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The Rosegarden team have announced the release of version 1.7.0 of Rosegarden, the audio and MIDI sequencer and musical notation editor for Linux. This release focuses mostly on notation enhancements, although there are also substantial bug fixes in other areas.

The world of sequencer software for Linux is becoming increasingly well populated with projects designed for different types of user -- with the appearance of QTractor, a MusE stable release expected soon, Ardour 3 in the pipeline for studio users, as well as commercial software such as Renoise, and old favourites like seq24.

This is great for Rosegarden, as it means they no longer feel they have to please everyone: they are able to concentrate on the area that they find most interesting for Rosegarden, namely as a sequencer for people who also like to work in notation. Of course, all of the other existing features will continue to be supported and to evolve, but they have a clearer focus for the future than they have had.

The 1.7.0 release includes new contributions from established project members Heikki Junes, Arnout Engelen, and Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas. Translator Yves Guillemot has come over to the development side as well. New members Philippe Macaire and Jaakko H. Kyro have joined the development team, while Gunhild Andersen has joined as a documentation writer. They have also had code contributions from Colin Fletcher, Alessandro Preziosi, Stefan Asserhall, "Flameeyes" Pettenò, and Anders Dahnielson, and a segment parameter presets database update from Magnus Johansson -- and many new device library contributions.

Progress during this release cycle has been slow but steady, with relatively little developer time available from the core team, but for this release -- coordinated by D. Michael McIntyre -- they have managed to bring together more contributions from more people than in any previous release of Rosegarden.

New Features in 1.7.0:

  • Track headers in Notation view.
  • Test to see if a newer version is available, to help users stay up to date when distros sometimes carry quite old versions.
  • New Welcome dialog that attempts to help you tweak your setup for best results.
  • Notation: The preferred stem direction in a chord around the middle line is down, which better meshes with LilyPond.
  • Notation: The preferred beam position in a beamed group around the middle is below.
  • Add icons for Add tempo and Add time signature in NotationView -> Composition menu.
  • Move to Staff Above or Staff Below to make sorting out overlapping voice parts considerably easier.
  • Radically reformed grace notes now work correctly for the first time in Rosegarden's history, and are now easy to use.
  • Sync segments to track parameters (correct clef, transpose notation, alter key signatures, highest/lowest playable notes) available as option when using the load preset button in the Track Parameters Box, which greatly simplifies the process of converting a standard MIDI file into notation suitable for real musicians who play transposing instruments.
  • "Convert notation for..." function added to notation editor to provide another mechanism for using the sync segments functionality.
  • Expanded/corrected instrument presets database.
  • Export markers to LilyPond.
  • Alternative shortcut for Play/Stop in laptop use: Ctrl+Return.
  • New track parameters for exporting square, curly, and nested brackets to LilyPond, making it possible to produce true piano notation and complex orchestral scores properly for the first time, without hand editing of the .ly code. (Replaces the now deprecated "Export staff group bracket" option with this new and much more flexible scheme.).
  • The transport mode setting is now stored with and restored from individual compositions.
  • Export the new radically reformed grace notes into LilyPond syntax.
  • Now ties can finally be flipped (Chris, since rev 8653) and the flipped ties exported to LilyPond.
  • Arbitrary dynamics exported to LilyPond as markups if they are not on LilyPond's list of supported dynamic types.
  • Manually repositioned rests (as when rearranging badly rendered overlapping voices) are now exported to LilyPond.
  • Set a quick playback position marker in the main window with Ctrl+1 and recall it with 1.
  • New variable height tracks finally make working with overlapping segments (e.g. to contain concurrent voices for notation purposes) an easy and reasonable process, instead of the nightmare it has been for years.
  • Smarter selections in matrix and notation views now allow you to remove individual, previously-selected events without beginning the entire selection process from scratch.

New Documentation:

Significant bug fixes since 1.6.0:

  • Serious overhaul of MIDI import to avoid scrambling karaoke and similar files into complete chaos.
  • Fix text codec dialog that appears when importing MIDI files with lyrics.
  • Splitting the segment now really splits the segment.
  • Track Parameters now displays the correct track.
  • No more mysterious zero-length segments on import.
  • Align lyrics with rests so they appear at the correct time, if only lyrics and rests in a segment.
  • Fix inability to build without JACK.
  • Fix broken pitch chooser dialog to correct accidental display and draggability.
  • Replace perpetually broken grace note functionality.
  • Fix crash when deleting a device that was in use.
  • First note after 8va or 15ma section no longer at wrong octave.
  • Correct display of flipped stems in certain situations.
  • Repair very tricky ruler bug that prevented the composition from being able to start anywhere other than bar 1.
  • Take track transpose into account when recording, move notation by the opposite amount, so the end result sounds correctly when played back.
  • It is now possible to tie notes that have shorter performance durations than their display durations.
  • Renamed spurious Halve/Double Speed functions to Double/Halve Durations
    and assigned new keybindings.
  • Headers for the files in the Rosegarden library rewritten so that all of them show up in everyone's file dialogs.
  • The notation view no longer assumes it is always necessary to display a time signature, which eliminates a lot of extra time signatures that used to have to be hidden by hand.
  • Above/below directions of phrasing slurs now exported to LilyPond correctly.
  • Hidden key signatures ignored during LilyPond export.
  • Corrected a problem whereby you could edit the second of two markers at the same time position, and have the changes apply to the first one at that position.
  • Build system tweaks and a fix for building with librdf in an unusual location.
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