Whether to use Sibelius or Musescore for "Simplified Notation" capability

• Aug 1, 2012 - 00:03

I've been very interested in this alternative notation system for a while: http://www.simplifiedmusicnotation.org/

However, the website here is only offering a music notation plugin for Sibelius. I'm not even sure if they've heard of musescore. I'm completely stuck on what to do so I'm looking for advice. There's several possibilities:

1. I could purchase Sibelius and grab the plugin.

2. I could keep musescore and try to create my own plugin through the help of the musescore community.

3. I could ask the simplified notation folks to make a musescore plugin.

Option 1 would be the fast, legally-sound, and guaranteed to get me working on this new notation system. However, it would not be as cheap as just keeping Musescore, and I'm worried that Sibelius won't have an interface as intuitiveas that of Musescore. Everyone champions Musescore's interface as "that thing it does really well" and I love being able to modify the shortcuts to fit my needs. Is Sibelius modifiable, too?

Meanwhile, it seems really attractive to just lurk around the musescore community until I can figure out how to make the plugin myself (option 2). I'd save loads of cash and the plugin hardly seems like a dramatic project. I also know there's already similar plugins made for musescore. HOWEVER, I'm not sure if it would be legal. I can't quite figure out definitely what this license agreement implies: http://www.simplifiedmusicnotation.org/licence.doc FWIW: I live in the US and they live in the UK

And finally, I MIGHT save cash and legal trouble by asking the simplified notation folks to make a musescore plugin (option 3), but there's no guarantee they'll do it. It could take months or years before they investigate musescore, develop the product (which could mean hiring developers), and get it licensed.

Thank you all for your help, but lets please not debate the merits of the notation system itself (been there, done that, I've made up my mind).

Be aware that I'm currently leaning towards the Sibelius option if its interface can be as good as Musescore's.


Regarding creating a plugin for MuseScore 1.2, it should be possible to make a plugin to change the notehead of sharp and flat notes, see http://musescore.org/en/project/colorhalfsteps that will color sharp and flat. Changing notehead is possible see http://musescore.org/en/project/shapenotes. Unfortunatly the notehead shapes they use are not really common and Musescore doesn't provide them, moreover it's not possible to change the key signature sign from the plugin framework in MuseScore 1.2. So if you are ok using different noteheads and not having the key signature change, you should be able to have a plugin for MuseScore 1.2.

I will not debate the merits of the notation system itself. But just a remark, Standard Western Notation may have a lot of drawbacks but it's the langua franca between all musicians in the world (music itself being of course on top of that), and Standard Western Notation is free to use, and doesn't have a licence attached (in a Microsoft Word document!). Learning any "simplified" or "alternative" system is nice, like learning anything is nice, but it sounds like learning Klingon or Na'vi instead of Chinese, English or Spanish.

In reply to by [DELETED] 5

I'll refrain from commenting on simplified notation generally (as requested), but that doesn't exclude remarks on the way this particular product is marketed. If one follows the link offered in the original post, the first thing seen is:

“Is your memory letting you down?
- Play in difficult keys right from the start with Simplified Music Notation
- and improve your sight-reading skills in traditional notation”

It frankly angers me that people profit from nonsense that exploits others' gullibility and misperceptions. It is manifest to any musician that someone able to read music at the presumptive level of the examples shown doesn’t forget what sharp and flat symbols look like or what they signify. Further, I'd be interested in precisely how and why practicing sight-reading in simplified notation could be expected to correlate with improvement in sight-reading of traditional notation.

Snake oil by any other name is still snake oil.

In reply to by [DELETED] 5

I looked at this SimplifiedMusicNotation system and website a few years back and had all of the same questions regarding tools that could be capable of printing scores in this format.

Has anyone made any progress on this? I've not gotten a reply from the website owner.

The few pieces that I hand modified myself went really well for me. I understand this format is far from perfect and for some people it doesn't work at all, but I found it really useful. I would really like to be able to take a midi file and print it out using this format.

It doesn't sound like it would be a trivial task to author one of these plugins or it would have likely have been done by now.

If someone knows something, anything, I'm interested in learning more.

In reply to by MikeyB

It looks to me like this website has not been updated in many years. Note that the Sibelius plugin-in is for versions 5 and 6, which have not been available for quite some time. I'm not surprised you haven't heard from them. Good luck.

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