re-arranging published scores

By | October 6, 2014

The key to rearranging sheet music is to capture it as effortlessly as possible in a form that can then be worked on. Manually entering notes to capella is quick and simple  but there are quicker ways.

Importing Music XML files. These contain the notes, text and the layout. After importing a musicXML file you can expect to have a complete copy in capella ready to work on immediately.

Scanning printed page or importing PDF score files. Both of these require the capella-scan module. A PDF score create directly from another notation program may import with no further work required. A PDF score where the music is a bitmap is potentially the same as scanning your own pages of music. The quality of the score ‘image’ can vary greatly and sometimes a score that looks good to the eye can be difficult to recognize electronically. A good quality page or bit map file will usually require a few minutes editing to correct notes or text.

Importing MIDI files. MIDI files should provide all of the notes but no layout. However there can be problems with MIDI files. Sometimes all of the instruments are on one track which means that capella has to separate them and this may not be 100% accurate as it is done via pitch ranges. Also MIDI is not constrained to normal note durations so capella may need to round note lengths to the nearest fixed note value: crotchet, quaver etc.

Manually entering notes. In our experience the fastest manual method is the type the letters on you PC keyboard. All the note pitches are covered by the letters A to G with the shift key to move octaves. Every time the note duration changes you type a number to change the note length until the next change. For example 4 for crotchets and 8 when they change to quavers. Additional elements such as dottings are punctuation keys, and sharps/flats +/- etc. Speed using these methods is similar to the progress you would expect from typing in pages of text.     You can also play music in via a MIDI keyboard or using you PC mouse click the notes onto the stave or click on an onscreen keyboard. We find this the slowest methods but if your music reading skills are limited you might prefer this method.