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Re: LilyPond, Finale and Sibelius (was Review of Valentin's Opera)

From: Kieren MacMillan
Subject: Re: LilyPond, Finale and Sibelius (was Review of Valentin's Opera)
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 12:41:40 -0400

Hi all,

In my experience, LilyPond *is* capable of producing scores of the
highest caliber.  However, I often spend so much time tweaking the
score to get it to look perfect that it really becomes a labor of love.

I used Finale for over a decade, eventually becoming the computer music lab tutor/assistant at Shepherd School of Music (while doing my Master of Music there) -- I was as nimble with Finale as anyone I knew (know). I estimate that, for me, note entry is ca. 3x faster in Fin/Sib than Lily, but tweaking-to-publishable is ca. 10x faster in Lily than Fin/Sib (partly because there's so much less tweaking to do).

I think until LilyPond is able to achieve that perfect type of
score with minimal effort, employers at firms that produce music
scores will rely on software that is more intuitive and gives quicker results -
they have to pay someone for their time to notate this stuff.

I think it takes *far less* time to make good looking scores with Lilypond than with Finale -- in fact, I have an open invitation to all of my composition buddies, that in a head-to-head engraving session of any "real music", I can beat them any time. =)

Of course, many of the scores I see from "firms that produce music scores that rely on software" would never get published if I were the head of that company -- I guess I just have higher aesthetic standards than many of the editors out there. [Anyone who has read the published songbook(s) of Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years" will know that there is one song where the syncopated left- hand rhythm is so poorly spaced that it looks, on first *and* second sight, to be non-syncopated! Totally unacceptable from a "commercial publisher"...]

I am curious who out there is in a professional music-related position
that relies on Lilypond when Finale or Sibelius is also an option
provided by the employer.  I'm one.  Just curious who else.


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