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Old 04-10-2014, 07:59 PM   #31
NH Piper
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Default Re: Software for harmonizing BWW/BMW pipe tunes

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Originally Posted by replicant View Post
Quick search found this which may be a bit more mature:

http://www.freebasic.net/

I'm sure there are some other modern QB compilers if ya poke around
Hi, Glenn:

Sometime ago I looked into updating my BASIC capabilities and considered six possibilities: DarkBASIC, FreeBASIC (as you suggested), Xojo (not strictly BASIC, but BASIC-like), Visual Basic Express Edition, PureBASIC, and PowerBASIC. Not sure how I missed finding QB64. All of these have disadvantages of one sort or another, but I am leaning toward PureBASIC as the best all-around solution. A couple of disadvantages of FreeBASIC is that it will not compile to 64-bit code or Mac OS code. PureBASIC will do both of these. The big disadvantage of PureBASIC is that my QuickBASIC code will have to be extensively rewritten. If you or anyone else on this forum has other suggestions, please let me know.

Tom
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:24 PM   #32
replicant
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Default Re: Software for harmonizing BWW/BMW pipe tunes

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Originally Posted by NH Piper View Post
Hi, Glenn:

Sometime ago I looked into updating my BASIC capabilities and considered six possibilities: DarkBASIC, FreeBASIC (as you suggested), Xojo (not strictly BASIC, but BASIC-like), Visual Basic Express Edition, PureBASIC, and PowerBASIC. Not sure how I missed finding QB64. All of these have disadvantages of one sort or another, but I am leaning toward PureBASIC as the best all-around solution. A couple of disadvantages of FreeBASIC is that it will not compile to 64-bit code or Mac OS code. PureBASIC will do both of these. The big disadvantage of PureBASIC is that my QuickBASIC code will have to be extensively rewritten. If you or anyone else on this forum has other suggestions, please let me know.

Tom
Sorry, I haven't touched BASIC in, dang, 20+ years? I do everything in mainly Python now days.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:09 AM   #33
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Software for harmonizing BWW/BMW pipe tunes

I don't understand how this software can write harmony.

The first thing to know, when writing harmony, is what key the tune is in (or in some cases, what key that particular part of the tune is in, because many tunes have the different parts in different keys).

The next step is to figure out the "changes", the chord progression.

Now that you know what the chord is for each section, you can choose which chord member you'll put in your harmony part at each beat.

That's the steps for writing the most basic same-rhythm parallel motion harmony.

How does the software know the key?

Not knowing the key makes for terrible harmony parts, like the harmony for Mist Covered Mountains which harmonises the initial long B melody notes with Low G... which would be fine if the chord was G Major there, but it isn't. The tune, in fact, is in B minor so you have to select one of the other members of a B minor chord, the full chord being BDF#, so you have to put D or F# in the harmony.

And you can't assume that the first and last note of a tune are the tonic! Take The Skye Boat Song which begins and ends on A but in fact is in the key of D. An ignorant person (or program) would harmonise those A's with C#... to bad C# isn't a member of a D Major chord!

For me the greatest joy in piping is coming up with harmony parts. Just about anybody can robotically play a 3rd above or a 3rd below (though it often results in errors such as I talked about above). Anybody with a basic knowledge of chords can come up with a harmony part that follows the melody in parallel rhythm and motion but at least has the chords right.

The real delight is in getting past those basic things and having contrasting motion (the harmony part being static when the melody is moving, and visa versa) including contrary motion (see the thread I did about contrary motion in the 'music' forum) and in getting away from using 3rds, getting into open intervals like 4ths and 5ths and octaves.

Anyhow I'll take a "show me" attitude towards this software: put some examples somewhere that we can take a look at what sort of parts it produces.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:07 AM   #34
Heatherbelle
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Default Re: Software for harmonizing BWW/BMW pipe tunes

I've also been following this thread with interest. I think there's a Sibelius option of it adding harmony via a PlugIn and I seem to remember it's not bad but there again it's been put together by top composers and musicians which for all I know this maybe has too. Must have a look for that again.

Yes you can write harmony mechanically---- work out the key then the chord options, work out which chord goes where etc etc etc. But it's a pretty mundane way of doing it, a bit mechanical and pedantic. Ok, if you want a basic something or other. So maybe a program could do that.

But while you might end up with something passable and mechanically correct, when it comes to 'sophistication' 'subtlety' 'feel' and 'finesse' I fear a human being might be required.

How can a 'machine' take in the atmosphere and sense of the whole, follow the flow of the melody, note the images it evokes, how that makes the listener feel, and use all of that to construct a harmony or counter-melody that enhances the melody yet dances WITH it? It's a relationship thing and I'm not sure a program can get the nuances of what's required for a good working/musical relationship. The snag is the feelings side of things. In other words, the human side---how do you build that into a machine?

For me it's all about 'feel' and that's what'll be tricky here I imagine.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:24 PM   #35
NH Piper
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Default Re: Software for harmonizing BWW/BMW pipe tunes

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Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
I don't understand how this software can write harmony.

Anyhow I'll take a "show me" attitude towards this software: put some examples somewhere that we can take a look at what sort of parts it produces.
The program was written to provide harmonized accompaniment for students such as myself when playing the practice chanter or small pipes, and indeed the harmony produced is in "robotically" generated thirds. If you are adept at writing harmony yourself or can find professionally written harmony parts for a tune you are interested in, there is absolutely no point in using the program, although I suppose it could be used as a starting point for a more sophisticated score, such as described by Mr. Cook and Heatherbelle. The program actually produces three different harmony parts, and generally one or more of these sounds not too bad.

As suggested by Mr. Cook, I have posted some examples of harmonized tunes on my web site, http://caligari.dartmouth.edu/~tjc/. For each tune, you will find an image of the score, the corresponding BWW file, and two midi files, one with low A pitched at A natural (for small pipes) and one with low A pitched at B flat (for practice chanter). You can play the melody along with one or the other of the midi files to see how they sound. Your money back, if not completely satisfied (the program is free ).

Tom
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:42 PM   #36
Les Matheson
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Default Re: Software for harmonizing BWW/BMW pipe tunes

Using your instructions and the new .02 file I have it running on a Win 8.1 64 bit machine, no issues.

Thanks for the program.
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