Sunday, January 18, 2009

Free Midi-and-Score-Creation Software

It's called MuseScore, and it's open-source, and simple and easy to use. Here's the Wikipedia article about it.

I created this file of one of the chants we will be singing this year:

A Song of Our True Nature

Julian of Norwich

Christ revealed our frailty and our falling, *
our trespasses and our humiliations.
Christ also revealed his blessed power, *
his blessed wisdom and love.
He protects us as tenderly and as sweetly when we are in greatest need; *
he raises us in spirit
and turns everything to glory and joy without ending.
God is the ground and the substance, the very essence of nature; *
God is the true father and mother of natures.
We are all bound to God by nature, *
and we are all bound to God by grace.
And this grace is for all the world, *
because it is our precious mother, Christ.
For this fair nature was prepared by Christ
for the honor and nobility of all, *
and for the joy and bliss of salvation.

Here's the PDF; I had to create this in 4/4, because MuseScore asks for a time sig.; I tried 14/4 first (just counting the number of notes in the first phrase), and it had a nervous breakdown.

One of the members of our Schola is blind, and this will help her (I hope) to learn music that's not readily available on the web.

Anyway, it works like a charm (well, as well as midis ever work, that is).


Alan Veeck said...

Thanks for this article - I am a fan of chant, but just getting started learning.

I subscribe to the devotional monthly "magazine Magnificat (I don't know if you know it), and it has a couple stanzas of chant in the front each month. I thought it would be nice to really chant it, but I don't have access to a piano to give me the melody. How do I transcribe chant into the program? Is it explained somewhere?

Thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's not really explained in detail - at least not that I could find, although there is an online handbook. I just winged it. (Wung it? Not sure!)

Anyway, I'm not sure what you're looking at - I don't know that magazine, no - but this program is very easy for chant. Choose "Score-New"; give it a name; choose "Vocals-Voice"; choose a key signature (choose C, for simplicity). You'll also have to choose a time signature (just 4/4 is probably the easiest), and then you can either click on a note name or put it on the staff yourself.

You'll be able to figure this out fairly quickly; just click the big "N" and then choose a quarter note (which is the one you'll be using most often). This is modern notation we're talking about, BTW, and a 5-line staff; you can't do square notes with this, that I'm aware of.

If you want to hear the sounds as you enter them, click the sound icon. You can "Save as" midi to create a sound file.


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