OVER 2 YOU 238 (05/07/05)
People who work with language need a phonetic
script: something which gives, not the spelling, but the actual sound of the
word, for example, to distinguish between the long ‘a’ of ‘bath’, in Dorset,
and the short, snappy, ‘a’ in the same word in Lancashire. Or how to pronounce
a foreign word, with vowel sounds not used in English, as well as defective
pronunciations, such as speech therapists need to correct, and record. The
International Phonetic Alphabet does just this. Snag is – I haven’t got it on
my computer: or, if I have, I cannot find it. Can anybody help?
Colin R. Evans, via email
As far as I know the International Phonetic
Alphabet (IPA) font is not installed as standard on either Windows or Mac. However, the SIL Encore IPA Fonts can be
downloaded free of charge from: http://tinyurl.com/afd86.
The SIL download page says "Installing and using these fonts is not a
trivial matter." However, as a
reasonably experienced PC user, I found I
was able to do it.
Tim Lodge, Bray, Berkshire
All basic sounds are to be found in the IPA (www.linotype.com), including e.g. the difference between the
short northern 'a' and the log southern 'a' (they have different phonetic
symbols). Also included are 'diacritics' which render broad phonetics into a
narrow or close (more accurate) phonetic description. Your correspondent would
be advised to buy a basic textbook to familiarise himself with all the symbols
for all languages before he uses the software.
David Billington, via email
Your correspondent can find this (and related
links) at www.omniglot.com/writing/ipa.htm
Wilson Philips, via email
I have two options. The first link (www2.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/index.html) goes
to the home page of the International Phonetic Association. The second link (www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/ipa-unicode.htm
gives details of the required Unicode fonts to use the alphabet in applications
such as browsers, but should work in any Unicode compliant application.
Andy Graham Cumming, via email
THE RIGHT PITCH
For private use, I wish (cheaply) to be able to
scan a piece of sheet music and then, at the touch of a computer key, change
the music key so that it is suitable for another pitched instrument.For example, scan piano sheet music and change
the key to B Flat for a trumpet. Can anyone help?
Dudley Wheeler, via email
This can easily be done using musical OCR
(optical character recognition) software such as SharpEye together with musical
notation software such as Mozart. No
OCR software gives perfect results so some editing will be required. SharpEye has limited editing
facilities. Mozart has very good
editing facilities and will handle the transposition.
The steps are: scan the original, then use
SharpEye to convert the scanned image into musical notation. Correct any errors
(or at least make the output musically consistent) using the SharpEye editor.
Output to a NIFF file and import the NIFF file into Mozart. Finally, make any
corrections, transpose and print. See: www.visiv.co.uk for
SharpEye and www.mozart.co.uk for Mozart.
F. H. Bridges, Fareham
Music Publisher 5 plus its scanning module does
this beautifully. The program is by
Braeburn Software and can be downloaded in a trial version. The scanning module is not available for
trial use but a demo scan is on the website. The scanned score is transposed
with a few clicks of the mouse. Go to: www.muspub.com, for
There is also a Discussion Group where users of
MP worldwide exchange thought and ideas.
It's good fun, and there is continuing input and support from the
Jo Gopsill, Dorset
I use Sibelius for scanning in sheet music (www.sibelius.com/cgi-bin/home/home.pl). You can then do lots of things including
changing key, and extracting parts for different instruments. Sibelius is
brilliant but you really need to be Grade 5 Music Theory standard at least to
use it properly. Sibelius run day courses all over the country on how to use
the program but it's very consumer friendly and you can teach yourself. The program is expensive but it really is the
best and well worthwhile if you are serious about music. I've been a Head of Music in secondary
education for many years and the pupils all enjoy using Sibelius and swapping
Anne Elliott, London
Try Turandot: www.turandot.hu to
scan the music (using the greyscale setting) and save it as a BMP or TIFF file.
Then drag the file into Sharp Eye and get it to read it. You can then edit the
mistakes (and there will be plenty). Next save it as a MIDI file. Open the MIDI
file in Turandot and it will convert it into music notation. You can play
around with it to your heart’s content.
Richard Tanner, via email
I use Music Works from Middle Earth Systems (www.tierramedia.com/home.asp) to transpose
musical notation that I have created and input using the mouse/keyboard. The transpose function is very easy to use
and Music Works produces good printed output and is not as expensive as the
market leading Sibelius. The tone of the enquiry suggests that the facility is
needed for ‘melody’ instruments which play single notes as opposed to
instruments which play chords and multiple notes e.g. pianos, guitars etc. Inputting a single line of musical notation
is not difficult and once it is in Music Works format it can be checked audibly
by playing it back at any speed, and, using the built-in MIDI facility, set to
sound like virtually any instrument.
Software Partners supply the Capella Music
writing package and Capscan the complimentary scanning in package. For more
details go to: www.software-partners.co.uk/
John Gould, via email
is an advanced music composition and editing program, which will do this and
much more. The full program costs $600.00, but there are substantial discounts
for academic and church-related users. The music scanning functionality within
Finale is actually a special version of Smartscore (www.musitek.com/), which is available on its own in a number
of versions from $99.00 to $399.00 for the full program. Again, substantial
discounts apply to academic and church-related users. I suspect that Dudley
would need at least the $199.00 "Songbook Edition" of SmartScore. I
mentioned Finale first, despite its greater cost, because I find if much easier
and more intuitive to use Finale to edit (correct errors, transpose, modify in
other ways) scanned music than the editing facilities which are built in to the
full version of SmartScore, though I possess and use both programs.
Peter R. Fletcher, St. Ives, Cambs
CAN YOU HELP?
My lawn is fairly large and an irregular shape.
When mowing I find I am covering the same ground several times in a number of
areas in order complete the cut. Can anyone suggest a program that could work
out the most efficient route around the lawn?
Roy Collins, via email
Does anyone know of a way to
use a computer to drive Scalectric cars so that a child can race the computer,
giving Dad a rest?
Kevin Cottrell, via email