February 8, 2011 – Music Scanning Software

Recently, I have been working in Smart Score X Professional to do some scanning of a score that I was given to play at an upcoming festival. Not only was I charged with getting musicians who could play the score, I was also charged with making parts. Although it is not painless, the process of scanning music and creating a copy of it with software has gotten easier than the days of entering a part by hand into Finale or cutting and pasting from the score. Yikes!

The process is pretty streamlined:

  1. Scan using Smart Score X Pro. It allows you to place your score on the scanner bed. It lets you know when it is ready for each new page. I suggest starting with a small number of pages of your score to make sure that it will recognize what you have scanned. I found it easiest to scan a few pages at a time.
  2. Edit the score for basic aspects that were not scanned such as key signature and time signature. (Make sure your palettes are out, or you won’t be able to do this.)
  3. Edit parts in Smart Score that appear highlighted. Usually, it tells you when it had trouble recognizing something. I found this to be a bit time consuming, but worth it once I imported into finale.
  4. Save as Music XML.
  5. Import your Music XML file into Finale. (Combine multiple scan sessions in Finale, if necessary.)
  6. Edit in Finale. The bowings, dynamics, and articulations required some finessing.
  7. Extract Parts. (Then edit them as necessary.)

Now, after all of that, hopefully, you will have parts to use whenever you need them. Now good luckĀ  getting the first violins to play that entire page that’s in fifth position.

I have to say through this whole process, I have learned a lot about using Finale and Smart Score X Pro.

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