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Hey musicians, arrangers and composers – want to maximize your efficiency when working on arrangements, copying and transcriptions. There’s a really phenomenal program I’ve come across: ScanScore. It is what it says. It scans your scores and exports them to .xml or MIDI. Super handy for wanting a full orchestral score in Sibelius or Finale in a matter of minutes and then you can tweak to your hearts content.

Through the years, I’ve tried numerous scanning programs and even bought a few e.g. Sibelius’ Photoscore; but no matter how clear the pdf was, the result would always turn out as more of a mess than if I had just started the score from scratch and inputted the notes myself. However, I was surprised at how well ScanScore recognized the notation, instrumentation and layout of the staves.

It’s only available for Windows currently, and has a nice user interface that allows you to scan pictures or pdfs. I also linked up my phone and took some pictures of music via their app. Uploaded the pictures and almost instantly, the computer program had uploaded them from the server and I could edit. No need for cables or trouble shooting. Straight from your phone to the program.

For the best results, I found working with pdfs that had been “typed” out from some type of notation program – read well. However, if a pdf was scanned badly or the orientation was not vertically aligned, ScanScore would provide an error message. As most music nowadays is not handwritten, Scanscore can improve efficiency vastly. There’s also a cool feature that you can use before you export your score: you can erase any unwanted words, time signature, names, notes etc.; making your score look as clean as possible before importing it into your notation program or DAW.

Definitely recommend this program and hope you check it out soon!