I recently worked on a job where I needed to transcribe the Adagio movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata into an arrangement for two guitars. While I love arranging, it can be a slow and time-consuming process notating pieces from scratch, and so I decided to try out the PlayScore 2 app to help me speed my work process up.
Being able to scan sheet music into XML works much more quickly and accurately than if I were to write out a whole piece myself. This means I can then open XML file in MuseScore and start making my own edits to the piece, transpose, change my instruments, and get stuck into the creative side of arranging and all the good stuff straight away.
I had the traditional piano score saved on my phone as a PDF, and decided I would use this option for scanning rather than taking photos of sheet music in the PlayScore 2 app. Getting to my PDF was super easy because as soon as I opened PlayScore 2, I just tapped the “Import sheet music or a PlayScore document” icon on the app home screen.
PlayScore 2 also lets you access a PDF from a website URL. If you are viewing a PDF on a web page you can click the share button and then select the ‘Copy to PlayScore 2’ app from your device’s options. This will let you open a PDF in exactly the same way as importing from your files.
The PlayScore 2 app then opened my PDF in the page selection screen, which asks you to highlight what pages you want to include by tapping the blue marker lines. My PDF score was the full piano version of Moonlight Sonata that consisted of 14 pages of music. I had upgraded my PlayScore 2 subscription from the free version, which meant that I could work with more than one page of sheet music and had the entire Sonata in front of me in the app. The free version of PlayScore 2 is still great and has lots of usable features available for one page, but it made sense to have the full upgraded version for what I wanted to do.
If like me, you’re using PlayScore 2 on a phone, you will need to scroll left on the blue thumbnails at the top to see past the first two pages of your PDF, but this looks a lot clearer when viewed on a larger tablet screen, which I’ve included to show the difference. As I was going to be arranging the Adagio movement of the piece only, I selected pages 1, 2 and 3 by tapping the blue indicator markers at the top of the app for page 1 (the start) and page 3 (the last page I needed).
I was seriously impressed with how easy it was using PlayScore 2 to scan sheet music into XML. The app worked so quickly and precisely that I had my score saved in a matter of minutes, eliminating so much time and effort that I previously would have spent transcribing the piece.