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Informal Composers Poll


Greetings all,
I'd like to pivot the rather negative focus of the forum the last few days and do an informal poll of CCB users who compose.

First question: how many of us compose (professionally or just for fun). And by compose, I do mean formally committing ideas to notation.

Second question: of those who do compose, do you compose straight into a computer program? Do you write on paper and then transcribe into a program?

Third question: of those who do use computer programs, which programs do you use?

__________________

For my part:
I do compose regularly (albeit not enough). My own workflow more often than not is me sitting right at my organ console playing straight into Dorico which is unequivocally my program of choice. I really enjoy fine engraving (for some odd reason I find it soothing to do). I keep HW open in the background to hear what I'm doing with Dorico set to "silent". It's completely seamless and I put a spare computer KB and trackpad on top of my third manual so it's like sitting at my desk. Makes for decently quick progress when I'm in the mood.
by Romanos401
May 24, 2020 09:46 AM

Replies (7)

RE: Informal Composers Poll

Interesting questions.
1 - Yes I do compose.... got a composition degree in 1994 http://www.evensongmusic.net/?page_id=1576 for an opus list and links to demos
2 - I do compose at the computer, but many of my comps come from improvs, so it's a little of both.
3 - I've used most of the programs - Finale since 1994 (so I'm "best" at that, in that I've got the most experience). But, since I publish and distribute, I have Sibelius 7.5, Notion, Overture, and most recently Dorico (which is on track to replace a LOT of stuff I do - I'm nearly as fast on it as Finale, I've only had it since v2) Dorico will do most all of what I want to do now, but sometimes I do things in Finale simply because I haven't learned the finer points of forcing Dorico to lay out a page the way I want it... sometimes its faster to just do it in Finale rather than slog through the Dorico manual.
by giwro
May 24, 2020 10:40 PM

RE: Informal Composers Poll

giwro wrote:

Interesting questions.
1 - Yes I do compose.... got a composition degree in 1994 http://www.evensongmusic.net/?page_id=1576 for an opus list and links to demos
2 - I do compose at the computer, but many of my comps come from improvs, so it's a little of both.
3 - I've used most of the programs - Finale since 1994 (so I'm "best" at that, in that I've got the most experience). But, since I publish and distribute, I have Sibelius 7.5, Notion, Overture, and most recently Dorico (which is on track to replace a LOT of stuff I do - I'm nearly as fast on it as Finale, I've only had it since v2) Dorico will do most all of what I want to do now, but sometimes I do things in Finale simply because I haven't learned the finer points of forcing Dorico to lay out a page the way I want it... sometimes its faster to just do it in Finale rather than slog through the Dorico manual.

It’s interesting you mention improv as the genesis for compositions. This is certainly the case for me at LEAST 50% of the time. It almost always goes better for me when I extemporize and refine vs trying to cook something up by force. Sometimes I labour painfully, but other times I have “manic episodes” where I feel live I’ve been struck by lightening and things flow very quickly. A little improv and boom. Off to the races.

by Romanos401
May 24, 2020 10:43 PM

RE: Informal Composers Poll

Hello.
1) I am a 69 yo musician, almot self-taugth, but I compose a lot. I have almost composed 500 pieces for organ and many pieces for orchestra.

2) I use to compose only with my computer, sometime helping myself with a small 2 octaves Midi keyboard. Sometime I find the idea of a new piece improvising on my Viscount organ, but not often. I happen also when I am not at home to compose writing on a paper, but this is very rare.

3) I use Harmony-Assistant (Myriad online) and Notion6 (Presonus).
by musicalis
May 25, 2020 04:50 AM

RE: Informal Composers Poll

I scribble onto paper using the rubber end of the pencil more than the lead!
I then enter notes into Finale.
Go back to the drawing board now I can read it the put it away for a few weeks.
Return, revise, return revise etc.
Just working on a Prelude & Fugue - crazy idea.
by robcamfield
May 25, 2020 10:07 AM

RE: Informal Composers Poll

Hello,
It's a good idea to compare what the others do !
I compose some pieces sometimes. I play (improvise) some parts on Hauptwerk while recording in audio. Then I write what I played (or tried to play) on Sibelius by listening to my recording. I think I need to play first to avoid creating unplayable stuffs !
by sesquialtera
May 25, 2020 10:08 AM

RE: Informal Composers Poll

dpmx677d 1) Yes, I compose a little, and even uploaded some of my works recently to the concert hall.

2) I guess I'm an old fashioned guy. I use pen and paper for drafting the first ideas, then refining, correcting, extending etc at the organ. After that comes a phase of molding it into an appropriate structure, still with paper and pen. It's only when I think it is complete that I turn to the computer to engrave the score.

3) I use Lilypond as the engraving engine and Frescobaldi as the gui front end. An unbeatable pair in my opinion in the quality of the resulting score.
by ajongbloed
May 27, 2020 03:28 PM

RE: Informal Composers Poll

MuseScore 3 is what i use although not the same since they sold out.

Becareful with Dorico 3 SE. I tried it and it mucked up Cubase 10. When i removed Dorico so did it remove some important cubase files needed to make it work. Dorico 3 full is very expensive.
by dreece1
Jul 5, 2020 06:30 PM

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