Music Scanning Software Demystified

Music Scanning Software Demystified

I was asked a question about sheet music scanning I have all kinds of sheet music books and a digital piano I also have a laptop and a scanner Is there any way to get the piano to play back my sheet music Yes there is – but you do need specialist software I use Photoscore Lite that comes with Sibelius Notation Software Photoscore is also included with Sibelius First – the cheaper version of Sibelius The other option is Smartscore X2 Lite which comes with Finale Finale Printmusic also comes with Smartscore Lite – more cost effective than Finale Apart from software you only need standard equipment I have a standard Canon scanner and a Windows 7 laptop I placed sheet music on scanner and opened Photoscore Lite Press ‘Scan Pages’, choose stave height, press Scan After file has scanned, name it, press OK Finish… and scanned page appears You can see the image of the sheet music and the scanned version – ready for editing. Already looks pretty good … Now I need to correct the timing errors highlighted by the red dotted lines The first measure is a ‘pickup bar’ with irregular timing I have added a hidden time signature of 1/8 to first bar (or measure) Now I need to reset the time signature to 6/8 for the second measure (bar) To adjust the time signature, right click where you want to change it and choose time signature The time signature is not hidden for the standard bars Here is another ‘irregular’ bar with 5/8 timing – end of section – repeat the procedure This is another ‘hidden’ time signature – irregular bar (end of section) It is ESSENTIAL to correct all timing errors before exporting to Sibelius … Keep going until all the timing errors are fixed – just takes a few minutes I need to change the barline at the beginning of the second section – right click and choose Barline Choose the correct one with repeat marking (as shown in original music above) Now double-click on the tempo marking to adjust (playing back to make sure it sounds OK before exporting……) Sounds OK – now ready to Send to Sibelius Score opens in Sibelius – can now edit further. I’m adding some articulation markings To export to MIDI choose File->Export from menu then click MIDI … Save … then can be imported into a DAW if desired I am going to import it into Mixcraft Pro Studio 6 by selecting Sound->Add Sound File … MIDI file opens up on 2 Instrument Tracks … you can see the MIDI data displayed (playing to check the sound …) Double-Click on one of the tracks to open the Piano Roll view Can now edit the note data – change the velocity and add/remove notes using mouse clicks Common MIDI editing task: tranpose. Just right-click on track choose MIDI Editing ->Transpose Then just choose number of Semitones to Transpose By (I am raising pitch by 5) Do same for both tracks (Playing back) pitch is raised 5 semitones, tempo is unaffected Once sheet music has been scanned there are many different things you can do with it! If you found this useful please visit our site We write about how to make better music with the help of software and hardware


  1. I just wonder whether you could do a video on scanning music sheet in Finale?!

    I have a worn out score that needs to be "adjusted".

  2. Sooo… if I want a Public Domain piece of music for my video all I would have to do is scan the sheet music? Like I wanna play the intro for Masterpiece Theatre to intro “MacAlister Booke” and I don’t really about the MIDI sound since it’s a parody anyway… no problems (even with YouTube auto detection software)

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