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Music Scanning Applications (Music OCR)

notation composer takes the MusicXML output of a music scanning application (music OCR software) and turns it into sheet music that sounds great!

Music scanning applications (or music Optical Character Recognition, OCR for short) can be very useful for making new or legible copies from pieces of sheet music that are old or otherwise damaged, or that simply aren't available except as an image file on an archive somewhere. Using a scanning application and notation composer, you can quickly create sheet music that looks and sounds great!

We at Notation Software decided not to incorporate a OCR feature dircetly into notation composer. The OCR technology is a very specific technology which requires special skills and, only a very limited amount of customers need the OCR feature. Licensing OCR software from others turned out to be not an option due to licensing expenses. We therefore decided to address this feature with our great MusicXML import capability. Almost all OCR software offer MusicXML export which Composer can import and a customer can select his favorite OCR software.

The basic steps:

  1. Use the scanning application you choose to scan the sheet music (or read the graphics file, if the application can do that) and make corrections to the displayed notation.
  2. Export (different programs say "Export as" or "Save as") a MusicXML file of the piece.
  3. Open up Composer, and then open the saved MusicXML file. Composer will quickly read the MusicXML file and will display the scanned sheet music. You can then easily make any changes to notes, add performance marks or annotations, or make your own arrangement, using the original sheet music as your starting point.

Finding scanning applications on the internet

Which Music OCR scanning program you select depends on your needs. There are excellent ones available which, of course, cost a lot of money. Others - which may not be that expensive - are fully sufficient for your needs if you are using notation composer. All you need to work with notation composer is a MusicXML (.mxl, musicxml or xml) file. If you browse for music OCR programs, many have a free trial version available which you can use for testing. Just use your favorite browser and search engine to browse the internet for "Music OCR". Almost all of these programs have a MusicXML (.mxl, musicxml or xml) export, so any of them would be adequate to use with Notation products. In case OCR programs offer MIDI export and MusicXML export, please select MusicXML export. The reason is that MusicXML is a broader protocol than MIDI. MIDI is focussed on machine interaction commands where MusicXML contains notation elements like annotations, slurs, repeat bars etc. which MIDI does not.

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Home Musicians

notation musician and notation composer create the best notation scores from MIDI files. You can play along with "the band" at your convenience.

With notation composer, you can also customize the sheet music to add your own special flavor to a song.

Performing Musicians

With notation musician you can print sheet music for yourself and print parts for members of your vocal or instrumental group.

notation composer adds the ability to rearrange the music and have complete control over the sound of every note.

Song Writers and Composers

Use notation composer to create music from scratch, so you can focus on making music instead of drawing notation.

You can create sheet music with your MIDI instrument, mouse, or computer keyboard. Editing notation is a breeze, too.