How to Scan Sheet Music into Notion Using ScanScore

In just five simple steps, ScanScore can be used to accurately scan sheet music into the music editing software, Notion. 

In 2013, PreSonus, a music company from the heart of Cajun country in Louisiana, released their music editing software, Notion. They were dissatisfied with the music editing software already out there and its limited capabilities for songwriters and video composers.

They designed their software to be used by all folks but it’s become a favorite among film composers and “radio” musicians because it combines:

  • easy input
  • synchronized video-sound editing
  • top-notch playback functions

But for all it does with its playback and editing options, it’s missing an easy and effective way to scan existing sheet music in for quick editing. And this is where ScanScore comes in.

Here are those five steps to scanning sheet music into Notion using ScanScore.

Step By Step Instructions

#1 Get ScanScore and Notion

The first thing you need to do (if you haven’t already done so) is to get the ScanScore and Notion programs. If you already have them, it’s worthwhile checking you have the updated versions of each program.

Notion is available for Windows and Mac computers as well as Windows and Apple tablets and phones. These apps and programs sync across devices easily for portable use.

At this time, ScanScore is only compatible with Windows computers. There are also app versions available on the Google Play Store and at the App Store for Apple devices.

Note: A QR code is required to use the ScanScore Capture app. You can find this code on your desktop version of ScanScore. 

IMAGE ScanScore how to scan

#2 Scan the physical sheet music

After you’ve downloaded both programs, it’s time to scan your sheet music.

Start by opening up your ScanScore program on your Windows computer. When it’s open, you’ll be presented with three options for scanning your music:

  • Scanner
  • Import from file
  • Scan with the app

The scanner option allows you to use a scanner to capture the image of the sheet music. This is the most accurate way to get a good digital version of the score, but it does require extra hardware.

When using the “Importing from file” method, it’s important to remember that the scan quality you get depends on the quality of the image or PDF you import. This method can be helpful if you already have an image of the music you wish to edit.

Scanning with the app is the most convenient. This method allows you to take a picture on your phone which is then sent straight to the ScanScore computer program. This method has the greatest potential for a poor reading, but if you follow the app’s suggestions it should work just fine.

Pro-tip: To get the best results possible use a clear image/scan. So with this in mind, when you take a picture using the app, have the sheet music well-lit and take the image at an even, parallel angle. 

Image ScanScore editing the sheet music

#3 Edit the misreads

Once you’ve scanned the music, a side-by-side display of the original image and ScanScore’s digital copy will appear. This is one of the most useful features of the program because it allows for a simple and direct comparison of the two. You’ll also see that zooming in on one side, leads the display to simultaneously zoom in on the other side too.

Although we believe ScanScore does a great job, no program can get a perfect scan. So, the next step is to correct any mistakes between the original and digital versions that arose during the scanning process.

ScanScore helps by anticipating where things may have gone wrong and highlighting them in purple and blue for you to check. When you find a misread, drag a box over the incorrect notes and use the intuitive toolbar to correct the problem.

As a final check, you can use ScanScore’s simple MIDI playback to listen to the notes and track them side by side as it plays. This is a great way to catch any little mistakes you may have missed before.

Pro-tip: Saving your file regularly will help prevent you from losing any work if something interrupts your session. Simply click the “Save as” option under the “File” menu to save your work. 

Image ScanScore export to musicXML

#4 Export to MusicXML

Once you’re sure everything matches the original, you need to export your work to a MusicXML file. This file type is accepted by most notation editing programs like Notion.

To do this, go to the left-hand side of the ScanScore interface and select the “export” button. From here you can save and name your file.

Pro-tip: It’s important to save your file under a name you’ll remember. Here’s the useful format we use: “piece_composer_part.” For example: “FugueGminor_JSBach_organ.”

#5 Import into Notion

Now open up the Notion program and follow these quick steps to import your XML into Notion:

  1. Go to the Menu bar and select “File > Import”
  2. Using the browser, select your clearly labeled XML file
  3. Click “Open” and wait for it to do so

Once it’s open, you may need to adjust the layout a bit, but the notes and markings will all be there.

And that’s all there is to it! 

For more help, check out this video describing the basics of using the ScanScore program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can ScanScore read all sheet music? – ScanScore is designed to read standard Western-style notation systems (excluding unique things like Gregorian chant), and it does this very well.

Please note, there are three different ScanScore versions to suit different requirements and these have different payment rates, so make sure you choose the correct one for your needs.

With ScanScore Melody you can read one stave scores. This is the most affordable version.

Using ScanScore Ensemble, you’re able to scan scores with a maximum of four staves. 

Our premium option is ScanScore Professional which can handle up to 32 staves. This is the more expensive option.

Can ScanScore be used to edit sheet music? – To a small degree, but it lacks the power to do the serious editing that Notion can do. ScanScore’s place in the music writing process is providing an easy and accurate scanning program for digitizing physical sheet music.

ScanScore is best used alongside a quality scoring software like Notion.

Conclusion

We hope this has been a helpful introduction to using ScanScore in combination with Notion. Once you’ve practiced the simple steps, the whole process shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

Here are the steps again:

  1. Get ScanScore and Notion
  2. Scan the physical sheet music
  3. Edit the misreads
  4. Export to MusicXML
  5. Import into Notion

And if you have any questions, please go to ScanScore Support.

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