Features of MusicEase

Below is a list of the main features of the standard version of MusicEase.

  • Durations from doubly dotted whole to 16th notes.
  • Treble, Bass, Alto, Tenor Voice, Drum and Tenor clefs.
  • Multi-level undo.
  • Slurs.
  • Endings and repeats.
  • A number of symbols.
  • Up to 9 lyrics per note.
  • 2 independent voices per staff; unlimited number of notes per voice at any point in time.
  • All time signatures (meters) and all standard keys.
  • Automatic accompaniment creation and style definition using the full functionality of the notational features of MusicEase. Accompaniments can consist of any number of general MIDI instruments including drums. Several sample accompaniment styles are included with MusicEase.
  • Automatic chord name-setting for simple melodies.
  • Support for entering general MIDI drum notes.
  • Interstaff beams, slurs and lines.
  • Tablature notation and automatic conversion from/to standard notation.
  • SongWright file importation.
  • ABC file importation.
  • Grace notes.
  • Automatic system justification.
  • Automatic cast off (redetermination of system breaks).
  • True transposition.
  • Repeat beat and measure signs.
  • Any number of title, lyricist and composer lines.
  • Any page and margin sizes (portrait or landscape orientation).
  • Chords and chord frames (fret diagrams). Chord frames can automatically be added to all chord names. Multiple chord frame dictionaries can be created and loaded at different times for different types of chord frames. Special support for creating Plectrum Banjo and similar styles of printed music.
  • Automatic vertical staff/system justification and page breaking.
  • Pieces can be played as MIDI files using any General MIDI instruments.
  • Pieces can be saved as MIDI files.
  • Figured bass can easily be created.
  • Meters, clefs and keys can be changed within a staff.
  • Braces and brackets.
  • Standard block functions.
  • Numerous shortcut keys.
  • Invisible notes, clefs, meters, staff lines.
  • Mixed single and double stemming on a single staff.
  • Optionally play notes as entered.
  • Import scanned music. This allows you to scan music and then import the scanned image. You can then edit it just as with any other piece. A separate program called the SharpEye Music Reader is required for this as well as a scanner. SharpEye is a shareware program and can be downloaded via the Internet (www.visiv.co.uk) for free to try out.
  • Extra verses.
  • Retrograde or invert a staff within a block.
  • Support for Handbell music: symbols (including Gyro, Damp, Echo, several Martellatos, Mallet Lift, Mallet Roll, Up Arrow, Down Arrow, On Table, Pluck, and Suspend), multiple trills and interstaff lines.
  • Import MusicXML (scanned music) files.
  • Guitar rhythm notes.
  • Error recovery.
  • Two adjacent staves in the same system can be combined into a single staff while conversely, a single staff containing 2 voices can be split into 2 separate staves with the upper voice ending up on the upper staff and the lower voice ending up on the lower staff.
  • Staves notated using single stemmed voicing (or mixed single and double stemmed voicing as found in the SATB hymns of many standard hymnals) can automatically be converted to double stemmed voicing and vice versa.

MusicEase possesses a large amount of music copyist knowledge. It automatically positions music-notational elements correctly for a large number of common music-notational tasks. This allows users to create good looking printed music without having been explicitly trained in the correct way to notate music. MusicEase automatically computes and positions things like stem direction and length, beam slant and position, and accidental, tie, slur, etc, placement. Barlines are automatically inserted according to the meter. Of course, most of these placements can be overridden by the user when unsatisfactory. MusicEase also includes support for the visually-impaired.

MusicEase works much like a word processing program. For instance, pressing the g key enters the G above middle C. Pressing shift-g enters the G an octave above. Pressing the 4 key changes the current duration to a quarter note - every note entered from that point on will be of quarter note duration. Pressing the period key followed by the 2 key changes the current duration to a dotted half. Pressing the Enter key starts a new system. Pressing the Backspace key (Delete on Mac) deletes the previous note/chord/rest. Pressing Backspace at the beginning of a staff appends the current system to the end of the previous. Etc.

Any Windows or Mac fonts/sizes can be used for titles, lyrics, dynamics, chords, etc.

There is no limit to the number of notes in a chord or the number of staves in a system. Staff justification takes lyrics, accidental signs, etc. into account. Generalized tuplets are supported. Cast off redetermines system breaks automatically (slur, ties, lyric prolongation lines, hairpins, etc. are automatically broken as necessary when they cross system boundaries.) A fully reviewed paper describing MusicEase appeared in the June, 1996 issue of IEEE Computer.