What is Optical Music Recognition?

Optical Music Recognition (OMR) is a way for computers to ‘read’ music and turn the information into a format that provides audio playback, editing options, and can be converted into different digital formats.

Optical Music Recognition software was pioneered at MIT in the 1960s when document scanners were first beginning to become available. In the 1980s a Japanese group from Waseda University demonstrated an OMR system connected to a robot that could operate piano keys. Today there is much interest in OMR worldwide as a means of converting the huge amount of music printed since the 17th Century into machine-readable form. The field is still growing, but the aim of Optical Music Recognition software remains the same: to decode and interpret the symbols of music notation from scanned images even faster and more accurately.

PlayScore 2 uses the latest techniques in Optical Music Recognition to read and play all kinds of music straight off the page, and is designed as a practical tool for musicians. The app has an interactive player built in and can be used to listen to any piece of sheet music, act as an accompanist, separate parts and orchestrate using different instruments. PlayScore 2 is the most accurate Optical Music Recognition app and identifies different clefs, key changes and time signatures, as well as many more sheet music markings.

With PlayScore 2’s OMR technology, it is possible to play all kinds of music in the interactive player direct from an image, choose from 18 high quality instruments per staff, and interact with the music within the app. PlayScore 2 takes traditional music scanning to the next level, enabling users to export MIDI and MusicXML with full notation and accurate scoring details like slurs and ties, ornaments, anacruses, tremolo, special symbols and fingering, dynamic markings and articulation, tuplets and beam groupings.

The full notation music recognition techniques in PlayScore 2 mean you can easily export MusicXML to score editors like Finale, Sibelius, Dorico and MuseScore without compromising on speed or accuracy.