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Topic: Importing a hard copy (Read 3935 times) previous topic - next topic

Importing a hard copy

Hi everybody. I'm a newby to Noteworthy and it appears I may have wasted my money.  My main reason for buying the software was to transpose written tuba, trombone etc band parts to different clefs for my own use.  My understanding is that music programs such as Sibelius allow you to scan a document on to the the software, and then do the clef transpositions, eg bass clef to treble, or vice versa. Noteworthy technical support has informed me that this can't be done on Noteworthy.  I find this hard to believe.  Surely there must be some way that an existing band part can be scanned and converted to a different clef on the software.  Have I assumed too much here considering the low cost of the software? Sorry to ask such a basic question, but I'm a little disappointed to say the least.  I come from a pre-computer age, and my computer skills are fairly basic.  Any help will be very gratefully received. 

Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #1
Hi Euphomate,

Welcome to the forum.

Yes, a printed music sheet can be scanned, imported into NoteWorthy and then transposed if necessary - however, NoteWorthy technical support are correct in that this cannot be done from within the NoteWorthy product.

With Sibelius, a product called Photoscore lite is included. However, this product is the lite version (limited staves, limited read capabilities etc). and so if you want to do a good job, even with Sibelius you will need to buy the proper Neurotron Photoscore product.

Now if you have the proper Photoscore product, you can scan a printed sheet of music, or open a pdf music score and convert it to mxml (music xml). Once you have done this, you can user Nicolas Hatier's convertion program (MXML2NWCC.exe) to convert the score to NoteWorthy format.
Nicolas's program is here :

So using Photoscore and mxml2nwcc.exe, you can achieve what you want to do with NoteWorthy. Like everything, the success you get using this method will depend on how well you can use the products and the quality of the original music (in terms of the quality of the scan / pdf file).

Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #2
I own Sibelius 6 as well as Noteworthy, and have used the included "lite" version of Photoscore with varying degrees of success. Sometimes it gets it spot on right off the bat, sometimes it turns out that it would have been faster to manually input each note! I think the full version of Photoscore would be much more accurate, but I decided it was more worthwhile just to input the notes manually (This is where noteworthy comes in, since it very good at inputting notes rapidly - Sibelius is better for formatting and playback of music).

That said, I think Music OCR (Optical Character Recognition - i.e. scanning in a hard copy to produce a computer copy) is still a developing field. I don't think that today you could find any product that would simply scan the music and then correctly display the music for you most of the time (all depending on how "simple" the music you wanted to scan is, I suppose, but for me, it wasn't worth it most of the time). If you really wanted a program that could scan music to reformat it (such as transpose), you probably could have done better, but Noteworthy can still serve you well here if you need to do any manual input or corrections.

I just thought I might point out that there are other scanning programs that Noteworthy Users use, such as Sharpeye, which may be worth investigating if you were going to buy a dedicated scanning program.


Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #3
I agree with both Richard and Globbilink that the suggested importation job can theoretically be done with Photoscore and MXML2NWCC, but even with Photoscore Ultimate scanning a very clean score there are always quite a few subtle little errors that may take a long time to correct. 

I am the registered user of our choir's copy of Sibelius 6, with "Photoscore Ultimate' included, and occasionally over the last year I've tried the suggested importation method for notating scores in nwc.  Admittedly I'm still a bit of a mug at it but I can't quite get over the nagging thought that (except with very large scores) I'm better off inputting directly to nwc from my midi keyboard.


Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #4
I just thought I might point out that there are other scanning programs that Noteworthy Users use, such as Sharpeye, which may be worth investigating if you were going to buy a dedicated scanning program.

Indeed there is - but it is worth pointing out that Sharpeye version 2 has not been changed since June 2006. Perhaps there are no more changes in their development plan. I do find Photoscore a much better product - but then again, it is more expensive.


Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #5
I do use Sharpeye quite extensively.  It's pretty good with clean scores.  With most of the "not clean" ones I have it takes a fair bit of correction, which I generally do mostly in Sharpeye.  The way it works is pretty idiosyncratic, but once you've got used to it, it's OK.

Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #6
I do this type of scanning/importation/transposition often, using Sharpeye 2, mxml2nwcc.exe and Noteworthy Composer 2.

I also use it for big band charts, which used to take me an average of 30 hours to copy note by note into NWC to create parts.  With Sharpeye, my average time is reduced to around 10 hours.

Sharpeye is US$169, but you can try it out for free for 30 days. That price seems much higher than it used to be.  Go here:

The better the scanned image quality is, the fewer the errors you'll get.  You have to do most of the correcting with the mouse, which I prefer the keyboard, but you get used to it.  Usually it's a matter of going to the marked bars that have timing errors because Sharpeye couldn't recognize a particular note or rest. 

Whatever optical music note recognition program you use, starting with a higher resolution and larger image will reduce the number of errors you will need to correct. 

Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #7
A big thank you to all who responded to my problem.  This IT challenged old dude might have been a bit unrealistic in his expectations of a program so relatively cheap as NWC.  Summer is coming to the southern hemisphere, spring concert commitments are nearly over, the holiday season will kick in, and I might find time to sit and learn the secrets of NWC.  I can feel the migraine coming on already!

Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #8
I too use SHARPEYE2 to convert scanned music to XML, to import into NWC2 (or 2.1)
This has saved me very much time -
BUT if the source is of POOR quality,
it is faster to enter the music note-by-note from the keyboard -
It's each person's own estimate which method will work better.

Adding to the others' comments:
1. For Sharpeye2, I've found scanning  at 300dpi grayscale *.TIF (approx 8MB per A4 page) to give me the best results.

2. Sharpeye2 splits the screen horizontally with the scanned image at the bottom and its conversion at the top. The Sharpeye editor does take getting used to, BUT it is well worth your while to correct all of the errors (which you can find) using its editor, before exporting to XML.
Quite often a really good scan is converted faultlessly.

3. Hatier's "MXML2NWCC.exe" generally does a very good job of the importation to NWC2.
Things do get a bit hectic, if the source has two voices per stave and did not properly obey the rules for up- and down-stems of notes and rests.
First time, second time, .... bars are not recognised (by Sharpeye2 I suspect) and
master repeat signs sometimes land up at the end of a wrong bar.

Warning previously omitted:
Before you can use "MXML2NWCC.exe", you must have Microsoft's .Net installed
(This is mentioned in the "Readme" included with the *.zip file):
Requirements: Microsoft .Net Framework v2.0
(You can get it through Windows Updates,

As far I can remember, .NET Vesion 1.1 was sufficient, which I could see at MS UPDATE
Up to Version 3.5 is fine. .NET 4 probably is complete over-kill.

I hope this is of use.

Re: Importing a hard copy

Reply #9
euphomate - WRT to manual note entry into NWC of poor quality scores keep in mind that not necessarily every single note and character must be entered individually since one can copy and paste repeated sections just as text in a word processor, as well as copying and pasting rhythmically identical harmonies and using the up or down arrows to transpose selected sections to thei harmony parts with individual note edits taking much less time than individual note entry.  I only mention that because you mention being new to NWC and perhaps all music notation software. HTH!