Sightreading

Do you typeset your scores on Linux? Share your thoughts, tips, and tricks here.

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Luc
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Re: Sightreading

Postby Luc » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:53 am

Good analogy, Brian! :-)

Aleks
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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:38 am

I wouldn't say it is such a good analogy. For one, Windows can be used in creative ways, and for creative purposes also. Music can be read for creative purposes also (like playing music isn't a creative thing by itself) like for jazz. Like you go on a jam session and you play music you haven't practiced, played or even heard before.

And I prefer Linux to Windows because it is better for me, not because you couldn't be creative in Windows. That's just a geeky myth, and I am not good friend with religions. :wink:

I think what you guys want is an easy way to write down the music that is in your head, and that is cheating. :P

Anyway, to each his own.

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briandc
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Re: Sightreading

Postby briandc » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:41 am

I don't see where cheating comes in here. Is it cheating to write at a keyboard, rather than by hand? Pressing a key rather than writing a letter with a pen? I don't consider that cheating. Likewise, playing piano keys and seeing the notes get written to staff is not cheating, imo. It's progress thanks to technology.

I acknowledge that a person can be creative using Windows, although Windows is not, imo, the platform to use if you are a programmer and want to be creative to your fullest. And yes, a person can be creative by learning the Moonlit Sonata and then adding delicate embellishments on top, or improvising on a jazz piece. Those are certainly creative endeavors, no doubt about it.

Playing other people's music is one way to learn to read music on the staff. Another way is to make your own melodies and chords, and see how they appear on the staff. I think it's a valid approach to learning, and it seems to be lacking (although MuseScore can do this, in an un-intended sort of way). If I were a programmer, I think I'd make a little app that would do this. I don't think it would be difficult, and certainly not as complex as something like MuseScore, which does many other things too.


brian
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Aleks
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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:02 am

The cheating part was partially a joke. What I meant is, you want to be able to accurately write your music on a staff without bothering to learn reading music properly - which I guess it can be done in MuseScore, since it has a MIDI input for a MIDI keyboard. I haven't tried this, since I don't use a MIDI keyboard, but a friend of mine composed a big piece in Finale like that, as a candidate for postgraduate studies in music academy in France. The reason for that was because the traditional way of composing in Finale, with QWERTY keyboard was to slow for him. But then again, having a bachelor in music, he already knew to read music :D

OK, OK, I'm kidding, I guess it would be an interesting educational program, although I still think it won't be more effective in learning how to read than the traditional way, for the reasons I pointed previously.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:51 am

OK, so I tried to connect JACK virtual keyboard to MuseScore, and it works, it displays the pitches correctly. But, you still have to change the length of the notes using the numeric keys on your computer keyboard, MuseScore MIDI input can't recognize rhythm. And, you can't enter chords like that, it shows them, but in an arpeggiated form.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby composer » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:38 am

I am a professional composer and musician, 13 years full time studies at university, and from being pre-school teacher in music I am now a university teacher, mainly in ear training, theory and performance.

Sight-reading is a long process to master. There is no a SHORTCUT neither an INSTANT tool that will make it quicker. It is like playing tennis, you cannot learn it quicker. Of course there are bad and good teachers.

Sight-reading can be twofold:
1. ability to know what tones are (for instance, looking at a symphonic piece, you can quickly figure what it is about).
2. ability to know how to play a note from a sheet on a PARTICULAR instrument.

I am very good in quick reading scores and using either piano or violin. But if you give me a flute, it will take very long time.

My suggestion: while using software is OK, it is absolutely much better to use real sheet music for training. You would definitely need to take a few lessons with a proper pedagog, and so you will be able to UNDERSTAND how music functions. Just playing a note on the keyboard and having a feedback by computer (red / green light) is not a proper way to learn and understand music.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Luc » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:29 pm

I understand that, but math becomes a lot easier if you memorize the multiplication table. In music notation and many other areas of study, some degree of memorization is also necessary. At the very least, I want to be able to look at a note on the staff and immediately know it's a C, E, G or whatever.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Aleks » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:55 pm

Well, it sounds like you need some good basic music theory book. You can find those in a library, bookstore, or Google offers some good free ebooks too ;)

https://www.google.com/search?client=op ... theory+pdf

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Luc » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:20 pm

Well, Aleks, I'm sorry it sounds that way to you. I was expecting it to sound like I have actually read a book or two on the subject, but can't exercise that knowledge at useful speed because I lack practice, which no book can provide on its own.

Communication is difficult with you.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby briandc » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:30 pm

I seem to remember that MuseScore doesn't handle MIDI chord input very well. There is also the issue of how to correctly indicate when a note (esp. a black key) is intended to be a sharp or a flat.

Reading sheet music can be intimidating. A song may not even be very difficult to play once you understand the keyboard layout, but seeing a lot of notes on the written page can be discouraging (and therefore deceiving). Therefore, if you "invent" a chord on the keyboard, being able to see it written instintanously on the staff can be a useful thing, imo.


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Re: Sightreading

Postby briandc » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:35 pm

composer wrote:
My suggestion: while using software is OK, it is absolutely much better to use real sheet music for training. You would definitely need to take a few lessons with a proper pedagog, and so you will be able to UNDERSTAND how music functions. Just playing a note on the keyboard and having a feedback by computer (red / green light) is not a proper way to learn and understand music.


That's not exactly what I'm trying to say. I don't want a red light/green light, I want the application to indicate the full chord on the staff when I play it. That's all. It's not a "right-wrong" response I need, just a result. Like putting in a few numbers and getting the solution back.


brian
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Re: Sightreading

Postby composer » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:51 pm

briandc wrote:
composer wrote:
My suggestion: while using software is OK, it is absolutely much better to use real sheet music for training. You would definitely need to take a few lessons with a proper pedagog, and so you will be able to UNDERSTAND how music functions. Just playing a note on the keyboard and having a feedback by computer (red / green light) is not a proper way to learn and understand music.


That's not exactly what I'm trying to say. I don't want a red light/green light, I want the application to indicate the full chord on the staff when I play it. That's all. It's not a "right-wrong" response I need, just a result. Like putting in a few numbers and getting the solution back.


brian


I see, I understand.
Despite that, I would strongly recommend learning notes first, and than playing. There is no other way around. You have to trust me.
There is something called the Suzuki-method. It is basically teaching instrument playing without music. A kind of folklore tradition technique.
But it happens very often that these pupils get completely disturbed once they need to learn notation. I have got pupils that played instrument for 7 years without seeing a note. For them it was a very bad experience.
Contrary to that: I had pupils of 4 and 5 which have learned to read music on their instrument (basic knowledge in the frame of playing).

I would recommend:
- learning music reading (basic). It includes pitch and rhythm.
- connect reading with playing on your instrument (keyboard)
- once you can do it, it will be joy to know what you play, you will not need a software for that.

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briandc
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Re: Sightreading

Postby briandc » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:51 pm

composer wrote:
briandc wrote:
composer wrote:
My suggestion: while using software is OK, it is absolutely much better to use real sheet music for training. You would definitely need to take a few lessons with a proper pedagog, and so you will be able to UNDERSTAND how music functions. Just playing a note on the keyboard and having a feedback by computer (red / green light) is not a proper way to learn and understand music.


That's not exactly what I'm trying to say. I don't want a red light/green light, I want the application to indicate the full chord on the staff when I play it. That's all. It's not a "right-wrong" response I need, just a result. Like putting in a few numbers and getting the solution back.


brian


I see, I understand.
Despite that, I would strongly recommend learning notes first, and than playing. There is no other way around. You have to trust me.
There is something called the Suzuki-method. It is basically teaching instrument playing without music. A kind of folklore tradition technique.
But it happens very often that these pupils get completely disturbed once they need to learn notation. I have got pupils that played instrument for 7 years without seeing a note. For them it was a very bad experience.
Contrary to that: I had pupils of 4 and 5 which have learned to read music on their instrument (basic knowledge in the frame of playing).

I would recommend:
- learning music reading (basic). It includes pitch and rhythm.
- connect reading with playing on your instrument (keyboard)
- once you can do it, it will be joy to know what you play, you will not need a software for that.


Already done! :)


brian
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My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

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Re: Sightreading

Postby Reeman » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:22 am

An old thread but very relevant in many ways. Anyway to the meat of the matter, learning to read well on any instrument is not something which is or can be helped much by "digital assistance". The first problem in reading music is not the notes you play, it is when you play them and stopping to check that you played the note on time is a disaster to the flow of a melodic line and syntax of the movement of the music through time and auditory space. So a "digital assistant" will and can tell you if you played a note on time or correctly but that is not really helpful after the fact if you need to stop and check your timing. :(
For me the greatest help is and has always been making certain I understand and can count the music from the score first and hear at least the syntax of the piece before learning to play and hear in my head the correct pitches. (it is completely normal to create notes in your mind to someone else's melodic syntax so sight singing a melody exactly as written or playing it on your instrument of choice is a skill that takes practice!) By then discovering the phase length of a musical statement and then studying the movement of the melody first in time and then in an auditory space the world of reading music then loses its mystery.

Who am I you ask? I am a classical guitarist who hates keyboard study being insisted upon just to learn basic harmony in music conservatoriums.
I read and write music to the best of my ability despite never having studied on a keyboard. I suggest that musicians that are hard at work learning to read well on any instrument and are sincere about it, read the forward to a work by Paul Hindemith on this particular issue. http://imslp.org/wiki/Elementary_Traini ... th%2C_Paul)

I dearly love great piano music and respect and admire a great many who have the talent to reach beyond and can play beautifully even if the cannot read a lick! I just wish sometimes that the keyboard was not considered the end all and be all of musical teaching devices. The very last thing that I would ever want to see is a NAZI like pitch correcting microphone triggered a/d to "digital assistant" hooked into my DAW running rosegarden telling me that I played a note at the wrong time or pitch.

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Re: Sightreading

Postby wolftune » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:39 pm

Surprised nobody yet mentioned Nootka: https://nootka.sourceforge.io/

It's got a guitar focus but works for other things too, voice and piano and more. It's nifty.

That said, learning notes in isolation is like learning *letters* in isolation. You don't actually learn to read English by learning arbitrary letter-strings, you learn it through words and real-world experience. Same applies to reading music, despite what people think otherwise. People learn common patterns from seeing them a lot. Throw totally random strings of notes at people, they do *not* get it so well like they do with common experienced musical structures.
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