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• Sep 19, 2020 - 11:40

I was watching this video: https://youtu.be/IitCKRfO5_w?list=OLAK5uy_mSetX6hgq2a-sRPCN9QSvyxJd4Kse…

And I saw this:
lol.png
So I thought, "What if other composers want to write this instead of adding another part to write the same thing? And what if they want to hear both instruments play the same part other instruments play?" Not sure if this makes sense for you.

What if we could have an item in the palettes that let us add a second sound to be heard in the same part? Or more sounds? Maybe we already have a way and I'm ignorant? Maybe...


Comments

I've seen several discussions over the years where people have suggested linked staves that could have one instrument on one staff and another on the other rather than guitar and tablature for example. If this were implemented you could then make the other staves invisible but still hear them on playback.

In reply to by Iothes

The way it is done today is by having invisible staves/instruments and copying the entire "master" staff into it every time a change, or enough changes, are made. Prescription for error. At least it's easy to copy a whole staff in a few keystrokes. But this is the definition of the problem, not its solution. I have to do this every time I have cello and contrabass on a bass line. When "colla parte" is used in a score to put violins, flutes, oboi, etc behind vocals, a 4-staff score acquires 12 hidden staves. It's awful.

In reply to by bobjp

Indeed, probably earlier on it said "oboe colla parte" etc., and now it is "turning it off". Think of it as organ stops being added or withdrawn (many organist/composers were accused of using the orchestra like an organ).

In reply to by Iothes

It might be interesting to know if Stravinsky put this marking in the score, or if an engraver did it. And why. A heads up to let the various string sections know that various WWs were no longer playing along? As if the players couldn't tell.
As for copying and/or hiding parts, I prefer a score that shows everything all the time. No doubts. If I'm trying to pick out the 3rd horn part, I don't want to have to guess where it is on each page. Seems to me that hiding empty staves is something publishers do to hold costs down. Not because it's musically expedient.

In reply to by BSG

It may be a practice, but is it necessary?
What is it that makes a composer think that they need to let the 2nd violin section know that the oboe is playing the same part. Does the oboe part reflect that they are playing the same part as the second violin? If not, why not?
An instrumentalist in an orchestra has 3 basic jobs. In no particular order.
1. Play their part. And all that involves.
2. Listen to and fit in with what's going on around them.
3. Follow the conductor.
Do some composers feel musicians aren't smart enough to play music? I know there are composers who feel they have to mark almost every note in the name of getting their intent across to the players. Rather than writing music that by its very nature is clear about how to play it. Of course some markings are needed. Maybe this is a byproduct of notation software. You have to over mark things to get decent playback.

In reply to by bobjp

The example seems to be either for exclusive use on a conductor's score or on a part that is meant to be shared between the violin and oboe (as an example) in cases where the notes are identical for both musicians. It wouldn't normally be useful for clarinets since they are usually in A or Bb, though there is the less common C clarinet that could be used in this situation.

For the conductor's score it would mean fewer pages on the score and therefore less materials needed. For the example violin and oboe to share it would have meant fewer lead plates needed to be made to create parts.

This is a bit speculative but quite plausible in the pre-computer age.

In reply to by mike320

In the pre-computer age, it meant that the composer only had to write the part once, and if there was an error in it it, only correct it once. And for a person studying the score or copying the score, it is that much easier to read. The advantages of this method seem very obvious to me. Duplication of the same information means chance for inconsistency and error. There is a divergence of purpose of a score between being the best representation of the work in the abstract and the most useful instructions for performing it. To me, trying to learn or understand a work of chamber/vocal music that says "violin e oboe col soprano I" is three times more useful than a score that has three identical parts in different places that contain the same information, or maybe they don't, if I study them carefully. I really cannot understand the argument against this. Score is score and parts is parts.

Why is it better to have to separate parts for cello and contrabass if they play the identical notes (octave transpose in sound)? What about "violoncello, contrabass, e fagotto ad lib"? Can the bassoon not play it because there is no separate bassoon part? What about any number of compositions, such as old ricercari, where the choice of instruments is up to the conductor? Should I not be able to do that with MuseScore without writing a separate staff for each instrument I want on the part?

"Colla parte" would not be in the vocabulary if it made no sense.

In reply to by BSG

Amen!

I'll also add that the talent of Baroque era musicians is not less than mine was in High School where I was quite capable of transposing from Concert Pitch to Eb Alto or Bari Sax as needed as I sight read a song. So in the clarinet example I suspect a Baroque clarinetist might be compelled to play the oboe part at times with the need to transpose what was written.

In reply to by mike320

The clarinet did not exist in Baroque times, but there were transposing instruments, and ones using totally weird clefs (e.g. G clef on bottom line!!!) as well that drive me crazy when I encounter them in Bach scores.

In reply to by BSG

According to what I understand Clarinets (though not Boehm clarinets) were invented around 1700 which would be in the latter part of the Baroque era. I guess the first ones didn't need to transpose since they seemed to be in the key of C. By the beginning of the Classical era (around 50-60 years later) Clarinets were often in Bb, at least that's what Haydn wrote for.

In reply to by BSG

I also think there is a difference between symphony orchestra scores, with 20 or 30 staves, where "why would the conductor care if vn1 and ob1 are playing the same notes" makes a lot of sense, and a score for an aria or duet with 5 or 6 parts, or even an accompanied chorale with 4, where it makes all the difference in the world, and notating it so contributes to clarity. I agree that in a large orchestral score, it would serve negative good.

In reply to by BSG

It seems to me that for every piece of music there needs to be a definitive score. It might be a melody over a figured bass, as in the case of a number of Baroque solo concertos. It might be a 20 line modern orchestral work with every note regardless of whether some other instrument is playing the same part or not. It seems to me that bemoaning the possibility of copy mistakes misses the point. Don't like a "full" score? Oh well.
Or perhaps it's just me. I don't do transcriptions, or arrangements of any kind.

In reply to by bobjp

It seems there is a fundamental confusion about what "with oboe1"/"without oboe1" means. It is not a notation on the violin part of no interest to violinists - there is only one part, for oboe and violin, and sometimes the oboe is "on", and sometimes "off".

In countless Bach chorale-prelude-like cantata arias, including the most up-to-date Neue Bach Ausgabe , another instrument, often an oboe, sometimes a trumpet, whatever, doubles the soprano section, and it says "oboe colla parte", and that's what conductors and students of this music want to see, and how Bach wrote it. Are they all wrong/foolish? In almost every closing chorale of every cantata, it says "oboe, violino, flauto colla parte" on soprano 1 and similar for other parts. These are the definitive scores today. Not good enough? You would insist on a parallel oboe part with the exact same notes right under it?

In reply to by BSG

And for continuo parts, you can't even say what instruments are to be used; it's the performers' business. MuseScore should be that flexible for those of us impersonating "performers" when using it to "perform".

In reply to by BSG

Don't get me wrong. I understand. You want MuseScore to be able to play more than one sound per line. Don't forget that also means being able to control each instrument for volume and articulation. Can't be an easy rewrite of the software.
I'm coming from the standpoint that I have always worked with two scores for any given piece I'm writing. One for real players and one to get the software to playback like I want. It is not an issue for me to separate cellos and basses. Or to have a separate oboe line that, note wise, doubles the violin part sometimes.
Not everyone is at all interested in working that way. I get it.
I'm also not particularly interested in posting on ms.com. I have one piece there. A piano reduction of an orchestral fugue.
There is nothing stopping us from creating a historically accurate score. I'm all over historically accurate. I played natural trumpet in college, many years ago.

In reply to by Iothes

Consider that real players make music. Notation software makes sound.
Consider a simple melody. Musicians phrase that melody. Phrasing is not just which notes are slurred or grouped together, but also the rise and fall of volume. The ebb and flow of tempo. Slight pauses here and there. I can put all those things in a score I hand to musicians after hiding them. But I see no difference time wise if I have two separate scores. Think about it.
But I only compose for the fun of it. Some of my work has been performed, but I harbor no illusions in the long run. So for me, fast and easy are totally unimportant. Writing stuff I like is important.

In reply to by bobjp

No. Notation software makes visual pages, what we used to call "printed pages". Performance software is a tool whereby a skilled person can make music. Violins and pianos do not make music; violinists and pianists do. I should be able to tell performance software everything I can do as a player of an instrument. Some notation software has performance capabilities, and we can argue about how extensive, expressive, and flexible they can be. Composers use performance software (or capable notation software) to represent their work as "music" when they are not influential or wealthy enough to involve living performers, as well as other reasons. Categorically dismissing any attempt to electronically/programmatically make music as "sound, not music" seems a bit troglodytic in 2020. The same argument was made against the phonograph.

In reply to by BSG

I've been called worse :) And look where the phonograph is now :)
You brought up performance software, which is another ball of wax. I'm not talking about money or influence. Non of that is important to me. MuseScore needs way better sound fonts. I remember the first time I loaded Sibelius 4 into my computer. 2006, or so. I laid down some notes for low strings. The playback captured that particular sound of bow on low strings that fonts we have for MuseScore can't touch. And that was only about 2 gigs of sounds. So, no, I'm not at all saying "sound, not music", at least in the respect you seem to mean.
The default General HQ seems to be over all best, but:
No solo horn, I added one from VPO
Trumpet really thin sounding. VPO trumpet better. Rest of VPO not worth it.
I know someone put a lot of work into all the "slow" string sounds. I write plenty of slow string music that the delayed attack and swell on every note don't work on.
I'm still looking for good chimes.
Of course everyone has their own idea of what sounds good. I've tried 5 or 6 different ones to no avail. It seems most of them are based on the same few originals.

In reply to by bobjp

I'll second all those notions, i.e., I'm all for better sounds and sound fonts in all places and programs, but I interpreted your previous messages saying that computer programs make "sounds", not "music", no matter how good the sound-fonts are, so why bother? What am I not connecting?

In reply to by BSG

"Sounds, not music." All I'm saying is that notation software lets us hear the notes we are writing. But that's about it. What does that mean? I have heard music produced by professionals, in a DAW, that sounds pretty real, if I didn't know better. One of them has a massively powerful computer with 96 GB of ram. Another person told me to be careful writing in notation software because it's easy to write to what the sounds are telling me rather than what I know to be true if real players were playing the music. These guys can spot notation playback a mile away. "Don't write to the sounds, write what you know to be true." That the sounds aren't very good is implied.

I own Sibelius 7.5. I fear that at some point it will no longer run on Windows. To that end I have experimented with MuseScore for a few years. I write original music for small orchestra for the fun of it. I am very serious about it, but I know the stuff I write won't go anywhere. I'm fine with that. It's mostly for therapy, anyway.

I thought long and hard about "Don't write to the sounds." I concluded that we all write to the sounds in one way or another. We all write differently depending on the group we are writing for. If I'm arranging something for studio band, I will do different things than if I were arranging it for concert band.

But...left to its own devices, notation software produces "sound". It is up to the user to produce "music" playback. If that is the goal. And it's not the goal, always. I sometimes use what I write in little videos or as backing for plays. I can't afford the thousands of dollars needed to support a DAW. Nor do I want to learn one. So here I am trying to make "music" out of the "sound" my computer creates. I write and tweak something in MeseScore and get it pretty good. Then for the fun of it, put it in Sibelius and everything is different. And then I thought that this is like the real world. Every group that plays a piece has to tailor it to themselves.

In Sibelius if I add a ritard, playback does it. So I write a little differently in MuseScore, but only because there is less hassle. And then there is the MuseScore drum palette that makes me crazy. It has been explained to me a number of time why it is the way it is.

All I'm saying is that MuseScore has come a long way. I looks like version 4 will take us to the next level. I look forward to it.

In reply to by Iothes

I'm not sure if you missed previous explanations of this, but straight mute is not part of the current General MIDI standard. It may or may not already be included in MIDI 2.0, which is still in development. If this is important to you, I suggest you find a forum on a site dedicated to the new MIDI 2.0 design proposals and make your wishes known there. If it is part of MIDI 2.0 or any other standard, then standard soundfonts will start including it, and MuseScore will be able to use it. So that's where you need to focus these effrts - on getting this standardized.

In reply to by bobjp

Yes I have tried searching and found those. Bad thing is that, unlike standardized Harmon mutes, VSCO's mutes have only the common Trumpet's range, so it doesn't work for other types or trombones. Besides that, not even high/low end notes of the trumpet are available. Plus it's sfz... Well I don't mind sfz's but sf2/3 are better

By the way I found midi.org and sent a mail to them.

Thank you for letting me know!

In reply to by Iothes

FWIW, Sibelius has brass mutes, but they only work with jazz sounds. Which may not be the sound you want for orchestra work.
Using Polyphone I extracted (for example) the solo horn from VPO and saved it as sf2. Then loaded it in MuseScore along with the General HQ font. Sfz is better quality but take so long to load.

In reply to by Iothes

Excellent! BTW, while I agree SF2 has some advantages in terms of general use model - a single file is way easier to deal with - in pretty much any technical sense, SFZ is actually far superior. It supports many capabilities SF2 does not. We don't necessarily support every one of them, but we support quite a lot more with SFZ than we do with SF2. Although I have no idea how well single note dynamics work with any given SFZ soundfont.

In reply to by bobjp

The word "senza" in Italian means "without". For example, a marking of "senza misura" means "without measure/meter" or "in free time", and a marking of "senza sordini" in a brass player's part (or its abbreviated form, "senza sord.") means "without mutes".

In this instance, for whatever reason, the person reading this score needed to know that the flutes were doubling the first violins before the marking in question. I believe what OP is asking for is some sort of condensed score functionality, which, to my knowledge, MuseScore currently lacks.

In reply to by funnyflywheel

The "person reading the score" might be the flute player, who has to know that he or she should stop playing this part at this point. The idea that there is no separate flute part is getting lost in the noise. This is a 400-year-old "condensed score functionality", and should be supported as such.

In reply to by funnyflywheel

As I've said above, I have seen numerous manuscript scores from composers such as Bach and Zelenka where violins and oboes share the same part except where marked not, or even end-to-end. It is far easier for the composer to do that, especially one who needs the music for Thursday to perform on Sunday, to write one part instead of two or three identical ones, if they are, in fact, largely, or wholly, identical. Again, "the oboe's part is the same as vn1" is not the right way to think about it. The right way is, "this part is for vn1, oboe, and, if you have one, a flute". Again, I direct you to the last page, the chorale, of almost any Bach cantata, where the chorus is exactly doubled by multiple instruments, and only 4 (or 5) parts are written, and the intent, content, and execution are crystal-clear.

In reply to by BSG

If this image from the last page of the Neue Bach Ausgabe of Cantata 4, Bach's most popular, the most modern, authoritative edition, performing score, doesn't clear it up, nothing will. Note particularly the ad libs.
bWV4Chorale.png

In reply to by BSG

Don't get me wrong. I know a lot about "authenticity." In Denver where I worked in a violin shop, there was a small Baroque orchestra that all used period reproduction instruments that we worked on. Shorter necks, lower neck angles, no chin or shoulder rests, shorter bass bars, different bridges and strings. All except the bass. For that, they had us remove the tuning machines and hand craft pegs for it. I am probably one of the few random people you might bump into on the street who knows what a cornetto is and played one for a while.
But I am less interested in authentic scores. Why? While it's fun to play authentic type instruments, we don't really have all that much information about how they were actually played. Tuning and intonation seem to have been less of a concern. Volume was much lower. Ornamentation was very elaborate. We can certainly have fun and make some educated guesses about how things were done. How many of the Baroque organs that are still around are powered by a couple of guys using foot bellows? I have two recordings of a Baroque trumpet concerto. One by a small German group. The other by a large American orchestra. The German recording is light, airy and spirited. The American recording is slow, loud and bombastic. Sure, the German recording is more authentic, but I really enjoy both. And why not? The music still holds up. To say one is right and one is wrong doesn't give composers any credit. Bach's work has been transcribed into countless arrangements for countless types of groups. And it holds up. Why? Because Bach wrote good music. Imagine that, good music. Go figure. And that, to me, is far more important than calling a short hand score the only authentic score to play from. Interesting to understand? Sure. But not entirely definitive.

In reply to by BSG

Once again you miss my point. I wish you would stop putting words in my mouth and rephrasing everything I say in that condescending attitude you have. Please do me the honor of my right to my opinion. Especially when you don't understand what it is. Please point out where I hinted at the things you are offended at, and why it makes any difference.

In case you missed it, here is what I've been saying:
As you have pointed out, there is a definitive score. Great. As far as I know, and for the most part, MuseScore can replicate it. But MuseScore can't play it. For that something different has to happen.

That's it.

In reply to by Iothes

I have been a musician (average at best) almost all my life. I have sung and/or played a variety of instruments in all kinds of music. Not on a pro level, but I take it seriously. I don't play much any more, but I write all the time. Even though I do it for fun, a big part of that fun is taking every note seriously. Every one. Not for money, but because it must be done. So I take your comment on philosophy as a compliment. Thanks.
BSG all good.

What is going on in here? Well, I'm not sure if I would ever write that down, but I thought other people might find it useful.

Wait, Stravinsky? That's not a score of his... Although I have seen him write:
Piccolo 2 = Flute 3

I found a similar thing here:
bruh.png
Meaning that instead of having 2 staff (1 for 3rd trombone and 1 for tuba ) they combine them in 1 for occupying less space... But you still understand which plays what. And now I wondered... what if we could apply different sounds for different voices? :PPP

Attachment Size
bruh.png 28.22 KB

In reply to by Iothes

And in the grand scheme of things, what is wrong with that? Did the composer arrange things that way? Or was it an engraver's idea. Common practice? What is it that might be sacrificed or lost in the name of "saving space." If "saving space" was the motivation, what obligation do you have to do the same? I could understand if there were a compositional reason for combining two different instruments. But not merely to save space.

In reply to by bobjp

Didn't we go through this already, at least for the case where they are playing the same notes (but clearly, here they are not). Why do hymnals, without exception, put tenors and basses on the same staff, and sopranos and altos on the same staff? Clearly, the Trombone 3 and Tuba are acting like the two lowest voices of a chorus.

In reply to by bobjp

I have 2 reasons for doing it. 1. I like to follow the source but I'm also trying to make it so a blind person reading a braille copy of my work sees the same thing you do in the source. 2. Adding the the extra line often makes it necessary to make the scaling smaller so the systems will continue to fit on the pages without having to change the pagination (which is related to 1) which I don't like to do. You don't have to do this if you don't want to but those who do this will appreciate the explanation I posted at https://musescore.org/en/node/310936 (I hope). That would also be a better place to continue this discussion.

In reply to by bobjp

It might not appear to be important in the specific score I want to "engrave" in musescore. But there are times were you have so huge orchestras, thus many parts/stave, so doing that might make the score just a tad clearer. But still a bit easier to read. I think that in this score, the 2 instruments happened to share the same tone (they both do not transpose I think) and they don't have a huge "height gap". Another cool reason I believe, is that, for example, you have flute and oboe, (they both also don't transpose I think) and they both play the same stuff. Instead of doing 1 part for flutes and 1 for oboes you combine them into one. That way the conductor doesn't need to check BOTH the flute part AND the oboe part to conclude that they play the same stuff. But they understand directly what both instruments play in a whim.

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