I was approached by Joel Isaakson of the company Doremir Music Research about their latest project, the music notation software ScoreCloud. I decided to give it a try, not expecting anything either negative nor positive, but I was quite excited once I started poking around.
This is not a sponsored post. I am reflecting on my own experience, and am not paid to write this.
ScoreCloud – Music Notation Software
ScoreCloud is a music notation software that notates your music in real-time, based on a “performance” you give. In other words, if you have an idea that you want to notate, you can sing or play (either MIDI or acoustic instrument) into your computer or device and the software will capture your music, notate it, and allow you to manipulate it into a fully-fledged piece.
What is this useful for?
- Learning how to notate your music
- Writing down your musical ideas
- Seeing how different harmonies work, through the overdubbing feature
- Practicing your ear training–have someone sing or play something and have ScoreCloud notate it. Notate it yourself (i.e. take a dictation), and compare your dictation to ScoreCloud’s.
- Other features of the software, eg. easy note input beat-by-beat
How I tested ScoreCloud
Click the link in each step to see the PDF documenting my work. This is a super cheesy I-IV-V-I snippet (“snippet 19”) in C Major.
- Input MIDI via computer keyboard in real time Example 3_1
- Overdubbed MIDI via computer keyboard in real time Example 3_2
- Overdubbed a third time – adding a bass line Example 3_3
- Tested ScoreCloud’s rhythmic dictation skills by overdubbing with a triplet over the barline Example 3_4
- Cleaned things up Example 3_5
- Sang on “ah” and ScoreCloud notated my voice’s pitches and rhythms (second staff from bottom) Example 3_6
- Cleaned up my singing and an engraving issue I accidentally created Example 3_7 and Example 3_8
- Engraved (see the next heading)
ScoreCloud’s dictation is pretty good; one has to be pretty in-time and in-tune, but it is easy to correct the mistakes caused by lack of synchronicity once one is in the editor. That is also something worth touching on: the editor is very easy to use, and although it relies heavily on key commands, it makes it very easy to understand what to press and when/where to do so. It is not difficult at all to use the editing features quickly, without any prior knowledge of the program.
The main features that I would recommend ScoreCloud be used for are transcription, either via MIDI keyboard or audio. I would not use this for engraving unless I needed a quick print-out or were using this for worksheets, ear-training, student projects, or other short-term educational resources. I would, however, export it to XML for use in a more robust engraving tool like Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, etc.
Again, I am not being paid to say any of this; this is my honest assessment: ScoreCloud is a promising software that needs a wider audience, so that it can get the feedback and resources needed to become a household name. I really think that this has the potential to take off, so do download and try it for yourself. It is a great tool for music educators and composers (including songwriters and bands); I think those two groups will get the best experience from it because it helps those who rely on aural skills to bolster their notational skills.
In short: try it out! Let me know your thoughts! Keep composing!
ScoreCloud4’s official press release is below. Again, I am not paid to say any of this.
This covers the FREE VERSION. There is also a PRO version, that features polyphonic audio recording. I may choose to cover the PRO version at a later time, which will be detailed in a separate post.
Try these other tools:
Visit www.scorecloud.com for your for your FREE download of ScoreCloud 4.