[LAU] Notation: The State of the Mess

David Baron d_baron at 012.net.il
Fri Aug 29 05:14:36 EDT 2008

Very little has progressed since the last thread here. Really. New features 
and fixes have gone into nted and denemo but do a song on them?

Here's the score, he he:

mscore -- promises to be the opensource Sibelius. Great program, somewhat 
funny but very usable UI. I have not succeeded in doing a song start to finish 
on this goody. Will hang up the system at some point and big-red-switch time. 
I can import musicXML and edit from there. The program will not save chord 
symbols on scores imported from musicXML (which apparently does not support 
them, but mscore certain works fine with chord symbols otherwise!).

Denemo --The lilipond front-end finally has a useful feature set. 

Many of the newer programs force upon the user too much "theory." Partial 
measures, i.e. starting on the upbeat, are a common enough device in music. 
Mscore makes one select the lead measure and set its length property. Notedit, 
sinply place the bar! Denemo? A future incarnation, I suppose. Denemo will not 
import lilipond files from noteedit.

Nted -- one successor to noteedit. Has similar limitations as denemo.

Canorus -- one successor to notdedit. Heard of this lately? Last version was 
nowheres near ready to play.

Rosegarden -- has been around a while. I could not get into scoring with it. 
Same idea of too much imposed "theory." Unfortunately, is segfaults out right 
now so can do no more with it.

Noteedit -- old, no longer developed or supported -- but with its hoky-poky 
interface, still easier for select and click note entry than any of the others 
and gets the job done, period.

Noteedit  Auto-adds measures as needed but lets one edit as one pleases 
including partial measures. (I guess the paradigm in ALL the other programs of 
presenting rest-filled-out measures all the time is what I do not like about 
them.) If lead-sheet chord symbol entry were more convenient, I might look 
nowhere else. Exports to lilypond (not 100% correctly but usually prints OK), 
musicXML, abc, musixTEX and MIDI which will get you into most other programs. 
I wish the successors would import its files directly--if they claim to be 
successors, this would make some sense!

OT-aside: What does rosegarden (and noteedit) need with KDE? QT would 
certainly be sufficient, and not dealing with KDE's excess baggage might solve 
a lot of the crashing problems. I run KDE3 and KDE4 all the time, love 'em, 
but requiring its libraries for these programs makes little sense.

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