2018: Looking back and ahead


As another year comes to a close, it’s time once again to reflect on the past year on Scoring Notes and in the world of music notation software and related technology — and to look forward to what’s ahead.

Looking back

If you have some downtime over the holidays, catch up on your favorite topics here. Simply type in a term in the search bar to search for it, or, if you’d browse the blog posts by category or by date, head on over to the archives.

There’s also our RSS feed which lists every post by date, with the most recent date first — there were more than 80 posts in 2018 alone!

Highlights included the major updates of all the leading commercial desktop scoring programs:

Significantly enhancing playback for all three programs is NotePerfomer; the 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 releases of that third-party product were major developments, especially since they extended support to Finale and Dorico for the first time this year.

Darcy James Argue’s “DJA’s Notes” served up practical advice in a series of posts, and David MacDonald’s score preparation and production checklist is a must-read for anyone creating notated music. Jeremy Levy and Jon Burr shared their Finale workflow tips using Keyboard Maestro and FinaleScript, while Marc Sabat and Thomas Nicholson demonstrated Dorico’s microtonal capabilities. Bob Zawalich continued to produce amazing Sibelius plug-ins in many areas and write them up for us.

Indeed, in 2018, Scoring Notes published more posts than ever by our contributing writers, whose expertise and advice is critical in bringing you objective reviews, news, tips, tutorials, and opinions that you’ve come to rely on. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who writes for Scoring Notes, with special recognition for the Dorico experts Anders Brevik Gleditsch, Florian Kretlow, Claude Lapalme, Andrew Noah Cap, Ian Partridge, and Alexander Plötz, without whom the 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2 reviews would not have been possible.

Looking ahead

We already have several new posts by our contributors queued up for early 2019, including Dorico tips from Dan Kreider, a comparison review of the leading iPad music reader apps by David MacDonald, Sibelius tips and plug-in tutorials by Bob Zawalich, a comprehensive overview of MuseScore 3.0 (just released on Dec. 24) by Marc Sabatella, and much more.

In January 2019 I’ll once again be at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, bringing you near-real-time coverage of the goings-on from our perspective. In the meantime, refresh your memory of what we covered at the 2018 NAMM Show.

Of course, we’ll stay on top of all the updates and upgrades for all of the major notation software products along with our expert reviews.

Support Scoring Notes

Scoring Notes receives some advertising and affiliate income which helps defray our expenses — please do patronize our advertisers. The blog is mostly a labor of love, though, because we’re passionate about music notation, tech, and the field as a whole. Here are some ways you can help support it.

If you like Scoring Notes and want to donate to continue to support our efforts, please click the Donate button on the right side of this or any page.

Or, if you ever shop at Amazon, head over here before you make your purchases, click on the Available at Amazon page on the right side of this or any page, and click through to the site. Scoring Notes will receive a commission of the sale at no extra cost to you. It’s not too late to get year-end deals on the products I most often use and recommend.

A reminder to not put off that new year’s resolution any more and backup your data for real. From now until January 6, 2019, sign up for Backblaze by clicking on this link to get three months credit applied to your Backblaze account, if you’re a new Backblaze customer and you purchase a Personal backup license. Check out more here.

And don’t forget the free resources available to you from our NYC Music Services site, like the Norfolk fonts and the brand new Pori chord fonts for Sibelius, and Abraham Lee’s time-saving PDF batch utilities. If you find those useful, there’s an opportunity to donate over at the NYCMS site.

Thank you

More than anything, what’s most important is your comments, thoughts, and ideas about our posts. The Scoring Notes community is knowledgeable and engaging thanks to you — I look forward to bringing you more coverage and content in what should surely be a very exciting year ahead.

Thank you! Whether you occasionally stumble upon a post from time to time, or faithfully read every last post, you are welcome here anytime. Please make yourself at home, and visit as often as you like.

Very best wishes for a happy new year! See you in 2019!


  1. PaoloT

    You are welcome, and thank you for the great information you provide!

  2. bob zawalich

    Thanks for all the useful reviews and information you provide, and also the PDF tools and fonts that make our lives easier.

    It has been an honor to have some of my posts published here.

    Onward to 2019!

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