“Playing” with notation software, part 2 of 2

Scoring Notes
“Playing” with notation software, part 2 of 2

There are lots of ways you can manipulate a notation file for playback purposes. Philip Rothman and David MacDonald continue a two-part discussion about playback and music notation software, and share the tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years to make the most of the programs’ capabilities.

We talk about general concepts common to many applications, like score setup with separate staves for playback and notation, and how you can apply these concepts to everything from a Bach cantata to jazz rhythm charts to get music that both looks and sounds its very best. Speaking of rhythm, we drum up a discussion about percussion maps and how they roll, and we apply the concepts of expression and articulation assignments to other instruments. We look at some specific features in each of Dorico, Sibelius, and Finale, and finally wrap it up by visiting StaffPad, which might just be the best of all the options when it comes to marrying the score to the sound in a notation software app.

More from Scoring Notes:

StaffPad demo video: An evening with StaffPad


  1. Peter McAleer

    Oh you two! Loved it. StaffPad sounded great I thought.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Peter! This was a fun one.

  2. Charles Torian

    I really look forward to your podcasts. You and David work well together. Though the length of conversations are sometimes a bit much, the value still remains. One nice feature is the ability to listen while traveling. Saturdays are often spent with a lot of time in the car. The trip is always better when you guys travel with us!
    Thanks –

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Charlie! Glad to come along for the Saturday drive!

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