Tag Archives: J Simon van der Walt

MuseScore

I’m endebted to J. Simon van der Walt for (inadvertently) alerting me to a free, open source, music score-writing programme entitled MuseScore.  It is intuitive to use for anyone accustomed to the basic commands which feature in most programmes e.g. hitting the space-bar to start/stop playing.

The program saves in its own file format but opens a variety of other file types, including Midi files.

While it’s not Sibelius, it’s not £449.95 either and, in these difficult times, it might be the only way for some to get their foot inside the score-writing software door.

In the spirit of open source, the first thing that happens, upon opening the program, is that you are invited to join the community. The news menu of this is reminiscent of Twitter with many (shortened) urls leading to how to videos such as this one on how to transpose a score.  A quick search for similar videos on YouTube revealed about 1,000 results.

You can download the programme (Windows, Linux or Apple) here.

And, finally, congratulations to Simon on his recent PhD in composition! You can hear some of Simon’s work here.

ScreenToaster 2

Inspired by another Sibelius “how to” video on ScreenToaster by J. Simon van der Walt I decided to re-do my own one, on the subject of converting Sibelius files into PDF files using Open Office. Simon’s contains audio (as opposed to subtitles) and, although I’ve experimented with this, I’ve yet to overcome some technical glitches. The reason for replacing the video was more to do with size and visibility. Choosing “full desktop” resulted in drop-down menus being nearly illegible. It turned out to be better to opt for “rectangular area” and to drag that around the top-left of the screen, where most menu activity takes place. I would recommend rehearsing to check that all dialogue boxes (when saving) will also fall within the rectangular area.