[WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

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OCTO
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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by OCTO » 11 Oct 2017, 20:20

liuscorne wrote:
11 Oct 2017, 13:33
I had a look at the Bärenreiter edition of Brahm's op. 119 today. It's surprisingly bad. Some of the details scream "computer-engraved", and not in a good way.
https://www.baerenreiter.com/shop/produ ... ls/BA9631/
Oh....
Maybe we can send them the link to this discussion. It is really disappointing.
Look this:
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liuscorne
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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by liuscorne » 11 Oct 2017, 21:18

Thanks, John, for pointing me to the Finale forum.
What I find frustrating about the Bärenreiter Brahms edition: Unlike the Bach example discussed there, we have, with Brahms, this beautifully engraved first edition that only needs to be recreated digitally to ensure high quality engraving. We don't have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Why a new edition falls so far behind in quality is surprising.

BTW, if anyone is interested: This is what the Brahms looks like in Sibelius when you undo all manual changes and reset the music font to Opus instead of the custom font.
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John Ruggero
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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by John Ruggero » 11 Oct 2017, 21:40

OCTO, I had some correspondence with Bärenreiter over the Bach matter and commented on the low quality engraving in several of their new Beethoven Piano Sonata editions. Aside from their assurances that the errors noted in the Bach would be brought to the editor's attention, the result was not encouraging. They seem to be very enthusiastic about using Dorico and the "first SMuFL compliant font"! As far as the quality of the actual output, I don't think they have a clue. I am afraid that Dorico is a publisher's and editor's dream come true: no more worrying about that pesky engraving stuff and expensive high quality engravers: Dorico achieves perfect results; every time, no matter who does the engraving. (Irony intended)
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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by John Ruggero » 11 Oct 2017, 21:51

You are welcome, liuscorne. Unfortunately only a few appreciate the beauty of the engraving in late 19th and early 20th century editions.

I believe that it has been suggested that before and after shots would be very helpful in putting together a Notatio portfolio of the different notation software products. Your files are a great step in that direction. Thanks!
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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by Knut » 11 Oct 2017, 22:36

Seeing liuscorne's default Sibelius output, which I think is somewhat comparable to what Finale would output without any manual intervention, it's quite clear that my previous statement was a bit harsh. Here's the Dorico output without any manual adjustments whatsoever:
Intermezzo Piano 1.png
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This is indeed much better as a starting point than what either Sibelius or Finale would be able to produce out of the gate, but regardless, it still would need a lot of adjustments to be considered excellent, which seriously evens things out. And then there still is the afore mentioned beaming issue, which Dorico doesn't support at all.

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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by liuscorne » 12 Oct 2017, 13:10

John Ruggero wrote:
11 Oct 2017, 21:40
As far as the quality of the actual output, I don't think they have a clue. I am afraid that Dorico is a publisher's and editor's dream come true: no more worrying about that pesky engraving stuff and expensive high quality engravers: Dorico achieves perfect results; every time, no matter who does the engraving. (Irony intended)
I'm not surprised to hear that. In my work as a copyeditor and typesetter, I have to deal with book publishers on a regular basis. In my experience, there are only a few people who know about typography in a way that allows them to make an informed decision, and even fewer who actually care about typographical matters. Sometimes it's economic considerations that get in the way of producing a "beautiful" book. But often it's not even that: they just don't care.

@ Knut: Thanks for the Dorico example. To be honest, after what you've said earlier, I'm pleasantly surprised at the default output that Dorico produces. The biggest advantage over Sibelius is probably note spacing. There are so many places where spacing needs to be adjusted in Sibelius, it's quite annoying. And it's not enough to push notes to the left or right to do so. In mm. 1, 3 and 11, for example, if you make the necessary adjustments using Alt+Shift+Arrow (thereby keeping the notes in their proper rhythmic slot), the distance between notes might "collapse" completely: at one point, the notes are too far apart, you push a note one unit to the left and they are next to each other; there is no in-between. You have to use the "Inspector" (or Properties Window) to manipulate the horizontal position of notes (thereby creating all kinds of other problems).
Even slurs and ties look much better in Dorico than expected. (In earlier examples, slurs seemed to be a weak point in Dorico.) They are far from perfect, but they are a much better starting point than the Sibelius default.

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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by Schonbergian » 12 Oct 2017, 14:45

My issue with these newer programs, as John already pointed out, is that they move too much of the burden for notation onto what can only ever be an imperfect computer. The human eye is always required, even in this day and age, and I worry that adding all this (still imperfect) extra functionality into programs will indeed make publishers think that quality engravers are no longer required.

The Dorico output is still far from what I would consider publication-quality. Even LilyPond has never achieved a perfect result out of the gate for me.

Agreed on the decline of Baerenreiter. I ordered their Mozart Requiem vocal score earlier this year, expecting the proper edition, only to be shipped the "improved" 2017 edition with atrocious engraving, a much less readable and poorly edited keyboard reduction, and downright missing or removed information compared to the 1955 plates. They just strike me as throwing new scores at the market and not really caring about the quality or usability, even on matters other than aesthetic beauty.

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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by Knut » 12 Oct 2017, 15:02

liuscorne wrote:
12 Oct 2017, 13:10

@ Knut: Thanks for the Dorico example. To be honest, after what you've said earlier, I'm pleasantly surprised at the default output that Dorico produces. The biggest advantage over Sibelius is probably note spacing. There are so many places where spacing needs to be adjusted in Sibelius, it's quite annoying. And it's not enough to push notes to the left or right to do so. In mm. 1, 3 and 11, for example, if you make the necessary adjustments using Alt+Shift+Arrow (thereby keeping the notes in their proper rhythmic slot), the distance between notes might "collapse" completely: at one point, the notes are too far apart, you push a note one unit to the left and they are next to each other; there is no in-between. You have to use the "Inspector" (or Properties Window) to manipulate the horizontal position of notes (thereby creating all kinds of other problems).
Even slurs and ties look much better in Dorico than expected. (In earlier examples, slurs seemed to be a weak point in Dorico.) They are far from perfect, but they are a much better starting point than the Sibelius default.
Indeed, I was overly critical in my earlier post, and note spacing is one thing that would require much less work in Dorico than in Finale as well. OTOH, as I've stated in other threads, I find slurs and ties in Dorico quite weak, not because of automatic placement, which is much more comprehensive than Finale, but with the shape, which I find inferior to that of Finale, and over which you currently have a limited amount of influence.

I'd say that Dorico generally delivers much better results than Finale automatically. The problem is the various decisions that you have no or limited control over. These will probably diminish over time, but they still prevent me from using the program if time is not an issue, and if I want the best possible or most accurate results I'm able to produce.

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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by John Ruggero » 12 Oct 2017, 15:56

Thanks for the Dorico sample, Knut. A cynic might say that Dorico gives unwary engravers a bit more rope to hang themselves with.

The hemiola pairs in ms. 17-23 need to be set off from each other with extra space as seen in previous examples on this thread. The large gaps between the 16ths and dotted 8ths in both the Sibelius and Dorico default examples are unmusical. Will a computer program ever be able to get something like this right?

The problem with the centered beam, often seen in polyphonic music, heightens my concern, expressed previously, that undertaking a project in Dorico would be nerve-wracking. Who knows when some notation unforeseen by the designers will stop a project in its tracks?

Speaking of which, can Dorico do the double clefs in m. 1? If not, this project is dead before it starts.
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Re: [WORKBENCH] Brahms Op. 119, No. 1

Post by Knut » 12 Oct 2017, 19:58

John Ruggero wrote:
12 Oct 2017, 15:56
Thanks for the Dorico sample, Knut. A cynic might say that Dorico gives unwary engravers a bit more rope to hang themselves with.
Haha, good one, John! Even from a less cynical viewpoint, I think there is a real danger that the impressive amount of automation which Dorico brings to bear will have an overall negative effect on the quality of top notch publishers. For all the others, however, I think it might have a positive effect, seing as the quality is already very low in many cases.

I don't think Dorico can do the initial double clef yet, but I believe it's on their list for future implementations. This one is pretty easy to fake, though, as it is in Finale and Sibelius.

I agree that for the casual engraver, there might currently be some risk with regard to using Dorico for bigger projects, but any professional should know the programme well enough to be able to make the right decision after quick read-through of the source material.

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