105 episodes

We love music notation software and related products and technology, so that’s what we cover here. You’ll find timely news, in-depth coverage about the field, and honest reviews about products you use every day. You’ll learn about the interesting people in our field and find out our opinions on ever-changing developments in the industry.

Scoring Notes Scoring Notes

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 64 Ratings

We love music notation software and related products and technology, so that’s what we cover here. You’ll find timely news, in-depth coverage about the field, and honest reviews about products you use every day. You’ll learn about the interesting people in our field and find out our opinions on ever-changing developments in the industry.

    Tim Davies takes the macro view

    Tim Davies takes the macro view

    Tim Davies calls himself “really an arranger that fell into orchestrating,” but that barely begins to describe the active and successful musical life that he leads. Born and educated in Australia, now based in Los Angeles, the Grammy-nominated and Annie-winning musician splits his time between orchestrating for features, television, and video games; composing his own scores; and conducting and arranging for orchestras all around the globe.

    Tim’s film and TV credits as lead orchestrator and/or conductor include Frozen and Frozen 2, both Ant-Man movies, The Lego Movie 2, La La Land, Trolls, and The Peanuts Movie. He’s prolific in the world of video games, including God of War, Infamous, Sims, the Resistance and Batman franchises, Spider-man, and Halo: Infinite. He’s a busy conductor in concert halls and other live venues specializing in live to picture scores, and we haven’t even mentioned all the special projects he’s arranged for productions like the BBC Proms and Academy Awards. And if that wasn’t enough, that pair of Grammy nominations were for his own big band recordings, where he not only composed the music, but played the drums, as well.

    Despite his busy schedule, Tim not only finds time to write extensively about his experience and approaches on his web site, timusic.net, but counts it as one of the most important things that he does. The series of articles about the craft of orchestration — complete with illustrated examples — numbers well into the dozens, and explores related subjects like conducting, jazz voicing, and — our favorite — music notation software.

    Philip Rothman and David MacDonald have a wide-ranging conversation with Tim in which all of those topics are explored. We start with Tim’s early days as a student, where he made his own opportunities, and how his initiative and innate musicality combined with a relentless pursuit of practicality — along with a healthy dose of keyboard macros — has served him well as he worked his way to being one of the most sought-after professionals in the business.

    More on Scoring Notes:

    Dave Metzger, part 1: Arranging and orchestrating
    Dave Metzger, part 2: Workflow and tech

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Half Notes: Nicole Jordan confers at the conference

    Half Notes: Nicole Jordan confers at the conference

    We continue our interviews with members of MOLA, An Association of Performance Librarians, at their annual conference in June. We’re calling these brief conversations "Scoring Half Notes"

    In this segment, we revisit with our good friend Nicole Jordan, the principal librarian of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Nicole hosted the 2022 MOLA conference in her capacity in Philadelphia, and by sheer coincidence, she was the host of the last in-person MOLA conference in 2019 when she was principal librarian at the Atlanta Symphony.

    We caught up with Nicole during the closing banquet and look back at both conferences. At the 2022 conference, Nicole delivered a presentation about recording Florence Price’s music. We learn what it was like making that composer’s voice come alive in the course of this very successful project, and  some of the similarities and differences of working with contemporary music composers.

    By the way, you’ll definitely want to listen to our full interview with Nicole from an earlier episode, if you haven’t heard it already, where Nicole quizzes us about our software recommendations and gets our advice for people who are just beginning their technological journey.

    More from Scoring Notes:

    MOLA 2022: Advancements in music notation software
    MOLA 2022 conference wrap-up
    Half Notes: Jane Cross, keeping music files safe
    Half Notes: Mark Fabulich on committing to technology
    Nicole Jordan, Philadelphia Orchestra librarian [encore]

    Half Notes: Mark Fabulich on committing to technology

    Half Notes: Mark Fabulich on committing to technology

    We continue to share some interviews that we did with members of MOLA, An Association of Performance Librarians, at their annual conference in June. We’re calling these brief conversations "Scoring Half Notes".

    In this segment, we talk with Mark Fabulich, an assistant librarian at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mark is the chair of MOLA’s Technology Committee. In that role, he guides its members as they stay on top of the latest digital developments and disseminate that information to the general MOLA membership.

    At the MOLA conference, Mark co-delivered a presentation entitled “(Y)Our Future with Digital Sheet Music” with Georgina Govier, head of music library at the Welsh National Opera, as well as with none other than Scoring Notes podcast co-host David MacDonald. We talk about the content of that presentation, as well as other technologies like Photoshop, spreadsheets, and, of course, music notation software — all of which today’s performance librarian needs to have at their disposal in their modern digital toolbox.

    More from Scoring Notes:

    MOLA 2022: Advancements in music notation software
    MOLA 2022 conference wrap-up
    Half Notes: Jane Cross, keeping music files safe

    • 11 min
    Half Notes: Jane Cross, keeping music files safe

    Half Notes: Jane Cross, keeping music files safe

    For the next few weeks we’ll be sharing some interviews that we did with members of MOLA, An Association of Performance Librarians, at their annual conference in June. We’re calling these brief conversations "Scoring Half Notes".

    In today’s segment, we talk with Jane Cross, a music archivist at the Library of Congress. She’s been in that position nearly three years, and before that, was a librarian with the prestigious United States Marine Band for 22 years; 11 of those as chief librarian.

    At the MOLA conference, Jane delivered a presentation entitled “Bits and Bytes: Managing All Those Digital Music Files”. It’s a topic we turn to from time to time here on Scoring Notes, and we loved catching up with an actual archivist to tell us how to be our best selves in this area. Even if you weren’t present for Jane’s discussion, we’ve included a link to her presentation and a very helpful risk mitigation worksheet. You’ll want to remember the acronym LOCKSS: “Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe”.

    Bits and Bytes: Managing All Those Digital Music Files:

    Digital Preservation in the Performance Library
    Digital Preservation Risk Mitigation Worksheet

    More from Scoring Notes:

    MOLA 2022: Advancements in music notation software
    MOLA 2022 conference wrap-up

    • 15 min
    MOLA 2022: Advancements in music notation software

    MOLA 2022: Advancements in music notation software

    At the 2022 MOLA conference, Philip Rothman and David MacDonald jointly presented a session called “Advancements in Music Notation Software”. It’s a summary of the developments from the past year or so in the world of music notation software and related technology, and we thought it made for a great podcast episode if you’re looking to get caught up on what’s new or just refresh your memory. We took some questions from the audience, too, and put it all together for you here on Scoring Notes.

    Later this month, we’ll release some brief bonus segments featuring conversations we had with our librarian colleagues, so look for those in your Scoring Notes podcast feed.

    More from Scoring Notes:

    MOLA 2022 conference wrap-up
    Measure items in PDFs using Acrobat Reader and Preview
    A review of optical music recognition software
    Scoring Notes Product Guide

    • 48 min
    The scoring expressway

    The scoring expressway

    What happens when you combine custom fonts, fine-tuned engraving settings, and decades of collective music preparation expertise? The Scoring Express templates for Sibelius, Dorico, and Finale.

    Philip Rothman and David MacDonald talk with Joseph Trefler and Leo Nicholson about the creation of new template suites for Finale and Dorico, along with an update to the Sibelius version. We discuss the catalysts for creating professional, easy-to-use solutions for each application, and explore the high-level concepts of using Scoring Express along with the nerdy minutiae.

    More on Scoring Notes: Scoring Express for Dorico and Finale released; Sibelius templates updated

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

BobMarks ,

What a Fabulous Podcast!

As one who began doing “music copying” as a teenager back in the early 1970s, I finally have found like-minded people who combine the pen & ink history and current digital technology into an informative and fascinating discussion. Thank you for giving us this deep-dive into notating music. Every episode is a treasure.

Timothy Rolls ,

Excellent information!

This show has the perfect mix of humor and information. Phillip and David both have a great deal of knowledge of the software they discuss, and always have great suggestions on tricky topics. I highly recommend this to my students.

donahuegraham ,

Great Podcast

Love this show! Always helpful information, great guests, and entertaining too.

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