any free programs for creating sheet music?

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Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.

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glassynails
Posts: 5629
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by glassynails » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:43 am

Hi.

Was wondering if there are any free programs for creating sheet music in pdf format preferably. Also any free programs that you can write the music and have it play it back to you? Or, even and good commercial software that I can buy for composing guitar music.

Thanks :)
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

Nick Payne
Amateur luthier
Posts: 794
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:21 am
Location: Canberra

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by Nick Payne » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:18 am

Lilypond - outputs in PDF and also optionally creates midi files. If you look at the Mutopia Project web site, every score there has been created with Lilypond.

http://www.mutopiaproject.org/

http://lilypond.org/web/

toneslave

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by toneslave » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:34 am

This is what you wanna check out...tons of links and a lot of answered questions, too.

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=35314

JQ.

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by JQ. » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:53 am

glassynails wrote:Was wondering if there are any free programs for creating sheet music in pdf format preferably. Also any free programs that you can write the music and have it play it back to you?
Powertab is a nice free program that has built in midi.

For PDFs, there are accessory utilities you can install that allow you to "print" to PDF format from any application.

flameproof

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by flameproof » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:41 am

For all the scores I have uploaded here (for example), I have used MuseScore, which I highly recommend. It's better than every other (free) notation tool that I have tried, and quite a few not-free tools.

It has some limited playback facilities but isn't enormously flexible in this respect. Mostly I compose with guitar in-hand, but if I want a GUI to quickly throw notes together I use Cakewalk, which isn't free, but I bet you could pick up an older version for peanuts.

glassynails
Posts: 5629
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by glassynails » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:51 am

thanks all!!!! WooooWeeeeeeeee!!! :)
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

nico cojo

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by nico cojo » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:11 am

@ Nick Payne and @ flameproof : thanx 4 all the info :!:

Moderato

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by Moderato » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:16 am

glassynails wrote:thanks all!!!! WooooWeeeeeeeee!!! :)
Let us know how it goes and which one works the best for you, thanks.

kellyvalleau

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by kellyvalleau » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:48 am

I second the powertab recommendation!

you can export to PDF or import into Guitarpro, very useful and intuitive.

Done lots of transcribing and writing with it. Takes a little while to get the hang of things but with a few keyboard shortcuts you will be flying!

glassynails
Posts: 5629
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by glassynails » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:00 am

I got Musescore Flameproof. Now, I just have to figure out how to create staffs for guitar music. If I pick the "guitar" during creation it only lets me put notes to the F below the staff I think. I can't get a low E or even a low D. Could you give me a quick walkthrough on how to create some guitar sheet music (G clef only). I figured out how to create the separate voices but how do I flip notes (upstem, downstem) ?

Thanks :)

I like the playback feature!
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

glassynails
Posts: 5629
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by glassynails » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:46 am

Ahh! Created a simple melody in C with 4/4 time with Musescore; I'm starting to get the hang of it, I think. Can Musescore export to any other formats, such as pdf, etc?
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

flameproof

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by flameproof » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:44 am

glassynails wrote:Can Musescore export to any other formats, such as pdf, etc?
Yeah, quite a few including: Music XML, LilyPond, and, of course, PDF -- just select Save As and change the Save As Type box to PDF.


Flipping stems? From memory, in Note Input mode, select the note, press X.

I guess you figured out the other problem you mentioned in your first post?

Good luck.

Kris

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by Kris » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:50 pm

How is its LilyPond export? I find the quality of the LilyPond output is unsurpassed, even by the heavy-hitters such as Sibelius and Finale. But note input in LilyPond is a nightmare! I don't care what they say about how easy it is, and I'm a programmer for Pete's sake! So if I could notate with Musescore but create the PDF with LilyPond, well that would be the best of both worlds I suppose.

flameproof

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by flameproof » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:29 pm

Kris wrote:How is its LilyPond export? I find the quality of the LilyPond output is unsurpassed, even by the heavy-hitters such as Sibelius and Finale. But note input in LilyPond is a nightmare! I don't care what they say about how easy it is, and I'm a programmer for Pete's sake! So if I could notate with Musescore but create the PDF with LilyPond, well that would be the best of both worlds I suppose.
I'm afraid I can't say, I have never used LilyPond (because I have always understood it to have little of no user-interface (I too am a programmer)). I could send you an exported file for you to try if you care to?

Kris

Re: any free programs for creating sheet music?

Post by Kris » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:36 pm

That's right, it has no interface at all (there are third-party GUIs that suck though). Entering the notes is fairly straightforward, even several voices are handled easily. But as soon as you want to add ornamentations, fingerings, dynamic markings, etc. it becomes a complete nightmare.

Please do send me a sample output, preferably with some of the mentioned extras. I'll run it through and see how well it works without any tweaking. I assume you can send it through PM? Would you like me to send you the LilyPond output back to you?

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