During my time here at BSWE, I have reviewed such products as mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures, mouthpiece patches, saxophone necks, saxophones, cases, books, etc. Most recently, I was sent information from Bengt Lidgard, CEO of ScoreCloud, to review their product, also called, ScoreCloud.
When I first reviewed the product information and the website, it reminded me of another version of Sibelius or Finale, but after using ScoreCloud, I found it to be quite unique. This product was not specifically designed for the saxophone but I will do my best to explain how saxophonists can take advantage of this software which is currently free to download directly from ScoreCloud’s website.
This software, build over the course of 20 years of research and testing, can best be summed up as a software that can “understand what you play on a musical level.” According to ScoreCloud’s website, ScoreCloud is essentially “Like Google Translate for music.”
The software allows the beginner, professional, teacher, arranger, songwriter, and composer the ability to easily write and arrange music. Unlike other notation software, with ScoreCloud studio, the notation appears automatically when you play without the need for a pre-set or click-track. The editing and arranging tools with this software are intuitive to use and require little to no training.
An added feature with ScoreCloud that I believe many musicians will enjoy is the ability to share music or arrangements you have been working on with other musicians in the cloud.
Also of note, the musician has the ability in ScoreCloud studio to add or edit certain parts of their arrangement which will be visible to recipients reading your composition on multiple devices and platforms.
I would say ScoreCloud differentiates itself from just another notation software by giving the musician the ability to play or sing notes into the program on their desktop or by using the app with much ease. When I first downloaded the app, I decided to play a couple lines of Hank Mobley’s solo on Ecaroh to see how accurate the ScoreCloud application was in notating what I played. I found the application to be fairly accurate but realized the faster I played thru Hank Mobley’s Ecaroh solo, the less and less accurate ScoreCloud was at notating what I was playing.
This made me realize that playing licks or melodies slowly was the best way to increase ScoreCloud’s accuracy and that playing a Michael Brecker solo thru ScoreCloud was not going to lead to a perfectly transcribed solo. My suggestion when using this application is to play slowly, keep a steady tempo, and most importantly do not change the rhythm sporadically for more accurate results.
I found editing music to be fairly easy and quite intuitive, but the functions to choose from were quite simplistic if you wanted to add additional notation for the articulation or add other musical elements to the piece of music
ScoreCloud is constantly being improved and modified based on musician’s feedback from using the application. From my experience so far, this is a great app for any musician who wants to play around with some of their own musical ideas as well as use the application as a way to transcribe phrases from your favorite musicians. Please check out the website as well as the YouTube and CNN story on ScoreCloud which will give you an even better understanding of what the creators of ScoreCloud are looking to accomplish now and what they are planning to add to the application in the future.
- http://scorecloud.com (this is where you can find helpful documentation and videos)