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Thread: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

  1. #1
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    Default What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    My mandolin teacher helped me mark up a piece of sheet music. Right now the changes are just pencil marks above the original notation. I would like to actually create a standard notation sheet of music with the edits so it flows better.

    What do you use to do something like this? I will probably be doing mark ups like this rather than real composition. iPad compatible preferred but I do have a Windows 10 laptop.

  2. #2
    Registered User BoxCarJoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    I've been using Finale Notepad (the free version) for years.
    It's quirky and has limitations but it suits me fine.
    Works on Win 7 don't know what else.

    https://makemusic.zendesk.com/hc/en-us#finale

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  4. #3
    Registered User Erin M's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Barnett View Post
    My mandolin teacher helped me mark up a piece of sheet music. Right now the changes are just pencil marks above the original notation. I would like to actually create a standard notation sheet of music with the edits so it flows better.

    What do you use to do something like this? I will probably be doing mark ups like this rather than real composition. iPad compatible preferred but I do have a Windows 10 laptop.
    Hi Peter,
    I've been using Sibelius for many years, but I'm planning to move to Dorico. Dorico is a product designed to address many of the limitations and UI design issues that exist in Sibelius. Dorico Elements would probably work well for you: https://www.steinberg.net/en/shop/dorico.html

    BoxCarJoe's suggestion of Finale is also good; I've worked with it a bit in the past and actually found it much easier to use than Sibelius.

    As far as free software, MuseScore is actually pretty good: https://musescore.org/en

    As far as iPad, I'm not sure if any notation packages support it.
    "Flow, river flow. Let your waters wash down, take me from this road, to some other town." - Roger McGuinn

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    Peter, your post aroused my curiosity. What do you mean by marking up a piece of music?

  7. #5

    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    I like Finale too. Never really worked with anything similar. I like once one declares a time signature, it won't let you cheat. Don't know if any other apps work like this?

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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    I am learning Sunny Waltz. I have been playing it from the sheet music in Compton’s Gallop to Georgia. It has four measures that were just defeating me, half note, followed by a dotted eight note and a 16th note in two of the measures separated by 1/4, dotted quarter and an 1/8th note.

    I sat down with the Amazing Low Downer software and played the tune through note-by-note. Those measures were different in Compton’s playing of the tune than was recorded on the music. We marked the music up to reflect how it is actually played. My mandolin teacher said it happens all of the time. To not expect the sheet music and the recorded music to be in perfect sync.

  9. #7
    Registered User Ken_P's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    MuseScore works very well for relatively small things. I've done some fairly complex work with it and it handles everything just fine in my experience. I think that's a much better bet than the more limited free versions of any of the pro software like Finale or Sibelius.

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  11. #8

    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    I've been using Sibelius since version 1.4.

    (I bought Dorico when it first came out, and have even kept it up to date, but I still haven't gotten around to using it.)

    Everything at my signature's link is made with Sibelius, if you'd like to see (and hear) some examples.

  12. #9

    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    MuseScore here too, the slightly older version 2.1 though. I don't know where y'all get the money for stuff like Sibelius or Finale, that sort of thing is not within reach for me as an old geezerette on a fixed income.

    I did once try the reduced-feature Finale "Notepad" a while back, but Notepad was *way* too limited and stripped-down compared to the finer level of layout customization options that I was already used to in MuseScore.

    MuseScore has one annoyance in that IMO the documentation is a pain to sift through (typical of free open-source stuff, I suppose, but that's another topic). In my limited experience of using MuseScore for several years now, pretty much all the info I need is out there... somewhere... on the internet, but it's a matter of finding the precise tidbit of info that you need in order to accomplish some particular task in MuseScore. Some things are not exactly intuitive/obvious. It has *so* many options and settings for precision customizing of the layout and customizing note placement, beam length/size/configuration, bracket types, staff line thickness and spacing, bar-line thickness, etc, that it can be hard to figure out the basics. Despite its complexity (for me anyway), I appreciate all its finely-adjustable configuration options, and at this point I wouldn't be interested in using any other software that didn't also have all those options.

    MuseScore also lets you write your own mandolin tab, which you can set to be automatically generated by the standard notation staff. As you write each new note on the standard notation staff, the corresponding tab staff automatically shows the tab. For basic one-note-at-a-time melody stuff, the automatic tab will usually be in its simplest form, i.e. the lowest fret number (and favoring open strings rather than adjacent fretted strings) - so you might have to manually adjust certain notes if you're into complex classical/bluegrass/jazz stuff that goes way up the neck. Or you can do it vice-versa - write notes on the tab staff, and the corresponding notes will automatically appear on the standard notation staff. Handy for helping to learn the fretboard, and useful for helping to de-mystify the whole written-music thing so it's easier to understand.

    For what it's worth, back in 2017, I made a super-condensed no-talk no-frills video tutorial of what I consider to be MuseScore basics, the stuff you need for writing simple leadsheets with chord-names and lyrics and tab and transposing to new keys, but the tutorial is for a slightly older MuseScore version (which I'm still using because more-recent MuseScore versions have font issues on my build of Windows). Anyway, here is my older MuseScore 2 tutorial but also see the short important CORRECTION (corrects one of my previous ignorant assumptions that I only found about later) *and* also the important ADDENDA regarding 'swing' settings.

    If the MuseScore programmers ever make a newer version of the app that isn't troublesome on my build of Windows *and* works as well as the older MuseScore 2.1 that I'm still using and am quite happy with, then at that point I would upgrade the app and try again at making a hopefully-better tutorial next time.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    I use Musescore 3. Like JL277z said, all the instructions are out there, just finding it is the tough part. Took me the devil of a time to transcribe a tune where there was one short measure at the end of each section. Finally got it figured out. Plus, I like that one can export the finished product to pdf to share. And there is also a large base of transcriptions by others out there. Can sometimes save time and effort.

    All that said, one of my accordion playing friends has dropped all notation software and has gone back to transcribing by hand. He just gets a better sense of accomplishment doing it that way.
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    Still a mandolin fighter Mandophyte's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    See my signature regarding ABC. It's free and produces pdfs.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    I've used TablEdit for years, also use MagicScore Notation plugin for Microsoft Word.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  20. #13
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    I also use musescore.

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  22. #14

    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    Quote Originally Posted by Erin M View Post
    As far as iPad, I'm not sure if any notation packages support it.
    There are two very powerful notation apps on iPad: Symphony Pro and Notion. There are some others but those two are the best -- each has strengths and weaknesses. Both allow files to be saved in MusicXML which imports very nicely into Sibelius, Finale, Dorico and MuseScore on PC or Mac for further work. Notion's native files can be imported straight into the Notion notation program on PC or Mac, although I don't find it nearly as great as the other four.

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  24. #15

    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    I've been using Sibelius since version 1.4.

    (I bought Dorico when it first came out, and have even kept it up to date, but I still haven't gotten around to using it.)

    Everything at my signature's link is made with Sibelius, if you'd like to see (and hear) some examples.
    I started with Finale 3.5 and have kept up ever since, then I also bought Sibelius 2.11 in a crossgrade special and finally learned it in version 5 and now I do everything in Sibelius. I also bought Dorico and have kept it up to date but I still can't wrap my head around that program -- I've done a couple of small projects in Dorico which too about 3 times as long to get a decent printed result as I could have gotten in Sibelius.

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  26. #16
    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    Finale (the free version)
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  28. #17
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    Default Re: What Do You Use for Editing Standard Notation

    Thanks for the help. I ended up with Symphony Pro for iPad. Upside, it is fairly user friendly and inexpensive ($15). Downside, it works best with Apple Pencil, interface software another $15 and the Pencil $95 to $130.

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