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Who needs "rules"? What's this nonsense about "rules"? I'm a drifter born to walk the road!

This my take, and what I do when I write music, and how I judge others' music. Your mileage may vary.  Comments welcome.

“I don’t want to sound like Bach or Mozart — rules are for fools and drones with no imagination! I’m a rebel, like Joyce, Stravinsky, and Picasso!”

Who likes or needs “rules”? Who wants to be told where they can or can’t talk, use their cell phone, eat, or park for free? What is this nonsense about books full of “rules” for music, saying you “can’t” use two successive fifths, or sevenths not followed by the note below? Or that fugues “have to have” “expositions” and “episodes” and follow “rules’ preached by other books about what their notes are “allowed” to do?  Are music lovers so arrogant and condescending that they listen to music trying to play “gotcha” when notes don’t do what some damned music professor said they ought to, and laugh and reject that music? Or is this a scam to ensure salaries for “music teachers” who are paid for putting red “X”s on people’s scores? 

And didn’t tremendous artists like Schoenberg, Jackson Pollock and Allen Ginsberg become famous by “breaking rules” (as did Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart)? I never saw a music-police wagon pull up and arrest somebody for “breaking the rules”…. 
 
I see scores here every day, usually attempted complex contrapuntal forms such as fugues and canons, with “I know, I didn’t follow the rules! Sorry!” as a (lame) excuse for why they (almost invariably) sound amateurish, dissonant, and disjoint.

In the past, before the internet and easy-to-use, free score editors, musically sensitive people who went to concerts or church or listened to the vanished thing called “classical radio” would there hear great music of the past. The industrious among us might try to learn more about it by buying “phonograph records” (which, once invested in, had to be listened to many times to justify the acquisition), and scores, ditto, and perhaps trying to play the music they heard on a piano or simpler keyboard,. And maybe we might even buy some music paper, and pencils with erasers, and try to write some new music, and eventually arrive at the conclusion that this stuff was pretty complicated: as with stage magicians, the fact that serious music looks “simple" when done correctly is the very fruit of the art — if you do not learn how to be a magician-musician, the result on stage will be sad and transparent failure.

If you were lucky, you might have been near a good library (mine was almost an hour away) with a good section on music-theory books, or perhaps knew a professional musician, student, or teacher, who could explain how to write music that sounds, to whatever degree, like the music you heard and wanted to emulate. And you would learn that there are indeed methods, abstractions, technologies, and yes, “rules” (many of which differed from century to century and place to place) which causes the music of historical composers to sound the way it does, not like “old music”, but like well-written prose or a well-painted picture, where the parts contribute to the whole, each sentence expresses a logical idea, questions that are raised are answered, and there is no spattered paint or typos all over the piece.  That, not genius or matchless inspiration, is why their music sounds like classical music instead of the uninformed tinkering of beginners. But it is utterly possible to inform yourself, and, with care and diligence, move beyond being a beginner.

If you are a native English (for example, it’s true in any language) speaker, you don’t say “I write my sanata yesterday with C major”, because it’s not English. Any native English speaker knows that, and although we understand it, we use and prefer (reasonably) proper spelling and grammar. Grammar is not a scam to pay teachers; people who speak English (or French, Russian, Arabic, or Japanese) competently not only speak in credible grammar, but best understand and appreciate correct utterances in their respective languages. The same is true of classical music — if you want your creations to be understood with ears accustomed to the form, texture, gestural vocabulary, and overall idiom of that extremely broad genre, you must “do the same thing”, “speak in that language”, i.e., follow the same rules. Failure to do so will prevent your work from sounding like competent classical music.

These “rules” were devised by musician-composers skilled in teaching, in order to codify and transmit, to their pupils, and to us, what they knew about writing music, so that they and we could do it, too, and express our own creativity. The rules of tonal music are not a strait-jacket, but a power tool.

As with every other art, those who “broke the rules”, such as Picasso, Joyce, and Stravinsky, were fully competent in the traditions of their arts before creating iconoclastic work.

"Your mileage may vary."

Help needed

 Hi everyone :)So I need to choose my best rondo I composed for practicing it in my summer holiday (I know sometimes composers don^t know how to play their own pieces) so I need your help. All 3 rondos are in my profile but I will leave the links here for easy access. Thanks to all the people who read this and helped me:) Love you all <3  
https://musescore.com/dozin2/grand-rondo-alla-turca-op-1
https://musescore.com/dozin2/rondo_g_major
https://musescore.com/dozin2/rondo
 

Help needed

 Hi everyone :)So I need to choose my best rondo I composed for practicing it in my summer holiday (I know sometimes composers don^t know how to play their own pieces) so I need your help. All 3 rondos are in my profile but I will leave the links here for easy access. Thanks to all the people who read this and helped me:) Love you all <3  
https://musescore.com/dozin2/grand-rondo-alla-turca-op-1
https://musescore.com/dozin2/rondo_g_major
https://musescore.com/dozin2/rondo
 

Add "Beat" Information in .xml import

Hello! New member here. I have been doing some research on drum beats and been using Musescore for my transcribing. For analysis, I think it'd be very useful to have information on the onset of notes in drum beats. Musescore provides this in the information in the bottom left hand corner when a note is selected, i.e "Beat: 2.5" for an eighth note played on the "and" of 2, but for some reason this information doesn't make it to the xml files I've exported. Those files include the type of note and duration among other things, but for percussive notes it's much more useful to have information of when in a measure the note starts rather than just the duration of note, as, other than some cymbals, most percussive sounds are instantaneous. Is there any workaround to get this information in the exported .xml files? I've found this page: https://musescore.org/en/node/288539
which points to an external plug-in but I've had some trouble getting that to work, and I feel like it should be simpler.
Any help or pointers in the right direction would be helpful. Thank you! 

Are Fugues really easier to write than canons?

I have written full canons before and I have attempted writing fugues. But every attempt at writing fugues, at least 4 voice fugues leads to parallel octaves because I'm like:

Okay, I have reached an octave, now what? Going down to a 7th won't work  because that will lead me back to the same octave. Going to a 9th also won't work unless it is between the tenor and the alto because I can't play a 10th interval with a single hand so if the 9th is between the tenor and the bass or between the alto and the soprano, my only choices are either to go back down to an octave or to leap. Going back to an octave seems like the better option because I conserve leaps, but it just delays the resolution of the octave. Contrary motion to a 6th might work, but what if that doesn't fit with the harmony? Only other solution I can think of that doesn't break the parallel octaves rule is a leap in 1 or both voices involved in the octave. And in general I want to use as few leaps as possible outside of maybe a subject entry, and if I have to use a leap, I would prefer a third over a sixth. 


And I end up not finishing the fugue

Now I've been told that the distribution of 4 voices in a keyboard fugue is generally that the bass voice is alone in the left hand and that the other voices are generally in the right hand. But, it seems to me, that having 2 voices per hand just feels more balanced. I have also been told by a few people that fugues are easier to write than canons. Now this seems very counterintuitive to me. In a canon, you have the same melody, just delayed by a certain amount in each line. Sometimes this has a ground bass below it. I won't give an example from Pachelbel because you all know it. Instead, here is a 4 voice canon by Mozart played by a string quartet:

 

As you can see, every voice is playing the same exact melody until the cadential section is reached.

In contrast, fugues seem in all ways more complicated than canons. If I had to describe it as a cross between 2 forms, I would say that it is a cross between the canon and Sonata form. It has the main melody in multiple voices, just like a canon. And sometimes there are 1 or more countermelodies that also appear in multiple voices. There is also motivic development which is similar to what you find in Sonata form. 1 thing that differs the fugue from both canons and Sonata form is that the voices are like completely independent even if you don't take time into consideration. Time is what makes the lines of a canon independent. Fugues have lines that are independent through melodic shape alone. Sonatas rely on the relationship between melody and bass. No such relationship in fugues. In that sense, sonatas are closer to a ground bass canon.

And like I said before, I have never written a complete fugue, just a few complete canons. Even something like Fugue in C minor WTC I seems easy for a fugue but hard for counterpoint in general and especially compared to canons. Here is the fugue I'm mentioning and this video uses color to show the 3 independent voices:



So are fugues really easier to write than canons if they are almost like a cross between the canon and the sonata? If canons are hard, then wouldn't fugues be even harder? 

Icons not showing up correctly

Same computer and browser that I have been using every time I report these issues(Windows 10 OS, Dell Inspiron 15 laptop, Mozilla Firefox browser).

This icon issue started several days back. But at first, it only affected me when I initially logged in and as soon as I went to another page, the icons would show up correctly(like the arrow for the upload icon, the bubble for the comment icon, and everything else).

Today, it is more permanent. No matter what page I'm on, the icons look like gibberish. Like the upload icon looks like F0RR in a little box instead of the upload icon. Only time on the site makes the icons look normal. What is causing this and when will the icons get back to normal without me having to wait to see the normal icons?

Just to clarify, the reply and like icons aren't affected and neither is the notification icon but pretty much every other icon is affected.

Maybe a new function? Chord Analyser and creator of e new voice

Hi all, i would like to have a chord analyser :-)
it should works like this steps:
- Import a Midifile
- 1. function -> Analysis of the Harmony
- 2. function -> write the chord at right part on the score

maybe with the same function(analysis of harmony) it's possible to create a new voice for example the 3. or the 5. -> it would be a great help for choir scores.

Thank you for your great work.
By Francesco

Help needed: Can't open mscx - file (wanting to create midi)

I (and my choir) want to add "Elanor Rigby" (Version King Singers) to our program. I've been looking for a midi - file to create rehearsal- aids, found nothing!
Soooooo - I tried the pdf - converter and actually did get a mscx - file back, only I can't open it. Apparently it was created with MS 3.0

I'm running Ubuntu 18.04 with MS 2.3.2  No matter what I've tried so far ,y computer refuses to update to MS 3.0

Any chance that anyone can / will / would help me and convert the mscx - file to midi?

Thank you so much in advance.
Chr.

Piano Roll Youtube Export is ready for testing!

Hi!

Today, we've released a new feature for the beta testing. Now you can export your videos to youtube in the new piano roll format
This feature is available only for scores not longer than 6 minutes.

We’ll be happy to receive feedback from you.

To export your video, click on “Export to youtube” button in the score menu and choose “Piano Roll” as the score type.

At the moment export takes an average of 30-50 minutes (we are working on optimization).





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New Piano Roll Feature on the musescore.com

Today marks the release of MuseScore Piano Roll. Piano Roll is a popular and convenient method to display piano notation in a way that not only simplifies learning a new piece for novice musicians who lack a teacher, it also beautifully visualizes each score.


(Video captured from https://musescore.com/classicman/scores/33715 )

Give it a try by simply clicking on the Piano Roll icon now available on all solo piano scores. Be sure to tell us what you think in Improving MuseScore.com!



All of these improvements are designed to not only make MuseScore.com the most valuable resource online for sharing and discovering great musical works but for learning them as well.

We hope you’ll be as excited about this new feature as we were to create it for you, and as always we look forward to your feedback.

This is just the first of an exciting series of updates and releases for MuseScore PianoRoll; we're already hard at work on improving the experience!

CCC#2 - "The Wanderer"

 CCC#2 is here!

Based on the results of the survey I sent out on Friday 7th June, it occurred to me that several of the themes which I suggested, and asked you to vote on, would in fact fit quite nicely together. Therefore, for this second competition, I have found another painting by Caspar David Friedrich, since the response for “The Watzmann” was very good. I am also going to give a genre of music (as wide as possible, but still something to go on) and a short story available in the file below.

If you would like to help judge the competition, or have any other queries, please message on Musescore, or via discord @jte#9811


Details of the competition:

- The deadline will be in 4 weeks time (Saturday 29th June)

- The genre, as chosen by the survey will be “Film Music”. This is deliberately a very wide genre in order to give the contestants freedom of creativity. There will be an award for the most original take on the task, as with the first competition. 
Obviously this theme can be interpreted to fit your desires.

- The painting (shown below) and the story are both in the google docs file. If you have any issues accessing this file, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to help.



Rules:

- Your work must be completely original/all your own work.

- Be nice when critiquing other people’s work. Constructive criticism is fine, but don’t be rude. If you do, you will be disqualified from the competition and banned from the group.

- All pieces and comments must be appropriate.

Please let me know if you’re planning on taking part. I’d like to have an idea of who might be competing.  

Thanks,
- Joe

Story:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uWsaQDDFUsNS4p-FO_7p91Lh8q0JiaO9Q-tSJvfPvLM/edit?usp=sharing

Bug or not?

Hello, I have been having this problem of when listening to a song on Musescore, the red bar that highlights bars are like, off. The bar is going to the next bar before the music actually goes there. Sorry, I have horrible explanation skills. If you can fix this listening to music would be more satisfying. Thank you.