[K12OSN] FOSS music notation and editing software

Tom Poe tompoe at fngi.net
Wed Sep 12 01:46:11 UTC 2007

Tim Born wrote:
> Ah.  Sorry about the brevity.
> If you have ever viewed fonts that have been 'tuned' and properly 
> kerned, you will know they are pleasing to the eye.
> You may not know *why*, but you can tell something about that font is 
> "good".
> In a similar way to a beautifully set type font, Lilypad knows how to 
> set music.
> It knows how *much* better than I do.  The spacing looks "right", not 
> mechanical / mono-spaced.
> Like I said, I'm no musician, but I can appreciate the difference in 
> two versions of the same score. The one set by Lilypad is likely to be 
> better looking than almost any sheet music you buy, unless your 
> publisher has hand-tuned the score.
> The Lilypad site has an essay that explains some of the extreme 
> lengths they go to in order to set the score "correctly":
> http://lilypond.org/web/about/automated-engraving/
> There are also lots of scores out there already set in Lilypad.  Print 
> one up and compare it to something from the music store and see for 
> yourself if it doesn't look better.
> Sorry, I'm not familiar with 'Denomo'.
> I can type, so using Lilypad wasn't hard. Learning to read the notes 
> was the hard part for me ;-) , but that's probably something a music 
> teacher would encourage.
> best,
> -tim
> Christian Einfeldt wrote:
>> hi
>> On 9/11/07, *Tim Born* <k12osn at deltacfax.com 
>> <mailto:k12osn at deltacfax.com>> wrote:
>>     I wouldn't be confused with a musician, but Lilypond typesets really
>>     gorgeous scores.
>> If I'm not mistaken, GNU Denomo is a GUI front end for Lilypond, is 
>> that right?
>>     When I was creating sheet music for my kids I used it.  Not hard, 
>> but
>>     not WYSIWYG either.
>>     But the results are stunning!
>> Good to know.  Why were the results stunning?  Can you say a bit 
>> more?  Anything that will help me "sell" this app to the teacher 
>> would be welcome.
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I have a cheap desktop PC computer loaded with freely available audio 
and video software from Stanford University's Center for Computer 
Research in Music and Acoustics.  One of the applications is called, 
Rosegarden4.  A child can sit and open the application.  She can load a 
midi file, click and listen to the tune.  She could play a tune on her 
kazoo, record it, and play it back as she listens.  She can then click 
on an icon, and bring up the tune as a musical score and change one or 
more of the notes, then play her new tune.  She can also click on an 
icon/menu, and select an instrument of her choice.  She can then listen 
to her tune as a piano, or trumpet, or whatever.  She might want to 
create her own music by entering notes on a blank score, select an 
instrument, and see how it sounds.  Like a typical songwriter, she might 
use a virtual keyboard to pick out notes on that keyboard and see them 
appear in the accompanying scoresheet.  The child can learn to 
read/write music with immediate feedback at play.  When she is happy 
with her tune, she can add other instruments, eventually gaining a 
musical score that has the sound of an orchestra.  Finally, that tune is 
printed using Lilypad, possibly the world's finest and most professional 
musical scoresheet software.

What's interesting to note, I think, is the fact that Rosegarden4 is 
designed and created for the professional.  Professionals demand editing 
software that does remarkable things automagically, to save the 
professional time and effort, and allow them to concentrate on the 
content, the creation, the innovation.  That means, it allows a child to 
point and click and learn how to use the software.  As she progresses, 
she adds new features she discovers, and her expertise level is 
increased.  At some point, she learns enough features to compete with 
her professional colleagues and mentors.  :)

I would encourage anyone to check out 
http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/ for freely available 
audio and video software for their classroom.  I would also recommend 
they make sure their kids get exposed to the Rosegarden4 tutorials.

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