The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6077   Message #35126
Posted By: Jon W.
17-Aug-98 - 11:33 AM
Thread Name: Music writing software?
Subject: RE: Music writing software?
NO JOE, I didn't pay good money for that piece of software. I got the demo version of MIDIScan (by Musitek), and tried it out. I gave it a fair chance, I think. There were four reasons I chose not to continue using it: 1) It was oriented towards much more complex scores that the simple folk melodies in which I am interested. 2) It's pretty picky about having a good copy, of the correct size. 3) The scanning isn't really very accurate (much worse that OCR even) and then you have to go in and edit it by hand to fix the wrong notes, etc. The editing software is nice (thoughtfully designed) but just not worth the hassle on the simple tunes I was inputting. 4) The price is too high, $299 for the full blown version, $99 for the version that allows only 2 staves (i.e. meant for piano music).

About the same time, I learned ABC notation and discovered that of the various ways to enter music, it was for me the easiest (if you are sticking to a single melody line). I use ABC2Win to convert to sheet music (though there are some drawbacks like not being able to control the number of measures on a line very well). For my usual use, which is to enter music and then play it, I just use a text editor (or word processor) to enter it and PLAYQABC to play it, or ABC2Win which incorporates PLAYQABC. I also used Noteworthy Composer before I discovered ABC and found it to be pretty satisfactory. It's a good way to get a nice printout, nice sounding playback, and be able to print lyrics aligned with the sheet music. It will import MIDI files and export them, although the timing is weird in the exported files.

There are also some good tablature programs out there for entering guitar, banjo, mandolin, and other tab. One I've tried (demo version on the net for download) is TablEdit. It seems to be fairly feature rich and works well, and will import ABC and MIDI files. It will play MIDI through the sound card or even without one, through the PC speaker.

Jon W.