At the Sounding Edge: Music Notation Software, the Final Installment

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Software

Dave wraps up his discussion of music notation programs with a look at FOMUS and a new one on the horizon, MuseScore.

David Psenicka's FOMUS (FOrmat MUSic) holds a unique position among LilyPond helper applications. In point of fact, FOMUS is much more than another front-end for LilyPond. According to its author, FOMUS has been designed "to facilitate the conversion of raw algorithmic output into readable music notation". FOMUS is a Lisp-based utility that can run in standalone mode or as an integral part of a more general composition program. In this article, I demonstrate FOMUS in both modes.

In essence, FOMUS does only one job, but it does that job very well.

MuseScore is an ambitious project that intends to provide Linux musicians with a true WYSIWYG music notation editor. Development is in its early stages, and the current 0.3 version is considered to be an alpha-stage project. However, MuseScore already is on its way to fulfilling its promise (see Figure 4). Among its more interesting working features, MuseScore supports TrueType fonts for its music symbols and imports and exports MIDI and MusicXML files. It also supports the JACK audio server and provides a hook to the excellent Fluidsynth soundfont synthesizer, for sounding your score without a JACK connection.

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