For years, my main tool for scanning and recognizing sheet music was the Photoscore software. Times goes by, and someone else is throwing their hat in the ring.
Please welcome: ScanScore
First of all, one bad apple spoils the barrel: there is no Mac OS version yet. Guys assures me that they’re working on it but when it will be available – who knows.
They’ve chose as a main platform Windows (8 or 10 version, no XP or 7). For my taste, that is a strange choice because the most of professional musicians are using Macs. But, anyway, we have what we have.
All right, after launching we’re getting into a main window where it’s possible to import a scan from a scanner, import image or pdf file or import it from a smartphone device.
The interface of the program looks simple and pretty cool. It made in gray monochrome stylistic and, I think, it will be comfortable to work in the software for a long time.
Well, that’s great, but what are 3 main things about a sheet music recognition software?
1) first of all – how great it in realizing notes (especially, handwritten);
2) how simple is to edit what was recognized;
3) how can I export a result for further edition in other music apps;
I chose for a test a simple task with a sheet music created for a string quartet. The sheet music was printed and then scanned and has overall good quality of 300 dpi.
The pdf document contained of 10 pages and it took 2 minutes for ScanScore to recognize the document. All instruments was recognized right, except a Bass (but it’s because it was named “Cello2-Bass” in the original pdf). Anyway, it took me a second to change the instrument in the Organize – Change Instrument tab.
As for the texts, which are headache for all music notation specialist, some of them was recognized right – like the name of the author, name of the piece, tempo mark at the start of the score.
But some of the texts wasn’t recognized. Like the tempo mark in the middle of the page. The word “Andante” became cipher “An d3 11 te”. Anyway, expression texts like “cresc.”, “mp” was recognized right.
So what’s about the note recognition I do mean pitch and length recognition.
Well, it’s not perfect, but very good. Almost all the notes on the page were right except a very few that was missed.
ScanScore is pointing with a blue dashline where it’s not recognized something.
Does it understands articulations? Yes, it does!
So, is it simple to edit the document after recognition?
For example, I found out that some lines and slurs that were handwritten was missed.I grabbed an appropriate tool from a tools panel and place a crescendo mark where it should be. As simple as that!
Well, it’s always not a big joy to edit notes inside of a recognition software. It’s better to move to a special software right from this moment.
SmartScore allows you to do so. It supports exporting to a Music XML and MIDI formats which allows you to import the result of recognition into any of your favorite apps: Sibelius, Finale, Logic Pro, whatever…
ScanScore is a brand-new software and it’s now only have a second version. Definitely there is a room for improvement to become a better solution for music arrangers and composers. Photoscore is still more powerful but it’s 2 times more expensive than ScanScore. Give it a try, moreover it suggests 14 days trial period.