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Topic: Scanning sheet music

  1. #1

    Scanning sheet music

    I just recently bought a scanner, and I\'d like to put it to use for more than just scanning pictures. I\'ve heard there are several decent programs that will let you scan a sheet of music and it will convert it into a Finale, Sibelius or Overture format file. I\'d be very interested in such a program for Sibelius. Are there any? Which is best? Perhaps I need to use the one for finale for optimal results?


  2. #2

    Re: Scanning sheet music

    Hi Thomas,

    Here is an article about Sibelius and music scanning: http://www.sibelius.com/index.cgi?mainpage=http%3A//www.sibelius.com/magazine/may2001/tips.html

    I hope it is of some help.

    Best regards

  3. #3

    Re: Scanning sheet music

    The free scanning software that comes with Sibelius and Finale is pretty much worthless. Sibelius comes with PhotoScore Lite and Finale comes with an old version of MidiScan. The two programs are roughly equal. Neither of them can recognize more than one rhythm at a given point in a measure (referred to as voices or layers). By comparison, the two grown up versions of these programs, PhotoScore and SmartScore, are the two best music scanning programs on the planet. Sibelius can import PhotoScore files, and Finale can import SmartScore files.

    Since you already have Sibelius, it would probably be best for you to try out the demo of PhotoScore. For people who don\'t own a notation program, it is better to go with Finale and SmartScore, as Finale is simply considered by most to be the best notation program. SmartScore and PhotoScore seem to rate just about equally well.

  4. #4

    Re: Scanning sheet music

    Thank you very much guys, for helpful information! I have looked into both alternatives, and seeing they perform pretty much equally well, I ended up ordering Photoscore for Sibelius. Does any of you have personal experience with this piece of software? or Smartscore?


  5. #5

    Re: Scanning sheet music

    I don\'t pretend that I have tried all the available Optical Musical Recognition (OMR) programs, but I have tried a few, and came to different conclusions.

    I have not tried Photoscore, but I have tried the demos of the Musitek programs <http://www.musitek.com/> including Smartscore, and I did\'t like them that much. Even the top of the line program \"SmartScore\" is not all that accurate, and the version I tried wouldn\'t recognise triplets (a real pain).

    The BEST value is UNDOUBTEDLY Sharpeye from


    which is amazingly accurate. Version 1 is only $US50, and its built-in editing tools to correct scanning errors are good. Version 2 is a little more expensive, but is supposed to be even better.

    It does have a few drawbacks. It does not recognise dynamics or ornaments. Other than its own storage format, it only saves the interpreted score in midi or NIFF (Notation Interchange File format).

    Not many notation programs read NIFF, but an increasing number do.

    If you wish to use the results of a Sharpeye scan in another notation program, then Sharpeye can save midis as type 1 with voices on separate channels. Many notation programs can make reasonable sense of this type of imported midi, unlike the old midi type 0.

    Other OMR programs are mentioned on the main OMR page at:

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