So, soon I put out a first draft of a notation guide to start to walk through the MDL notation standard.
While some of what is presented in the MDL notation guide will be familiar if you have used VDL or other notation inspired by it. Some will be a bit different.
In creating the MDL standard, we looked at the VDL standard created by Jim Casella, Murray Gussek, and Hugh Smith... and actually had long conversations with the VDL creators to understand why they did some things in the way they did. One of the key influencing factors was the limitations of Sibelius at the time VDL was created.
Since the number of noteheads and articulations in Sibelius then were limited, they were forced to make some choices that were less than ideal.
With MDL and MuseScore 2.3, we did not have such limitations and were free to create. As a result, some of the types of notation you were used to using, that were awkwardly formed from limitations of Sibelius, have been replaced in MDL.
A few examples...
Crossovers on tenors. Some use a plus above the stem, which is actually commonly used for dampening, closing, or muffling.
Others use ( ) around a note, which is commonly used for ghost notes, particularly on drumset.
It is also common to see crossovers notated with a hollow diamond notehead, which completely breaks the format for note duration.
If you look in the MDL Workspace (make sure MDL is selected in bottom left) and open the MDL articulations palette you will see that there are actually 2 designations for crossovers - LOR (Left Over Right) and ROL (Right Over Left). This makes notation even more explicit or descriptive than any other option out there.
In case you are wondering, if there is an accented crossover, the crossover goes above the accent.
Back to skanks. I've seen that some notate these with an elongated V, which is actually a symbol for an up bow marking for instruments like violins, cellos, etc.
When we look at the actual technique of a skank, it is a hit with a quick hand mute followed immediately after. A + symbol would not be entirely accurate, as it would imply that the note would be muted upon attack, not after.
So, what is a skank? It is a quickly shortened rim shot.
In thinking about this, we have suggested (and the logic in MDL 1.1 supports) the notation of a skank as creating a rim shot on the 4th drum and then applying a staccatissimo articulation. This emulates both physical action involved in playing and also the modification of the rim shot.
As we more forward in releasing the full notation, very interested to get your thoughts, ideas, feedback. We truly want to make this in the international standard.
So, soon I put out a first draft of a notation guide to start to walk through the MDL notation standard.
Would anyone be up for designing an indoor show with me? I have VDL and I want to experiment with it, using all of its purposes. Message me for more details!
Summer Wool added to the Sheet Music for the group.
Seeing as the current Musescore uploading system doesn't work with the new MDL soundfont, I encourage anyone who's been writing with it to upload an mp3 to Soundcloud, and put a link to it in this thread. I'll start with something I wrote these last 2 days as a test to see how the new sounds respond at various dynamic levels.
To help people get started with all the very different new features of MDL and to also talk a bit about things like percussion notation, arranging for percussion and pretty much anything else related, I'd like to start to do regular Twitch streams or Webinars that everyone can tune in to and participate.
Which do you think is better - Twitch? Webinar?
I am thinking to maybe do 2-3 days per week. One time that works best for US/Americas and another that is better for Europe/International.
What are best times for US/Americas (using EST)?
What are best times for Europe/International (using GMT)?
Bigger paper with more notes reduces page turns etc, but not everyone has access to legal size paper and larger. Are most folks doing Letter / A4 in landscape mode?
Hey everyone. I thought I'd drop the first post to get feedback on MDL and see how we can continue to improve.
We are currently working on MDL 1.1, which we hope to release in the next couple of days.
In this release we are working on some minor fixes in articulations, improving templates and also adjusting the sound of individual instruments (here is an example of sound updates in progress - https://soundcloud.com/musescorelabs/mdl-11-beta-tuning-test-fluid-flavor).
I'd love to get your feedback and suggestions on any aspect of MDL you think we can improve.
Wow. I have to say how impressed I am with MDL 1.0 When Daniel first came online talking about this project, I was skeptical. I didn't think we'd get a viable alternative to VDL for free. Yet, here we are. It's great work and a huge asset to the community.
Keep in mind, I primarily write for battery and all comments come with that lens.
First, it's very speedy to write battery parts. Tuplets get a little squirrely at times, but I'll chalk that up to learning curve on my end. Its fast enough that I find myself unreasonably annoyed with the things that aren't quite as fast.
One thing that slows me significantly is how much overlap I get with accents, articulations, dynamics and pictograms in the defaults. I spend a lot of time moving things to where they're readable. I don't think I've changed the default settings. For example, pictograms are showing up right in the middle of the staff. Even then, I find myself deciding it's "good enough" and moving on to something else. I don't love how some of my published scores look, but it's just the way it is.
On the 'feature request' side, one thing I miss about Sib is the percussions stickings text and how it aligns to notes without additional futzing by me. With the 'staff text' in MS MDL I press a lot of space bar and caps / lower case make things not quite aligned.
Second, audio playback is a B+ for the battery - and I'm being hyper critical. The sextuplets in particular are vastly superior to what I was getting in Sib + VDL. The flams sound great too. However, there are times when playback creates weird phaser / wooshing sounds that just don't happen in real life.
Finally - and I'll beat this point forever - I'm really missing the ability to dictate stickings - particularly on the snare drum - and have the audio follow. Patterns like shirley murphey's, egg beaters or even just paradiddles just don't sound quite right. They're less important on tenors and even less important on bass, but would still be nice.
All in all, it's amazing. I'm a fan and quickly becoming an evangelist for MDL. The entire team deserves praise.
I'm not sure how much help I will be as I am not a drummer per se, but I will help in any way I can! :D
The first preview release of MDL is now available for download.
Download the file mdl_0_2_5.zip and follow the instructions outlined in the enclosed readme.txt file.
This is an ALPHA release, so you will likely experience some minor bugs and the installation and configuration process is currently a manual process.
Included you will also find a rough draft of the notation reference for:
If you are a VDL user or used to reading notation created in VDL, the notation reference should be somewhat familiar, though there are some clear differences.
Currently in progress, but not yet included are:
- Solo Snare
- Solo Tenors
- Cymbal line
PLEASE DO feel free to offer feedback or suggestions on how we can improve any aspect of the sound playback, particularly:
- Instrument sound
- Balance across instrument
- Articulation quality
- Articulation accuracy
- Ensemble blend
Very specific and concrete suggestions can more easily help us to improve the quality and make a finished version freely available to the community as quickly as possible.
Hey! I'm newer to percussion and writing for percussion (I play glockenspiel and handbells), and I'm looking to expand my composition repertoire to include percussion ensemble pieces. I was wondering if anybody has any tips on composing for percussion. If so, that would be very much appreciated.
Thank you! :)
I thought I would share the progress with the new percussion soundfont. Here is a demo of marching snare.
A couple of points to mention - each sound has 4 samples with random alternations between each sample to make it sound much more realistic.
The soundfont is fully compatible with VDL, so has all the same articulations and capabilities (except mallet changes).
There will be 6 tenors and 2 bassline options - 6 basses and 10 basses.
I hope to be able to get this to the community to be testing within the next couple of weeks. :-)
I am looking for a better soundfont for marching percussion is there any with flams and tenor shots? any kind of info would help
Hello! I composed a high school indoor percussion show that is still untitled. I am very new to writing for battery so I am asking someone to do it for me. I will credit you! More than one person can do it. Do not steal my composition and claim it as your own.
There are some parts that I would like for battery parts to not be written:
1. During the preshow, before keyboards enter for the first time.
2. During the transition to Part 2.
3. During the beginning of Part 2, with the eerie celesta phrases. After the marimba enters with the swelling eighth notes, it is fine, and so on.
Here are some parts where I'd like a specific thing to happen:
1. A tenor "Feature" that includes syncopated rims.
2. A cymbal feature where the keyboards decrescendo to mp before the final impact to the end.
Beyond that, you can do whatever you please!
LINK : https://musescore.com/user/226816/scores/5019991
Contact me as soon as you finish! Comment if you are interested!
Additionally, I compose for winds, so if you would like to collab in the future, my email is : email@example.com
Write here your recommodations for songs and transcribes
Anyone in this group headed to WGI this weekend?
Now added to the sheet music for the group.
Added to the Sheet music for the group.
As we are preparing the MuseScore 2.3 update, I thought I would see what type of templates you guys would like to see added for marching percussion in the next update.
Right now we are considering:
- Drumline (snare, tenors, basses, cymbals)
- Drumline - show style (snare, tenors, single tenor, basses, cymbals)
- Indoor Marching Percussion (add flubs to drumline, plus front ensemble)
- Front Ensemble (help us define this one!)
- Military drum corps (snare, single tenor, bass, cymbals)
- Pipeband drum corps (snare, single tenor, bass)
Anything we're missing? Anything else you'd like to see?
I have been thinking quite a lot about how we can support instrument changes for front ensemble to include mixing pitched and non-pitched percussion.
In trying to come up with a solution to this, I started thinking about the actual physical construction and organization of these instruments, for example on the frame of a marimba is a rail which you can attach another instrument.
Using this metaphor, I came up with the concept of a "rail" added to a pitched percussion staff. This rail functions quite literally the same as the rail on an instrument frame might, enabling the ability to add and switch between nearly any non-pitched percussion instrument.
Here is an example - https://musescore.com/daniel/scores/5032929