[LAU] GPL Scoring/Engraving Programs

David Baron d_baron at 012.net.il
Mon Aug 20 07:02:19 EDT 2007

On Monday 20 August 2007, tim hall wrote:
> David Baron wrote:
> > There was a thread on this a while back, the need for opensource or
> > free/minimal cost alternatives to Sibelius and such on Linux.
> >
> > One can run Finale Notepad or various lower cost upgrades using Wine and
> > this may be the best alternative if one can get the MIDI and printing
> > working this way.
> >
> > For lack of a handy staffbook--and it is easier to simply grab a
> > staffbook, a extra fine pen and a typex stick--I tried what I have on my
> > Debian Sid box:
> >
> > Scoring:
> >
> > Notedit--KDE's scoring program will get the job done. Most functionality
> > is there. Chord entry is very awkward and the ui needs more toolbar
> > items. But it works and will export to most everything needed including
> > abc which opens the door to many Windows and Linux programs that can
> > print score, Lilypond, MusicTex and MusicML.
> >
> > Canorus--successor to Notedit. Too early for this one.
> >
> > Denemo--GUI for Lilypond. Too early for this one as well. Nice start but
> > had to go back to Notedit to continue.
> >
> > Musescore/mscore--new boy on the block. Coming along nicely and will soon
> > be the best around. Still work to be done, text field editing is
> > nigh-impossible but this is the alternative to Finale and Sibelius to
> > watch. Imported MusicML from Noteedit.
> >
> > MIDI keyboard to any of these is precarious at best.
> >
> > For printing (engraving when doing music):
> >
> > Lilypond--works well with its peculiarities. Not enough control of
> > formatting when exporting from noteedit, et al. Denemo not ready so need
> > to know its markup language to really use it well. It is supposed to be
> > the standard.
> >
> > MusixTex--works nearly as well as Lilypond but does not handle UTF8,
> > foreign characters out of the box.
> >
> > Musescore--one when sets the formatting parameters (not defaulted
> > properly) produces very nice results. Its scoring is WYSIWYG once the
> > formatting params are set up. Again, the one to watch.
> I find this all slightly depressing. I thought Rosegarden / Lilypond
> ought to be the tools for the job, but the message I keep hearing is
> that they don't come up to the standards required for professionally
> printed music. I wish somebody could properly explain why.
> I've been commissioned to write a book of choral music, which requires
> multivoice staves, so obviously Rosegarden will fail there. I shall have
> to let them do the setting in Sibelius unless I can come up with some
> solid arguments to the contrary.
> It just seems ludicrous to me that we have all this incredible
> multimedia software at our disposal, but every time someone wants to
> typeset music we have to consider going back to proprietary tools like
> Finale / Score / Sibelius. This is terribly disappointing.
> Please say it isn't so. ;)

To most extent, this is so.

Muscscore (mscore) has all the features necessary and it capable of doing a 
very nice score for multistave choral music. No guitar chord symbols and such 
"extras" needed here. Note entry to this program is the problem.

Noteedit, as I said, will adequately get the job done. From here, you can go 
to lilypond or to mscore.

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