First of all I have to say that I'm impressed with the features Rosegarden
brings to the complex interaction between notation and midi. Unfortunately,
I won't be able to test the current features until Sarge becomes stable.
Or until I set up another computer with Sarge or Sid.
I have read the tutorial and most of the web site, though. It is clear
the the infrastructure is there for what I have in mind, although I haven't
seen that it is feasible as is.
Here's what I have in mind: I would like Rosegarden to tell me how well I'm
playing a piece. To do this, I envision the sheet music being displayed in
any of the modes the notation editor already supports, and Rosegarden (maybe
via a plug-in?) keeping track of the notes I play via midi input, comparing
the received notes to what's on the staffs and giving some feedback. For
instance if a note is correctly played one of a variety of things could
happen: the cursor advances, or the notes as they are being played take on
a slightly different shade, or some other non-intrusive form of feedback
happens; if a note is not correctly played, the note as played is displayed
superimposed on the correct current note, in red maybe? This way I can
know immediately what I did wrong (which note I played instead of what
I should have) and correct it (or not, and have the mistakes marked for
This would be very useful for someone (like me) that is very unsure of
notation to learn new pieces. I'm getting tired of Hanon scales.
This feature could be configurable: at the most basic, only pitch being
considered, not timing info. In more advanced (strict) modes the timing
could be made arbitrarily tight to force the player's tempo to match the
sheet music. This would enforce in a visible way deviations from the
tempo. As the tempo of the piece would dictate, the notes could change
slightly in color and, if played at the correct time, the notes would
revert to black. Other features of the music: crecendos/diminuendos,
slurs, ties, etc... could be kept track of and highlighted if the incoming
midi events don't match the sheet music. All these features should be
individually enabled/disabled. I, being a rank beginner, would likely
have my hands full just playing the right notes, never mind tempo and all
the other features, but as I (hopefully) get better, enabling the other
restrictions would alert me to more subtleties that I'm mis-playing.
From what I've read, a much harder problem has already been addressed in
Rosegarden: notating incoming midi events (yes, I'm aware of the hand-
tweaking necessary). If you already have the sheet music, matching
incoming midi to it should be easy in comparison.
Challenges: I can envision some difficulties. If you stop playing, this
sub-system should identify where you start again so as to not lose sync.
If the tempo (or other advanced features) are enabled, getting out of sync
could involve many features of the music.
What I would be using hardware-wise: I was pleasantly surprised to find that
Rosegarden has been tested with a midi to USB adapter, that I would have to
get, as the laptop (Dell Inspiron 8600) has USB ports. The keyboard is a
Roland A-90ex controller with more features that I'm even aware of. For
those that are not familiar with it, it has the closest I could find (at
the time I bought it) to the action of a real piano, very nice samples,
and (most relevant to Rosegarden) 2 midi-in, 1 midi-through, and 4 midi-out
sockets. Has anyone created a description file for it? It's not on the
web site so I guess not. I have a lot to learn at that end...
So, how difficult would it be to add this feature? Can it be achieved with
some configuration or scripting? or does new code have to be written? maybe
as a plug-in? I would think that a new mode would have to be created for the
notation editor, a read-only (so the sheet music is not altered) user-training
mode with some kind of non-permanent overlay? The first step would definitely
be pitch only, but what kind of approach, compatible with the overall
Rosegarden design, should this take?
An aside: how much sheet music exists out there on the Internet that
Rosegarden can import? Of course, free is better...
Ok, I'll shut up now and eagerly await any and all responses. Thanks
for taking the time to read this and, of course, many thanks to the
developers for an outstanding piece of software.
Augustine, the notationally challenged piano player wanna-be