Support for Linux - Music Applications



April 2011

Noteedit is one of the best music notation programmes out there, as far as I am aware. You either can locate it through your software manager, or if you want to install it manually through the terminal by typing:

sudo apt-get install noteedit

However, you might encounter the problem that sound is not working. First of all you need timidity. Again, either locate it through your software manager or install it manually through the terminal by typing:

sudo apt-get install timidity

Next you have to configure timidity by typing the following command in the terminal:

timidity -iA -B2,8 -Os -EFreverb=0 2>&1&

Finally, open noteedit, click on settings and then on configure noteedit, click on sound and select Timidity port 0 128:0, click apply and sound should be working.
I found this on http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=770148, and the solution was provided by someone called GoLinux.

June 2010

Perhaps the most important fact as from today (29th June 2010) is that computers and laptops can now be bought without operating system, and this means without an inferior windows system. This brings the costs down by about 70. The company which offers such sales is:

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/home.html

Cheapest laptops start from 189.

The author no longer uses Fedora for a number of reasons. Possibly, the most important reason is the fact that even after two days of attempting to configure java runtime environment on Fedora 13 manually through the terminal, applets were still not running under either Firefox or Opera. A second strong reason is that Fedora appears to include and exclude packages at random. The author is using Mint 9 now (07.07.2010) which is Ubuntu/Debian based. Here, it was no problem to get applets running in no time. The system appears to be generally more user-friendly than Fedora as well. So all below is really out of date, but installing Mint 9 is fast (perhaps something like 1/2 hour) and dead easy. Hence, from now on we recommend Mint.
December 2009

Linux Fedora Core 11 is easy to install as it guides the user through the installation process in clearly designed steps. It might be easiest to download the live CD, burn the image onto a CD and install it this way connected to the internet. If you have no initial access to the internet you need to burn this file onto DVD. Even a user with little ICT knowledge will be able to complete the task.

However, before starting the installation, it is best to partition the hard drive C. There are a lot of web sites out there where information can be found on how to do that. One program that does it, is fips20.zip. Fips works for Windows 98 and below. Windows XP and - so I believe - Windows 2000 and Windows Vista and Windows 7 come with a partitioned hard drive; one is called C and the other one D.

If you are working with Windows 98 and below, you need to partition your hard drive using Fips to create a new partition, which appears as a DOS partition.

Once, you have the two partitions C and D, you need to deleted the partition D (don't worry all windows data are on C). Shut down the computer and reboot it using the Fedora Core live CD or the DVD.

Note, you cannot install Fedora this way, if your computer has no CD or DVD drive! However, buying an external CD drive might be the solution.

After this follow the instructions on the screen. If you are not sure about some aspects, use default options. Once Fedora is installed, you will have a dual boot system. This means, whenever you switch on your computer, you will be asked whether you want to use Fedora or the other (windows) system. (This is only true, if you did not delete windows). I would recommend not to delete Windows, simply because you might not be able to get online with linux Fedora straight away. Additionally, some software runs only under Windows at the present time. However, a powerful emulator is wine which allows you to run windows designed software under linux and even at improved speed an reliability. However, at the time of writing (01.12.2009) not all windows designed software works under linux. In order to install wine open your terminal, change to root and write the following command:

[root@localhost yourusername]# yum install wine

Further, up to now (2009) many manufacturers of hardware such as printers and cameras do not support linux properly. Still, a very good exception is hp with a low cost printer/scanner such as hp Deskjet F4280 where hp provides the linux drivers.

Once you boot your computer you might want to go online. This is only possible if your modem is supported by linux. However, a lot of older laptops use a Conexant modem. In this case you will have to download the suitable driver from http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/. There, follow the instructions carefully.

There are a great number of musical applications out there. One fantastic site is http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/soundapps.html. However, the trouble with this site is that there are a lot of choices but little help finding what will work for you. Additionally, it does not offer software for Fedora 11 but only up to Fedora 10 at the moment.

There are a number of ways to install software on a linux system. However, it is best to start with rpm files. They are a bit like exe files. You click on an rpm file and Fedora will try to do the installation for you. Alternatively, you can install rpm files by opening System/Terminal. Here, you navigate to the directory where the rpm file is by using the 'cd' command. Once you are in the directory you enter rpm -i [file name]. Most software is available in form of rpm files these days. If you feel comfortable with the Terminal, install files through the Terminal rather than clicking on them, because the Terminal delivers installation information which can be useful.

Fedora 11 has under Administration - Add/Remove Software a great choice of music related software you might find interesting. You simply select the desired software and the rest will be done for you.

Now, there are a number of other applications you might wish to use, such as a music notation programme. Possibly the most powerful music programme is 'Lilypond'. It can handle everything I can think of (including experimental notation) and prints brilliant sheet music. Go to Administration - Add/Remove Software and typ Lilypond into your search window. Tick Lilypond and the rest will be done for you. As usual, there is a drawback. If you are familiar with programming or even just know how to write simple html code, you will know that what you write and what you get, is very different. This is true for Lilypond too. The code you write needs to be compiled before the sheet music is generated (including pdf format). This means there is no pretty graphical user interface. Well, this is not strictly true either. There is a programme called 'Note edit'. It can be compared to the windows programme 'Noteworthy Composer' although 'Note Edit' is more powerful. (However, at the time of writing (01.12.2009) no version of noteedit seems to exist for Fedora 11.) Here, we have a nice graphical user interface and the capability to produce a variety of formats including the Lilypond format. So the way it works then, is, you write your music using 'Note Edit', you then export it as a Lilypond file and then you compile the file in order to get the sheet music. The compiling is easy. Again, you open the terminal, you move to the directory where your Lilypond file is and you enter 'Lilypond [filename]'. Even better, once 'Note Edit' produces the Lilypond output, it is worthwhile to open the Lilypond file in a text editor (such as gedit) and look through it. Step by step this is one good way to learn how Lilypond works. Instead of Note Edit, you might want to try Denemo, MuseScore or Rosegarden. All three programs exist for Fedora 11

Realplayer used to be a bit of a challenge but is easy now. The latest version can be downloaded at http://www.real.com/linux/. And if you want to play mp3 files, Realplayer just does that easily and brilliantly.

If you want to edit music files (e.g. noise reduction, pitch shift etc.), there is a pretty good package called Audacity. If you want Audacity type "Audacity" into your "Add/Remove Software" search window. Fedora will locate it for you then and istall it for you. Audacity can handle wav and ogg vorbis files (some versions also handle mp3 files).

An easy to use music notation program is still Noteworthy Composer which runs under windows, but installing it under Fedora 11 using wine works well. Noteworthy Composer, however, is no free software.


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Chameleon Group of Composers 2011