Loving 4.3

• May 19, 2024 - 00:13

Doing a big transcribing job in musescore 4.3 (Henry Threadgill Sweet Holy Rag) and having great time....
Thanks to everyone who made it!


Me too. I'm transcribing Beethoven's Piano Sonatas. I've done 150 pages in the original and working slowly on toward the 800 page total. It's a job!!!

In reply to by Magnus Johansson

:-D "notes in a row" is just a take on a phrase referring to reading. If one is reading "words in a row", it means that one does not care WHAT it is that they are reading, just something to read. It comes (as far as I know) from a story by Robert A. Heinlein where a character cannot sleep without reading something so he asks just for "words in a row": something to read before he goes to sleep.

I meant that I'm not doing anything special with the notes, just entering the notes without any particular instrumentation. Since Beethoven wrote the Sonatas for "Clavicembalo o Piano-Forte", I just put them on a piano grand staff, exactly as they are on the original source I am transcribing from. Like so:

20240521 211519-13-3.png

A few measures from my transcription of Piano Sonata No. 13 (opus 27, no. 1), third movement ("Allegro vivace")

Once I'm done with them, one possibility I've thought of is to notate them as a guitar duet. Should be neat, but challenging!!!

In reply to by Magnus Johansson

I would say that, in these days of digital scores, these two jobs--already almost the same--have reached the point where they are actually identical.

"Transcribing" refers to changing the format of a score: for example, changing the instrumentation from solo piano to guitar duet. That would then include changing the data format from paper to digital. "Copying" traditionally refers to making the many copies required by an ensemble or making copies for sale. Digitizing the score does that automatically.

So, I'd say that there is only one difference: transcribing by ear. No, I'm definitely not doing that. If you want to call what I'm doing "copying", that's fine with me. I will continue calling it "transcribing" as that term is equally valid.

In reply to by Magnus Johansson

I think I am calling things by their correct names. "Transcribing" and "copying" are all but identical. "Arranging" as JoJo said is similar but, in this context definitely begins with what I'm doing: transcription. The important thing that I am doing is moving the notation from paper to digital notation, which cannot "correctly" be called anything but "transcribing" ... though, as I said, you're free to call it whatever your pedantic heart wants (says the extreme pedant *LOL*)

In reply to by TheHutch

changing the instrumentation from solo piano to guitar duet
That's "arranging" to me, while "transcribing" to me is to bring something from one form, like a sheet of paper, to another, like an electronic score you can play, transpose etc. And copying is like what the medival monks did, bringing stuff from one paper onto another, or what nowadays Xerox does or a Fax

In reply to by Magnus Johansson

That's arranging...

Here's my definitions:

  • Copying is from and to same medium (e.g. paper to paper, visually more or less identical, file to file, bit by bit identical).
  • Transcribing is from one medium/form to another (e.g. PDF, paper or ear to score, stone to paper, notes to tablature or solfa, handwriting to engraving).
  • Arranging is changing content (e.g. adding chord symbols, changing instrumentation, harmonising, splitting a piano piece for SATB), keeping or changing the medium.

Only the latter may cause an own copyright, as it is an intellectual property.
All can violate a copyright, copying and transcribing most certainly will (unless the source is Public Domain).

In reply to by tommybanana

Guys - I am 100% with JoJo. And he knows how to use bold and italic. Therefore he wins.

Your use of transcribing is incorrect* - in the jazz world at least.

I am transcribing - which in the jazz world means listening to the recording and working out what is being played and then writing it down as notation - whether digitally on paper. I don't want to be pedantic-er but it is quite a bit more involved than copying an already scored piece of music from paper to software or onto a different instrument -because it can be really difficult to work out what is going on. The notating part is kind of the easy bit. It is a real test of the ear.

So I think we need a different word for copying an existing score onto a digital notation programme - yes it is moving it from a physical to digital realm - but the information is being transferred not decoded and translated.
I would also argue - and agree with JoJo with my co-de-pedant hat on - that moving to another instrument is arranging or orchestrating?

In the jazz world the terms copying and transcribing do not mean the same thing at all.

When transcribing - as we use the term - the information is being decoded from audio to notation and that is a much bigger transformation - and sometimes involves guesswork, assumptions, extrapolations, etc Sometimes the rhythm or intonation in the performance means you have to decide which pitch or rhythm should be notated because what was played was kind of in between two or more options. For jazz players it often also means working out the chord progression in order to give for improvisers.

I am transcribing music by Henry Threadgill - arguably America's greatest living composer - from his purple patch in the 80's when he wrote for his Sextett which was a septet - alto sax, trumpet, trombone, cello, bass and two drums. One tune has also has a singer. Check out 'Sweet Holy Rag' listen to the end - one of the greatest pieces of music ever made IMO - it's on iTunes and Youtube.

Screenshot 2024-05-23 at 11.00.18.png

Also doing 'The Devil is on the Loose and Dancin' with a Monkey'...

PS Jojo - how do you do bold? Pedants need bold!
PPS I disagree with you all with the greatest of respect and love!
*PPPS It is quite possible that the word transcribe means quite different things in different genres/ fields of music making and to different people - and so that neither side is wrong. The role producer is very different in the jazz and classical worlds is VERY different as I found out once to my cost....
PPPPS Just noticed some rests that need cleaning up...

Attachment Size
Screenshot 2024-05-23 at 11.00.18.png 179.29 KB

In reply to by tommybanana

There's also some guess work involved when transcribing from an old handwriting...
But yes, transcribing by ear certainly is more involved than transcribing from paper (I only do the latter, but in my childhood occasionaly did the former, can't do it any more), yet both is just transcribing, transfering information from one form into another

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

No, transcribing is not just transfering info.
Not at all.
But yes writing a score by ear is trancribing.
That's the two meanings of transcribing in music :
-Writing a score based on a recording (or good ear memory like Mozart ;-) )
-What you have called arranging
Copying from one already written score to another one, like for like, such from a printed version into MuseScore is just copying, not transcribing

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

You give away your formatting secrets too easily.

And unfortunately you are wrong - eg transferring from paper notation to musescore is copying for me because it is visual data to identical visual data on different platform (no transformation of data - only location/platform) - but only in my jazz world.

In reply to by tommybanana

Anyway.....I, also, am enjoying MU4. Fortunately for me, it has nothing to do with whatever the above words may or may not mean. I compose music. That means that I ju.....Oh wait. Am I copying what is in my head? Or am I transcribing it? I might be arranging. Great. Thanks, guys. Now I have no idea what I'm doing. Pretty normal, really. Nope, I'm just gonna do what I do. The result is what I care about.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.