NAMM 2019: Wrap-up


Note: This past week, we’ve published posts from the 2019 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. It’s a huge exhibition, so we focused on what we do best: covering the field of music notation software and related technology. Follow all of our NAMM 2019 coverage at Scoring Notes.

In this post, we summarize all of our coverage of the show.

The 2019 NAMM Show is over, and we had more news coverage, interviews, photos, and videos than ever. Whether you missed any posts from the past few days or just want to relive the excitement, here’s a wrap-up of all our activity from sunny Anaheim, California.

Before we go on, just a quick request…

I hope you love reading Scoring Notes as much as I loved writing all these news posts from NAMM. That’s not all — we’ve got a fabulous team of contributors that make this the go-to site for reviews, tips, tutorials, and expert opinions about our field.

If Scoring Notes is worthwhile to you, please consider donating to support it! You can even set up a monthly donation — a name-your-own-price subscription to Scoring Notes, if you like.

Thank you! On with the (NAMM) Show!


Getting started

The hub of activity, of course, was the Anaheim Convention Center.

We kicked off the weekend right with the first ever Scoring Notes NAMM Happy Hour. It surely won’t be the last!

Sibelius 2019.1

Out of the gate on the first day of NAMM 2019, Avid released Sibelius 2019.1, the latest update to Sibelius, with the introduction of a Review Mode which locks the score to prevent unintended editing. The release also replaced the Avid Application Manager with the new Avid Link app.

I later met with Avid’s Sam Butler and stopped by the Avid booth, where a Sibelius presentation was underway.

Talking shop with MakeMusic

MakeMusic has had a presence at NAMM for many years. As the sun set on the first day of the 2019 NAMM show, I had an opportunity to meet with Mark Adler, MakeMusic’s director of production, and Jonathan Tschiggfrie, product manager of audio and notation, to talk about the show, Finale v26, and more.


Finale was featured at the Alfred booth, along with MakeMusic’s other products, SmartMusic, and the Garritan libraries.

Noteflight, the web-based music notation editor and marketplace

Onwards to visit with with John Mlynczak, managing director of Noteflight, the web-based music notation software that allows musicians to create, share, teach, sell, and purchase music. Noteflight was present at NAMM at the booth of its parent company, Hal Leonard.

John gave us an overview of Noteflight…


…and also showed off its editing and layout features.

GVIDO 2.0 software update

The GVIDO music reader was on full display at NAMM, showing off its recent 2.0 software update. I spoke with GVIDO representatives Eric Hladilek and Clint Teling Kao to talk through the update and explore how GVIDO is evolving in the market.


A “Notion” of music with the 6.5 update and more

Notion, the flagship notation software of PreSonus, has enjoyed a loyal following for years, especially since it sports features and elements that some other products don’t have. Chief among them is a product — and file format — that is designed for both the desktop and iOS.

On the heels of its 6.5 update, I interviewed PreSonus’s chief operating officer Jim Boitnott, who was at the helm of Notion for nearly a decade before the PreSonus acquisition. We talked about the history of Notion, the product’s evolution, and the latest Notion developments — including a “notion” of things to come later this year. Notion product manager Chris Swaffer also discussed Notion with me in advance of NAMM.

Full speed ahead with Dorico

No doubt it’s been a busy and productive year for Dorico, with major updates to the pro-level product and the introduction of Dorico Elements for emerging users. I visited with Steinberg’s product marketing manager Daniel Spreadbury and product specialist John Barron to talk about Dorico’s past, present, and future, after a busy year of major updates and rapid progress in the software.

Throughout the entire show, Daniel and John were busy giving Dorico demonstrations and presentations to assembled crowds at the Steinberg/Yamaha base camp at the Marriott hotel. Alas, I was unable to clone myself to see one of their presentations, but I did manage to snap this shot of a Dorico workstation ready for action.

W3C Music Notation Community Group meeting

Everyone I spoke with at NAMM in the world of music notation software and related technology mentioned how important open standards were to their work — particularly MusicXML. At the 2019 NAMM Show, the W3 Music Notation Community Group met to discuss the progress made on MusicXML as well as the development of other open standards such as SMuFL and the upcoming MNX format.

The meeting lasted about an hour and you can catch all of it in the video that we recorded (with an audio assist from Dominik Svoboda).

Changes, a music transcription app

I had just enough juice in my battery, and spring in my step, to head back onto the floor and check out Changes, an iPad app that will be launching a public beta shortly. Changes transcribes audio from chorded instruments like guitar or piano and instantly creates lead sheets, which can be customized further on the iPad.

It’s an interesting idea, and founder Maximilian Maksutovic talked me through the app and gave a demonstration.



A quick #NAMMSelfie before heading home:

The 2019 NAMM Show was great. As always, I was amazed by the brains, talent, energy, and passion so clearly evident in everyone our field.

Thanks for coming along!


  1. Peter Roos

    Very cool … thanks Philip.

  2. Will Rhoden

    As a music educator, I really appreciate this blog. I’ve been using Sibelius since version 4, and have been excited to see the new developments in notation software since.

    I really wanted to go to NAMM, but couldn’t really spare the funds this year. Thanks for the in-depth articles!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Will, thanks for following along!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *