Notation software?

Barb said: Jan 19, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Hi everyone,

What notation software do you use? I am in the market, and would mostly be using it to arrange music for my students, though it would be handy to slap anything on the scanner and be able to print it out in a cello-friendly format. So, yes, I would like scanner capabilities, even though I’ve heard that’s still a very imperfect science.

I’ve heard Finale has a huge learning curve. I’ve so far talked to Sibelius users who are happy, and an Encore user who really likes it and its ease-of-use, but it doesn’t include scanning. Photoscore, though, is said to be compatible (haven’t confirmed), and from what I’ve read, it looks like their scanning accuracy is probably better than anything that comes with Sibelius. In fact, it can be purchased bundled with Sibelius.

Any input?

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Jennifer Visick said: Jan 19, 2011
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I use Finale.

Yes there’s a learning curve, but (I think) not nearly as much as there used to be. However I’ve never really learned to use any other music scoring software so I can’t truly give you a comparison!

Last year I switched from Finale 2003 to Final 2010 and there are quite a few improvements, including being easier to use and having much better scanning and recognition technology—you still have to fix a couple of things after scanning a score in, but not that many. Finale uses a “light” version of SmartScore (http://www.musitek.com).

The other benefit of Finale is that it’s parent company is the same one that operates the SmartMusic program, so if you have students using that, then you can upload finale scores into the SmartMusic database for them to access at home and practice with the SmartMusic accompaniment or assessment or recording and emailing tools.

But the bottom line is that I continue to use Finale because I already know it. the “other” big expensive software is sibelius and as far as I’ve been able to tell, what the one has that’s new or better in any given version, the other will have shortly thereafter and vice versa.

You might want to check out the open source options—The first two that come to my mind are Lilypond (also a learning curve, and supposed to create really beautiful and readable scores) or MuseScore (not supposed to be so much of a learning curve).

Barb said: Jan 20, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Thank you. I think I’ve narrowed it to Photoscore and Sibelius First (a cut down Sibelius) or Encore… both a lot less than either of the “big ones”.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

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