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#1739404 - 08/24/11 12:53 AM Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript????  
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Froglegs Offline
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Hello everyone!
I would like to find out from you all if anyone here composes by hand. I have always written my compositions by hand and I think it is a far better way of composing for the following reasons:
1. Developing your inner ear and being able to hear the composition in your head
2. Far more freedom in what you can do e.g. Graphic notation, complex polyrhythms
3. It's cheaper
4.I find it quicker.
None of the 120 something compositions I have written (I have been composing for almost four years now) were written entirely on Sibelius or Finale or whatever.
This post i'm writing isn't saying that notation software is bad, cos I think that they can be great for making parts and scores, but I think that everyone would benefit from using the good old fashioned quill and parchment (or pencil and paper) from time to time.

Last edited by Froglegs; 08/24/11 12:57 AM.

"There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it."
- Clara Schumann
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#1739428 - 08/24/11 01:38 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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currawong Offline
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I certainly do. When the piece is finished (apart from small details) I prepare the score with Finale, just as I used to do with pen and ink smile 40 years ago. I'm also not saying one method is better than another - but although writing out a piece with pen and ink was kind of fun, Finale is much easier to correct!!


Du holde Kunst...
#1739432 - 08/24/11 01:42 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Nikolas Offline
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I certainly use manuscript and pencil and rubber when composing, but for the finished product (score) I will always input everything to Finale!

I don't think I've ever composed straight into Finale! I find it impossible, even though I compose for computer games as well. I do compose straight into Cubase, but while playing the midi keyboard, or using loops, not scoring notation.

#1739505 - 08/24/11 07:30 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Froglegs Offline
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Glad to see that people still do. I attend composition workshops sometimes and I usually am disappointed with the amount of people that compose straight on to the computer.


"There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it."
- Clara Schumann
#1739508 - 08/24/11 07:35 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Originally Posted by Froglegs
Hello everyone!
I would like to find out from you all if anyone here composes by hand. I have always written my compositions by hand and I think it is a far better way of composing for the following reasons:
1. Developing your inner ear and being able to hear the composition in your head
2. Far more freedom in what you can do e.g. Graphic notation, complex polyrhythms
3. It's cheaper
4.I find it quicker.
None of the 120 something compositions I have written (I have been composing for almost four years now) were written entirely on Sibelius or Finale or whatever.
This post i'm writing isn't saying that notation software is bad, cos I think that they can be great for making parts and scores, but I think that everyone would benefit from using the good old fashioned quill and parchment (or pencil and paper) from time to time.


Well, "cheaper" falls over if you already own Finale/Sibelius. But, yes, there's still plenty of pencils, erasers and paper here. Whatever floats your boat.

#1739559 - 08/24/11 09:37 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Originally Posted by Froglegs
Glad to see that people still do. I attend composition workshops sometimes and I usually am disappointed with the amount of people that compose straight on to the computer.


Why? I take my little laptop to workshops, etc. It takes no more room on a desktop than a sheet of paper, and is nearly silent in operation.

So why should it bother you how I choose to work?

#1739579 - 08/24/11 10:35 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Originally Posted by Froglegs
Glad to see that people still do. I attend composition workshops sometimes and I usually am disappointed with the amount of people that compose straight on to the computer.


Why disappointed? Paper and pencil is good. Computer is good. Judge the result, not the tools.

#1739651 - 08/24/11 12:15 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Maybe it's a generational issue. I thought I would never be using the computer in my lifetime....ha! Even so, I always start with manuscript and pencil. I make the erasing part easier by not writing down anything until my ear likes it. I know I could be faster with the computer and possibly more creative. I just prefer to stick with the 'old-way'.
rada

#1739675 - 08/24/11 12:40 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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With a pencil and plenty of papers and eraser you can not only erase but keep copies around, make drafts, use the computer for algorithmic processes, rather than notating, and other...

I don't think I'll ever be able to work straight on Finale! (As I said Cubase is different).

#1739834 - 08/24/11 04:29 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Listen to Nikolas

Last edited by Froglegs; 08/24/11 06:20 PM.

"There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it."
- Clara Schumann
#1739859 - 08/24/11 05:05 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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most schools force you to learn by hand first. I forged a doctors note saying I had wrist pain so I was allowed to use sibelius. Made my intro orchestration class a breeze. But i do have awful handwriting. I mean I cannot draw a straight line. Not sure if I have early signs of some dopamine based neurological disorder but my hands vibrate. I'm also left handed so anything I write just ends up a jumbled mess.

One thing doing it by hand does teach you is notation which despite the advances sibelius is not quite up to par yet. I still refered to my notation reference when I did the class using Sibelius as the program is not to be relied on for correct notation that does not require user fixing.

Last edited by MadForBrad; 08/24/11 05:08 PM.
#1740124 - 08/25/11 12:04 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Land of the never-ending music
I use both. At the end of the day you can use whatever you prefer and inspires you more. smile



[Linked Image]

Music is my best friend.


#1740148 - 08/25/11 01:20 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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I always work everything out by hand, then I notate the finished product on the computer.

#1740571 - 08/25/11 07:26 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Both. I've written entire pieces with pencil and paper, and others with Musescore, and still others with pencil and paper until I got a laptop with Musescore, and then continued on the computer.

I'm not interested in listening to anyone's opinion on what tool to use. I'd rather listen to the music they create with said tool, and if that music is good, I don't care if they peed it in the snow or scribbled it on the bathroom ceiling with a crayon.


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#1740822 - 08/26/11 06:15 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: J Cortese]  
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Originally Posted by J Cortese
I'm not interested in listening to anyone's opinion on what tool to use. I'd rather listen to the music they create with said tool, and if that music is good, I don't care if they peed it in the snow or scribbled it on the bathroom ceiling with a crayon.


How about playing it on the piano?
This is after all a piano forum.

However one composes for piano and the process involved ,
whether pencil, paper, program, projection, planning...
improvisation, inspiration, imagination, intuition, intention.

There's no substitute for playing
piano passionately.

#1740825 - 08/26/11 06:21 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Dara]  
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Originally Posted by Dara
There's no substitute for playing
piano passionately.


As long as the passion is added to accuracy and sense/knowledge of style!

#1740827 - 08/26/11 06:30 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Dara Offline
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How about having some passion for whatever one is doing
and building skills, knowledge, learning, accuracy, attention ... ongoing.

#1740831 - 08/26/11 06:41 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Dara]  
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Originally Posted by Dara
How about having some passion for whatever one is doing
and building skills, knowledge, learning, accuracy, attention ... ongoing.


I see you agree with me!

#1740832 - 08/26/11 06:42 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Exalted Wombat]  
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smile

#1742446 - 08/29/11 04:41 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Originally Posted by Froglegs
Listen to Nikolas


Yes, and I respect his view.

But I'm still waiting for you to explain why it matters to you how I choose to work.

#1742449 - 08/29/11 04:46 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: kevinb]  
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Originally Posted by kevinb
Originally Posted by Froglegs
Listen to Nikolas


Yes, and I respect his view.

But I'm still waiting for you to explain why it matters to you how I choose to work.
Same here. The respect is mutual... and I'm still a bit puzzled why you should listen to me, to be honest! :P

And to be further honest, I'm still waiting to know why someone would be bothered by the tools someone uses, instead be concerned (if so) to the final output... ???

#1742453 - 08/29/11 05:27 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
And to be further honest, I'm still waiting to know why someone would be bothered by the tools someone uses, instead be concerned (if so) to the final output... ???


Try doing high school english class! :P


[Linked Image]
Algernon: I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.
#1742547 - 08/29/11 10:57 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by kevinb
Originally Posted by Froglegs
Listen to Nikolas


Yes, and I respect his view.

But I'm still waiting for you to explain why it matters to you how I choose to work.
Same here. The respect is mutual... and I'm still a bit puzzled why you should listen to me, to be honest! :P

And to be further honest, I'm still waiting to know why someone would be bothered by the tools someone uses, instead be concerned (if so) to the final output... ???


My guess is that froglegs is wanting to know what others think of manuscript vs.computer input software. However, that's my view. (I also use manuscript for composing).
I'll let froglegs answer for himself, but in doing so, I have added my view smile

#1742568 - 08/29/11 11:25 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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I definetely use manuscript. Once I'm done, I just engrave it to my comp in finale format.


OLC Barcelona Sheet Music
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I also have some very easy / easy piano arrangements and orchestral reductions.
My Youtube Music Channel! http://www.youtube.com/user/olopcall
Oriol - Arranger/Composer

#1742603 - 08/29/11 12:51 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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I've experimented with both. I find I'm more creative at a piano, next choice would be my music DAW, last choice is my Finale machine. When I'm at the piano I'm imagining and hearing the music in my head. Typically at my DAW I'm working off scribbled notes and playing on a digital piano in the same room. My Finale machine is far from any instrument and I personally need the feedback from an instrument.

Like the others I don't care what vehicle someone uses to compose music. In the past those of us who compose at the piano have been denigrated as needing a crutch. I frankly don't get it. I'd much rather hear the result of efforts and decide if I like what I hear, after all that's how I compose.

#1742671 - 08/29/11 02:47 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Steve Chandler]  
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
In the past those of us who compose at the piano have been denigrated as needing a crutch. I frankly don't get it. I'd much rather hear the result of efforts and decide if I like what I hear, after all that's how I compose.


The problem I have with this approach is that I tend to get carried away playing, and don't get anything written down. Sometimes I'll figure out how I want a few bars to sound, and then I'll think about what comes next, and then what comes next... before I know it, I've forgotten what I started with. It can be fun but, for me, it doesn't work out very productive.

The advantage of working on computer _or_ on paper is that you've got a permanent record from the start. I suppose I could use a MIDI keyboard and record all my 'doodles'. That way, if I forget what I started with, I could still go back and find it. I guess I could do the same at the piano with an audio recorder, but then I've still got to transcibe from the audio.

FWIW I think we all ought to try all the different ways there are of writing music, and see what works best. The problem is that giving each method a fair crack of the whip takes months. It took me months -- many, many months -- to get to where I could enter music into Sibelius faster than writing it out on paper. But now I have, I can't imagine going back to paper.






#1742759 - 08/29/11 05:35 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Steve Chandler]  
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Like the others I don't care what vehicle someone uses to compose music. In the past those of us who compose at the piano have been denigrated as needing a crutch. I frankly don't get it. I'd much rather hear the result of efforts and decide if I like what I hear, after all that's how I compose.
For me it's not about a 'crutch', but rather the fact that my hands (as a pianist) and my outer ears (as a listener) are accustomed to certain types of music and aesthetics! And I want out!

#1742788 - 08/29/11 06:23 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
And I want out!


Not quite sure what you mean by that Nikolas, but I do recall you liking Radiohead. Thom Yorke is one of my favorites in contemporary/alternative genre of music. Amazing artist.

i thought this piece (and title) appropriate with your comment above. Great version of this piece.



#1742953 - 08/29/11 11:37 PM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Froglegs]  
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Dara: I meant that I want to break out of my own habbits (as a pianist and as a listener). Of course on closer inspection such an effort usually leads to a more 'intellectual' type of music... :-/ And thanks for the video. I agree it's a great live version of this work! Are they not wonderful? (PS. It's so nice to see them working with scores! laugh It's not something you usually see in a live rock concert, but then again it's quite difficult to pin down Radiohead as "rock").

#1743163 - 08/30/11 10:48 AM Re: Is there anyone out there who still uses manuscript???? [Re: Nikolas]  
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Originally Posted by Nikolas
Dara: I meant that I want to break out of my own habits (as a pianist and as a listener). Of course on closer inspection such an effort usually leads to a more 'intellectual' type of music... :-/

As a not necessarily good pianist that's why I like writing at the piano. Every mistake leads in a new direction. Nikolas you just have to start listening to your mistakes. To be serious for a moment you've already realized the problem, the solution comes in exploring with your inner ear. Of course if that's too ingrained in your habits then perhaps listening to mistakes is a good idea.

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