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Music Notation Software For a Mac


joker973921
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I just recently bought my first Mac for the studio. Can anyone recommend some good software strictly for composing and notation. I would love to be able to write out some excercises and then just print them out on the computer instead of writing by hand. It looks much more professsional and neater. Thanks

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You can take a look at the Finale family of products at http://www.finalemusic.com/ Unfortunately, only the full version of Finale is currently available for OSX, but you can run NotePad (which is free) under Classic. I ended up buying Print Music because Finale NotePad wasn't up to tasks like changing time signatures partway through a piece, and transpositions work better, etc. I've been happy with it; it's all I need because I don't do any MIDI stuff. They promise that they will be releasing an OSX version sometime this year.

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Finale's Print Music is good, but can be a little frustrating sometimes as it's not as easy to use as they say. You can apparently scan music with it, but it will only recognize up to three accidentals. Another piece of software I have is called MidiSoft. It has been resurected from the dead when the company went bankrupt a few years ago, it is also quite easy to use, but has some odd,minor flaws they haven't corrected yet. I don't have a web page for it, but if you do a search you will find a couple of online stores that are selling it. Of course, Cakewalk is another that has been around for a very long time, but is probably more expensive than the other two. It really will come down to personal preference as all of these programs will do what you need them to. You can probably download trial versions of all of them and give them a go. I know the trial version of MidiSoft was complete, but time-limited. Most companies will disable a lot of the features on trial versions so you aren't tempted to look for a crack and get the complete version for free.

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I have cakewalk and like it very much. But I got it a long time ago. When I upgraded from Windows 95 they told me that they would not support it. I had a great deal of trouble until I got it to be compatabile. Now that I have upgraded again I am considering keeping the old computer, which has a virus. If I can remove the virus I will keep two computers with the old one to be used just for the Windows program. If I can get joint use out of my monitor and speakers. It is important to determine if your music system that you acquire is compatabile with your computer. I do not know enough about Mac to give any thoughts on that. Ben

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Does notepad support transcription from treble to alto clef?

One of my viola students wants to set up some pop tunes for himself, using a Mac similar to mine (OS 9). He wants to use the original piano parts, so the clef change must not cause a key change. I suggested that he try Notepad, but have not yet heard if he was able to use it successfully. Sibelius, the software I use, does this type of clef change easily, but I see no sign of an inexpensive starter version of Sibelius similar to Finale's notepad.

If anyone has tried going from treble to alto clef in Notepad with no change of pitch, please let me know how it turned out.

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I use Finale Notepad. However, the version I have will only work if I boot under 9.2--the sound output becomes garbled if I try to use it in Classic. Perhaps they have an update out now or a new version for OS X.

Best Regards

Saggio

PS--Congrats on getting a new Mac--I love them. Which one did you buy? I have a Blue/White PowerMac G3 and I plan on buying a laptop in the near future. I'm having a tough time deciding between the 15" iBook 933 Mhz or the 12" Powerbook 1.25 GHz...they both cost the same but 12" is such a small screen! anyways...

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I suspect that what you want to do is beyond the capabilities of the abc notation language but you might want to look into Phil Taylor's BarFly abc text editor/player/viewer (shareware, see his website at http://www.barfly.dial.pipex.com/ ). Abc notation works best for single-line stuff, although I'm currently using it to notate some violin/cello duets. What I like about abc is that the files it generates are in plain text so very small and easily shared across different computing systems, and the notation system is easy to learn and quick to input. The biggest problem I've found is that it doesn't do well at notating complex bowing patterns, and doing multiple parts is a little complicated. At any rate, BarFly's sheet music output looks fairly good printed but if you need something more professional-looking there are abc to pdf converters available, also an online converter at http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html -Steve

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