(Re)learning how to use music notation software

Scoring Notes
Scoring Notes
(Re)learning how to use music notation software

It’s fair to say that the concept of music notation software is easy to understand. You write music on a computer, it shows up on your display, and you print it out. What could be so difficult about that? Well, as we all know, plenty.

Philip Rothman and David MacDonald remember beginning with zero knowledge about programs like Finale, Sibelius, and Dorico, and eventually progressing to the point where we can actually teach those programs to others trying to learn them. Along the way, we’ve discovered and refined approaches to learning that we share with each other, and with you, in the course of our discussion.

We revisit our original discussion on the topic, and add a postscript — what we’ve learned about learning in the intervening years.

No, we won’t be reciting all 892 pages of the Sibelius reference or 1,605 pages of the Dorico manual, but we will relay some key philosophies so that you have more confidence when you work with the software you use to create music.

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  1. Adrian Verkouteren


    When you go through a score pressing the Comment button, do you stop the music at that point and make a note in the comment text or leave the music runnign and then go back and fill in the text for each note?

    1. Philip Rothman

      The music isn’t playing in Sibelius so I’m able to leave a comment and quickly type the text.

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