Non-CWN Music Notation Software

This is a growing list of music notation programs and resources which aren’t specifically Common Western Notations (CWN) programs. Indigenous and hybridized notation programs are becoming more common as regions outside of the West embrace their native art music traditions and the notation systems that evolved alongside them.

Many of the early notation programs relied on OCR, font development, and other creative means to work around colonial CWNs, much as what is being done in critiques of colonialist DAW and other music technologies. This is also a reflection of the mostly bi/polymusical ecosystems found in the often formerly colonized regions where Western music programs co-exist alongside Local art, folk, and pop music programs.

For more information about global music notation systems, please visit the Timeline of Music Notation.

PUBLISHED 8/23/2013; UPDATED 5/23/2022


Armenian Chant

Braille Music

Byzantine Chant

  • BZQ – developed by Panagiotis Katsoulis
  • Byzantina 1.0 – developed by Stefanos Souldatos and Father Ephraim [DEAD LINK]; Byzantina 1.1 available here
  • Byzantinografos 2.0 – developed by Gezerlis G. Velissarios
  • ByZ\LaTeX – developed by Ioannis A. Vamvakas and Panagiotis Kotopoulis; Byzantine music using LaTeX.
  • ByzWriter 2.0 – developed by Dr. Gezerlis G. Velissarios [DEAD LINK]
  • EBYPES – developed by ?; byzantine chant notation typography [DEAD LINK – link farm]
  • “EZ” Byzantine Music Font Package – developed by St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery
  • KA Arvanitis – developed by Trevor Bullock; font styled on neumes in Ioannis Arvanitis’ Akathist book; used in Kassia Byzantine notation program
  • Kassia – developed by Trevor Bullock; to create music written in Byzantine notation. It takes an XML file, parses the neumes and lyrics, and generates a formatted PDF using ReportLab
  • Melodos – developed by Savas Papadopoulos
  • Neanes – developed by Daniel G. Arthur; uses “EZ” Byzantine Music Font Package created by St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery
  • Psaltiki Recognition Toolkit – developed by Christoph Dalitz (primary developer), Georgios K. Michalakis, and Christine Pranzas; Gamera toolkit for optical recognition of byzantine chant notation

China

  • Cipher Music (SIL) keyboard – developed by SIL Language Technology; Indonesian Cipher Music Notation (Kepatihan) and Chinese jiǎnpǔ notation
  • Doulos SIL Cipher – developed by SIL Language Technology; Indonesian Cipher Music Notation (Kepatihan) and Chinese jiǎnpǔ notation
  • Fengya Composer Software (Fēngyǎ Zuòqǔ Dàshī Ruǎnjiàn | 风雅作曲大师软件) – developed by Fengya Software Co.; supports jiǎnpǔ, guqin tablatures, and other chinese notation systems in addition to music production features.
  • Guangling Shenqi – developed by guanglingsan.com; Guqin jianzipu, a form of simplified character notation
  • Jianpu – developed by 0aax; jiǎnpǔ notation
  • Musicxml_to_jianpu – developed by Che-Huai Lin; jiǎnpǔ notation
  • Qin Music Notation Generator – developed by Candy Yiu; combination Chinese characters and other music components
  • S-Music – by A1 Soft; jiǎnpǔ notation
  • Simp Erhu (Simplified Musical Notation Input System) – by ?; jiǎnpǔ notation

India

  • Carnatic Music Notation Typesetter – developed by Arunk; web-based application that allows typesetting sheet music for Carnatic music. It can generate notations in English, and Indic languages: Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada.
  • Carnatic Music Typesetting – developed by GK Palem
  • Carnatika – developed by Vaitheeswaran S B
  • Chanda Player 1.0 – developed by Dharambir Singh Dhadyalla; software to create chandas and change the swaras in different groupings
  • iSargam – developed by Stanly Mammen, Ilango Krishnamurthi, A. Jalaja Varma, and G. Sujatha
  • MIDI Swarlipi – developed by Dev Bali
  • Ome Swarlipi – developed by Dr. Ragini Trivedi
  • SangeetXML – developed by Chandan Misra
  • SwaralipiXML – developed by Chandan Misra, Anupam Basu, Tuhin Chakraborty, and Baidurya Bhattacharya; supports Carnatic and Hindustani systems
  • Swara Player 1.1 – developed by Dharambir Singh Dhadyalla; software to  input swaras in sargam to hear the notations or practise along
  • Vishwamohini Melody Player – developed by Shivraj Sawant

Indonesia

  • Cipher Music (SIL) keyboard – developed by SIL Language Technology; Indonesian Cipher Music Notation (Kepatihan) and Chinese jiǎnpǔ notation
  • DaminatilaFont – developed by Asep Saepudin; used for Sundanese drum notation and gamelan
  • Doulos SIL Cipher – developed by SIL Language Technology; Indonesian Cipher Music Notation (Kepatihan) and Chinese jiǎnpǔ notation
  • KepatihanPro – developed by designed by Matthew Arciniega and formatted by Ray Weisling to allow it to be on the same computer with the earlier font Kepatihan by Carter Scholz; font used for cipher notations
  • Notasi Angka – developed by Danny Salim; number/cipher music notator
  • Parnumation 3.0 – developed by Risky Aswi Ramadhani, Itot Bian Raharjo
  • Pipilan – developed by Charles Matthews; program built in Cycling’ 74 Max for composition involving gamelan and electronics
  • Text Based Chipper Notation for Angklung Music Compositions – developed by Eko Mursito Budi, Asep Suhada, Hermawan K. Dipojono, Andrianto Handojo, and Joko Sarwono

Iran

Japan

Jewish Cantillation

  • Trope Trainer – developed by American Conference of Cantors, Hazzan Solutions, and the Reform Movement; web-based cantillation training software

Thailand

  • Mahori – developed by Kittiphong Meesawat; music notation software into either Thai alphabet or number music notation.

Turkey

  • Mus2 – developed by Utku Uzmen and M. Kemal Karaosmanoğlu
  • Nihavent – developed by Utku Uzmen; early version of Mus2
  • SymbTr – developed by M. Kemal Karaosmanoğlu

Western Chant; Early Modern European

  • Caeciliae – developed by Dr. Paul F. Ford; font designed to assist in the notation of “modern” (square note) notation of Gregorian chant
  • Chanter – developed by Timothy Kozak; music editor that uses Gregorian Chant notation
  • Ciconia 1.8 – developed by Michael Scott Cuthbert; font for 14th and early-15th century music notation
  • GABC – developed by by a monk of the Abbey of Sainte Madeleine du Barroux and has been improved by Élie Roux and by other monks of the same abbey; notation based on ASCII characters enabling creation of Gregorian chant scores
  • GregEdit – developed by Abbaye Notre-Dame de Fontgombault; software for editing and hearing Gregorian chant
  • GregorioTEX – developed by Élie Roux, Olivier Berten, Henry So Jr, Br. Samuel Springuel, Br. Elijah Schwab, Jakub Jelínek, Br. Gabriel-Marie; converts gabc file into a GregorioTEX file; details
  • Grégoire – developed by by a Benedictine monk, for use in his monastery; program for editing partitions for Gregorian chant
  • Illuminare Score Editor – developed by The Gregorio Project; onilne score editor for Gregorian chant
  • Medieval – developed by Robert Piéchaud; Finale plug-in

Znameny Chant

  • Fonts-Znam – developed by Aleksandr Andreev and Nikita Simmons; fonts for typesetting Znamenny and other related Slavic neumatic music notations systems (Demestvenny, Put, Kondakarian)
  • HookUp – Neumatic Editor – developed by ; HTML-based Neumatic Notation Editor

Miscellaneous

  • DigiScore – research project exploring digital scores.
  • Flat – developed by Tutteo; collaborative online music notation platform
  • Grey Larsen Irish Traditional Music Ornamentation Symbols for Lilypond – developed by Bret Pimentel
  • Hellenic Music Notation – developed by Pablo Bellinghausen; A fully-chromatic notation system with emphasis on legibility and the use of Greek naming conventions
  • Hummingbird – developed by Blake West and ?; new type of notation system
  • Impro-Visor – developed by Robert M. (Bob) Keller and others at Harvey Mudd College; allows the easy construction of leadsheets
  • LeadMuse (LM) – developed by Andrei-Lucian Dragoi; uses a numerical musical notation system (NMNS) and a modular periodic bilinear (musical) staff (MPBS) based on the microtonalist Leo de Vries’ “diatonic twinline” musical staff
  • Lilychant – developed by the Nottingham Russian Orthodox Church; Lilypond based software allow to creation of musical scores for Orthodox chants
  • Orarion – developed by Ilya Tolchenov; web-based notation program optimised for writing Orthodox choral chants
  • Nashville – developed by S. Goudie; converts Nashville Number System (NNS) to chords
  • NotesTyper – developed by Alexey Arkhipenko; converts text typing into music
  • Symbolist – developed by R. Gottfried and J. Bresson; library for graphic/symbolic score editing
  • TextMusic app – developed by Supertintin Co., Ltd; for creating numbered music notations like jiǎnpǔ, not angka, and other cipher-numeric music notation systems


Select Bibliography and References

Brown, Silas S. (2000, April). A Representation and Conversion System for Musical Notation. [Dissertation]. St. John’s College. http://ssb22.user.srcf.net/project/dissertation.html.

Hope, Cat, Aaron Wyatt, and Lindsay Vickery. (2015, May 29). The Decibel Score Player – A Digital Tool for Reading Graphic Notation. Proceedings of the TENOR2015 First International Conference on Technologies for Music Notation and Representation. Paris. Abstract: http://tenor2015.tenor-conference.org/program.html; Full Paper: [Academia.com][Researchgate.net]

Kim-Boyle, David. (2018, April). Reframing the Listening Experience Through the Projected Score. Tempo, 72(284): 37-50. DOI: 10.1017/S0040298217001243

Luc Devroye, Luc. (Last Update: 2022, May 4). Music Fonts. Type Design Information Page, Luc Devroye. http://luc.devroye.org/music.html

Jorge Calvo-Zaragoza, Jorge, Jan Hajič Jr., and Alexander Pacha. (2021, July). Understanding Optical Music Recognition. ACM Computing Surveys, 53(4):1–35. DOI: doi.org/10.1145/3397499.

Morris, Robert. (2002, August 1). How Does Using Music Notation Software Affect Your Music? [Online]. NewMusicBox. https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/How-does-using-music-notation-software-affect-your-music-Robert-Morris/.

Saepudin, Asep. (2017). Penciptaan DaminatilaFont untuk Penotasian Kendang dan Gamelan Sunda [Creation of DaminatilaFont for the Musical Notation of Sundanese Kendang and Gamelan]. Resital: Jurnal Seni Pertunjukan (Journal of Performing Arts), 18(1): 53-63. DOI: doi.org/10.24821/resital.v18i1.1714.

Siriporn “Jina” Jinanarong. (2007, Fall). Converting MIDI file to forms of Thai music notation. [Final Presentation]. Introduction to Music Informatics (Informatics I548/Music N560). IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering/Jacobs School of Music. https://homes.luddy.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Teach/I548Site-Fall07/I548AssignmentsPREV.html. <<Syllabus: https://homes.luddy.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Teach/I548Site-Fall07/SyllabusI548PREV.HTML>>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s