A little while back, Chris Cioffi posted a shot of "St. Louis Rag" as arranged by "Ossman & Hunter". On another thread, Anthony P. was looking for an upgrade (or a fix) for his current music software.

Here, I combine the two. I've transcribed "St. Louis Rag" into C notation via a freeware program called Musescore. It does a pretty nice job, I think...and it only took me a few hours of piddling around to get it like you see it (attached).

So, what I did was (my own convoluted path) load all the dots into TablEdit, transpose it into C, create a MIDI and then open that MIDI file in Musescore...massage it just a bit (big learning curve as it is the first time I've used it) and voila!

There were some hiccups in the original, some bum notes and some syncopation oddities...I went to the Library Of Congress site and downloaded a copy of the original piano score (which is in C...who knows why they published it for banjo in A notation...completely crazy by 1904) to sort out the kinks.

Let me know what you think of the results!

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Someware I got the FVE MS.  ABF?  Old issue of the 5-Stringer?  Here?

There are a couple of measures that are clumsy for me to play in the Ossman version. The first ending of the first strain is one.  I've been supplementing the FVE version there (the 2nd too). I also added in his fingerings to see if they work (still playing with that). There are a couple other spots that are awkward for me to play.  Measure 29 for one.

Nice job with Musescore.  There is a trick to double flagging the fifth string I use.  I select "2nd voice" and plug in the fifth string note while using rests for everything else ( I like the double flag to match the note duration).  I then hide all the rests and adjust the direction of the stems to be appropriate.  It takes a little messing around with.

What is cool about Musescore is that it is fully adjustable.  You can move practically anything on the page.

Musescore is also very fast to use.  I am way faster with it than tabedit.

I haven't played thru it yet, so I don't know about the fingering. I simply duplicated what was in the original A notation score. Same for the flagged 5th string...no flags in the A notation, no flags in mine.

I think I saw a 'mirror' feature in Musescore that could be used for the 5th string flags. I don't do a lot of notation, so I'll probably never get there, this was just a test for me.

Do you know how to alter the distance between staves? I couldn't figure that one out (I was trying to force it to print on a single page).

It is a very nice program, took me a couple hours to do this first one. I would be much faster after I got used to it. Like most of 'em, its MIDI banjo sound is crappy.

Joel, do you mean measure 29 in the FVE version or the Ossman version?  

The first ending of the first strain in the Ossman version (measure 20)  can be made easy to play like this: Get the C at the start of the measure at fret 5 on string 3. You are already at that fret at the end of the previous measure as that is the only possible place to find F natural (on the bass string). Then make a chord formation that looks like a triangle. It also looks like a guitar D chord moved to higher frets. B natural on string one/fret 9, A natural on string 2/fret 10, and E natural on string 3/fret 9. Once this is in place play the first string, then the long A on the second string, then get G on the open 5th, and finally play E on the third string.  The four notes are gotten . .. + .  (index, middle, thumb, index). 

Joel Hooks said:

Someware I got the FVE MS.  ABF?  Old issue of the 5-Stringer?  Here?

There are a couple of measures that are clumsy for me to play in the Ossman version. The first ending of the first strain is one.  I've been supplementing the FVE version there (the 2nd too). I also added in his fingerings to see if they work (still playing with that). There are a couple other spots that are awkward for me to play.  Measure 29 for one.

29 in Marc's notation (and I presume in the Ossman A notation but I did not count).

I can play the endings they just don't "sound right."  Perhaps it is because I have listened to FVE play it a million times.  I tend to play around with stuff these days anyway and find what works for me.

Took me about 10 min to mod my file into the FVE ms. FVE's endings are simpler and more rhythmic IMHO. He also took out a few of the goofier/idiosyncratic syncopations. Makes the whole piece flow a bit better. I like the octave parts too...right off the piano score, I believe.

H Marc

Like you, I transposed and typset the notation for the SLR Ossman Hunter arrangement recently, and fixed the errors by referring to the piano score. 

I also made a tablature, so for anyone interested, it is posted below along with a digital playback of the score. The audio sounds like a resonator banjo with wire strings, but is still worth a listen to get a sense of just how ragged the rhythm is for this piece. 

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Thank you Shawn. I have added your TABlature and audio to the MUSIC LIBRARY.

I thought I had posted this song before in 3 parts from the original notation.(I have; Ian hasn't uploaded it yet.)  I love playing it. I think the hardest part is measures 24-25. Took me forever to finger out what worked best for me. Here is my modest example:

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I don't think you can have too many arrangements of a good tune. I find it interesting interesting to see the different interpretations. To add my own two pennies' worth, I posted my version a few weeks back which I took straight from the original piano score' before listening to any of the recordings....Steve.

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