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Don Taylor

Optical Music Readers

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Has anyone used an "optical music reader" [*] to learn new tunes?

 

If so, which one(s) and how did it work out for you.

 

TIA,

 

Don.

 

[*] An optical music reader is a computer program that reads scanned sheet music and then "plays" the music or generates a Midi or MusicXML file that can be read by other programs. I guess that you would not need one if you can sight read, but for non-readers I think it might be very handy.

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Optical Music Recognition is the musical analog to Optical character recognition.

 

I played around with programs that purport to do this one rainy day about a year ago. I can't remember which particular program I persisted with but it remained installed on my PC only for that day. Whatever settings I tried on my scanner, I couldn't get the thing to identify anything useful, apart from odd phrases despite the blurb saying how it could separate multiple staves into separate midi voices and identify all sorts of notes and symbols. I had hope of transcribing old manuscripts and using it to find nice tunes to learn out of piles of sheet music.

 

Here is a page of such programs, I think some are shareware. http://www.music-notation.info/en/compmus/omr.html

 

Aim for a rainy day when you don't mind wasting time on fruitless but interesting work.

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Hi Don

 

Never heard of something like that, although I use something that does the opposite. It converts MIDI to a readable music format on the screen and prints. Limited in it's capability, but serves the purpose and it's free.

http://www.notation.com/DownloadNotationPlayer.htm

 

Now if I could find something to convert MIDI to abc easily, that would be cool too.

 

Thanks

Leo

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I guess that you would not need one if you can sight read, but for non-readers I think it might be very handy.

Even handier (and probably easier in the long run), learn to sight read. Why let the computer have all the fun?

 

--------------------------

 

Edited to add:

 

See this new post if you don't believe me.

 

--------------------------

 

Now if I could find something to convert MIDI to abc easily, that would be cool too.

Have a look here. I don't know how well they comply with your requirement of "easily," but if there's anything listed you haven't seen, it might be worth a look.

Edited by David Barnert

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I've tried several programs but none of them performed very well. Curiously, I found many of them made a better job of converting scruffy handwritten music than properly printed scores. None of them were anywhere near accurate enough for me to want to purchase.

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I guess that you would not need one if you can sight read, but for non-readers I think it might be very handy.

Even handier (and probably easier in the long run), learn to sight read. Why let the computer have all the fun?

 

--------------------------

 

Edited to add:

 

See this new post if you don't believe me.

 

--------------------------

 

 

 

Not really, since that guy could already sight read.

 

My situation is that I don't read music at all, I am going to try to learn but in the meantime I would like to know how some of the tunes in the various tutorials sound.

 

I doubt that I would be motivated to learn the concertina if a pre-requisite is to be able to sight read.

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Has anyone used an "optical music reader" [*] to learn new tunes?

 

If so, which one(s) and how did it work out for you.

 

TIA,

 

Don.

 

[*] An optical music reader is a computer program that reads scanned sheet music and then "plays" the music or generates a Midi or MusicXML file that can be read by other programs. I guess that you would not need one if you can sight read, but for non-readers I think it might be very handy.

 

Rather than printed score, you can get ABC format of most any tune these days. There are many quality ABC format programs out there, most are free. On my Mac I use BarFly, which will take in ABC files and play them or output printed music. On Windows I've heard of folks using ABC Navigator and being pleased with the results. Not sure about Linux or others.

 

I've played with OMR a few times but have never had much luck with the free programs. If you want to give it a go try OMeR.

 

--jeff

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I doubt that I would be motivated to learn the concertina if a pre-requisite is to be able to sight read.

There are no prerequisites. You can play by your own rules, as long as they're realistic. But as you may have gathered from many of the posts here, including mine, if you want printed music to be a part of your concertina playing experience, expecting a computer to play it for you is not going to be as easy as you had hoped. Perhaps learning to read music won't be as difficult as you had feared.

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I doubt that I would be motivated to learn the concertina if a pre-requisite is to be able to sight read.

 

I need to start this with a disclaimer that I'm not any authority on concertina playing. However, I do have a degree in Music Ed .... so, if anyone is going to spend any time learning an instrument, it doesn't make sense to me to reinvent a musical language when one exists already. To write down an abc and time value system that is different that the common musical one seems conterintuative (geez, did I even spell that right?).

 

Personal opinon ... your resuts may vary.

 

Sight reading is one of the two most desirable skills that any musician can posess. The other would be, "sing me a tune and I can play it." After that, it's all mechanics.

 

David, I'm afraid I'm on you side on this one. :lol:

 

Sincerely,

 

Rod

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.... so, if anyone is going to spend any time learning an instrument, it doesn't make sense to me to reinvent a musical language when one exists already. To write down an abc and time value system that is different that the common musical one seems conterintuative (geez, did I even spell that right?).

I was an early adopter of abc and continue to use it all the time for the very reasons that this thread makes clear. It was designed to be easily readable by both humans and computers. I can look at a screen of abc notation (ascii text) and hear the tune in my head. I (or you or bufflehead or anyone else) could take that same notation and process it through an abc engine (either on our own computers or on the web, right here at concertina.net in the tune-o-tron section) and produce a sheet of music that can be read or a midi file that can be listened to.

 

Oh, and to answer your question, it's "counterintuitive."

Sight reading is one of the two most desirable skills that any musician can posess. The other would be, "sing me a tune and I can play it." After that, it's all mechanics.

 

I couldn't agree more.

David, I'm afraid I'm on you side on this one.

 

Nothing to be afraid of.

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Have a look here. I don't know how well they comply with your requirement of "easily," but if there's anything listed you haven't seen, it might be worth a look.

Hi Dave

 

You're right. I'd say impossible. I couldn't get anything to work at all. Then again it might possibly be the new impossible "Windows Vista" that's impossible. I'll keep looking and possibly find something possible. :blink:

 

By the way, no I hadn't seen that site before. Some nice utilities there, if I could get one to work.

 

Thanks

Leo

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I can sight read adequately, and I can learn a tune by ear (eventually). I don't NEED an optical music reader, but I would like to have one, for two very different purposes:

 

1. Sometimes I have a tune in sheet music form, and I need to arrange it in a different key than it is written in. Generally I type in the ABC and run abc2abc over it. Since in my experience, optical music readers are pretty much useless, as others have reported, this seems to be the most efficient balance between my human abilities and technological tools.

 

2. A fellow with whom I play for my Morris team went blind within the last decade. Music is a big part of his life, and he has a large collection of printed music that is now relatively useless. He is slowly coming to terms with the technology. At this point he can do email, and I can send him a recording or generate MIDI from ABC when I need to teach him a tune. As you can well imagine, he'd love to be able to scan music and convert it to MIDI.

 

But the technology isn't there yet. Someday...

 

David Haimson

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I too could certainly use a system where I scanned in a sheet of music, had the computer transpose it, then printed out the new version. Quite often music I want to play doesn't quite fit the range of my instrument but by moving it up or down slightly it does. At the moment I just move on to something else.

 

Editted to add: So I'm sorry to see everyone thinks the systems are a waste of time.

Edited by Dirge

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I too could certainly use a system where I scanned in a sheet of music, had the computer transpose it, then printed out the new version. Quite often music I want to play doesn't quite fit the range of my instrument but by moving it up or down slightly it does...

 

I don't think the technology is here, alive and working properly, yet. But it's probably only a few years until someone starts to sell them.

 

A technology like that would help me sometimes. I would be able to hear how the tune should really be played; if I haven't heard it been played before.

 

Cheers,

Patrick

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Hi again all people!

 

I just heard from my father that there is a program you can get do to this job.

 

It's called 'Sharpeye.' You might want to google it, and see if you can get hold of the latest version.

I'm sure if you got hold of it, you'd learn how to use it.

 

Best of Luck,

Patrick

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A technology like that would help me sometimes. I would be able to hear how the tune should really be played; if I haven't heard it been played before.

I hope nobody actually expects it to let you "hear how the tune should really be played." At best, it will tell you what the notes sound like, which is a very different thing, and I'm not convinced yet that it can even do that.

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I too could certainly use a system where I scanned in a sheet of music, had the computer transpose it, then printed out the new version. Quite often music I want to play doesn't quite fit the range of my instrument but by moving it up or down slightly it does. At the moment I just move on to something else.

 

Editted to add: So I'm sorry to see everyone thinks the systems are a waste of time.

 

While I've been using it as a practice player for some time, I've just noticed that ABCexplorer 1.3 will transpose sheet music up and down. Of course it stores the music as ABC files. It will also add chords, export scores or midi. Surprise, it will import midi, save it as ABC and generate the score. About the only thing it won't do (I think) is take in scanned sheet music.

 

It's free from http://abc.stalikez.info/abcex.php

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