Sibelius Photoscore Ultimate

The notion of relaxing on a sun-kissed beach with some manuscript sheets and writing a rhapsody has always appealed to me . . . dream on! The only problem is the amount of work involved writing out the individual parts. Photoscore seeks to get around this labourious task, by reading hand written scores through a scanner and then transferring the information to your computer. Well, that’s the idea anyway. My ‘long hand’ has always had some legibility problems and clarity and clean lines have never been my strong point, which is where I hit a problem with Photoscore. You have to be precise. It won’t read oval notes that have slipped slightly off or over a bar line, marginalising a minim is not a good idea and recognition of triplets seems a particular problem. Not only that, but you have to space your notation very carefully and it’s certainly best to leave writing ‘f’’s and other dynamic directions around the staves to the editing process after the score has been scanned. Give Sibelius their due, the clarity issue is made crystal clear in the instructional leaflet. But it does leave you wondering what Photoscore might make of an original manuscript of Beethoven’s 5th! When it comes to copying standard scores with not too many added markings, Photoscore Ultimate does a good job. And there are obvious benefits on copyright issues, where you can lawfully copy original rather than copyrighted material.  

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