Converting PDF to MuseScore - results inaccurate.

• Jul 1, 2023 - 04:46

MuseScore reports the conversion as corrupt, with numerous incomplete measure errors, and while the final product has a lot of resemblance to the original, there's a "novel" interpretation of the time of the measures and selection of instrumentation. The original was commercial sheet music that I was hoping to get tabs for, so I'm working on the assumption that it was correct to start with.
Is there anything to be done here, or is this just the state of accuracy for such technology?




You can trying installing Audiveris or other music recognition software on your computer but poor outcome (i.e. no better or quicker than doing it manually) seems to be the norm for free programs judging by MuseScore users postings and by the times I have tried myself..

Yes, optical music recognition (OMR) is not perfect. Maybe some commercial programs do a better job, but they all hardly provide an error-free result. In any case, it depends crucially on the quality of the original. Often there are problems with triplets, with augmentation dots, with accents, and especially with the correct interpretation of transposing instruments. In particular, unrecognized triplets lead to incorrect measure lengths.

If you have a lot of experience with MuseScore, you can make the corrections relatively quickly and may even be a bit faster than writing the score manually.
Personally, I prefer transcribing a score manually and even claim to be faster with it. Yes, it may be slow at first, but in the process you also gain experience using MuseScore and also learn how to rework an incorrectly imported PDF. And even if the import is fine at first glance, you have to compare virtually every measure with the original to be sure everything is correct.

In reply to by HildeK

Yes, agree indeed. OMR is not yet (and may never be) perfect. I do not use it, except for very simple scores and just as a starting point. By the time you adjust all the errors, often you may have well as entered the score itself in Musescore ...though once you get used to it, it can be a pretty quick process. I had no more success with the commercial products (trials only, I did not pay for them). They were slightly better, but imperfect too....I guess it is a very advanced concept for software to solve. Mozart...maybe, Schoenberg...mmm probably will not work!

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