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The Diary of Anne Ku
7 May 2000 Sunday hot and humid
It's one thing to compose. It's another to play what I have composed. First of all, the sheet music must be readable, i.e. big and sharp enough. Secondly, the music must be playable or singable.
Apparently, the PDF files don't always open up properly on other people's machines. So I experimented with the two graphic software I have at my disposal: Adobe Photoshop and Paintshop Pro.
In Sibelius (the music software), I save the score as a bit map file (BMP). Open it in Adobe Photoshop. Change the mode to greyscale. Then crop it. Resize to 610 pixels wide. Change the mode to indexed color. Export as GIF file. Though it fits on screen and paper, the result is not sharp enough to be readable.
So I tried to reduce the staff size in Sibelius and then save as EMF file. Then I opened it in Paintshop Pro. There's a SHARPEN facility I could use. However, the final result is still not as good as printing it directly from Sibelius or a PDF file from Adobe Acrobat Reader.
To minimise the file size, I thought I would reduce it to two colours: black and white. Seems like there is more experimenting to do.
At the moment, my focus is on the notes. Later I would add dynamics, improve upon the progressions, especially the turns from one motif to the next.
Today I played some of my songs before a mezzo soprano. She observed that they sounded like a modern musical. Indeed, each song tells a very personal story. Two months ago I played a few before a jazz singer, who gave me some excellent suggestions. Some of these songs I would love to harmonise for two or three parts. A life of music never ends.