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Cross bar notation

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Cross bar notation

Postby Wolfgang » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:13 am

Some days ago I was quite shocked to find out Notion 4 does not support cross bar notation. I thought this would be something crucial, how can it not be supported? It's nothing contemporary or graphical at all, even classical composers use it for the piano.

Will it be supported in the future? Without, Notion is unusable for me. At least for the piano. Which is quite an important instrument..
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Re: Cross bar notation

Postby Wolfgang » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:51 pm

Really? So many reads, still not a single reply on that important topic?
Please, I'd love to use this software. It's more intuitive than any notation software I ever used. But I cannot work without this feature. And I can't be the only one.
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Re: Cross bar notation

Postby Rubens » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:31 pm

Hi Wolfgang!

I share with you the same disappointments, the first not being able to use cross bar notation and the second to not receive a proper answer for this important issue... :shock:
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Re: Cross bar notation

Postby Surfwhammy » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:05 pm

Rubens wrote:Hi Wolfgang!

I share with you the same disappointments, the first not being able to use cross bar notation and the second to not receive a proper answer for this important issue... :shock:


If you are asking about (a) cross staff beaming or (b) cross staff notation, then there was a quite surreal discussion about this last year starting in November 2012, and it continued until a de facto armistice emerged, where one way to characterize it is that everyone generally agreed (a) it is a good idea; (b) it is not a trivial software engineering task; (c) Notion Music is aware of this feature request; and (d) it probably will happen sooner or later, but in a way that makes sense with respect to prioritizing new features, functionality, and enhancements . . .

This is the link to the discussion:

Cross staff notation (Notion Music FORUM)

From a different but related perspective, it is primarily an engraving function, and one might expect that a proficient pianist should be able to determine how best to play a complex two-hand crisscrossing piano piece . . .

When using NOTION 4 for playing and performing digital music, it does nothing of value, and if one must have it for printing sheet music, then the obvious solution is to get a competitive crossgrade to Sibelius and to use it to customize the engraving based on exporting the music notation from NOTION 4 in MusicXML format . . .

THOUGHTS

If "cross bar notation" is different from (a) cross staff beaming or (b) cross staff notation, then explaining will be helpful . . .

Regarding software designing and software engineering, it is useful to know that NOTION 4 is designed and programmed in a very specific way to make composing and performing music in real-time on the fly as easy and efficient as possible, and this in turn requires doing everything in a very specific way . . .

NOTION 4 is the only music notation, composition, and performance software on this planet that does these three activities elegantly, and from my perspective this is the primary focus of NOTION 4 . . .

NOTION 4 also prints sheet music, but I think that printing sheet music is a secondary activity . . .

For reference, I have a university degree in Computer Science, and I have been doing graphic user interface (GUI) designing and programming since the first version of Windows, although I switched to the Mac in 2001 and now vastly prefer Mac OS X . . .

As best as I can infer from studying the way NOTION 3 and NOTION 4 work, I think that the various real-time playback and performing algorithms are intimately connected to single staves, even in the case of Piano grand staves and Electric Guitar and Electric Bass dual staves, where for the latter the top part is regular music notation and the bottom part is what colloquially is called a "guitar tab" . . .

There is so much stuff happening behind the scenes--especially when one is using a lot of VSTi virtual instruments, each of which has its own proprietary engine--that it is a bit mind-boggling in the extreme, and everything has to be coordinated and managed in such a way that all the work is done very rapidly so that there are no perceived delays in requesting all the audio for each note; loading the required samples; rendering the samples; and so forth and so on . . .

When one is using the Conductor and performing aspects (NTempo), as well as the MIDI recording aspects, there are additional real-time considerations, and so forth and so on . . .

I have not examined any of the source code for NOTION 3 or NOTION 4, but from my experience doing some of this type of programming, I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that some of the algorithms required extensive fine-tuning to do the necessary work very rapidly, and when this is the case, the fact of the matter is that there are not so many software designers and software engineers who can do this type of work, because in some instances it requires dropping down to machine code and devising strategies for optimizing specific and usually small but often used sections of code that normally would be fine based on the way they are compiled using standard options and so forth in the C/C++ programming language, which itself if low-level, although not as low-level as machine code . . .

Rather than wander into thoughts on discovering the indisputably optimal way to perform a repetitive section of code in real-time on the fly, the summary version is that if it were simple, then it already would be a feature in NOTION 4 . . .

Nevertheless, one cannot avoid a bit of wandering, and many years ago I had the opportunity to work with a software engineer who specialized in optimizing algorithms, and it was quite fascinating. The key is to find ways to avoid repetitively loading the same value over and over and over, and there are various techniques for identifying when this happens . . .

One of the first questions I asked him was whether one or the other of the following two statements was better, and the answer was that it did not matter, because they only do one thing, and they do it pretty much optimally, hence it does not make a lot of sense to pay someone to try to improve incrementing an integer variable, which I thought was cool:

Code: Select all
int i;
i = i + 1;
OR
i++;


The practical perspective is that most pianists learned how to play piano using G. Schirmer Inc. music books, and most of them do not have cross staff beaming . . .

Consider the following bit of Mozart, who I think was a pretty good composer for piano and stuff . . .

[NOTE: Whether this is the entire thing or is just an excerpt is something about which I have no idea at present, but so what, because I can input the notes one at a time to NOTION 4 and then listen to it, which works for me . . . ]

Image
W. A. Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491, finale (var. 5)

I think one needs to be a vastly proficient pianist to play the stuff on the top two staves and the bottom two grand staves, which I am guessing are the piano notes, and this is my overall perspective on cross staff beaming or whatever one wants to call it, really . . .

Really! :)
Last edited by Surfwhammy on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Cross bar notation

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:03 am

I input the Grand Piano notes and listened to it a few times, but it appeared to just stop, so I added a big Surfwhammy ending, which is fabulous . . .

Except from "Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491" (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)-- Big Surfwhammy Ending -- YouTube music video

Fabulous! :P
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Re: Cross bar notation

Postby Wolfgang » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:15 am

The practical perspective is that musicians (at least here in Austria) expect cross bar notation in a lot of scenarios. It makes the score more readable. If I wouldn't use it, my score would look not professional. I come from a professional field (B.A. in composition if we start talking about degrees) and there's nothing to argue about this "feature" to be mandatory.

Mozart didn't use it in your example because there was no need to in this particular piece.
Have a look at the presto passages, especially page 2,3:
http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnk ... _KV397.pdf

See? Every other solution would look awkward.
It became even more standard in the romantic period:

Schumann
http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnk ... dition.pdf

Brahms
http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnk ... 18_-_2.pdf

I could give you tons of examples. So, talk about low priority.
Also, I don't care if it's a trivial task or not. I need a professional solution. I rely on this. So I guess I will go back to Sibelius completely.

Rubens knows what I'm talking about!
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Re: Cross bar notation

Postby Funkybot » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:05 am

As stated in another post, it looks like the Notion dev team are concentrating less on the "playback" features of Notion that they had been, and are shifting the focus to "print/score" aspects of Notion. I'm optimistic the next few updates will address some of these long outstanding issues.

That said, if the OP needs it now, I don't blame them for looking elsewhere.
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Re: Cross bar notation

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:25 pm

Wolfgang wrote:I don't care if it's a trivial task or not. I need a professional solution. I rely on this. So I guess I will go back to Sibelius completely.


I like Mozart, and I especially like his sense of musical humor! :)

The reality is that the current version of NOTION 4 does not support cross staff beaming, but I think this feature will appear sooner or later--perhaps sooner--but since for many folks the playing and performing aspects of NOTION 4 are vital, the work needs to be done in a way which is consistent, and I think this is a practical and reasonable perspective . . .

For reference, I have Sibelius 7.1.3 (Avid) and Finale 2012 (MakeMusic, Inc), both of which I purchased as competitive crossgrades with additional discounts, but I only use them when trying to make sense of questions FORUM members occasionally have . . .

I know more about Sibelius than Finale, and from what I have been able to determine Sibelius is the gold standard for engraving and is an excellent tool for the folks who need to produce stellar printed sheet music, but as it applies to the practical realities of software designing and software engineering, the fact of the matter is that one can make the quite reasonable and strongly supported argument that focusing so intensely on engraving essentially cost the universally recognized engraving experts who did the original work on Sibelius their jobs, which most likely was a hard and brutal lesson to learn . . .

Everyone is entitled to their perspectives, which is fine with me, but I prefer the perspective that recognizes the reality that doing digital music production requires many tools rather than only one tool, where for example I use quite a few VSTi and AU virtual instruments and VST and AU effects plug-ins and continually explore this sector . . .

I have favorites for my primary instruments, but it is nice to be have a deep and rich selection, since there are times when I need a very specific sound, and this is one of the truly amazing aspects of digital music production at the dawn of the early-21st century, since it is both possible and practical to have a virtually mind-boggling orchestra of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of instruments, and when you include synthesizers and effects, it becomes millions, which until recently was a luxury available only to a handful of composers and performers and even then was constrained by production budgets, where traveling back half a century, in the universe of popular music the only composers and performers who had this type of access were musical groups like the Beatles and vocalists like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and so forth . . .

Today, all this is readily available on a MacBook Pro that fits inside a backpack, and while it is not completely and totally inexpensive, it is affordable for most folks, and if this technology had been available when Mozart was alive, I think he could have done a lot more than he did, even though what he did truly was amazing, as it continues to be . . .

In the grand scheme of everything, it depends on what you need to do, of course, as well as how you want to do it, and Sibelius 7.1.3 (Avid) certainly is a readily available tool, as is Finale 2012, but neither of them do what NOTION 4 does . . .

Using an analogy, metaphor, or simile, I suppose that one could discover a way to cook nearly everything with a wok, but overall I think it is easier and more practical to have a wok and a lot of other pots and pans, or at least a wok and a cast iron skillet, which are my two favorites for cooking, along with a cast iron barbecue grill that has a separate compartment for wood used to add smoke flavor when slow-cooking, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)
Last edited by Surfwhammy on Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cross bar notation

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:48 pm

Funkybot wrote:As stated in another post, it looks like the Notion dev team are concentrating less on the "playback" features of Notion that they had been, and are shifting the focus to "print/score" aspects of Notion. I'm optimistic the next few updates will address some of these long outstanding issues.

That said, if the OP needs it now, I don't blame them for looking elsewhere.


This matches my impression, but I think it is important to add increased support for custom rules and expanded MIDI capabilities to the focus, which I think is accurate if I am interpreting the various information coming from Notion Music correctly . . .

I also think it important to note that while in some respects initially it can be a bit frustrating for customers and for the most part there are only two companies that do it (IK Multimedia and Notion Music), it works best over the long run for software designers and software engineers to do their work in the way that makes the most sense to them without constantly making promises regarding expected delivery dates and so forth . . .

As an example, IK Multimedia has been working on 64-bit versions for all their virtual instruments for the past few years, and all they will say about the effort are (a) it might be released sometime this year and (b) it will not be released until they are satisfied that it is done correctly . . .

I love IK Multimedia virtual instruments, and it is a bit frustrating that all of them currently are 32-bit only, but their effects plug-ins are both 32-bit and 64-bit, and they work very nicely in the 64-bit universe, so in the grand scheme of everything I respect this way of doing the work, and in the interim I am using the time to learn more about Kontakt 5 (Native Instruments), MachFive 3 (MOTU), Addictive Drums and Addictive Keys (XLN Audio), and Cyclop (Sugar Bytes), all of which work very nicely in the 64-bit universe, and if I need to do something with one of the IK Multimedia virtual instruments I can switch to the 32-bit version of NOTION 4 and do it that way using a cloned score and then recording the generated audio as soundbites via ReWire in Digital Performer 8 (MOTU) running in 32-bit mode, followed by moving the soundbites to the 64-bit Digital Performer 8 project, which works nicely, since I developed a complete system for doing everything in the 32-bit universe when it was all that was available . . .

Lots of FUN! :)
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