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Re: More comments on the web site

From: Reuben Thomas
Subject: Re: More comments on the web site
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 20:01:55 +0100 (CET)

> > If you're going (correctly) to say that much computer-produced music
> > looks bland and has typographical mistakes, it's also worth pointing
> > out the exceptions.
> I am not aware of such exceptions yet.  You need an experienced
> engraver to to correct the pathetic mistakes that music printing
> software usually makes.

That isn't the point. You say that "Scores made with computers almost
always look bland and uninspiring". Not "Scores made automatically with
computers...". You're implying that without using LilyPond it is currently
impossible to make beautiful scores on computer. While LilyPond hopefully
makes it much easier, it's possible to get good results with other
programs and still need much less time and skill than without a computer.

> Exactly.  You need skill and time to get things right.  In our
> opinion, as programmers, most of these adjustments are mechanical and
> should be automated.

That's fine, and I agree, but it isn't the impression that the web site
gives, which makes some of it read as more of a diatribe against existing
systems (or evangelism for LilyPond) than the reasoned criticism that it
(mostly) is. Many of the points (e.g. about the quality of music fonts)
are well made.

Fundamentally, you need time and skill to get things right whatever
software you have, as LaTeX demonstrates in the field of text typography
(I'm thinking of the areas where it's strong, such as line breaking,
rather than where it's weak, such as page breaking).  The good thing about
LaTeX is that it encourages authors to care, and that they need far less
skill and time than with other systems, or manual techniques. There is no
way to make beautiful documents of any kind fully automatically, unless
they have no content.

Anyway, having persuaded my old MIDI keyboard to talk to my USB interface,
and made rumor work with it, I'm looking forward to trying out LilyPond!

http://www.mupsych.org/~rrt/ | wet nurse, n.  lactating lackey

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