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#1152390 - 12/27/08 06:44 AM Least computer looking notation software
ZPomeroy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/07
Posts: 528
Loc: australia
i'm an looking for a notation software that creates scores that do not look as computerish, but rather like the score by henle. what software would you suggest for this?

Zac
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"I don't think I handle the notes much differently from other pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, there is where the artistry lies" - Artur Schnabel


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#1152391 - 12/27/08 07:29 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Lilypond is probably what you're looking for.

www.lilypond.org


Sibelius and Finale are both capable of more Henle-esque scores, but it requires tweaking the options a bit to your exact specifications.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1152392 - 12/27/08 09:07 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
ZPomeroy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/07
Posts: 528
Loc: australia
i actually do already have sibelius at the moment. how do you "tweak" the options to do this?

Zac
_________________________
"I don't think I handle the notes much differently from other pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, there is where the artistry lies" - Artur Schnabel


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#1152393 - 12/27/08 10:31 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
It depends on what you mean by "less computerish." You can always drag individual elements to move them, or you can set global preferences in the Layout and House Style menus. (Layout changes the position and size of the staves, as well as page breaks, line breaks, etc. House Style changes the appearance and behavior of individual score elements.)

Something else you may consider is using a larger paper size. A4 and Letter size papers are a little smaller than most commercially printed scores.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1152394 - 12/28/08 03:35 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 304
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
It's called 'the hand'...time consuming, but works a dream as a crafted finished product...kind of like the best bottle of vintage french wine you might ever taste \:\)

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#1152395 - 12/28/08 04:34 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
ZPomeroy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/07
Posts: 528
Loc: australia
i'm aweful at at writing out, though i am going to be writing out all my compositions and putting them in a leather book of some description so that i can hand down my handiwork through the generations. should be quite fun.

Zac
_________________________
"I don't think I handle the notes much differently from other pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, there is where the artistry lies" - Artur Schnabel


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#1152396 - 12/30/08 02:51 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I second Kreisler's recommendation of Lilypond.

I never understood why people would go through such trouble to make finely crafted music and then ruin it by typesetting it with Finale or Sibelius.

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#1152397 - 12/31/08 06:07 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Nigel Keay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 132
Loc: Paris
Isn't the ease of part extraction when both score and parts are needed one of the main reasons one would use Finale or Sibelius? How does part extraction work in Lilypond? I took a friend's advice and went with Sibelius for this reason.
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#1152398 - 12/31/08 08:34 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
 Quote:
Originally posted by mkorman:
I never understood why people would go through such trouble to make finely crafted music and then ruin it by typesetting it with Finale or Sibelius. [/b]
Heh, I don't use Lilypond for the exact opposite reason. Why spend so much time notating music when you can spend the time writing more?

I agree that Lilypond looks better than most Sibelius or Finale scores, but the results I can get from Sibelius or Finale are better than scores by Salabert, Durand, International, and some Schirmer.

Henle, Peters, Schott, and VU scores are very nice, though, and hard to beat.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1152399 - 12/31/08 08:37 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
In Lilypond, music is input as a text file, similar to a computer program. To write multi-part music, you define the parts separately, and then tell Lilypond to combine them together however you want. Thus, once the notes are entered, you could create scores for solo, pianoreduction, full score, you can transpose individual parts, whatever you want, with very little effort.

You can see some examples here:

http://lilypond.org/doc/v2.12/examples

It's a little difficult to learn, which is probably it's main disadvantage, but once you learn it, it's incredibly powerful.

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#1152400 - 12/31/08 08:47 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
Heh, I don't use Lilypond for the exact opposite reason. Why spend so much time notating music when you can spend the time writing more?
[/b]
Well, I think Lilypond takes less time. I haven't used proprietary music notation software since the 90's, but the pointing-and-clicking to get notes on the staff that I remember was one of the most frustrating experiences I've ever had on a computer. Not to mention manually adjusting the Bezier curves for slurs and ties to look right. Maybe things have changed since then.

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#1152401 - 12/31/08 08:52 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Actually, it's better to read their marketing material:

http://lilypond.org/web/switch/advantages

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#1152402 - 01/02/09 07:07 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I have to do a lot of page layout stuff, add graphics, make worksheets, export graphics - all stuff that I'm sure is possible with Lilypond, but for which I'm uninterested in learning anew.

The best part is page layout. The wysiwig interface of Sibelius is very nice, and I like to be able to make my adjustments visually "on the fly." Since there are no frontends for Lilypond on MacOS, that's just something that isn't available to me yet. (Plus MIDI playback really helps when I'm trying to figure duets or things I can't otherwise play on one piano.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1152403 - 01/04/09 01:47 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
I prefer Mup to Lilypond; it's a similar sort of thing, but the input language is easier. The scores don't look as nice as Lilypond, but they're still better than Finale. And Mup has MIDI playback.

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#1152404 - 01/04/09 10:39 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larisa:
And Mup has MIDI playback. [/b]
So does Lilypond: it can generate a MIDI file from the input.
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#1152405 - 01/10/09 04:59 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Tar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Munich, Germany
Is there a GUI to Lilypond for Windows? My trouble with its text inputting paradigm is that it requires me to think as a programmer and not a musician!
_________________________
Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit

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#1152406 - 01/12/09 10:14 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tar:
Is there a GUI to Lilypond for Windows? My trouble with its text inputting paradigm is that it requires me to think as a programmer and not a musician! [/b]
I wasn't aware that being a musician meant thinking in terms of pointing-and-clicking...

But, I couldn't find a GUI frontend for Windows, unfortunately.

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#1152407 - 01/13/09 11:16 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Tar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Munich, Germany
 Quote:
Originally posted by mkorman:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tar:
Is there a GUI to Lilypond for Windows? My trouble with its text inputting paradigm is that it requires me to think as a programmer and not a musician! [/b]
I wasn't aware that being a musician meant thinking in terms of pointing-and-clicking...

But, I couldn't find a GUI frontend for Windows, unfortunately. [/b]
Okay, so I hadn't meant to condemn everyone using Lilypond as not being a musician. Everyone has their preference, but for me[/b] I can't think of music as a string of letters and numbers: I do need the asthetics of seeing what I'm getting to keep going Not everyone will feel this, but personally when I write something I think sound good, it will also look pretty on the score. Psychology? Maybe, but it works for me!

But that's a shame about no GUI frontend for Windows. Lilypond scores look really pleasing to the eye.

Having said that, I'm considering hand-engraving my music!
_________________________
Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit

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#1152408 - 01/13/09 12:43 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Think of it this way:

Pointing and clicking has a very small learning curve.

Programming, by comparison, has a very large learning curve, especially if you don't have any previous experience with a computer language.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1152409 - 01/13/09 01:22 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Tar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Munich, Germany
For me, pointing-and-clicking (actually, in my case it's touch-typing: I use the Speedy Entry Tool which is integral to Finale) gives instant gratification: you see the score updated as you go along. If I understand correctly, Lilypond - like LaTeX - requires you to "compile" your source code every time you want to view the finished product.

See my problem? The real-time musical sense that comes from the image of the score and which assists editing so immensely is robbed away in the text-based paradigm.

Presumably there are people who use Lilypond only to engrave the final product, and those who use it for actually composing. I guess that the fact that I know people who do the latter there must be another way of obtaining the musical bearing in a sea of text!
_________________________
Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit

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#1152410 - 01/13/09 01:51 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I'm not denying that Lilypond is harder to learn.

When I've used Lilypond, I haven't composed directly in it. I write the music on paper first, and then transfer it over.

There was another interesting use I had for Lilypond, though. I was writing a program that generated music automatically, and I found it very useful to have the program output Lilypond format, which was then converted to MIDI. In this way, Lilypond served well as a standardized syntax for music notation.

Similarly, when I've used LaTeX for math-heavy papers, I generally wrote the equations out by hand, and then typed them in.

Of course, it's always up to you to choose whatever tools you want. Unless, of course, someone is forcing you to use something, which is what I really have a problem with.

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#1152411 - 01/13/09 01:58 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
I'm using Sibelius 5.0 and happy with it so far.

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#1152412 - 02/21/09 09:34 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
gnu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 39
 Quote:
Originally posted by mkorman:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tar:
Is there a GUI to Lilypond for Windows? My trouble with its text inputting paradigm is that it requires me to think as a programmer and not a musician! [/b]
I wasn't aware that being a musician meant thinking in terms of pointing-and-clicking...

But, I couldn't find a GUI frontend for Windows, unfortunately. [/b]
There is MuseScore . It's a work in progress (currently at version 0.9.4), but has experimental support for importing and exporting LilyPond files. It also produces decent notation in its own right (it uses the same fonts as LilyPond).
_________________________
Public domain scores: scanned (IMSLP) · typeset (Mutopia)
Free open source software: notation (MuseScore) · workstation/sequencer (LMMS)

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#1152413 - 02/23/09 08:37 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by gnu:
There is MuseScore . It's a work in progress (currently at version 0.9.4), but has experimental support for importing and exporting LilyPond files. It also produces decent notation in its own right (it uses the same fonts as LilyPond). [/b]
Thanks, I wasn't aware of this project.

The primary advantage of Lilypond, though, is not the fonts. It's the layout algorithms.

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#1152414 - 02/23/09 10:39 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2696
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I see Lilypond has MusicXML support. I believe Finale can export in this format. Has anyone tried exporting an XML file from Finale and importing it into Lilypond???

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#1152415 - 02/23/09 03:11 PM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Chandler:
I see Lilypond has MusicXML support. I believe Finale can export in this format. Has anyone tried exporting an XML file from Finale and importing it into Lilypond??? [/b]
I think it's still a work-in-progress, but please try it and let us know! Or, if you send me a MusicXML file, I could try it and post the results.

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#1152416 - 02/24/09 03:39 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
gnu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 39
 Quote:
Originally posted by mkorman:
The primary advantage of Lilypond, though, is not the fonts. It's the layout algorithms. [/b]
MuseScore's algorithms are supposed to follow similar principles . But since any WYSIWIG editor has to render the display in realtime, I suspect LilyPond will always be a step ahead...
_________________________
Public domain scores: scanned (IMSLP) · typeset (Mutopia)
Free open source software: notation (MuseScore) · workstation/sequencer (LMMS)

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#1152417 - 02/24/09 09:46 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2696
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
Originally posted by mkorman:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Chandler:
I see Lilypond has MusicXML support. I believe Finale can export in this format. Has anyone tried exporting an XML file from Finale and importing it into Lilypond??? [/b]
I think it's still a work-in-progress, but please try it and let us know! Or, if you send me a MusicXML file, I could try it and post the results. [/b]
I downloaded and installed Lilypond. I saved one of my smaller notation files as an XML and dragged that into the Lilypond icon. I'm not sure if I got anything. There was a text file in my MY Documents folder, but it was full of errors. I then went looking for Lilypond documentation on how to import XML files and not finding it gave up. The Lilypond layout algorithms may yield very nice output, but I can do work with Finale. It may also have a steep learning curve, but having been on this boat for a decade and a half I've done almost everything at least once.

BTW, this is an example of my beef with open source software. Software is subject to the 80/20 rule. You can get 80% of the functionality with 20% of the effort. The last 20% of functionality, the stability and additional features, take 80% of the effort. In the open source paradigm nobody is getting paid so that last 80% of the work doesn't usually get done. This is why Audacity simply doesn't compare to any commercial DAW software (and never will).

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#1152418 - 02/24/09 10:32 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Chandler:
I downloaded and installed Lilypond. I saved one of my smaller notation files as an XML and dragged that into the Lilypond icon. I'm not sure if I got anything.[/b]
Is that how you run the convertor? I would doubt it.

 Quote:
I then went looking for Lilypond documentation on how to import XML files and not finding it gave up.[/b]
You probably didn't look hard enough. When I looked at the LilyPond documentation, I found it immediately under "Application Usage"->"Converting from other formats"->"musicxml2ly". I would try it myself, but I don't have any MusicXML files.

 Quote:
BTW, this is an example of my beef with open source software. Software is subject to the 80/20 rule. You can get 80% of the functionality with 20% of the effort. The last 20% of functionality, the stability and additional features, take 80% of the effort. In the open source paradigm nobody is getting paid so that last 80% of the work doesn't usually get done. This is why Audacity simply doesn't compare to any commercial DAW software (and never will). [/b]
Well, this discussion is about LilyPond, not Audacity (and the goal of Audacity was never to replace commercial software, but rather to experiment with a sound processing language). I could say the same thing about proprietary software. That is, 20% of the functionality never gets implemented because it just doesn't sell better, regardless of how important it is. Also, if there is a feature that is missing from LilyPond, you could offer them some money and see how quickly it gets added.

But it's totally up to you if you'd rather use Finale.

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#1152419 - 02/25/09 09:21 AM Re: Least computer looking notation software
mkorman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I found some MusicXML files here: http://www.musicxml.org/xml/samples.html

I took one of them and tried running it through LilyPond. It actually worked pretty well. As expected, the output will require some hand-tweaking, but the text output of musicxml2ly looks quite legible. Here are the PDFs:

LilyPond: http://mkorman.org/MozaChloSample.pdf
Finale: http://www.musicxml.org/xml/samples/MozaChloSample.pdf

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