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We love music notation software and related products and technology, so that’s what we cover here. You’ll find timely news, engaging podcasts, in-depth coverage about the field, and honest reviews about products you use every day. Our advice, ranging from quick tips to heady tutorials, will give you a leg up in your important work. You’ll learn about the interesting people in our field and find out our opinions on ever-changing developments in the industry.

Our contributors are experts in the field and knowledgeable about a broad range of topics — and so are our readers. Sometimes you can learn as much on our blog by reading the comments as you can by reading our articles!

Philip Rothman, editor and principal contributor

Philip Rothman is the editor and principal contributor to Scoring Notes. Philip’s a Juilliard-trained composer and orchestrator with two decades of experience preparing quality materials for professional clients in the music industry. Philip’s music preparation firm, NYC Music Services, provides music services to professional clients and has worked on thousands of projects ranging from simple transpositions to large opera productions.

David MacDonald, senior contributor and podcast co-host

David MacDonald currently teaches music composition, theory, and technology at Wichita State University. He has previously taught at University of Central Florida, Full Sail University, Grand Valley State University, and Michigan State University. He has been commissioned by Hastings College Symphonic Band, H2 Quartet, and others. davidmacdonaldmusic.com


Darcy James Argue is a Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based composer and bandleader who has toured nationally and internationally with his 18-piece ensemble, Secret Society, garnering countless awards and nominations and reimagining what a 21st-century big band can sound like. Argue made his mark with his critically acclaimed 2009 debut Infernal Machines. 2013 saw the release of Brooklyn Babylon, which, like Infernal Machines before it, earned the group nominations for both GRAMMY and JUNO Awards. His most recent recording, Real Enemies, released in the fall of 2016, earned a third consecutive GRAMMY nomination.

Ben Byram-Wigfield is a musicologist and publisher, who works under the banner of Ancient Groove Music. Over the last 25 years, he has reintroduced forgotten masterworks to the repertoire, and created editions that challenge accepted thinking. He has a PhD from the Open University, on the sacred music of Antonio Lotti. He sings when asked and conducts when allowed.

Jason Loffredo is a New York City-based musician primarily working in musical theater. He’s worked on many Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Way-Off-Broadway shows as a music director, keyboard player, conductor, arranger or orchestrator. He has also worked as a professional copyist for projects large and small, from film to theater and concerts to publication.

Bob Zawalich is a composer, guitarist, and software designer who lives near Seattle, Washington. He wrote software professionally for over 20 years. After getting a degree in music composition, he got into notation software. He has written more than 400 plug-ins for Sibelius, and has written a number of music notation blog posts. He has a website at bobzawalich.com.

History of Scoring Notes

Scoring Notes started in October 2008 as Sibelius Blog. Daniel Spreadbury started the blog and contributed hundreds of posts to it. Daniel started working at Sibelius in May 1999 in the company’s technical support team and eventually became senior product manager until his departure from Avid in October 2012. During Daniel’s tenure, the blog was a source for news and tips about the scoring program Sibelius. Daniel is now product marketing manager at Steinberg, where he’s worked on its scoring program Dorico since November 2012. He obtained his degree in music from Oxford University, and was one of the two tenor lay clerks in the choir of Ely Cathedral for two years.

Shortly before leaving Avid for Steinberg, Daniel asked Philip to assume responsibility for the blog, which Philip did in November 2012. In time, the blog expanded its scope to cover not just Sibelius, but any music notation products and related technology, and in April 2017 the blog re-launched as Scoring Notes to reflect this change. All of the posts published as Sibelius Blog posts are still available at Scoring Notes.