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Old 10-26-2009, 12:13 AM
Mark W Mark W is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 597
Default Re: Volume Expressions/Dynamics

Hello Joe,

Let's say I put a mp volume expression on a note, the software should then process the rest of the staff/track whatever you want to call it, and make those volume changes for me, and adjust the GraphOverNotes lines accordingly. This method eliminates the need for Composer to "see" the expressions. They're already in there... "in the notes"
In-house, we're calling this feature IMS for Intelligent Music Symbols or Interpreted Music Symbols-- I prefer the latter, because "intelligent" has been used to much in the software world, as in "artificial intelligence (AI)". I've already done a lot of the implementation of this IMS feature for the 3.0 version of Notation Composer.

I agree that a music notation app should interpret music symbols, as you suggest. Many music notation apps out there indeed to interpret music symbols.

Perhaps my priorities were backwards, to first give the user excellent control over the MIDI performance, and then to come back later to provide automatic interpretation of music symbols. That's the opposite of what I did with music engraving, where I focused on doing all of the detailed music engraving decisions automatically for the user, rather than making him know all of the engraving rules for things like positioning noteheads and accidentals in chords.

Up to now, the division of labor between Notation Composer and the user goes like this: Notation Composer owns the details of music engraving, while the user owns the details of how the score sounds.

In future versions of Notation Composer, the user will be given more control over the music engraving, so that he can, for example, change the slant of a beam. And, on the other side, Notation Composer will take a first shot at interpreting the music symbols, so that the user doesn't have to, for example, draw graphs of the volume level of a track/staff.

There are several methods to eliminate conflicts or confusion. I didn't see a need to add them here, I would be happy to discuss this over e-mail.
I wonder whether you're thinking about the same conflicts and confusion that I find to be the most challenging aspect of integrating IMS (interpretive music symbols) with direct MIDI data editing. That would be a good interview question for me to give to developers that I have been interviewing for positions on a new development team I'm exploring. Feel free to send me an email about this at

-- Mark
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