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Jonas

How To Compose A Symphony?

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Just don't.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new

 

-Albert Einstein

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Its up to you, but I always prefer to start off with a full score of, say, 16 staves rather than a short score of 2 or 4 staves. Thus if the tune in my head is for, say, the flute, I can write it for that instrument straight into the score. No doubt non pianists such as Spohr and Berlioz would have done the same.

    For a good number of years I used Noteworthy software, which, at $49  a go, must certainly be one of the most reasonably priced Score writers on the market. Its also one of the easiest to learn to use and is well backed up by a good friendly newsgroup and forum. However, I have lately moved on to the much more powerful and expensive Sibelius software which can to do lots of things that Noteworthy cannot do, such as copying and pasting large chunks of score. To accomodate the necessary numbers of staves for a full orchestra it is usefull to have a computer monitor that can be used in portrait mode.

    As for textbooks on orchestration; I can thoroughly recommend Berlioz's magnificent "Treatise on Instrumentation", but I also find much usefull information in Gordon Jacob's more concise "Orchestral Technique"

     Personally, being a bit old fashioned, I tend to use as my models.various early to mid 19th Century symphonies by Beethoven, Schubert, Spohr, Lachner, Kalliwoda and Raff.

Best of luck,

      John.

Thank you!

I've heard Sibelius has a lot of extra features. Probably good to start with something like 16 staves. But should I write it by hand or on a PC?

 

Jonas

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Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new

 

-Albert Einstein

 

Quoting Einstein is tacky. 

 

-Me

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Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new

 

-Albert Einstein

Be more like Einstein and go write a symphony.

 

The great thing about Finale software is the more money you pay them, the more staves they let you have in a score. The real trick is to have a lot of money, and then give it to the finale people.

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Quoting Einstein is tacky. 

 

-Me

 

Orchestras are tacky.

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 Years ago I used to write music using pencil and paper but, when I came across score writing software that could play the music back to me and print it off, I went completely over to that. Even the less expensive programs such as Noteworthy, which I strongly recommend for people on a low budget, can do things quickly which can take much longer using pencil and paper. Thus, if you need to repeat a phrase you can highlight it, press Ctrl C, followed by Ctrl V as many times as you like.

       Noteworthy, however, has its limitations. For example, it won't do higher tuplets than triplets automatically, whilst trills and drumrolls have to be written out in full on a hidden stave used for play back. Furthermore, the quality of the play back depends on how good your sound card is at interpreting General Midi unless, of course, you are clever enough to tie the program up with a good set of sound fonts such as  Garritan Personal Orchestra. More powerfull software such as Finale and Sibelius are generally able to overcome such difficulties but cost around ten times as much as Noteworthy unless you can prove you are a student or can get them on special offer.

     Personally, I find Sibelius a bit more user friendly than Finale inspite of its new ribbon style interface.

Anyway, so far as I can remember, all of these programs have the facility for writing parts for transposing instruments, such as clarinets, at hearing pitch, which can later be printed out at playing pitch, which saves quite a bit of mental arithmetic when writing them out.

   I hope this helps.

     Cheers,

          John.

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 Years ago I used to write music using pencil and paper but, when I came across score writing software that could play the music back to me and print it off, I went completely over to that. Even the less expensive programs such as Noteworthy, which I strongly recommend for people on a low budget, can do things quickly which can take much longer using pencil and paper. Thus, if you need to repeat a phrase you can highlight it, press Ctrl C, followed by Ctrl V as many times as you like.

       Noteworthy, however, has its limitations. For example, it won't do higher tuplets than triplets automatically, whilst trills and drumrolls have to be written out in full on a hidden stave used for play back. Furthermore, the quality of the play back depends on how good your sound card is at interpreting General Midi unless, of course, you are clever enough to tie the program up with a good set of sound fonts such as  Garritan Personal Orchestra. More powerfull software such as Finale and Sibelius are generally able to overcome such difficulties but cost around ten times as much as Noteworthy unless you can prove you are a student or can get them on special offer.

     Personally, I find Sibelius a bit more user friendly than Finale inspite of its new ribbon style interface.

Anyway, so far as I can remember, all of these programs have the facility for writing parts for transposing instruments, such as clarinets, at hearing pitch, which can later be printed out at playing pitch, which saves quite a bit of mental arithmetic when writing them out.

   I hope this helps.

     Cheers,

          John.

Thank you!

It really helped  :nod:

Have you ever tried Musescore? I think it's quite new, but it seems good, and it's free.

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Anyone who quotes Einstein is probably a tool

 

-Me

I'm not trying to be Einstein, I just quoted him.

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Very good advice given on this thread. But as someone said earlier, if you have to ask others how to write a symphony, you clearly aren't ready to write one. I would suggest by writing smaller scales work first (solo, chamber music), and then gradually moving up to write your big magnum opus. 

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Very good advice given on this thread. But as someone said earlier, if you have to ask others how to write a symphony, you clearly aren't ready to write one. I would suggest by writing smaller scales work first (solo, chamber music), and then gradually moving up to write your big magnum opus. 

 

Quit trolling!

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I'm not trying to be Einstein, I just quoted him.

 

Right, which is tacky, like I just said (surely, you read it I mean, you did quote it after all). Ironically, the Einstein quote encourages the taking of risks which is the opposite of what you're willing to do (hence this silly thread). 

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Hello again Jonas,

    There are lots of free and inexpensive score writing softwares out there and they all do a good job up to a point ( in the past I have tried Musicator, Melody Assistant, Harmony assistant together with the cheaper versions of Personal Composer and Cakewalk) but none of them have anywhere near the feature set of Finale and Sibelius. It would seem that, as in most things in life, you get what you pay for!

   I still think that Noteworthy is the best of the less expensive programs. One thing to remember about the relative costs is that Noteworthy is produced and developed by just one programmer, ably assisted by some very knowledgeable users, whereas both Finale and Sibelius have extensive teams of developers, whose salaries have to be paid for together with divdends to the investors in the companies that now own them (Make Music & Avid)

     Cheers,

         John.

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Hello again Jonas,

    There are lots of free and inexpensive score writing softwares out there and they all do a good job up to a point ( in the past I have tried Musicator, Melody Assistant, Harmony assistant together with the cheaper versions of Personal Composer and Cakewalk) but none of them have anywhere near the feature set of Finale and Sibelius. It would seem that, as in most things in life, you get what you pay for!

   I still think that Noteworthy is the best of the less expensive programs. One thing to remember about the relative costs is that Noteworthy is produced and developed by just one programmer, ably assisted by some very knowledgeable users, whereas both Finale and Sibelius have extensive teams of developers, whose salaries have to be paid for together with divdends to the investors in the companies that now own them (Make Music & Avid)

     Cheers,

         John.

I might try Noteworthy for now, and maybe later buy Sibelius or Finale.

Thank you for your great advice!  :D

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By the way Jonas, as with many other programs, you can download a trial verson of Notewothy for free if you go to  

www.notewothysoftware.com. If you subscribe to their website newsletters, you can sometimes get special offers on their software from Finale or Sibelius and, of course, certain music software retailers sometimes offer these programs at cut price, particularly if a new version has just come on the market and they wish to off load their old stock. I personally saved up out of my pension to buy Finale a few years back, as it was slightly cheaper than Sibelius. As I was finding Finale rather tough going, I was later glad to take up an Offer from Avid to "upgrade" to Sibelius from Finale at a special bargain price. I notice that Make Music sometimes has similar special offers to "ugrade" from Sibelius to Finale! Anyway, good luck with your music and choice of software.

    Cheers,

          John.

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By the way Jonas, as with many other programs, you can download a trial verson of Notewothy for free if you go to  

www.notewothysoftware.com. If you subscribe to their website newsletters, you can sometimes get special offers on their software from Finale or Sibelius and, of course, certain music software retailers sometimes offer these programs at cut price, particularly if a new version has just come on the market and they wish to off load their old stock. I personally saved up out of my pension to buy Finale a few years back, as it was slightly cheaper than Sibelius. As I was finding Finale rather tough going, I was later glad to take up an Offer from Avid to "upgrade" to Sibelius from Finale at a special bargain price. I notice that Make Music sometimes has similar special offers to "ugrade" from Sibelius to Finale! Anyway, good luck with your music and choice of software.

    Cheers,

          John.

That's probably a good idea  :nod:

But is Finale and Sibelius made by the same company? (Since you can upgrade from Finale to Sibelius)

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No Jonas, they are deadly rivals, but competition between them over the years has resulted in many improvements in both programs as they attempt to each copy the opposition's latest features. It is also possible to "translate" a piece written by one into the other, using a program called MusicMXL.

  Cheers,

        John.

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Since everything was covered so far by the preceding posts, let me ask a simple question: have you try any basic counter point exercise or try to write in basic forms (Binary and ternary) yet? 

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