Importing .pdfs

• Mar 15, 2023 - 16:46

Hey - just tried my first. Bach Prelude XXII - a .pdf generated from a Finale ( Ok we all had to start somewhere ! ) piece that I worked on to try and make an original piece of sheet music a bit more legible and easier to play.
It uploaded, was ready in about 10 seconds and downloaded OK.
The result was indeed impressive for a "work in progress" application / add on.
1. A few bars got either dropped or mangled.
2. Some counterpoint bars - 2nd / 3rd voice rests omitted for clarity - confused proceedings.
3. Puked at the last bar.
4. Default tempo went to 120 bpm at playback, but this was easily changed. Might be asking a bit to read the tempo from the original .pdf.
I can send you the original .pdf plus the MuseScore generated one if that would be helpful.
Please let me know of "yes" - otherwise, I hope this feedback helps you refine an already excellent debut.


In reply to by Ozfrog

Importing pdfs is very hit and miss. The AI that is used to convert a picture to music (OMR) is not yet very reliable. You often end up with more work fixing the errors than you would take to enter things from scratch. The online pdf converter used by Musescore is based on Audiveris using default settings. Audiveris is open source and available as a free download from here You may get better results by installing that and playing with the settings or by using a completely different OMR application.

But it would be much more reliable to export from Finale as musicxml and import that into musescore.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Hi Steve,
Yes I acknowledge importing .pdfs is pretty "hit & miss" - Finale seems to make a better fist of it on PCs than on Macs for some reason. It was mainly to see what MuseScore could do with it, and I repeat, I am very impressed.
My main area of work is rewriting dodgy old classical sheet music for teaching purposes - I get the impression that a lack of musicality or laziness went into some of the commercial transcriptions so for want of something better, I'd bite the bullet and fire up Finale, knowing full well I'd be heading into a couple of days of frustration. When I was still a gigging KB player, I'd do my own sheet music for use with MainStage in order to cover as many instruments as possible and keep songs down to less than 2 pages.

My first forays into MuseScore have been auspicious and the quick-fire feedback from those doing the listening & coding is such a welcome change from the deafening silence from MakeMusic. If you've ever looked over the Finale Forum on Facebook, you'll see the continuing frustration from users of all levels and the attempts by willing contributors to help.

PS Did I not see an advertisement that MuseScore was looking for people with transcription experience?



In reply to by Ozfrog

"PS Did I not see an advertisement that MuseScore was looking for people with transcription experience?"

I think you may have seen a post asking for volunteer transcribers for one of the OpenScore transcription projects. These projects take Public Domain scores in PDF format, transcribe the works into MuseScore (currently still using MS 3.6.2), and publish the scores as Public Domain.

Currently the most active OpenScore project is OpenScore String Quartets which already has about 70 quartets transcribed, reviewed and published on
See their group with news posts:
...and the list of targeted string quartets, showing also those "in progress" and "complete":

There is also the OpenScore Lieder Corpus, which was active and funded over 2018-2021. It's a project devoted mainly to solo voice and piano with over 1,350 songs transcribed, reviewed and published on
Group with news posts:
and the list of songs or song cycles:

And then there is the original OpenScore project which targets many well-known works including orchestral and operatic:

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