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Help to composition/music notation (Read 1006 times)

Offline sashapiano

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Help to composition/music notation
« on: March 05, 2016, 01:40:45 PM »
Hello,

Does anybody know a good, reliable computer program that can transcribe/generate a music sheet out of a music file (mp3). My daughter likes to imporvise and compose and I would like to preserve her music ideas but I only able to put on the notes a small amount of it, as I am myself an amateur piano player. We use to take a camera and record it. Is there an easier and faster way to put it on paper rather then writing down note by note?

Offline virtuoso80

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 04:00:55 PM »
To my knowledge you can't do that with an MP3 yet, you'd at least have to convert it to a MIDI file. Once a midi file, importing it into notation software like Sibelius or Finale will give you a transcription...but it will likely be highly imperfect.

The other option is to play on an electronic keyboard connected to your PC via an audio interface, and then again in Sibelius of Finale every note hit gets recorded on a staff.

Offline marijn1999

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 05:57:19 PM »
Hello,

Does anybody know a good, reliable computer program that can transcribe/generate a music sheet out of a music file (mp3). My daughter likes to imporvise and compose and I would like to preserve her music ideas but I only able to put on the notes a small amount of it, as I am myself an amateur piano player. We use to take a camera and record it. Is there an easier and faster way to put it on paper rather then writing down note by note?

Well, as virtuoso already said, if it's a digital piano you can buy a MIDI cable and connect it from your piano to your computer. Then, a music notation program like Finale or Sibelius can write down what is being played. However, you will still have to make sense of the notated music yourself afterwards because, despite the software's ability to specify the time signature, minimal note duration, etc. it will never write it down exactly as you wish.

If it isn't a digital piano, you unfortunately have to write it down yourself.

BW,
Marijn
Composing and revising old pieces.
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Offline sashapiano

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #3 on: March 06, 2016, 11:04:18 AM »
Thank you very much for the reply! Unfortunately, she plays on the grand piano.

Offline marijn1999

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 11:12:45 AM »
Thank you very much for the reply! Unfortunately, she plays on the grand piano.

Well, then indeed I am very sorry to tell you that there is simply no other way to do it, yet. Maybe you will find someone on this forum who is crazy enough to do it for you.

BW,
Marijn
Composing and revising old pieces.
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Visit my YouTube channel! (https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCR0LNNGEPY002W1UXWkqtSw)

Offline michael_c

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 12:31:44 PM »
Hello,

Does anybody know a good, reliable computer program that can transcribe/generate a music sheet out of a music file (mp3). My daughter likes to imporvise and compose and I would like to preserve her music ideas but I only able to put on the notes a small amount of it, as I am myself an amateur piano player. We use to take a camera and record it. Is there an easier and faster way to put it on paper rather then writing down note by note?
No, at least for the moment, there isn't. The thing is, there is not a simple one-to-one correspondence between a musical performance and a page of music notated in the traditional fashion. You can think of musical notation as a set of instructions for making something (a model aeroplane, a house, whatever), with a performance being one possible version of the thing made by following the instructions. Asking software to produce an intelligible score from a recording of a performance is like asking software to produce valid instructions for building a house from a photo of the house.

Preserve her music as audio recordings and see that she learns how to write music. If you have an audio recording you can listen to it as many times as you like, and there are programs that help with transcribing, for instance Transcribe!. It doesn't do the job for you, but it helps with navigating around the audio file, repeating a chosen section, slowing it down etc. and it can give help with analysing chords to work out what the actual notes are.

Offline xdjuicebox

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #6 on: March 07, 2016, 06:49:51 AM »
Teach her notation! This will accelerate her sight reading as well, you can kill two birds with one stone!

After she's fluent, it honestly shouldn't take that long to get her ideas down on paper. Does your daughter have perfect pitch? If so, even better.
I am trying to become Franz Liszt. Trying. And failing.

Online ted

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 08:25:26 AM »
There is a device called a piano bar, which sits on a piano keyboard and records keypresses. It has 88 little motion sensors which produce results in the form of a midi file. A local piano shop once tried to sell me one, but it was expensive and they wouldn't let me try it at home, so I don't know if it is any good.

The unsolved problem of extracting notes from a wave file is nonetheless intriguing for the reason that certain human brains and ears can do it very quickly and precisely, for example the transcriber John Farrell. I sometimes wonder if some approach, other than fourier analysis and completely different from it, might exist.

Of course, as another poster implies, even if all the pitches are extracted from an improvisation of any complexity, the task of writing even a crude notated approximation is still formidable, as many, if not most, improvised rhythms are not notatable.
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Offline timothy42b

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #8 on: March 07, 2016, 07:54:18 PM »
Add a digital piano to the collection.

She can do her practice on the grand but occasionally record her composition on the keyboard.

As long as it has midi out, the keystrokes can be recorded.  There are many free programs that can do that.   One of the simpler ones is Anvil, a little more full featured is Reaper.  You will have to play with the settings a bit or you get weird rhythms; nobody plays perfectly steady but the programs expect it unless you have quantize turned on.  You'll see a triple dotted quarter followed by a 32cnd tied to the next note, etc., otherwise.
Tim

Offline quantum

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #9 on: March 07, 2016, 08:21:42 PM »
The easiest way is to transcribe the recording and enter it into a notation program manually.  I've tried the MIDI recording method, and it is very messy.  You can easily spend hours trying to decode the jumble of MIDI messages into something that resembles what you intended to write.  It is much faster to use pencil and paper, or to enter the music into the notation program manually.  When you notate a composition yourself that also becomes part of the compositional process, you are not letting a computer make creative choices for you.  Notating a composition is also an excellent way of exercising theoretical knowledge, good practice for your daughter.

Keep recording as you are doing.  
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Offline dcstudio

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 02:28:59 PM »
If it isn't a digital piano, you unfortunately have to write it down yourself.



lol.. now that's old school--you going to take dictation while she improvises?  going to ask her to play it again if you miss something?  that's not really feasible..   many keyboards/workstations have a score function built in--you can record her on the keyboard and you can view the score right on the display

however, if you really want to preserve your daughter's improvisations--why do you want to score them instead of just recording them?   Your daughter's improv may sound great but it also could be next to impossible to notate without some serious know-how.  

I am thinking that this about seeing what she does on paper because you think it looks more "legit" when it's scored.  Unless she is the exception to the rule--which is possible--what she is playing will likely not look very nice on paper. If you are planning on having someone else try to read this music... it likely will not sound the same.  Those computer scores ALWAYS need tweaking... they never do it exactly right.  You still have to fix a lot of stuff and to do that you need some foreknowledge of the rules of standard notation.  Unless she improvises tonally and in perfect rhythm...lol...you will pull your hair out trying to get the computer notation to make sense...or you will end up with something that looks ok on paper--but bears little resemblance to what was played.  You are going to try to run the score function on a live recording??? with no set tempo?  that's a nightmare waiting to happen.

if you really are serious about the notation... hire a pro.   You do not have the skills to do this on your own and I mean that in the nicest way.  :)  

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 06:52:37 PM »
When my daughter was in high school she wrote a song for her class graduation, and asked me to notate it for her.

She gave me the piece of paper.

It had the words on it.  Under each word was scribbled the letter name of the note.  She sat patiently at the piano and sang it while hitting keys until she found the note she wanted, and wrote the letter of that note under the word.

Then we went through it together.  She sang while I figured out the rhythm, measure by measure, and turned it into notes. 

So it was a three step process.  Write a song in your head, turn it into pitches, turn it into rhythms. 
Tim

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Help to composition/music notation
«Reply #12 on: March 08, 2016, 08:30:05 PM »


tim, that would work if it was a song with structure... this is an improvisation by a student... to be notated by an amateur pianist...  I don't think it's possible to notate an accurate score given what I know of early stage improvisation and the lack of tonality and steadiness of tempo it often contains.  I teach jazz...  8)

it also goes against the very idea of improvisation to notate it...  record it.   why would you want to notate it unless you want someone else to play it?   writing it down in no way legitimizes is as music anymore than not notating it excludes it from being music.

if you want to notate something than have her work up a composition with some continuity and structure...   then notate it and have it published.   She can then call herself a composer. :)