conversion from pdf and import

• Sep 23, 2022 - 10:00

I have been busy with other things for a couple of years, and have probably forgotten my Musescore skills (which were admittedly never particularly strong).

I am now planning to get back into arranging/composing - mostly small-group jazz, and mostly standards but with extensive arrangements and re-harmonizations.

I read here that Musescore 4.0 will feature extensive re-design of the interface, capabilities and command-set, so before starting again from near the bottom of the learning curve, I will probably wait until the 4.0 release before digging in to re-learn Musescore.

Meanwhile, wondering if anyone can suggest a process for using some 3rd party tool with music - optical character recognition to scan music notation (ideally including chord symbols) to generate MusicXML or MIDI or some other format, which can then imported to Musescore (3.x or 4.0), as a time-saving starting point for further corrections and development of custom lead sheets/arrangements in Musescore.

Thanks to forum experts for any advice or guidance....


For importing scores into MuseScore, MusicXML is to be greatly preferred over MIDI:

For PDF conversion into MusicXML using OMR (optical music reader) software...
From within MuseScore, you can use menu item: File->Import PDF to open a web page where you can upload your PDF. This will perform a "one pass" conversion. The OMR used is Audiveris.
More info. about Audiveris:
which is third party open source software which you can download and use its OMR editor yourself to improve upon the "one pass" conversion results of its OMR engine.

Other OMR's are available and can be searched for online.
One thing to be aware of is that a PDF score can originate from a scanned image, or as an export from a scorewriter into PDF format.
Some OMR's produce better results depending on the PDF's source - whether from a scanned image or an export from a scorewriting app.
For example, see PDFtoMusic Pro's caveat in the 5th paragraph here:

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