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Software for transposing PDF sheet music? #2179540
11/09/13 11:43 AM
11/09/13 11:43 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Does anyone have any experience with software for transposing a score into a different key? I have a piano score that I would like transposed into C minor (it's currently either in C major or A minor), and there's no way I can do it myself. I can scan it to get it in PDF form, but it won't be like a score you purchase at SheetMusicDirect that's already recognized as a musical score. I would want to be able to print it out of course, so I would want a reasonably nice finished product.

A brief look at Amazon brings up Sibelius and a Finale Print Music that are both about $100 (a little bit too expensive for me) and also Finale SongWriter which is more like $40, but I can't tell if it will do want I want.

Any suggestions, comments etc are appreciated!!


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179544
11/09/13 11:51 AM
11/09/13 11:51 AM
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neuralfirings Offline
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MuseScore is the free and open source alternative. You can download a copy here: http://musescore.org/

If you can find a MusicXML file format (or any of these file formats marked for import: http://musescore.org/en/handbook/file-format) of your piece, you can import that into MuseScore. Then select all or just the bars you want, Display > Transpose.


Working on Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata, Mvt 3.
Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179563
11/09/13 12:56 PM
11/09/13 12:56 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Neuralfirings, thanks for this information!

I am pretty certain this score is not available in a MusicXML format (I have the actual score book, and it's sort of old and I couldn't find it online in digital format). I can scan it in myself, but that will only get me a PDF format. I've just been looking around online, and it looks like it's difficult to get a scanned PDF converted to MusicXML. A lot of sites are saying that only PDFs that were made with other music software can be converted to MusicXML, but some of these sites are old. Also, I have Adobe Acrobat Pro, so I can save the score as an XML file, might that be a step to get me there?



Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179581
11/09/13 01:34 PM
11/09/13 01:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
tangleweeds Offline

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tangleweeds  Offline

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Most music scoring software does not include the ability to decode scanned music -- you would have to enter the music yourself before transposing. The main computer apps that read scores are Smart Score (lite version comes with bigger editions of Finale), and PhotoScore (lite version comes with Sibelius). I think there might be another unaffiliated one or two, but I've never used them.

I have Smart Score Piano Edition, which accepts either pdfs or image files (as from a scanner), and converts them to computer scores, which can be transposed, printed, and exported as MIDI or Music XML files. My version (piano edition) cost about $100, and only works for piano music. You can get a full orchestral versions if you want to spend more.


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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179585
11/09/13 01:43 PM
11/09/13 01:43 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Tangleweeds, thanks for posting! So do you think Smart Score works pretty well? Would you recommend it? Any drawbacks to be aware of?


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179602
11/09/13 02:03 PM
11/09/13 02:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
tangleweeds Offline

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Like any sort of OCR, it can get confused and make mistakes, depending on the quality of printing and scanning, etc. But in my experience, the current piano version of SmartScore seems significantly less flaky than the older version of PhotoScore Lite that I got with Sibelius 6, about 4 years ago.

Note that the piano edition *only* does piano. There's a slightly more expensive version which can ingest piano + vocal scores, plus of course the very expensive version which does all.

I find this software useful in conjunction with other amusing apps where I connect my laptop and DP. It's also good for "auditioning" sheet music, to hear what it sounds like before committing to learn it.

It's a piece of software which I really like having, but I enjoy geeking out with laptop and DP. YMMV.


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179608
11/09/13 02:09 PM
11/09/13 02:09 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Tangleweeds, thanks for your comments! I don't sing enough to want to pay for the ability to add a vocal line, and I don't play any other instruments, so I may purchase the piano edition at some point. It sounds like a good resource in a lot of ways.

Also, I wonder if better results can be had by starting with a higher quality scan when making the original PDF. When I make PDFs (for example using a scanner in the library) the default is always 200dpi, and I generally put it up to 300dpi, but you can choose high resolutions.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179618
11/09/13 02:30 PM
11/09/13 02:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
tangleweeds Offline

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My old edition of PhotoScore LIte was very specific about the resolution of scan it wanted relative to the size of the system of staves on paper. SmartScore hasn't complained about the scans I've given it, and my default scan is 300 dpi.

I've currently been getting a few more mistakes than usual with SmartScore this past week, working with a Joplin arrangement was typeset back in the early 1970's, on equipment which looks pretty archaic even for pre-computer era printing. The notes and staves are simultaneously spindly yet also swollen and blurred with extra ink.

I don't find it hard to read, but the computer does. OTOH, given that this is my first non-seamless scanning, it's not bad at all, especially considering that the number of mistakes I'm seeing with this crappy printing is comparable to the average number of mistakes per score in my old 2009 PhotoScore reading clear print.

Last edited by tangleweeds; 11/09/13 02:31 PM.

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179629
11/09/13 03:42 PM
11/09/13 03:42 PM
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Riddler Offline
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FYI, my experience might not be typical, but I found that Smart Score was very tedious and frustrating to use. Even with a clean, high resolution score, I had to do a heckuva lot of editing, note by note, and it was quite time consuming. I ultimately concluded I should have spent a bit more effort evaluating it before I bought it.

Of course, you may be more skillful or patient, so it might work out better for you.

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179630
11/09/13 03:43 PM
11/09/13 03:43 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Bobpickle Offline

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Finale Notepad is Finale's free version of their full product, is pretty easy to use, and can transpose pretty easily.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179634
11/09/13 03:50 PM
11/09/13 03:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,748
Italy
sinophilia Offline

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Personally, I find entering the notes myself in MuseScore to be a very good exercise - but of course it can be time consuming. I only learn short pieces anyway.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: Riddler] #2179637
11/09/13 03:56 PM
11/09/13 03:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
tangleweeds Offline

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tangleweeds  Offline

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Portland, OR
Originally Posted by Riddler
FYI, my experience might not be typical, but I found that Smart Score was very tedious and frustrating to use. Even with a clean, high resolution score, I had to do a heckuva lot of editing, note by note, and it was quite time consuming. I ultimately concluded I should have spent a bit more effort evaluating it before I bought it.


I'm curious how long ago this was, because that would describe my experience with the 2009 version of PhotoScore Lite. When I tried out SmartScore this spring?summer?, I found that it really seemed like a new generation of musical OCR that worked much better than what I had been using before.

I found the previous generation of musical OCR annoying enough that I opted for getting fast at inputting music into Sibelius by hand... got a cute mini-MIDI keyboard and all (very amusing toy).

OTOH, I'd be the first to admit that the music I'd be be likely to be scanning has been pretty simple and straightforward. I'm still more of a late elementary pianist than an early intermediate one.

Last edited by tangleweeds; 11/09/13 04:01 PM. Reason: add link

Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: neuralfirings] #2179643
11/09/13 04:15 PM
11/09/13 04:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 4
Jamaica
C
Carlinton Offline
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Jamaica
MuseScore is very user friendly! The ideal software to use when you are learning transpose or create your own sheet music. I use it with my high school students and it does a great job. laugh

All the best!
Carlinton
http://www.choose-piano-lessons.com/how-to-read-music.html

Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179651
11/09/13 04:27 PM
11/09/13 04:27 PM
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Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Thanks for all the comments everyone. This has been quite the learning experience!

I definitely don't want to have to do any hand-entering, and I'm not interested in learning how to transpose. Or, to be more accurate, I'd love to learn how to transpose, but I don't have time for that right now (seeing as how I am trying to finish my PhD dissertation). So I would definitely want a program that was reliable without my having to do much or any editing. Since a $60-100 software purchase is not in my budget right now, I'll have to wait. Maybe by the time I'm ready to buy, the performance will be even better and the price even lower.

P.S. Bobpickle, from what I've been reading online (and from the Finale Notepad page) it doesn't look like Finale Notepad can work with a scanned PDF (i.e., something that you scan in yourself as opposed to something generated by another music software program). I think you have to have either a Finale file or a MusicXML file, but please correct me if I'm wrong, because if you're right then there's no reason to pay $100 for any of those other programs.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179661
11/09/13 04:46 PM
11/09/13 04:46 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline OP
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In case anyone else is interested, I found this comparison of what the various Finale software packages can do:

http://www.finalemusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2014-Notation-Comparison-.pdf

notepad is definitely not the full version, but it does look like it can do a lot. However, it still looks like you have to have a musicXML file to get started. (Unless you want to pay close to $300).

Hmm... guess I'll go back and look at Smart Score again.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179664
11/09/13 04:55 PM
11/09/13 04:55 PM
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not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Ok, Smart Score has a new version, X2 (new as of Feb 2013), which is available on Amazon for $67. They have a demo -- but! you can't save or print from a scanned PDF using the demo version. however it seems like that should let you determine whether this software will do you what you want it to.

So this might go on my Christmas present list...

Oh, here' the link FYI

http://www.musitek.com/smartscore-piano.html


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179678
11/09/13 05:23 PM
11/09/13 05:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
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Rocky Mountains, USA
EP Offline
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I'm curious if anyone is really bothering to OCR scanned music. I've tried a number of times over the years and never found it to be accurate enough - more work to clean it up than to just enter it with a midi keyboard.

Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179681
11/09/13 05:31 PM
11/09/13 05:31 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Well, I should say that a friend just used Finale to transpose the score for me. I sent it to her as a tiff and she imported that into Finale, and transposed it into two different versions (one up and one down) and as far as I can tell, it's perfect and she didn't do any editing. (Although, full disclosure, I am not at home right now, so I'll have to see when I get to my piano). Now remember, this is the super expensive software, so it may not be relevant for most of us. But the info on the SmartScore website certainly tries to present this (error-free OCRing of musical scores) as what the software does best.

And for me the whole point would be to not have to do any editing. You know, when I OCR a PDF file that's text (unless it's a very old PDF) I generally get a mistake-free document. I don't see why that should be so hard with music, I think it's just a question of how expensive the software is, and as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179685
11/09/13 05:40 PM
11/09/13 05:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
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Rocky Mountains, USA
EP Offline
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So how did you create the tiff? It seems to me that music is a lot more complex than text, because of all the graphic content (symbols, lines, etc.). Perhaps the scanning is the critical step (assuming good clean copy in the first place).
I've tried the "lite" version of OCR that came with Finale (I have the full version of Finale. IRRC the OCR they provide is SmartScore, but maybe it's a less accurate version than if you actually buy the SmartScore.)

Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179690
11/09/13 06:00 PM
11/09/13 06:00 PM
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ShiroKuro Offline OP
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EP, I own Adobe Acrobat Pro, which does a lot more than just the free Acrobat Reader or other programs that can deal with PDFs. the Pro version can make tiffs, jpegs and other file formats. It can also make XML files, so one thing I've been wondering is if an XML file could be imported into a program that can work with musicXML.

I agree, musical notation is more complex than text, but for example, my AA Pro can OCR Japanese, which is more complex than alphabet-based languages.... and obviously, programs that "play" from a musical score recognize the notation...

Wait, I just realized you said you have the full version of Finale, which is what my friend used... Does Finale allow you to scan in a score... although this might not be relevant if you don't have your own scanner... if you have scores you'd like to work with, you might consider seeing if there's a local library where you can scan them in and set the resolution a little higher.

Holy cow, I just looked at Acrobat Pro on Amazon, pretty expensive! I bought the academic version.

Geez, software sure is expensive!! eek


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179696
11/09/13 06:22 PM
11/09/13 06:22 PM
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Rocky Mountains, USA
EP Offline
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OK, I hadn't thought about Japanese and Chinese - they've got to be a whole lot more difficult for OCR than plain old English!

I actually have two scanners that can scan up to 1200 dpi, so I don't think the scanning is the problem. In Finale, you can scan directly into the program, or import tiffs, but it actually calls up the SmartScore lite to do the job.

I've even tried printing out a Finale file, scanning it in, then trying to OCR it back, and it comes out error-prone. Maybe I just need to upgrade my SmartScore. If you communicate with your friend, I'd be curious to know if he/she actually didn't have to do any editing or correcting, and what version of SmartScore they were using. Also, what the dpi of the original scan was.

I'd sure love to be able to make this work, because I have tons of music I'd like to OCR.

I can upgrade to SmartScore Songbook for $99, but have hesitated to do it for fear it still wouldn't work for me. (The Pro edition upgrade is $199, but I think all that does is get you more staves per system.)

I don't have access to Acrobat Pro frown

Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179697
11/09/13 06:30 PM
11/09/13 06:30 PM
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Rocky Mountains, USA
EP Offline
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Actually, these days I've pretty much quit using Finale and have switched to Sibelius 7. I've never tried scanning into it - it uses a different program, called PhotoScore. I'll have to check my install - I think a lite version comes with Sibelius, but I must not have installed it.
I have no clue if it's as good as/better than/worse than SmartScore. I guess I have some homework to do!

Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2179723
11/09/13 07:19 PM
11/09/13 07:19 PM
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dannac Offline
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I use Photoscore Ultimate ... expensive, but works well at reading PDF's.

Though I have never scanned a music page, I always had the PDF file on my computer.

@ShiroKuro
If you want to send me a PDF, I can run it through Photoscore.

Last edited by dannac; 11/09/13 07:53 PM.
Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: tangleweeds] #2179759
11/09/13 08:34 PM
11/09/13 08:34 PM
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Riddler Offline
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Originally Posted by tangleweeds
Originally Posted by Riddler
FYI, my experience might not be typical, but I found that Smart Score was very tedious and frustrating to use. Even with a clean, high resolution score, I had to do a heckuva lot of editing, note by note, and it was quite time consuming. I ultimately concluded I should have spent a bit more effort evaluating it before I bought it.


I'm curious how long ago this was,...


It was August of this year, X2 version.

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: dannac] #2179819
11/09/13 10:51 PM
11/09/13 10:51 PM
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Posts: 4,044
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline OP
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Dannac, thanks so much for the offer!! Actually, I discovered another friend also had Finale, and she transposed it for me. I am just on my way to the piano now to see how it sounds!

Riddler, oh no! That's the version I was looking at!


Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Software for transposing PDF sheet music? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2180066
11/10/13 12:59 PM
11/10/13 12:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 283
El Paso
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Edtek Offline
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El Paso
I have used Sharpeye 2 (Sharpeye page) for years to OCR music. It's very easy to use.

It's $169 (gone up a lot since I bought it in 2003) but worth it if you value your time at all.

You can try it out free for 30 days.


Ed (Out in the West Texas town of El Paso)
Yamaha P255

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