mutopia's shortcomings

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mutopia's shortcomings

Dave
In another thread, it seemed like common knowledge that Mutopia has some serious flaws.
Could someone fill me on on what the (most important if there's a whole slew) problems are?

Dave

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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Paul Morris
On Apr 20, 2015, at 4:29 PM, [hidden email] wrote:

In another thread, it seemed like common knowledge that Mutopia has some serious flaws.

Indeed, I’m thinking sheesh, why’s everybody gotta be pickin on the mutopia project?  

Seems to me it has been quite successful in its goals of making sheet music easily available for free, all works in the public domain or under creative commons licenses, in (user-editable, user-improvable) LilyPond format, pdf, and midi — all with volunteer labor.  Looks like the total is over 1900 works now.

Could someone fill me on on what the (most important if there's a whole slew) problems are?

One of the problems is that many of the files are for older versions of LilyPond and so they don’t exactly meet the highest standards of engraving aesthetics (or reflect well on the current quality of LilyPond).

There is an effort underway to update these older files that has made some substantial progress, see:

Another problem is limited volunteer manpower.  (So if anyone is looking for something easy they can do to contribute back to the wider LilyPond ecosystem…)

Cheers,
-Paul

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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Simon Albrecht-2
In reply to this post by Dave
Am 20.04.2015 um 22:29 schrieb [hidden email]:
In another thread, it seemed like common knowledge that Mutopia has some serious flaws.
Could someone fill me on on what the (most important if there's a whole slew) problems are?
I think it’s mainly three problems:
– Lilypond versions, as Paul already mentioned.
– Coding style: the lilypond code I saw till now from Mutopia mostly gave me a real headache, because it was excessively hard to read, inefficient or hacky. Which makes reusing it an unpleasant experience.
– Visual quality of the output: Many of the scores very effectively display that using Lilypond does not warrant making beautiful scores, if you ask me. This might also be due to ancient Lily versions being used, but mainly it’s because Lilypond output only starts to look really pleasing when you increase paper margins, (use another text font – though that’s likely my personal point of view), manually improve page and line breaking etc. etc. That is to say, you need a proper understanding of typographical quality yourself – it’s not much one needs to do, actually, since most things are handled very well, but some things are important /in my eyes/.

That’s what I’d call the main problems…

Yours, Simon

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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Kieren MacMillan
In reply to this post by Paul Morris
Hi all,

> Seems to me it has been quite successful in its goals of making sheet music easily available for free, all works in the public domain or under creative commons licenses, in (user-editable, user-improvable) LilyPond format, pdf, and midi — all with volunteer labor.  Looks like the total is over 1900 works now.

Other than the “user-editable, user-improvable” issue, all of those things are far better done by IMSLP. Put another way, looking at IMSLP (with 310,000 scores) and Mutopia (with 1,900), the shine quickly comes off Mutopia for anyone except the handful of hardcore DIY musicians who (e.g.,) want to take a violin piece from Mutopia and make a guitar arrangement.

I think it would be far better — and probably result in better visibility/marketing for Lilypond — if Mutopia were merged into IMSLP. (There appears to have been a thought in this direction at some point, but not any more; cf. http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP:Community_Projects/Mutopia_score_archive). Then, for important works, there would be the Lilypond source, side-by-side with scans of existing editions. But it seems this was considered, and rejected for exactly the reasons that Mutopia now flounders (cf. http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP_talk:Community_Projects/Mutopia_score_archive).

> On Apr 20, 2015, at 5:58 PM, Simon Albrecht <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I think it’s mainly three problems:
> – Lilypond versions, as Paul already mentioned.

Yes.

> – Coding style: the lilypond code I saw till now from Mutopia mostly gave me a real headache, because it was excessively hard to read, inefficient or hacky. Which makes reusing it an unpleasant experience.

Yes. I would call real code reuse — certainly anything other than the most trivial cut-and-paste exercise — essentially impossible.

> – Visual quality of the output: Many of the scores very effectively display that using Lilypond does not warrant making beautiful scores

Yes. Urs and I are hoping to change this (dramatically, for the better, in one fell swoop) with the openLilyLib stylesheet project. But for now, the defaults in Lilypond are far from publication quality (IMO).

Cheers,
Kieren.
________________________________

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‣ website: www.kierenmacmillan.info
‣ email: [hidden email]


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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Noeck
Hi,

> IMSLP (with 310,000 scores) and Mutopia (with 1,900)

I don’t think that it should be put this way. IMSLP looks nicer, has
much more scores and thus the chances to find what you are looking for
is much better.
But Mutopia’s focus is on editable LilyPond scores while IMSLP is mostly
scanned scores. This implies extra reasons to exist for Mutopia:
- scores can be edited by the user with a free program
- the github repository in the back allows for a consistently managing
  updates
But most of all there is no either-or: Nobody prevents you from putting
LilyPond scores on Mutopia *and* on IMSLP. Even more, you can link from
an IMSLP entry to the source on Mutopia. This combines the best of two
sites: Score updates can be handled in the Mutopia github repo and the
scores can be presented to a wider public on the nice IMSLP web page.

>> I think it’s mainly three problems:
>> – Lilypond versions, as Paul already mentioned.

Which are updated pretty successfully step by step, despite the low
manpower. https://github.com/MutopiaProject/MutopiaProject/milestones

>> – Coding style: the lilypond code I saw till now from Mutopia mostly gave me a real headache, because it was excessively hard to read, inefficient or hacky. Which makes reusing it an unpleasant experience.
>
> Yes. I would call real code reuse — certainly anything other than the most trivial cut-and-paste exercise — essentially impossible.

I would not be so harsh. I just picked three input files at random and I
would say, I could use all of them, because the musical content is
properly written there. I would add more tweaks but it is a good start.
I already used one and edited it for a choir (in real life ;) ).
I am not sure yet whether my "improvements" should be pushed to Mutopia:
https://github.com/MutopiaProject/MutopiaProject/issues/575

>> – Visual quality of the output: Many of the scores very effectively display that using Lilypond does not warrant making beautiful scores

This is true and it reassures me that you mention exactly the points I
would change in virtually any score:
>> increase paper margins,
>> use another text font,
>> manually improve page and line breaking

(cf. https://github.com/MutopiaProject/MutopiaProject/issues/141)

> Yes. Urs and I are hoping to change this (dramatically, for the
better, in one fell swoop) with the openLilyLib stylesheet project. But
for now, the defaults in Lilypond are far from publication quality (IMO).

I am looking forward to that.

– Another issue is: Mostly only small pieces can be found for obvious
reasons (less effort). But this is also addressed:
https://github.com/MutopiaProject/MutopiaProject/issues/355
and this might give more visibility of LilyPond also on IMSLP.


I complained about Mutopia my self some years ago, starting a similar
thread (mainly about visual quality and the web-design). But I think it
is the same situation as for many LilyPond issues: Complaining does not
help. It needs volunteers and work to change things. The people working
on Mutopia are open for any good proposals.

Cheers,
Joram



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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Gilles Sadowski
In reply to this post by Kieren MacMillan
On Mon, 20 Apr 2015 19:07:46 -0400, Kieren MacMillan wrote:

> Hi all,
>
>> Seems to me it has been quite successful in its goals of making
>> sheet music easily available for free, all works in the public domain
>> or under creative commons licenses, in (user-editable,
>> user-improvable) LilyPond format, pdf, and midi — all with volunteer
>> labor.  Looks like the total is over 1900 works now.
>
> Other than the “user-editable, user-improvable” issue, all of those
> things are far better done by IMSLP. Put another way, looking at
> IMSLP
> (with 310,000 scores) and Mutopia (with 1,900), the shine quickly
> comes off Mutopia for anyone except the handful of hardcore DIY
> musicians who (e.g.,) want to take a violin piece from Mutopia and
> make a guitar arrangement.
>
> I think it would be far better — and probably result in better
> visibility/marketing for Lilypond — if Mutopia were merged into
> IMSLP.
> (There appears to have been a thought in this direction at some
> point,
> but not any more; cf.
>
> http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP:Community_Projects/Mutopia_score_archive).
> Then, for important works, there would be the Lilypond source,
> side-by-side with scans of existing editions. But it seems this was
> considered, and rejected for exactly the reasons that Mutopia now
> flounders (cf.
>
> http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP_talk:Community_Projects/Mutopia_score_archive).

Some pieces accessible on IMSLP were typeset for Mutopia, with a
"publisher" link to Mutopia's site.
So visibility of LilyPond can be achieved through publishing to
IMSLP in addition to Mutopia.

>> On Apr 20, 2015, at 5:58 PM, Simon Albrecht <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>> I think it’s mainly three problems:
>> – Lilypond versions, as Paul already mentioned.
>
> Yes.
>
>> – Coding style: the lilypond code I saw till now from Mutopia mostly
>> gave me a real headache, because it was excessively hard to read,
>> inefficient or hacky. Which makes reusing it an unpleasant experience.
>
> Yes. I would call real code reuse — certainly anything other than the
> most trivial cut-and-paste exercise — essentially impossible.
>
>> – Visual quality of the output: Many of the scores very effectively
>> display that using Lilypond does not warrant making beautiful scores
>
> Yes. Urs and I are hoping to change this (dramatically, for the
> better, in one fell swoop) with the openLilyLib stylesheet project.
> But for now, the defaults in Lilypond are far from publication
> quality
> (IMO).

A word like "stylesheet" looks promising.
I looked at the "openlilylib.org" web site but could not find
the stylesheets.

All the problems with Mutopia stem from not having a standardized
way of managing the layout and contents.  Mutopia should not be
like IMSLP; rather it should be a database of LilyPond input
format (the _music_ part).  With standard stylesheets, one would
be able to automatically update/adapt the contents.

Of course, the devil is in the details... :-}


Gilles


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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Kieren MacMillan
In reply to this post by Noeck
Hi Joram,

> The people working on Mutopia are open for any good proposals.

You want to make a huge splash, and get more Lilypond awareness than you can probably handle?  ;)

Crowd-engrave something big (i.e., very popular) and daring (i.e., still under copyright somewhere like the U.S.A., but not elsewhere like Canada) — the original orchestration of “Rhapsody In Blue” would be a good example. Then post it to IMSLP (not sure where Mutopia is hosted, so the legality of posting it there would be a different matter), and watch the fireworks.

Cheers,
Kieren.
________________________________

Kieren MacMillan, composer
‣ website: www.kierenmacmillan.info
‣ email: [hidden email]


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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Federico Bruni
In reply to this post by Kieren MacMillan
2015-04-21 1:07 GMT+02:00 Kieren MacMillan <[hidden email]>:
> Seems to me it has been quite successful in its goals of making sheet music easily available for free, all works in the public domain or under creative commons licenses, in (user-editable, user-improvable) LilyPond format, pdf, and midi — all with volunteer labor.  Looks like the total is over 1900 works now.

Other than the “user-editable, user-improvable” issue, all of those things are far better done by IMSLP. Put another way, looking at IMSLP (with 310,000 scores) and Mutopia (with 1,900), the shine quickly comes off Mutopia for anyone except the handful of hardcore DIY musicians who (e.g.,) want to take a violin piece from Mutopia and make a guitar arrangement.


You forgot the quality of sheets: a (really) digital PDF will always look better than a scanned PDF.
And if it's too old or don't like anything you can change it and get what you want.

This is the value of Mutopia and the reason why I strongly disagree on the idea of merging it into IMSLP. In the past discussion on this topic there were a couple of ideas on better integration between the two projects.
 
I think it would be far better — and probably result in better visibility/marketing for Lilypond — if Mutopia were merged into IMSLP. (There appears to have been a thought in this direction at some point, but not any more; cf. http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP:Community_Projects/Mutopia_score_archive). Then, for important works, there would be the Lilypond source, side-by-side with scans of existing editions. But it seems this was considered, and rejected for exactly the reasons that Mutopia now flounders (cf. http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP_talk:Community_Projects/Mutopia_score_archive).



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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Gilles Sadowski
Hi.

On Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:43:59 +0200, Federico Bruni wrote:

> 2015-04-21 1:07 GMT+02:00 Kieren MacMillan
> <[hidden email]>:
>
>> > Seems to me it has been quite successful in its goals of making
>> sheet
>> music easily available for free, all works in the public domain or
>> under
>> creative commons licenses, in (user-editable, user-improvable)
>> LilyPond
>> format, pdf, and midi — all with volunteer labor.  Looks like the
>> total is
>> over 1900 works now.
>>
>> Other than the “user-editable, user-improvable” issue, all of those
>> things
>> are far better done by IMSLP. Put another way, looking at IMSLP
>> (with
>> 310,000 scores) and Mutopia (with 1,900), the shine quickly comes
>> off
>> Mutopia for anyone except the handful of hardcore DIY musicians who
>> (e.g.,)
>> want to take a violin piece from Mutopia and make a guitar
>> arrangement.
>>
>>
> You forgot the quality of sheets: a (really) digital PDF will always
> look
> better than a scanned PDF.
> And if it's too old or don't like anything you can change it and get
> what
> you want.
>
> This is the value of Mutopia and the reason why I strongly disagree
> on the
> idea of merging it into IMSLP. In the past discussion on this topic
> there
> were a couple of ideas on better integration between the two
> projects.
>
>
>> I think it would be far better — and probably result in better
>> visibility/marketing for Lilypond — if Mutopia were merged into
>> IMSLP.
>> (There appears to have been a thought in this direction at some
>> point, but
>> not any more; cf.
>>
>> http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP:Community_Projects/Mutopia_score_archive).
>> Then, for important works, there would be the Lilypond source,
>> side-by-side
>> with scans of existing editions. But it seems this was considered,
>> and
>> rejected for exactly the reasons that Mutopia now flounders (cf.
>>
>> http://imslp.org/wiki/IMSLP_talk:Community_Projects/Mutopia_score_archive
>> ).

Whether merge or not depends on the ultimate purpose of the project.
IMSLP is mainly a repository of "printed" scores (final output) that
happens to provide source code for some scores, while Mutopia is
primarily
a repository of musical "data" (LilyPond input data) that happens to
provide
the final output.

I think that the original problem with Mutopia is that it did not
position
itself as a "contents" database but only as a score "repository".
In the former case, one would have required that submitted contents
follow
rules well beyond just being a LilyPond-compilable source.

If all works would follow the same standard layout, it would be much
easier
to maintain, upgrade (the layout) and adapt to different users taste
wrt to
the output (for example, changing the font should be doable with just
rerunning LilyPond with an appropriate command-line switch).

Even if not everyone will agree on "the" standard layout, I feel that
it
is extremely important to define one, with the maximum flexibility.
The contents of all files that make up the complete layout does not
have to
be easily comprehensible by everyone; I think that the indispensable
features are that
* it should be manageable automatically (i.e. changing the standard
   should not require manual intervention)
* the files requiring user input (i.e. music contents) should be
completely
   separate from layout definitions

Of course, the devil is in the details.
And power users will complain in advance that they must tweak things
(i.e.
mix layout with contents) to get their required level of esthetics.
Maybe that tweaked editions should not be in Mutopia's realm as a
database[1]
Maybe that such finely tuned editions could be managed with a source
control
system (keeping track of the differences with the "baseline contents").


Best regards,
Gilles

[1] Those editions could be available from there too, but would not be
(so
     easily) upgradable.


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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Simon Albrecht-2
In reply to this post by Federico Bruni
Am 24.04.2015 um 12:43 schrieb Federico Bruni:
2015-04-21 1:07 GMT+02:00 Kieren MacMillan <[hidden email]>:
> Seems to me it has been quite successful in its goals of making sheet music easily available for free, all works in the public domain or under creative commons licenses, in (user-editable, user-improvable) LilyPond format, pdf, and midi — all with volunteer labor.  Looks like the total is over 1900 works now.

Other than the “user-editable, user-improvable” issue, all of those things are far better done by IMSLP. Put another way, looking at IMSLP (with 310,000 scores) and Mutopia (with 1,900), the shine quickly comes off Mutopia for anyone except the handful of hardcore DIY musicians who (e.g.,) want to take a violin piece from Mutopia and make a guitar arrangement.


You forgot the quality of sheets: a (really) digital PDF will always look better than a scanned PDF.
I think it depends: firstly, many IMSLP scores are on a level of typographical quality which – I’m sorry – Lilypond might never reach. And if scan quality is not too low, I do fancy the more soft, mellow look of scans from hand-engraved scores.

Yours, Simon

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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Kieren MacMillan
Hi Simon,

>> You forgot the quality of sheets: a (really) digital PDF will always look better than a scanned PDF.
> I think it depends: firstly, many IMSLP scores are on a level of typographical quality which – I’m sorry – Lilypond might never reach.

+1000

> And if scan quality is not too low, I do fancy the more soft, mellow look of scans from hand-engraved scores.

I remember suggesting the [ultimately implemented] feature that stems should be rounded to mimic worn metal punches.
Maybe we should have a dithering feature, which “mellows” Lily’s output?  ;)

Cheers,
Kieren.
________________________________

Kieren MacMillan, composer
‣ website: www.kierenmacmillan.info
‣ email: [hidden email]


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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Gilles Sadowski
On Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:01:29 -0400, Kieren MacMillan wrote:
> Hi Simon,
>
>>> You forgot the quality of sheets: a (really) digital PDF will
>>> always look better than a scanned PDF.
>> I think it depends: firstly, many IMSLP scores are on a level of
>> typographical quality which – I’m sorry – Lilypond might never reach.
>
> +1000

Why do use LilyPond then?
Or: Doesn't your appreciation need a more specific context?
Like: LilyPond might never reach [that] level of typographical quality
*without human tweaking*.


Gilles

> [...]


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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Kieren MacMillan
Hi Gilles,

> Why do use LilyPond then?

Here’s my answer: for compositions that have not yet been engraved — for example, every single one that will be written after today.

As a composer (and self-publisher), using Lilypond is a no-brainer for me.
For engravers/publishers looking only to produce Yet Another Edition Of “That Old Chestnut”, I would imagine using Lilypond is far from a no-brainer — in fact, as we’ve seen, it’s a pretty tough sell, even for individual users.

Cheers,
Kieren.

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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Gilles Sadowski
On Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:48:02 -0400, Kieren MacMillan wrote:
> Hi Gilles,
>
>> Why do you use LilyPond then?
>
> Here’s my answer: for compositions that have not yet been engraved —
> for example, every single one that will be written after today.

But why _LilyPond_, if you agreed that quality will can (never!) match
that
produced with the tool that produced the scores available on IMSLP ?

Why not that other tool?

> As a composer (and self-publisher), using Lilypond is a no-brainer
> for me.
> For engravers/publishers looking only to produce Yet Another Edition
> Of “That Old Chestnut”, I would imagine using Lilypond is far from a
> no-brainer — in fact, as we’ve seen, it’s a pretty tough sell, even
> for individual users.

The question was not in reference to that subject.
Rather it is about the "objective" quality of the result (independent
of much work is required to get it).


Best regards,
Gilles


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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Paul Morris
In reply to this post by Federico Bruni
On Apr 24, 2015, at 6:43 AM, Federico Bruni <[hidden email]> wrote:

You forgot the quality of sheets: a (really) digital PDF will always look better than a scanned PDF.
And if it's too old or don't like anything you can change it and get what you want.

+1 
Also, ultimately do we want the archive of public domain musical works to be available as inflexible scans or as flexible music data?  (Ask anyone working in digital humanities…)  

This is the value of Mutopia and the reason why I strongly disagree on the idea of merging it into IMSLP. In the past discussion on this topic there were a couple of ideas on better integration between the two projects.

I agree.  Ultimately, Mutopia isn’t going away, and it is (and will continue to be) associated with LilyPond.  Sure, it’s easy to disparage it for this or that, but I think it’s a valuable resource that’s worth maintaining and improving.  I benefit from it and so I contribute back a little of my time updating old works, improving their quality.

Cheers,
-Paul


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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Wols Lists
In reply to this post by Gilles Sadowski
On 24/04/2015 12:42, Gilles wrote:
> Even if not everyone will agree on "the" standard layout, I feel that it
> is extremely important to define one, with the maximum flexibility.

The problem arises, of course, when there are existing, conflicting,
standards.

There IS a standard out there, to which pretty much EVERY Brass Band
march part I've seen adheres to (probably B&H house style, as they are
the dominant publisher), that lilypond just does not produce by default.
Yet talk to an orchestral musician and I guess many of them would say
that the lilypond style feels "natural".

If you impose a single style, you are pretty much guaranteeing that
certain branches of music will stay away because the "house" style is
just totally "wrong".

At a minimum, you need different basic styles for different types of
music. Of course, if style sheets become a lilypond reality, that will
make life a lot better in that respect ...

Cheers,
Wol

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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Kieren MacMillan
In reply to this post by Gilles Sadowski
Hi Gilles,

> But why _LilyPond_, if you agreed that quality will can (never!) match that
> produced with the tool that produced the scores available on IMSLP ?
>
> Why not that other tool?

What "other tool"? Hand-engraving with metal punch ca. 1852-1952? Because that’s the standard we’re measuring against by comparing to IMSLP.

No cross-platform computer application I know of — proprietary or open source — has better output than Lilypond. In fact, even with just a basic stylesheet applied to it, my musical theatre Piano/Conductor scores rival (and in most cases surpass) what the big publishing houses (e.g., Warner-Chappell) put out for sale.

This is one of the reasons I laud Urs’s attempt to get some of those houses to use Lilypond: it would actually improve their current output!

Cheers,
Kieren.
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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Kieren MacMillan
In reply to this post by Wols Lists
Hi Wol,

>> Even if not everyone will agree on "the" standard layout, I feel that it
>> is extremely important to define one, with the maximum flexibility.
>
> The problem arises, of course, when there are existing, conflicting, standards.

Let’s be clear that there are two different areas of “standards” to be discussed: the input (Lilypond source code) and the output (engraved score).

As you noted, when our current stylesheet project comes to fruition, it will be possible to output any “house style” you want, including the “B&H Brass Band Style”.

That doesn’t in any meaningful way affect our decisions regarding standards for the Lilypond source code, if we want to develop and promote them.

Cheers,
Kieren.

________________________________

Kieren MacMillan, composer
‣ website: www.kierenmacmillan.info
‣ email: [hidden email]
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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Simon Albrecht-2
In reply to this post by Gilles Sadowski
Am 24.04.2015 um 16:35 schrieb Gilles:

> On Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:01:29 -0400, Kieren MacMillan wrote:
>> Hi Simon,
>>
>>>> You forgot the quality of sheets: a (really) digital PDF will
>>>> always look better than a scanned PDF.
>>> I think it depends: firstly, many IMSLP scores are on a level of
>>> typographical quality which – I’m sorry – Lilypond might never reach.
>>
>> +1000
>
> Why do use LilyPond then?
> Or: Doesn't your appreciation need a more specific context?
> Like: LilyPond might never reach [that] level of typographical quality
> *without human tweaking*.
If you’re interested, have a close look at
<http://imslp.org/wiki/Symphony_No.9_%28Mahler,_Gustav%29> (UE, 1912) or
<http://imslp.org/wiki/File:PMLP106915-Mendelssohn_op.79_Sechs_Sprueche.pdf>
and <http://imslp.org/wiki/3_Motets,_Op.69_%28Mendelssohn,_Felix%29>
(Peters, perhaps around 1900?). Nothing the likes of this will ever be
engraved by a machine.

Yours, Simon

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Re: mutopia's shortcomings

Larry Kent-2
In reply to this post by Dave
I'm trying to decide if the last sentence (referring to the scores at the 3 links) is made in jest.  It must be, right?
LK


On Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 2:11 PM, Simon Albrecht <[hidden email]> wrote:
Am 24.04.2015 um 16:35 schrieb Gilles:
On Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:01:29 -0400, Kieren MacMillan wrote:
Hi Simon,

You forgot the quality of sheets: a (really) digital PDF will always look better than a scanned PDF.
I think it depends: firstly, many IMSLP scores are on a level of typographical quality which – I’m sorry – Lilypond might never reach.

+1000

Why do use LilyPond then?
Or: Doesn't your appreciation need a more specific context?
Like: LilyPond might never reach [that] level of typographical quality *without human tweaking*.
If you’re interested, have a close look at <http://imslp.org/wiki/Symphony_No.9_%28Mahler,_Gustav%29> (UE, 1912) or <http://imslp.org/wiki/File:PMLP106915-Mendelssohn_op.79_Sechs_Sprueche.pdf> and <http://imslp.org/wiki/3_Motets,_Op.69_%28Mendelssohn,_Felix%29> (Peters, perhaps around 1900?). Nothing the likes of this will ever be engraved by a machine.

Yours, Simon


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