Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review of Roland Mobile Cube

I've acquired a Roland Mobile Cube. I tried it before buying and was convinced. The reviews I found on the internet praised the stuff a lot, so I could hardly wait to actually try it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pergolesi: Stabat Mater

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Stabat mater

(This post is a part of my series introducing to the enjoyment of classical music.)

Stabat Mater is a poem from the 13th century, commonly attributed to Jacopone da Todi, a Franciscan monk. It's one of the few sequences (a song specific to the given feast, which is sung before the gospel) still in use in the Roman Catholic liturgy - currently it is on the feast of "Mater Dolorosa", 15 Sept.

Stabat Mater is a meditation at Christ's cross. The richness in thoughts and pictures, its disciplined structure and colorful language usage are all exceptional, a good expression of the 13th century's exstatic view of the world. A poem basically - similarly to the Dies irae sequentia of the requiem, which is also from this century - draws a picture of a fundamental scene of Christian faith and comes to the personal participation - taking misery voluntarily gives the certainty in salvation. This route can be summarized by quoting 3 verses (in the translation of Edward Caswall):

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pair programming cheat sheet

Just remind myself how to do pair programming:


1. Define task
2. Agree on solution
3. Reach one tiny goal at a time
4. Rely on the partner
5. Talk a lot
6. Sync up
7. Switch roles


1. Eliminate distraction
2. Use a stylus to point on screen
3. Switch controllers to better communicate your ideas
4. Take short breaks to get fresh ideas
5. Don’t rush

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lego Ninjago Episode 20

After a very long break Lego Ninjago Episode 20 arrived with a very exciting new episode. Let's meet Lloyd's mother, the Stone Army and the Overlord.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

git vs. Perforce

I used Perforce for 5 years in my previous project. Now I've used git for half a year. At this time I think I can say with confidence that if I were to choose a free version control system, I would go with git, but if I had the money, I would choose Perforce.
Not necessarily because Perforce or the Perforce tools are superior, but the way I like to do software development, I would benefit more from Perforce.
So looking at just what really interests me, here are the differences, or rather the parts I really like in Perforce and miss from git to some extent.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Double time signature in MuseScore

There is some music where you want the time signature is alternating, for example 4/4 in every odd measure and 2/4 in every even measure.
In that case we usually would like to show the following time signature:
There is no native support in MuseScore for that, but easily can emulate that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A favourite MuseScore feature: frames

There is a certain feature which made my switch to MuseScore easier: frames. In LilyPond I think it would have been way hard to do something like this, but even if not, MuseScore did it very easily.
The point in vertical and horizontal frames is that they behave as measures, so you can freely insert them into a staff, and then they separate systems or bars.
Best if you see them in action:
Vertical frames example
(Excerpt from Csaba Vedres: Consolatio)

 In this fragment frames are used to insert composer's instructions between systems and to make a line shorter. Let's see some other examples:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lego Ninjago Episode 20 seems coming

My children (3 sons...) have been waiting long for Episode 20 of the Lego Ninjago movie (season 2). The 19th was aired quite long ago, and there were rumors that only next year will bring us the new episodes. (Actually it's quite sure that for the Hungarian version we have to wait a lot, if not forever, but the kids like the English version as well, I'm translating for them.)
Now I came across a trailer of S0220 on YouTube - and I'm happy, as I like the series as well (my favourite is the 7th eipsode - that has great music besides the surprising story).

MuseScore after LilyPond

Since 2003 I've had used LilyPond for almost all my musical notation tasks. I created like two hundred pages of music.
As LilyPond (at especially that time) was quite hard to learn and use, I started developing LilyPondTool, a plugin for the jEdit text editor.
During the years it became more and more sophisticated, and it pioneered some features adopted by other LilyPond editors, especially Frescobaldi, and is still unique in some features.
Recently I had less musical notation tasks, so I spent much more time with developing LilyPondTool than with writing or notating music.
But in this year something happened that made me actually move away from LilyPond - MuseScore 1.2 turned out to be perfect for my needs.
I don't want to engrave perfectly looking music any more, but I want to have good useable notation which I can easily share, and get others to contribute. MuseScore is the right companion for that.
I have several problems with the concept of LilyPond anyway (in some later posts I will write about those), maintaining LilyPondTool took too much time from me, turning away from making music - I don't want to do that any more.
It was a great pleasure (most of the time) working with LilyPond and developing LilyPondTool, I learnt a lot, I enjoyed a very good community - but now I have to switch.

Friday, September 21, 2012

MuseScore vs. Score vs. LilyPond vs. Sibelius

Some years ago I came across a really interesting essay that compared Sibelius' output to the good old, and by many music publishers strongly preferred Score application. You can read it on Jeffrey Grossman's site.
At that time I was a devoted LilyPond user, so I replicated the score with LilyPond to see the difference. And now as I'm getting deeper and deeper into MuseScore I did the same with MuseScore.
So I have the same score engraved with all four applications - see the differences yourselves.

Monday, August 27, 2012

MuseScore with Garritan instruments

I made some experiments and investigations, and I'm happy to report that we can use MuseScore with Garritan instruments. It's not straightforward, but works, and doesn't take too much time to set up.
I tried it in Windows XP, and had success with the following setup.

You need to download and install "Jack audio server" from and Loopbe1 (free for personal use) from
This way you'll be able to have a connection like MuseScore > Jack > LoopBe1 > Aria

1. Run "Jack Control", choose Setup...
a. set server path: jackd -S -R -X winmmeb. set driver: portaudioc. press OK 
2. Start "Jack server" by clicking Start in Jack Control
3. Run MuseScore and in Edit > Preferences > I/O
a. uncheck portaudio
b. check use Jack MIDI output
4. Restart MuseScore
5. In Jack Control, click on Connect, in the Connections tab, click on MIDI tab.
a. On the left side, you should see MScore1 - click on it, then on mscore-midi-1
b. On the right side, click on system_midi, then click on the bottom one, at me it's playback_3, but you might have only 2
c. Press Connect
6. Open Aria Player, and select LoopBe Internal Midi (in) as Input device.

If everything's right, now MuseScore should play through Aria. If you cannot hear the sound, you might need to connect to a different playback_x device in the 5th step.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Remove the first time signature in MuseScore

If you try to delete the first time signature, by selecting and pressing Delete, you get an error message: "The first time signature of a piece cannot be removed". You might try to hide it, but it would be ugly:

But if you add an empty measure at the beginning, then delete that, you can achieve the following:
 See a small animation that shows how to do this: