Brief History Of Music Notation On Computers

I came across this post this morning.

At Scoring Notes, we usually cover the latest products and news about music notation software and related technology. Music engraving, as we all know, dates back well before the computer age. Sometimes, though, it’s easy to forget that the computer-aided portion of the history book spans back a good long time, too. In this article, we’ll summarize that history and explore a few key moments that led us to where we are today in the field.

My first exposure to computer notation was when I used Logic on an Atari ST. My high school jazz band folder had been stolen, and I had to write out a lot of the parts, and decided to try to do it with a computer. It didn’t go so well.

I do have an old Etude book by Dan Higgins from 1982(?) that looks computer notated. I still use that book. I never got to use “Score”, but I did have some exposure to MOTU’s stuff in the 90s, and I think I used Electronic’s Arts’ Deluxe Music Construction Set on something…..

I also remember buying the “Sonata” font for Encore in the 90s (I think 1991/92) for use with Encore. That was when I was working on the II-V-I patterns using an older Mac SE/30. Like I can remember being on page 70 of that, and pasting stuff to new bars, waiting several minutes for it to complete the job, and then having it transpose something, and waiting. Lots of waiting in computers then.

Oh, I DO remember some of the OLD versions of Finale. I know I have disks somewhere for like version 3.5 of Finale, which is like the middle 90s I think. I don’t think I used 2.6.1…….

It’s a good memory lane article…..and interesting to see how the industry evolved.

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