Finale style note input

• Sep 17, 2009 - 13:45

Hello, been using MS for some time now and am impressed at the potential that this program has. Thumbs up to the developers!

At this time, most of my work is done on Finale 2009 and the feature that I can't live without is the speedy entry tool which allows me to enter all the notes I need in a simple and quick manner.I have my right hand on the D-pad and my left on numbers 1-5 and with this, note entry is very quick and efficient.

I am wondering if it is possible to add a similar functionality to MuseScore.

If the developers are not familiar with Finale's speedy entry, I can explain in detail how it is done.

Thanks a lot!


In reply to by YKB

You can almost map the behavior if you remap e.g A to 'return' in Preferences -> Shortcuts

Then the sequence is almost the same.

- Select note duration with NumPad
- Press Return to enter a A,
- Move the note with arrows/DPad

Two lasts steps are in reverse order with finale.

I prefer to have a key per note names than finale note entry.

In reply to by [DELETED] 5

Hmmm, that sorta works but I would still prefer to be able to input notes the way I first suggested. For example, with the Finale speedy entry style that I suggested, a one octave scale can be written in around three seconds. (Runs are also greatly simplified.) I imagine that it would take quite a bit longer with the default method because of the inefficiant way the qwerty keyboard is arranged. You constantly have to be skipping from one letter to the next...

In reply to by YKB

Hello from one blue and yellow to another!

I downloaded the video but couldn't get Windows Media Player to show it. Would you consider making an Ogg Theora version of your video?


In reply to by xavierjazz

That is exactly right! There are also several other shortcuts that are very beneficial, these being:

+ = sharp
- = flat
. = dot
"=" = tie

plus many more!

In reply to by xavierjazz

Usually you enter the note with the numbers after indicating where with the cursor . 5 for 1/4 note, 4 for 1/8 note etc. However, if you have already entered in notes, you can add other same value notes on top of them with the Enter key.

Xavier, are you a developer?

In reply to by YKB

Unfortunately, no.

I am a Composer, Educator and Musician.

I have written a book for piano/keyboard players on Afro-Cuban or Salsa music, called "Cookin' with Salsa", available through Jaimie Aebersold's Jazz Aids.

I published this book on an Atari St using QuickScore and the Copyist II. I was able to play the actual studies into Quickscore and then clean them up in Copyist. This was in 1995.

I would like to be able to become a developer, and contribute to this wonderful project, but have no idea where to start. Any ideas?

Are you a developer?


In reply to by YKB

Somewhere on this site there is a comment about contributing - and it suggests that one can contribute by identifying bugs and giving considered (or perhaps not) feedback.

I like the input method your suggest. It seems very easy and quick. Did you post this in the "suggestions" section?

In reply to by xavierjazz

Its interesting to see how other programs work. Maybe some ideas can be useful to enhance MuseScore.
But you should not expect that mscore's current input method will be replaced by the Finale method. I am a developer and i see a lot of problems with this. You should also not expect the implementation of the Finale method as an alternate input method. Its expensive to do and will be a maintanance burden in the future.
Your suggestion has a much higher chance of being implemented if it enhances the current input method instead of replacing it with something completly different.

In reply to by [DELETED] 3

I take by faith what you are saying and agree even if I (with what little experience I have) don't see that as such a big issue to implement an alternate input method.

As to enhancing the already established input method, I'm all for it. That is the beauty of open source software. I think that eventually a hybrid input method can be programed that will be superior to most methods available today.

My whole point is that inputting the notes by pressing corresponding keys on the keyboard is too cumbersome and does not allow for the efficiency that is needed for serious users; it is definitely a deterrent to those seeking to switch from proprietary software. I am a prime example of this but I would like to do my part in minimizing that problem.

Any way I can help just let me know.

In reply to by [DELETED] 3

Very good that Werner engages in this discussion. The computer keyboard input method of MuseScore is from my point of view too much like that in Sibelius. I abandoned score writing in Sibelius mainly due to its poor computer keyboard input. In Igor Engraver you have a better solution for this which also combines the "arrow key" method of Finale.

I've been trying to encourage my students to check out MuseScore, but Note Entry has been a barrier for many of them, since our university has trained them on Finale, and they are used to Finale's speedy entry. It's a huge barrier for me, since I've been using Speedy Entry for 20 years, and can be nowhere near as efficient with the other note entry methods I've tried.

I don't understand enough of the internals to know how hard it would be to implement. However, there is a large user base for whom this would be a truly valuable option.

I would be willing to offer a small bounty for this feature, and I imagine others would as well.


In reply to by maestro_hanson

Can someone explain to me how using the D-pad is so much faster? There's only 2 arrows and many more possible notes. I would think it would take many more button presses. And what about repeated notes? I really like the current input method because it is well laid out, logical, and rapid to use. Just enter the note by letter name--and all are in the left hand, leaving your right hand for the number pad and Right thumb for the D-pad, laft thumb for rests. How could it get any easier? I'm sure everyone has their own preference of exactly how they would like to input notes, but I think it would be a mistake to have 43 options and waste programming time that could be put to add capability the Musescore, expecially when you can define your own shortcuts anyway.

In reply to by MDMilford

I don't get this either. With the exception of school budget issues, can't you just get a cheap midi controller? I find it much faster to play a run on a keyboard along with hitting the duration numbers (a lot of runs have identical durations within them anyway). I don't don't even know how to play the piano, and it takes me no time to enter. Is this strictly a 'use the computer keyboard as a piano keyboard' issue?

In reply to by garcho

Ok so first you use the up and down arrow keys to select where the cursor goes (the cursor is only on either a line or in a space)
Next you select the note duraton to select the note value (like it currently is)
Then you press enter to place the note or space to create a rest, it then moves onto the next spot for a note and you repea the notes

In reply to by maestro_hanson

I assumed you were trying to describe here what speedy entry is, but then realized it's not quite right. Perhaps you were explaining another entry method?

What you describe is one keystroke more than what Finale speedy entry requires... Once you hit the note value, the note is entered. (You don't need to press enter.)

In speedy entry the cursor shows the current pitch (minus accidentals). Move the cursor up or down (or not at all) with the arrow keys. Hit the note value, and the note is entered. You can then modify it with an accidental, dot or tie. Lather, rinse, repeat. Easy.

In reply to by DANewman

I was explaining the NWC method. but had heard from friends that the finale method was the same. The finale method does sound easier for repeating notes although the NWC method is good for repeating values, as the note duration 'stays' like it does now (ie you press it once and it stays pressed until another is selected)

In reply to by garcho

Yes, I can use a MIDI controller, and I have several at home. However, it is a budgetary issue not just for schools, but for students who want to be able to work on music in their dorm rooms. It's also a space issue. Personally, I do a lot of traveling, and I work almost exclusively on a laptop, so it can also be a luggage issue.

But even with a MIDI controller at hand, I will still use speedy entry in Finale for many kinds of music. (Especially transcribing orchestral or choral scores.) Perhaps it is easier for me, a singer, since it corresponds with the way I read music: by interval more than by note name.

I simply have a preference, that seems to be shared by a number of people, for the Finale speedy entry style input. I don't think anyone is advocating for eliminating other entry methods that other people are comfortable with, but we are advocating for adding this as an option.

In reply to by MDMilford

It appears that maestro_hanson has already explained the simplicity of this method below. I just have an added comment or two.

Voice leading rules tend to create lines which are mostly full of stepwise motion. Thus, there are not a lot of extra keystrokes to move the cursor up or down as one goes through most of a score. Even when there are leaps, it is not particularly tedious to hit the arrow three times for a fourth or four for a fifth. Finale has a shortcut for moving an octave. Repeated notes don't even need a note changing keystroke. One merely enters the new note value.

If someone were needing to notate particularly angular music that deliberately jumps around a lot, perhaps they wouldn't choose this entry method.

I have not seen advocacy for 43 different options for input. However, this one method of input has been in place for over 20 years. It's probably the most familiar one for anyone who has been using notation software as long as I have.

There is value to me to add this entry method. I suspect I am not alone in this. I am just pointing out that this entry method would make it more likely that I and a number of other people would be more inclined to abandon Finale in favor of this wonderful open source project.

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