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INTRODUCTION TO HELP

We realize that from time to time you may need some help using our web pages. You may also have questions about an order you placed or would like to place with us.

If you don't find the answers you need below, please click Questions? in the Special Control Panel above.

If you still need answers, simply e-mail us your questions by clicking the link at the bottom of this page, and you will receive a complete and courteous reply within twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

For your convenience, we have grouped the questions and answers on this page into four broad categories. Just click on one of the links below or scroll down the page until you find the information you need.

USING THE MAIN CONTROL PANEL

Question: How do I see and hear music on this web site?

Answer: Familiarize yourself with the main Control Panel. It looks like a double picture frame divided into twelve smaller "windows," each of which has a verbal description of what you will find by clicking that window with your mouse. (The actual Control Panel uses the same colors as those on the Special Control Panel above.)

Image of Main Control Panel

The windows labeled Keyboard Music, Other Solos, Chamber Music, Orchestra Music, Vocal Solos, and Choral Music are links that will take you to catalogs providing useful information about the music we publish. By clicking on the italicized titles after each item listed in our catalogs, you will be able to access both viewable "JPG" files and audible "MIDI" or "mp3" files of each movement. Illustrated MIDI or mp3 files are multimedia pages featuring music, relevant art, and informative program notes. Since they take longer to download than simple JPG and MIDI links, they are not recommended for those with slow modem connections or systems with limited memory.

Important Note: Please make sure you have the appropriate software installed before trying to use this web site. We recommend a MIDI- and mp3-compatible media player such as QuickTime and the Adobe Acrobat Reader®.

Both are free applications that can be downloaded by clicking the links below. Chances are good that you already have a MIDI-compatible media player, so you may want to consider acquiring QuickTime at a later date. Adobe Acrobat Reader® is a commonly used application that may already have been installed on your hard disk, so please check before downloading.

Also, don't forget to bookmark this page as a "Favorite" so that it will be easy to find your way back to New Music Classics after any download is complete.

Q: How do I return to a catalog after linking to pages with score excerpts, MIDI/mp3 files, or illustrated MIDI/mp3 files?

A: Once you have accessed a JPEG, MIDI/mp3 or ILLUSTRATED MIDI/mp3 file for a particular piece, click the "Back" button of your browser to return to the list of links for that piece. You may then choose to view or listen to another link or use the links at the bottom of the same page to return to your previous place in a catalog or to the main control panel.

Q: What are the other windows on the Control Panel used for?

A: The window on the main Control Panel labeled Order Form will take you to a page that explains how to place an order. You will also be able to print out our catalog and order form in PDF format (but you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed beforehand).

Clicking the window marked Home takes you to our main entry page. This page simply provides our mailing address, an interesting quote by Einstein, a brief introduction, and an audio file of a selection from our catalog.

The window named VITA takes you to a page providing information and links about the composers whose music we publish.

The window named SOUND SCULPTURE takes you to the main page of The Standing Buddhas of Bamiyan, an ongoing Web-based nonsectarian project for composers and listeners that commemorates two of the world's greatest rock-carved sculptures.

The window named GALLERY takes you to a large selection of visual art work by New Music Classics composers.

The window with the large ? next to a statue of Dante brings you to the Special Control Panel, which offers many additional features. The Help Page you are now using is reached by clicking the first of its twelve windows (see below).

USING THE SPECIAL CONTROL PANEL

Question: What is the Special Control Panel?

A: The Special Control Panel looks very much like the Main Control Panel (see images above), but provides some important additional features and links. These are accessed by clicking any one of its twelve windows. The Special Control Panel can be reached by clicking on the large ? shown next to a statue of Dante in the lower right window of the main Control Panel.

The Help! window brings you to the page you are now reading. It deals primarily with site navigation, troubleshooting, and catalog orders.

The Questions? window answers a variety of additional questions you may have about New Music Classics.

The Control Panel window returns you to the main Control Panel (described above).

The Catalog (PDF) window opens up Adobe Acrobat Reader® and loads a PDF version of our catalog, including an order form and information you need to get the music you want from us. You must already have the free Acrobat Reader® installed in order to use this feature. You can download it at the following URL:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Important Note: Remember you can also place an order without installing Adobe Acrobat Reader® to print out an order form or catalog. Simply click on the Order Form window of the main Control Panel and follow the instructions for e-mail orders.

The Recordings window will enable you to sample and order audio recordings of the music in our catalog as soon as these become available.

The News window brings you up to date about what is happening at New Music Classics.

The Virtual Concert window allows you to listen to special programs of the music we publish.

The Composers Forum provides links to the Delian Society and to various other items of particular interest to composers and music scholars.

The Performers Circle will be dedicated to information of interest to performers about the works we publish.

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT LINKS & AUDIO FILES

New Music Classics makes every effort to ensure that all of its web pages function smoothly and efficiently. We rarely encounter any problems, but should they occur, we work very hard to resolve them promptly and courteously.

Q: I click on a link but nothing happens. Why?

A: There are several possible answers. New Music Classics is optimized for those using the Firefox browser and Apple's QuickTime. It has also been successfully tested with other browsers, and on machines using both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

Different web browsers and operating systems do not function in the same way. All have to be properly configured or certain features simply will not work. If clicking a link produces no result, and your computer otherwise is operating normally, you may need to contact technical support at the company that manufactures your operating system, web browser, or media-playing software. Qualified experts can usually diagnose a problem based on the information you provide, whether the issue is improper configuration, software incompatibility, insufficient memory, or the like.

Q: What media-playing software do you recommend?

A: We generally recommend QuickTime for playing our audio files, although many other media players are fully compatible:

QuickTime

This application is available for both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. In the case of MIDI files, QuickTime only simulates instrumental/choral sounds and the nuances of actual performances, but it is free and remains our first choice for playing back MIDI files without a hardware synthesizer. Some distorted playback is possible with certain versions, or if memory is low or your computer's processing speed is too slow.

Q: Why is MIDI used at all if the sound quality is so mediocre?

A: MIDI file performances vary greatly in quality due to differences in hardware and software used for playback. A MIDI file that sounds passably good when played back on one computer may sound positively offensive on another. That is because MIDI files are not actual sound recordings but merely instructions that tell your computer how to synthesize and simulate an actual musical performance. MIDI information is interpreted inconsistently by different hardware/software systems.

At best MIDI performances can only give a general impression of the way each piece should actually sound. Their greatest advantage is that MIDI files are small and quick to download, unlike other audio formats. However, most of the MIDI files on this web site will eventually be replaced with much larger mp3s, which are actual digital recordings that generally offer superior quality.

Incredibly, most music publishers offer no sound files whatsoever for prospective customers to audition. New Music Classics is a notable exception!

Q: I can't hear or play MIDI/mp3 files. What should I do?

A: If you cannot hear an audio file, you may be using software that does not support the MIDI or mp3 format. Or perhaps the sound on your computer has been turned down or off (this is often the case in libraries and schools, where sound is disabled by technicians to avoid disturbing others).

Many of the New Music Classics audio files are embedded, which means that they begin to play automatically while (or after) the visual contents of a page download. Some browsers handle audio files poorly, and the music will start or stop erratically. To hear the audio file properly, you may need to replay it after the page download is complete. This is usually possible by clicking on the appropriate button of your player's virtual console (usually resembling a miniature tape deck).

Sometimes the sound of an audio file is distorted or choppy. This may be due to software bugs and incompatibilities, low memory, or other factors. You may be able to get around this problem by downloading the audio file first (see below) and saving it in an easy-to-find place on your hard disk. Then you can relaunch your media player and try opening the audio file in it directly. If this does not work, try restarting your computer, launching your player application, and opening the audio file.

Q: How do I download audio files?

A: If you have trouble downloading a MIDI or mp3 file, chances are you are not familiar with the necessary procedure. Since all browsers do not allow you to download files in the same way, you may need to ask a technical expert at the software company manufacturing your browser or player for assistance.

If you still cannot download MIDI or mp3 files after seeking such assistance, contact us directly and we will e-mail them to you as attachments that you can save and open in your media players. Just specify which files you would like to hear. MIDI files typically take up very little disk space, but mp3s are much larger.

Important Note: If problems persist in listening to (or viewing) any of our content, please e-mail us for assistance.

PLACING ORDERS

Q: How do I place an order?

A: You may either your place an order through the mail or through e-mail. For detailed instructions, including payment options, please click the following link:

Place Your Order

Q: How do I know how much a given catalog item costs?

A: Prices are shown after each item listed in our catalogs. Prices include all items appearing under a given catalog number, such as the individual movements of a sonata, or all of the separate pieces contained in a collection. Periodically prices will be subject to change.

If you wish to purchase one or more individual titles in a collection, special reduced rates are available. Kindly e-mail us by clicking the link at the bottom of this page for a price quotation.

Q: How do I know my order has been filled and sent?

A: You will receive e-mail notification once your order has been received and processed. Ordinarily this occurs within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after receipt of your order.

Thank you for visiting the New Music Classics web site!

dillonford@newmusicclassics.com


Last updated April 29 2007
WebMaster: Sebastian Proteus, proteus@newmusicclassics.com
© Copyright 2007 by Joseph Dillon Ford