Music Writing Made Easy with Music Publisher 5

( [email protected] ) May 17, 2004 12:37 PM EDT

Music Publisher 5 is the latest in a succession of products from the UK based company, Braeburn software developers of Noteworthy. The software is the equivalent of a word-processor for writing music which allows you to write and print music scores. It is a competent and easy to use program with all the features that should meet the needs of the most discerning score writer.

The program operates at four “Competence Levels”. Leve1 (Beginner) limits the user to only the basic functions and provides automatic assistance in the form of pop-up toolstips. A tutorial is also available to help new users through a step-by-step process. At the end of the tutorial the user is “promoted” to Level 2 (Standard). This level gives access to all functions but also with plenty of from the program. Levels 3 (Advanced) and 4 ( No tooltips) have reduced amount of assistance with the same functionality of the Standard level.

Music Publisher 5 comes with an easy to follow manual covering the whole product step-by-step. Using just these few, and easily mastered, steps, I can enter my music, line by line.

Notes and barlines can be put in using convenient keyboard shortcuts. There is a lot of fine control available through drop-down menu, right-click menus, and keyboard short cuts, and the whole range of musical expression marks can be added in a similar way such as slurs, ties, accents, beams, symbols, arpeggiando, and trills.

Music Publisher 5 provides a text mode for entering lyrics, titles, credits, and musical instructions. Formatted text can be added anywhere on the page using this mode. Once the musical score is complete, there is an option to hear what was written. The Playback facility is useful for listening for errors which would be much more difficult to spot by looking over the score by eye.

The program comes with optional add-ons including MP Scan 2 which allows you to scan from sheet music into Music Publisher 5, Extra Note Heads which adds circular, square, x-in-circle and triangle note head shapes, Temperaments Module which gives you the option to play back music in four additional temperaments, and Automatic Bar Numbering.

Music Publisher 5 costs about $200 and is available from