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  #1  
Old 05-19-2016, 03:39 PM
jrethorst jrethorst is offline
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Default [ANN] Seven Music Notation Programs

About ten years ago a group of us decided to do a comparison of the most popular notation programs, to see how each program looked in print. Although one program's output can be made to look much like another's, some aspects of that are easier to do, and itís interesting how the personality of the pages varies.

I mentioned this to Abraham Lee, a noted designer of music fonts, who replied:

> I couldnít agree more! It really is amazing to see how each application embeds its own personality into the scoreís appearance, beyond what is "correct" or not. Truly fascinating, indeed!

Although feature set and interface may be more important to some in the choice of an engraving program, this comparison was done for those especially interested in high quality publication.

Unsolicited comments on "Six Music Notation Programs" included "Absolutely amazing! . . . Interesting! . . . This is certainly a worth while endeavor . . . a really great idea and Iím glad that someone is taking the time to do it the right way . . . I love seeing how each program handles music."

It's time for an update, both to include two new popular programs and to revise other programs' samples using the latest versions. So "Seven Music Notation Programs", with a one-page score for classical guitar as done in Finale, LilyPond, MuseScore, Notion, Overture, Score and Sibelius, is at:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...20Programs.pdf

Enjoy,
John R.
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Old 05-19-2016, 05:20 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Thanks much for posting this, along with the Elegy music!. Interesting to see the subtle differences in the notation and how the eye perceives it for clarity.
They are all very good, but personally I liked Finale the most. Good size, clear and bold. I thought the manner in which the Dal Segno + Coda instructions at the end were presented was also clearer than the rest, i.e. better positioned on paper with respect to the passage and notes they pertained to. (I've always liked the coda symbol too, rather than seeing it written out. Something calming about it. )
But, just nitpicking. I'm sure a lot of it is subjective too.
Thanks again for sharing.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:56 PM
LarryKu LarryKu is offline
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I decided to create Elegy using TablEdit. It took me about an hour. Feel free to add it to your comparison if you wish. I hope I didn't make any mistakes entering the music. I could easily add fret board fingerings in about 10 minutes, but none of the others had them. I revised the PDF to fit on one 9x12 page, just like the others.

Elegy - TablEdit V2.76b1a

Last edited by LarryKu; 05-19-2016 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:59 PM
jrethorst jrethorst is offline
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Thank you for the Tabledit, Larry. I'll keep it in mind for the next edition.

John R.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:01 PM
jrethorst jrethorst is offline
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You're welcome, Andre, and thanks for your kind words. You're entirely right to say much of it is subjective. As with text fonts and graphic page design, it's a matter of what looks "right" and pleasing to whoever might want to buy it and play it. The document just might help people make a choice.

John R.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:08 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Thanks for the comparison. Fairly equal in quality. It would also be nice to see how the tab looks.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:09 PM
jrethorst jrethorst is offline
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Default [ANN] Ten Music Notation Programs

This comparison of engraving, using a one-page score for classical guitar, has been updated to ten programs, adding the new Dorico from Steinberg, and restoring Encore, a program of choice in South America, and Graphire Music Press, a highly-regarded application that is once again available.

Download link is new:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xl09lf616x...grams.pdf?dl=0

Unsolicited comments about earlier versions of this document include:

Absolutely amazing! . . . Interesting! . . . This is certainly a worth while endeavor . . . a really great idea and Iím glad that someone is taking the time to do it the right way . . . I love seeing how each program handles music . . . I don't think I've ever seen a lineup of professionally engraved scores like this before. It's a great idea. I must say, I find it very encouraging that there is still a large element of personality to be found in every one of the engravings, despite the nature of computers. Long may that continue! . . . Very interesting indeed to see the subtle differences in the notation and how the eye perceives it for clarity.

John R.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:47 PM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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As I mentioned prior, I would be good to show the tab output in addition to the standard notation.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:09 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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DITTO... I can read music, but tab is so much faster for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
As I mentioned prior, I would be good to show the tab output in addition to the standard notation.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:40 AM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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DITTO - include the tab so that you reach the widest audience possible.

Last edited by tkoehler1; 02-17-2017 at 07:38 PM.
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