Composers from the Caribbean

Piano, Fortepiano and Harpsichord Music
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tobyjj
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Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by tobyjj » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:34 pm

Thanks for that.

I have found the Gallica site unbelievably frustrating to search. The search results (for me at least - even with filters) rarely go beyond the letter E and I can't find any way to expand them (in any language). It's probably just me ...

regards,
tobyjj

sgambatiesque

Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by sgambatiesque » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:07 pm

tobyjj wrote:Thanks for that.

I have found the Gallica site unbelievably frustrating to search. The search results (for me at least - even with filters) rarely go beyond the letter E and I can't find any way to expand them (in any language). It's probably just me ...
For sites with poor search facilities, the best work-around is to use Google and the site parameter as below:

site:http://gallica.bnf.fr partitions Saint-Saens

In this example I've added the keyword partitions to narrow it down.

If that works on a site then you can really focus your search well e.g. using "-" to remove unwanted text from the hits. Often sites only index certain keywords, but Google does full text search, so you can find a lot of buried treasures.

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fhimpsl
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Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by fhimpsl » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:09 pm

Hi folks,

I share all your frustrations with the Gallica site. Following the link provided by 4 candles (thank you very much!), I tried every possible measure to obtain a clear download copy of the 2nd Ballade. This piece looks really interesting and i'd love to have a copy of it, but the results from Gallica's download are SO blurry my eyes can't make out the music!

And so I tried an alternate approach...since the score appears nice and sharp on the screen, I tried printing the page out as .jpg files one by one. The result was equally awful! Sharper images, but only a tiny image which if you try to blow up becomes extremely blurry.

I cannot understand having a major scanning project such as Gallica and archiving images of such incredibly poor quality!! What's the point of doing it? My eyesight is much too weak to even attempt to deal with these images, and it's a shame because I'd love to play the 2nd Ballade. Very frustrated..... :evil:

All Best,

Frank

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parag
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Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by parag » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:04 pm

Dear Frank,

Try the attached file... I'll see if I can make it a tad better sometime tomorrow; I'll also fix the file size then. It appears as though the files are in jpg format and the scan quality is just not good enough. jpg is anyway pretty annoying; tif is better.

Best,
Parag
Espadero - Ballade No.2 Op.57.pdf
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fhimpsl
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Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by fhimpsl » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:00 pm

Dear Parag,

Thank you for working your image magic on this piece....the results are outstanding compared with what I was able to come up with. You would think that with the resources of the Gallica library they would be able to post music with higher clarity! But in any event, what you have achieved here is just wonderful; certainly clear enough to be sight read without damaging the eyes!

Again, many thanks for this work. :D Espadero looks to be a very interesting composer!

All Best,

Frank

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Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by tobyjj » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:00 am

Hello All,

I'm so relieved to know that my frustrations with the Gallica site were not in fact all due to personal digital ineptitude.

Thankyou Sgambatiesque for that very handy tip.

I echo everything Frank said and thankyou Parag for the infinitely better file than Gallica puts out.

I may have asked this before, but is there an easy to follow reference resource regarding the basics of file optimisation ? - a dark art at which you appear to be a master.

Thanks again,
tobyjj

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parag
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Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by parag » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:40 am

Most welcome Frank and Toby... there is nothing esoteric about file optimization and restoration. Sorry I have not responded to your earlier queries... I was just being lazy :)
I suppose over the years some of us have acquired a little skill at doing what it takes. For example with this score, I got the links of all the pages on the website (which according to them are high resolution; their default pdf is pretty bad). I downloaded them as a batch using downthemall in firefox. I renamed the files with the appropriate file extension (tif didn't work, jpg worked). I then compiled a pdf using adobe pro and cut out margins and ran it through the default optimization settings (usually gives decent results)... I choose the "larger file" option which maintains a decent quality.

I tried converting it to a black and white score using irfanview (Rob is a pro at using this, I am sure he can share more information. I found out about Irfanview from him and have had decent results over the years). This woks well with decent quality tif files but you have to tweak the settings in Irfanview to get the desired results. The file size also gets manageable. I got a rather dull and hazy result for this particular score but admit I haven't spent enough time with it.

Sometimes you have scores that require a lot of cleaning up... I am not particularly good at using photoshop; I just use microsoft paint and physically clean up the score, save it as a tif file and compile the pages into a pdf as mentioned above. There are several users here who are used to photoshop and get much better results than I do. Mouchette has suggested simply using the embedded pdf printer to do a simple optimization which works quite well most of the times.

This is it in a nutshell, there are a lot of things one tries. Am happy to help if you are trying something out. All in all, I suppose one just tries a lot of things and does what works best in the given time one can spare... it is most often a job of infinite patience but I am sure you all agree it is well worth the effort.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Parag

PS: I should take this opportunity to request people to scan scores in at least 300dpi, tif format in black and white if possible. It makes a huge difference. 600dpi will make it alforesque :)

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Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by WCosand » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:07 pm

Can someone explain why the ballade is attributed to "H. R. " but all the other pieces are "N. R."? Is it simply a mistake made 100 years ago?

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Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by 4candles » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:24 pm

I was surprised to find a Wikipedia article on him - which is very interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicol%C3%A1s_Ruiz_Espadero

And I was even more surprised to discover that some of his piano music has been recorded, including the Scherzo and 2me Ballade, by the linked pianist. Perhaps a personal message to him may yield some available discs:
http://www.ceciliotieles.com/bienvenido.htm

Incidentally WCosand, not only is the author's name incorrect on the first page of the score for the Second Ballade, but the dedication is, in fact, to Charles-Valentin Alkan, as opposed to Ernest! How does one make a mistake like this!

:D

sgambatiesque

Re: Composers from the Caribbean

Post by sgambatiesque » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:58 pm

parag wrote: Sometimes you have scores that require a lot of cleaning up... I am not particularly good at using photoshop; I just use microsoft paint and physically clean up the score, save it as a tif file and compile the pages into a pdf as mentioned above.
My quick and dirty method is to open the scanned images in Picasa, and simply fiddle with the lighting settings (fill light, contrast etc). I then print using CutePDF driver into a single PDF file.

I should point out that the only advantage that TIF has really is that it supports multiple images/pages inside a single file.

Most of the actual internal images are commonly saved with some level of JPEG compression, so all things being equal may be exactly the same as a set of separate JPEG files. In a previous life I had to spend a couple of years digging around inside the TIF and PDF specs with a bunch of expert software developers so I've seen a lot of the horrors of TIF, which is basically a container format for a set of images, and the compression means can vary from lossless LZW to various degrees of lossy JPEG or other more exotic schemes. This is one reason why TIF readers often can't read specific files or can only see the first image/page. Unless you control how a TIF or PDF is built, you're often at the mercy of your software and its default settings.

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