From: "Roger Mills" <[log in to unmask]>

> Danny Wier wrote:

> > The intro and beginning of the phonology of Tech, and some old MIDI
> I
> > wrote (including an attempt at a piano piece in 13/8 time) -- all of
> > were written in 1997.
> >
> I listened to those pieces, and am utterly amazed. If that was actually
> playing, I am in awe.  But if, as I suspect, it was all done on the
> computer, then I'm in awe of the program.  Were those done with the
> "Noteworthy Composer" you mentioned the other day?  I checked out their
> website, and although it looks quite complex to me, it seems to be what I
> (and possibly Sally Caves) might be looking for, since it seems to allow
> to notate directly on the screen.

They were all done with Noteworthy. I really need to re-do everything, since
1) everything's in boring old 12-tone equal temperament, and 2) some of that
music is ridiculously hard to play on piano. In many cases, it's the Mozart
complex ("too many notes"), and the left and right hands get stuck in rather
monotonous roles.

Plus it was Zappa himself that wrote a piece in 13/8 time and named it
"Thirteen", long before I did the same. I've discarded a lot of music just
because they sounded too much like something else.

(13 is a sacred number to the Techians, and they like 53-tone equal
temperment a lot better than 12-tone. A Techian keyboard looks a lot like a
giant typewriter with all its rows.)

Noteworthy is "crippled" a bit since it's shareware, but Anvil Studios is
another similar program I like, and it's free, though there are add-ons that
come with a price. I really want to learn to use Microsoft DirectMusic, but
it's a BEAR. It's like hand-punching a piano roll.

> I'm curious about a number of things that I didn't see at the website:
> Is one restricted to the piano? or does the program allow for other
> instruments? A full orchestra sound?

> Is it possible to write for more than one instrument (say, violin on one
> staff, piano on another?

You can use any of the 128 instruments of General MIDI and mix up to 16
tracks. I just like piano a lot.

 > Could one add a vocal track or tracks? (obviously with a mike).....

I don't think so, but Anvil can do that I believe.

> Judging from your pieces, it seems that dynamics and tempo are quite
> played with.  But I noticed that the sound in "13" and "Runaway Piano" was
> much more realistic than in "C"-- was that done with different settings
> (perhaps more reverb? or simply because the piece has a thinner texture?)

I had the wrong piano patch for "C"; I somehow used a "bright piano" sound
instead of a grand piano.

> Finally, I was pleasantly surprised that your pieces came on and played
> almost immediately-- Teoh's took quite a while to download.  Why? (My
> computer illiteracy is probably showing).

MIDI is old hat, but it's sure easier to download than mp3. I along with
many others still use dialup.