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Chris Cannam, 2016-01-07 04:26 PM


On Displaying Musical Scores

Use cases

  1. Illustrating recordings by attaching a full publication-style score
    • ...where the score is not intended to be read closely, but rather used as a sort of key-frame reference for navigating the audio
    • ...or where user expects to be able to zoom the score far enough to actually read it properly
  2. Linear rather than page-based score that a user is expected to read, e.g. to play along with, or to check specific notes in a transcription or spectrogram
  3. On-the-fly score display of transcriptions and related annotation layers (score from MIDI)
  4. Score editing for correction (making usually small edits to substantial scores)
  5. Score editing for annotation (generating small scores from scratch)

Sources of score data

  • Score-encoding formats, e.g. MusicXML, MEI
  • PDFs of published scores
  • "Tidy" MIDI files and other cleaned-up annotation data (e.g. chord charts)
  • Untidy output from transcription methods and the like, in MIDI or MIDI-like formats

Possible implementations

  • Integrate code from an existing application (most likely one that is also in C++ using Qt)
    • MuseScore -- most obvious option
    • Rosegarden -- has a notation editor component but is primarily a sequencer (but does have the advantage that I wrote much of it and so know a lot of the code!)
    • Suitable for all use cases, with limitation of requiring score to be available in a digital format
  • Invoke external application to render to PDF or sequence of images, then display PDF/image pages
    • Replaces problem of "integrating score display" with problem of "integrating PDF/image page display"
    • Has advantage of introducing ability to display other PDF material
    • Provides access to non-digital score content
    • Suitable for use case 1; unsuitable for use cases 2, 4, 5; uncertain for use case 3

Examples

Linear

MuseScore

Rosegarden

Paginated

MuseScore

Rosegarden

Imported from an approximate transcription

MuseScore

Rosegarden

musescore-messy.png - MuseScore imports a very rough MIDI transcription 70.8 KB, downloaded 668 times Chris Cannam, 2016-01-07 03:27 PM

musescore-tidy-linear.png - MuseScore displays one of its demo files in linear format 89.2 KB, downloaded 603 times Chris Cannam, 2016-01-07 03:27 PM

rosegarden-messy.png - Rosegarden imports a very rough MIDI transcription 101 KB, downloaded 593 times Chris Cannam, 2016-01-07 03:27 PM

musescore-tidy-paginated.png - MuseScore displays one of its demo files in paginated format 368 KB, downloaded 838 times Chris Cannam, 2016-01-07 03:27 PM

rosegarden-tidy-linear.png - Rosegarden displays one of its demo files in linear format 171 KB, downloaded 612 times Chris Cannam, 2016-01-07 03:27 PM

rosegarden-tidy-paginated.png - Rosegarden displays one of its demo files in paginated format 497 KB, downloaded 656 times Chris Cannam, 2016-01-07 03:27 PM