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05 May 2011, 09:55

Free music notation for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X

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Zoom GNU Denemo in action.
GNU Denemo is a free music notation program for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows that allows users to create notations for the text-based LilyPond sheet music printer. Composition, transcription, arrangement and playback functions can be controlled using a keyboard, MIDI keyboard or microphone. Among the new features of version 0.9 are unlimited undo and redo capabilities, a MIDI input feature for chords, MIDI shortcuts, mouse-controlled playback speeds, the support of numerous additional LilyPond functions, an import feature for LilyPond files as well as various composition tools such as components for shuffling notes or reversing or mirroring a selection.

Another new release is version 1.0 of MuseScore, a WYSIWYG music notation tool for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Reportedly, version 1.0 mainly improves the stability of the program which has been in development for eight years and is frequently used in music education. The program can handle projects with an unlimited number of staves and up to four voices per staff. Notes can be input using a mouse, keyboard or MIDI keyboard; scores can be imported from and exported to various formats including MusicXML and MIDI (SMF). MuseScore offers an integrated sequencer and can output scores via the FluidSynth software synthesizer.

A note input concept similar to that of MuseScore, as well as similar features, can be found in NtEd, a program that is only available for Linux and uses the Cairo graphics library for displaying scores. The cross-platform Canorus Qt4 program is still in beta and is currently only recommended for testing.


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