improved midi-to-musescore someday?

• Jan 14, 2011 - 19:26

I've added a few more pieces to my page of piano music from the 1920s and 1930s. There are a couple of new James P. Johnson numbers and a new one by Bob Zurke, Hobson Street Blues. Also, I've added background material and supporting links to the Rob Cooper entry. All of the music still uses the Splendid Piano sound font.

I'm still hopeful that Musescore will someday have an improved midi-to-musescore capability so I can publish sheet music as well as audio directly out of Musescore rather than having to rely on Notation Player.

The web site for the music:


Do you mean Musescore-to-MIDI? That's what you'd need in order to publish audio. But a notation-based program like Musescore would never be able to give the same fine level of control as a program that is really designed to edit MIDI and give direct access to the MIDI data.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

No. I meant midi-to-Musescore. Take a look at the first post at node 6707. The audio for the "music" I write comes directly from Musescore, but the corresponding score looks too wierd to be useful. By exporting the Musescore "wierd" score to midi, then importing the midi into a midi editor and printing it, the result is something that closely resembles a conventional score. Look carefully at the Lock and Key I mention in 6707. You will see that when the midi is imported into (the free) Notation Player and printed, a very satisfactory score is obtained. When the midi of this example is imported into Musescore, it's essentially garbage.

In reply to by REdwards

What confused me is that you said you wanted a way to generate audio from MuseScore. Generating audio would normally have nothing to do with MIDI-to-Musescore. If you already have a MIDI file, you don't need MuseScore to generate audio; you can do it directly from the MIDI. So I read the thread you refer to, and I now have better of what you are talking about - but I don't see what it has to do with generating audio from MuseScore. Mostly, I don't understand what you mean by "new style" notation. MuseScore is meant for traditional notation. If you created your score directly in MuseScore using traditional notation, you wouldn't need this conversion to MIDI and then to notation. I'm not ure what advantage you think you are getting by using this "new style" notation, whatever that is, but it sounds to me like that's your problem right there.

It is just a fact of life that no program can perfectly interpret a MIDI file as notation - there simply isn't enough information in the MIDI file to do this reliably. Some programs might happen to guess better in certain cases in other ways, but in anything but the simplest of pieces, it's going to be a pretty hopeless mess no matter how you slice it, because MIDI simply doesn't contain enough information to allow a score to be reconstructed reliably. it would be like taking a newspaper, with all the different columns, headings, pictures, and so forth, reading the stories aloud into a tape recorder, then asking someone else to recreate the full newspaper layout . There's simply no way.

In particular, in the example you posted, the output from Notation Player is terrible too - mistakes in notation galore. It would be completely unacceptable for any sort of publication purpose. Of course, the output from MuseScore is worse still, but the only real advantage the Notation Player output has over MuseScore is that it rounded off some rhythms better. MuseScore is actually rendering the MIDI more *accurately* right now, because it isn't doing as much of tht round-off. The round-off process is called "quantization", and it's a simple enough feature. I believe there are even some quantization options built in to MuseScore already, and playing with them might improve the output. If the options already built in to MuseScore are not sufficient, that would indeed one possible avenue of improvement. But then, you could also simply quantize the MIDI file in any sequencer before importing.

So by playing with whatever quantization options MuseScore has already, and/or doing the quantizing in a MIDI sequencer, you can certainly get MuseScore to create output just as terrible as Notation Player already. But don't fool yourself into thinking that's even 1/10 as good as simply entering standard notation into MuseScore directly. And this still has nothing to do with generating audio from MuseScore that I can see.

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