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Logical Engraving

Following on from Sunday’s post about using Logic as a tool for transcribing, I’ve had a chance to test the results at last night’s String Project rehearsal. We gave it a couple of run throughs and it looks like it will fly. That sounds like a pretty quick turnaround for a new song but the speed was predicated on two essential factors. Firstly, it isn’t a massively challenging piece of music. Compared to something like the arrangment we have of Stravinsky’s Tango, it is very simple, repeating twelve bar sequence and, even if you lose your place, it is pretty easy to reorientate yourself on the fly. Secondly, it shows the benefit of working with musicians who can read well; I provided the scores, we read from them and the new piece was assimilated quickly.

How did I get the scores though? For the rehearsal, we used sheets which I generated directly from the Logic tracks. They weren’t particularly beautiful but they were quick and they worked. Going forward though I’ve discovered an improvement to the work flow. It turns out that Logic X lets me export a score in MusicXML format and I can import that into Frescobaldi, the tool I’m using to provide a GUI for lilypond. It needs a bit of work to knock it into shape (less would have been required if I hadn’t already tried to improve the score in Logic’s score editor with textual notes and so forth) but is quicker than manually reinputting the whole piece.

I’ve still got a bit more work to do on the sheets but next week my bandmates should have engraved scores that are both accurate and pretty. Given that I’ve now got an effective workflow for both writing and writing out music, I probably should get round to thinking about doing some original compositions again too.

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