1. #1

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    This post is offered here because there may be some interest in music engraving, but also because Vyssotsky’s "Elegy" as arranged for classical guitar is a fun little piece of music — maybe especially suitable for encores.

    This document presents a one-page score as engraved by ten of the most popular music notation programs: Dorico, Encore, Finale, LilyPond, MuseScore, Music Press, Notion, Overture, Score, and Sibelius. Although all of these applications feature extensive flexibility and offer high quality engraving, each has its own personality, and comparison may be helpful to the musician or engraver making a choice among them.

    Unsolicited comments about earlier versions of this document include:

    Absolutely amazing! . . . Interesting! . . . This is certainly a worth while endeavor . . . a really great idea and I’m 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 . . . Nice work! . . . Thank you so much! . . . This is wonderful!

    Ten Music Notation Programs v. 2.pdf - Google Drive

    John R.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I love the "Consumer Reports" aspect of this.

    I'm curious if serious music readers find any of the 10 outputs to be significantly superior or inferior to the "baseline" of the 10. (Don't ask me how I would determine what the baseline is.)

    They all look pretty decent to me, and as a Musescore enthusiast, I thought it performed pretty well for an entrant from the "free" category. LilyPond, another "free" contender, is supposed to have a lot more fine-tuning available in terms of presentation and layout, but in this case I'm not seeing the LilyPond output as significantly better than Musescore (which is now at version 3.x, though this comparison was probably done before that release).

    Thanks for posting this. Very cool.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrethorst
    This document presents a one-page score as engraved by ten of the most popular music notation programs
    As a fellow notation/engraving nerd (and developer of notation software), I was excited to see this!

    For what it's worth, I saw an inconsistency across the engravings. In bar 3, beat 5, some engravings use a D natural while others use D sharp. To my ears, the D sharp is correct?

    I've created a Soundslice version here, so people can hear what the piece sounds like: Elegy | Soundslice

    It's also yet another engraving example for your project — though the nature of Soundslice is different because it renders the notation to fit whatever device you're on. I see a few small notation problems such as rest positions, but it's pretty darn good for an entirely automated engraving, if I may say! :-)

    Thanks for sharing the cool project!

  5. #4
    Lombard, the baseline, as it were, is the Score engraving done by Matanya Ophee. You're right that there aren't large-scale differences, but some pay close attention to what there are -- see NOTATIO - Index page for sample discussion. Even the music fonts matter in that forum, and the spacing between notes, or allotments, seem to matter more.

    Thanks. Glad you like it,
    John R.

  6. #5
    Adrian, you're right about the D#. The original was the Score sample, which does not have the sharp and which I think is a typo. For this comparison, some of the engravers thought it should be sharp and others didn't want to change it. The question wasn't central to an engraving comparison, so we let it go at that.

    Soundslice looks very nice. I hadn't heard of it. It's interesting how many notation programs there are for the size of the market.

    Thanks. Glad you like it.

    John R.

  7. #6

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    pretty old version of finale they tested

  8. #7

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    Frank Sinatra's vocal phrasing and Nelson Riddle's horn cues, 1964.
    Attached Images Attached Images Ten Music Notation Programs (2nd ed.)-days-wine-eb-jpg 

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    pretty old version of finale they tested
    Hi Jack. The comparison was done in July 2017; I somehow didn't get it posted here.

    Has there been much of a change in a Finale score? (i.e. the program's output, not how it does it).