Software for printing music

M.E. Forumite Posts: 680
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I am in a handbell team and we have a lot of handwritten music mostly over 30 years old. Countless markings and rubbing outs together with deceased sellotape means that we would like to put the music into a computer programme.

Does anyone know of such a programme?
1. We are happy to input each note manually., via keyboard or mouse. There is no way that a scanner could decipher the handwritten notation!
2. We need bass and treble clef staves, five octaves ideally..
3. We need to put chords of up to 10 notes per stave.
4. We DO NOT need it to play back.


  • taliesin
    taliesin Forumite Posts: 118 Forumite
    You can find a list of software that does that at

    Sibelius is the market leader, but it is unlikely that you need something of that standard.

    There really are dozens of software products that will do what you want, with a greater or lesser degree of convenience. Stripped-down versions of proprietory software such as Cubase often come packaged with pieces of hardware such as sound cards. Cubase is primarily an audio editing program (although it started life as a MIDI sequencer) but it will accept arbitrarily dense chords and even the simplest version can print a two-staff (e.g. piano) score.

    Free software is somewhat less capable, but should be able to meet your needs. In the Linux world, Rosegarden is the best known and probably the most sophisticated score writer. For Windows, you could try MuseScore - I haven't tried it myself, but I see it is endorsed by Marc Sabatella, a musician and programmer for whom I have great respect.

    If you feel those are too complicated, possibly one of the abc scorewriters, widely used in the folk music field, would meet your needs.

    Good luck!
  • Owain_Moneysaver
    Owain_Moneysaver Forumite Posts: 11,341
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    There are various music notation programs - some free, some very expensive.

    EG GNU Lilypond Lilypond does the actual engraving, you can use additional front ends to produce the Lilypond music file, such as Denemo or Frescobaldi.

    Finale and Sibelius are two proprietary scorewriters often compared to LilyPond.
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  • fluffymuffy
    fluffymuffy Forumite Posts: 3,307
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    I could never get on with keyed input notation programs. Which is why I like Finale Notepad, and it used to be free, and then was $10 for a few years -

    but if you can wait till Feb 15th when Finale Notepad 2012 comes out - it's completely free again.
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  • Jojo_the_Tightfisted
    Jojo_the_Tightfisted Forumite Posts: 27,228
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    It's free, which is the most vital part of the appeal. And you can listen to what you have notated.

    (and it works on Mac)
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