're using right now.

Nevertheless, though, would it be too impertinent for a MuseScore tyro like me to suggest that it would be a very useful addition to MuseScore if such a one-click "reduction" tool could be devised by one of the in-house I.T. gurus?

In reply to by BSG

OK here I've scored as you requested, (just the SATB staves) and directed Finale to make pno redn. Finale then automatically adds the piano grand staff and enters the imploded parts.

Unplayable, of course, for any pianist with a normal R hand, but I think you'll agree that 1 click for pno redn and then 1 drag to transpose the sop part 8vo lower is a very simple operation? In 10 years of writing/arranging for community choirs I've never found it a problem.

Thanks again for your interest and support.

Attachment Size
Test for BSG.xml 16.57 KB

In reply to by cariadmusic

Well, that was very much the issue! Your previous postings in this thread very much suggested that Finale could make a "playable piano reduction" while MuseScore could not. MuseScore can smoosh (implode) parts into voices in staves perfectly well. Mike320 gave you the recipe/formula. There is no problem or deficiency here. MuseScore can do this perfectly well in a very small number of steps.

To add a "single piano staff", add a piano (in the Instruments dialog) and immediately "Remove" the one of its staves you don't want.

In reply to by BSG

You are correct. It would take some serious thinking to come up with a good implementation of the idea. I use the current results quite a bit while transcribing, because it's not unusual for two flutes to be on one staff and violins 1 & 2 are in unison with the flutes on their own staves. Copy, paste, explode works great in these situations.

In reply to by cariadmusic

Here's the basic outline with a few previously missing details

Add a piano, use the arrows in the middle of the dialog box to move it above the voices and remove staff 2

select piano and the TWO FEMALE VOICES and implode.

open instruments and use the arrows in the middle of the dialog to move the piano to between the female and male voices. Select staff 1 on the piano and add a staff (don't add a linked staff, it'll cause problems)

Select the bass staff on the piano and the male voice staves and implode

You can then open instruments again and use the arrows in the dialog to move the piano to a better place.

If this doesn't help, what's going wrong?

In reply to by cariadmusic

You can delete measures by selecting them, or whole runs of them, and ctrl-DEL (or Cmd-delete on the mac). There's no such thing as "empty pages", just pages that have empty measures; same with systems; delete the measures in the way I just advised. Great!

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