The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3207   Message #15717
Posted By: Jon W.
04-Nov-97 - 10:53 AM
Thread Name: Music Notation Software
Subject: RE: Music Notation Software
I downloaded a tab program called Pluck or something like that - haven't really used it though so can't give an evaluation.

I got Noteworthy Composer almost a year ago and paid the $40 - I like it fine for what I do with it (enter simple tunes & lyrics, print them out, play them).

I downloaded Muse and used it once or twice so far - I may use it more in the future but probably not. Seems it didn't handle something right in an ABC file I fed it.

Most recently I downloaded ABC2Win. I found it surprisingly easy to enter a couple of tunes in from sheet music using ABC notation - probably easier than entering standard notation in Noteworthy. It's also a good excersize in sight reading skills (mine are minimal) because you have to identify the notes by letter. It's $20 to register, then you get to print the scores. The drawback is that it just plays the tunes through the PC speaker/beeper. I haven't tried anything but one-part tunes so far. It also has a problem in not playing back repeats (with alternate endings) correctly. I got it at Henrik Norbert's site<\a>. He's also got a zillion Irish/Celtic dance and session tunes in ABC notation (several hundred anyway).

I also downloaded a demo version of MIDISCAN, a program that allows you to scan music in with a scanner and then it "recognizes" it and converts it to notation and MIDI. Sound pretty slick, huh? Well it's really picky and at best it's about 95% accurate - you have to go through and compare measure by measure to find recognition mistakes and correct them. They have provided a lot of tools to do that but the user interface is pretty idiosyncratic. Their tech support (via email) staff has been very concienscious in answering my questions even though I only have the demo version. The price is, well, pricey: $99 for a version that handles two staves (called PianoScan), and $299 for the full fledged version that handles up to 16 staves/MIDI tracks. If that doesn't scare you off, check out The limitation on the demo version is that you can only convert files to MIDI 10 times, and can't save the MIDI files at all (you can save the image and notation files, though).

Alan of Oz sent me the address (in Germany) of another scanning program called MUSICSCAN but I haven't found them on the web and haven't got around to writing them either. If anyone wants to try, here's the address:
Schwabenstr. 27
D-74626 Bretzfeld/Schwabbach

Alan said it's a quarter of the price of MIDISCAN.

I did notice a MacIntosh program called NoteScan that works with Nightingale to do the same thing - one of you Maccers out there ought to evaluate it and let us know.