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#2309466 - 07/31/14 06:05 PM Piano software without sheet music
OneSixty Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/14
Posts: 3
Hello there,

I'm interested in learning to play the piano, or at least get some motion into my fingers... So i found these piano lesson software packets and playing along with a timeline looks like a good way to learn. Now the part that bothers me , please don't shoot me, is that they all work with sheet music.


My intention is not to play classical compositions or any of that stuff, i'm an electronic music producer that only wants to jam little melodies instead of always drawing the midi notes inside a DAW.

Is there software on the market that uses the letters and not sheet music?


Edited by OneSixty (08/01/14 03:40 PM)

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#2309484 - 07/31/14 06:42 PM Re: Piano software without sheet music [Re: OneSixty]
PaperClip Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 522
Loc: Amsterdam, Holland
Hi OneSixty, welcome,

I don't know about the software you're searching for. But you might want to scan sheet music by optical music recognitiom (omr) and parse it to a musicXML file. There is an open source program which could do that:


Although some DAW's could read musicXML, you could parse it through a little script that changes the notes to letters. I don't know if there's such a script, but it would not take much time to make it yourself.

#2309491 - 07/31/14 07:13 PM Re: Piano software without sheet music [Re: PaperClip]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1150
Loc: Southern California
Welcome to the forum. ABC notation is popular in folk music. The tune finder at:


has quite a few folk tunes and traditional songs. Some are melody only, some are simple arrangements. Many are done by amateurs, so some are incorrect. To use, it type the name of a tune. For example, type in "Greensleeves" or "Jingle Bells" into the tune finder then click select ABC format to see the note letters. For those that read traditional notation, click the PDF link.

The ABC notation system uses upper and lower case, and other devices to do more than one octave. It can do chords and lyrics, but it is best for simple melodies. There is a fair sized library of folk tunes and traditional songs in ABC format. ABC is also a decent way to quickly writing out melody lines while composing or transcribing.
my piano uploads

#2309848 - 08/01/14 03:49 PM Re: Piano software without sheet music [Re: OneSixty]
OneSixty Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/14
Posts: 3
Thanks for the input that's very helpful, ill check them out!

I'm sure someone here can help me find the right software, someone else have a suggestion?

#2309934 - 08/01/14 06:50 PM Re: Piano software without sheet music [Re: OneSixty]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1772
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
This isn't directly responsive to your question, but I have to ask it:

. . . Why not just learn to read (and write) music using conventional notation?

Yes, it's a job of work, but you only have to do it once.

And you could use any scoring/MIDI software once you had done it.

Music notation isn't just for classical players.

Thanks --

. Charles

#2309950 - 08/01/14 07:24 PM Re: Piano software without sheet music [Re: OneSixty]
earlofmar Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 2072
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: OneSixty

Is there software on the market that uses the letters and not sheet music?


I would not think so as it would be financial suicide and even free it would be targeting a very small audience. I guess you think that by seeing music as A,B,C etc it is simpler to play well that is not necessarily so. Eg play A then D on a keyboard, most beginners will need to find the A then the D by sight and then play. Someone else even with a basic experience looking at the same notes with standard notation will see the first note as A and the second note as an step of two notes, they will not even look at the second note or hesitate to find it. So much of our music follows small steps this system of not thinking in note names but in "intervals" (this is the proper term) makes the whole process of following music much quicker than the method of note naming each note as you play. So sheet music is the most efficient way to see and read music anything else is just trying to re-invent the wheel.
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano

#2310525 - 08/03/14 07:38 AM Re: Piano software without sheet music [Re: OneSixty]
OneSixty Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/14
Posts: 3
The reason why I want letters is because sheet music is not used in electronic music production.
I don't think it would be financial suicide, it would be a nice ad on for beginners and electronic producers that don't need to be able to read sheet music.

But i hear you, thats a good point about the intervals.

Guess i'll have to give it a go while searching for software that can do both.


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