PlayScore 2 –  Full Notation Music Recognition app.  Play all kinds of music direct from an image

NEW! Orchestrate your scores! PlayScore 2 now has 18 high quality instruments per staff to choose from – see ‘Parts, instruments and transposition’  below

Snap music with your camera or import images and PDFs.  PlayScore will play it right back to you, scrolling through the song following bar by bar.

Create Playable Score Documents that anyone can play back using our free reader (built into PlayScore 2)

Export Full Notation MusicXML to score editors like Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore and Dorico, with dynamics, articulation, trills, turns, repeats, slurs etc, even tremolo, not just notes and rests (full spec below)

PlayScore 2 reads and plays all kinds of music straight off the page such as:

Piano, organ, guitar
Solos and Sonatas
Chamber and orchestral

Please note that PlayScore does not support handwritten music, or printed music made to look like handwritten music such as Real Books

Choirs and ensembles – Learning a new piece?  Create a Playable Score, so each member can listen to their part on its own or standing out from the others.

Interact with the music

Change tempo (even while playing)
Tap anywhere to play, or drag with a finger to create a loop
Mute and adjust volume for each staff individually, choose from 18 different instruments
Transpose the whole song or by instrument (transposing instruments)
Or select Auto-transpose and let PlayScore do it for you!

PlayScore 2 makes it easy to create multi-page Playable Scores that anyone can play back:

Go back any time and recapture individual pages
Rearrange or remove pages
Select a page range in a long PDF

Clip and mask to remove unwanted material (eg where one song ends and another begins on the same page)
Adjust recognition system to optimise quality

Organise your Playable Score Documents

The PlayScore 2 Documents screen shows all your playable scores as thumbnails of the music, displayed sorted and searchable by Title and Composer.

How to use PlayScore 2

Getting help

At the bottom of every screen in the centre is a question mark icon ?.  Tap ? to show bubble help for all the controls.  On the camera screen, tap ? to show tips on taking a good picture of printed music.  Swipe left for more screens.

At the top of the documents screen on the left, tap Help for some basic information about using PlayScore 2.  From here tap Online help to access this page.


PlayScore 2 has two main screens.  The Documents screen is PlayScore home.  The app starts in the Documents screen.  When you rap a document or when you have taken a picture PlayScore shows the Play screen.  See below for more information.

Playable scores using the camera

Tap the camera icon to take a picture of the first page

Tip: the better the picture the better the result.  Stand the music up, keeping it flat.  Use good even light, and make sure the camera is straight in front of the page.  The page should look square on the screen with measure lines vertical.

Once you’ve okayed the image it will play.  Photographing music takes a little practice so if its not perfect, swipe left to recapture.  If you have a subscription, you can add more pages by tapping the camera again (otherwise it simply recaptures the page).  Each page will play after you ok the picture.  If there are a lot of pages it may then take a few seconds before you can play the piece as a whole.

To use a pre-scanned image instead, simply tap Photos from the camera screen.

Playable scores from a PDF document

If you have a PDF in Safari or in an email, choose Export and then Copy to PlayScore 2.  To scan a PDF from iCloud, go into PlayScore 2 and tap the import icon at the bottom left.  Then navigate to the PDF.  You can also import PlayScore documents and pre-scanned images.

When the PDF has loaded PlayScore 2 shows a row of page thumbnails.   If the PDF is only a few pages just tap done.  If it’s a long document with many pages you can select a range to play.  Tap at the top of the first page and at the bottom of the last.  Then tap Done.

If it’s a complex score with many pages it may take a little time to build.  To make this happen in the background while you do something else just tap Documents (top left).  Back in the Documents screen you will see the little status dot animated, showing that PlayScore 2 is working on your score.

PDF quality

PDF scores come in all shapes and sizes.  Most, and certainly any purchased PDF scores will translate well.  But some older or poorly scanned scores can be harder for PlayScore to read and there are scores that are just too indistinct for optical recognition.  If you are looking for scores on IMSLP or similar sources and there is a choice, try more than one.  Find out what gives best results.

Playable scores from saved photos or pre-scanned images

To do this, tap the Camera button.  But instead of taking a photo, tap Photos from the camera screen.

Scanning music

If you are using a scanner the best setting for music is 300DPI.  A good color or greyscale image is best but black-and-white (thresholded) images work too.

Playing the music

To play, use the play buttons or tap on a measure.  Double tap on the music to pause/play (like YouTube).  Move the slider to change tempo.

To create a loop, tap and hold on a measure, then drag.  To clear the loop, tap outside the green brackets.

The Documents screen

The Documents screen is PlayScore 2 home.  All the playable scores you have created are here, and you come back to the Documents screen after you tap Done from the Play screen.  Just like Photos, you can zoom in and out to see more or fewer score icons on at a time, and each icon shows information like the Name and Composer you set from the Play screen.

Each document icon shows a little coloured dot indicating the status of your score.  Green means the score has been built and is ready to play, export etc.  Red means there is some issue.  Tap to go to the Play screen Control Panel to see what the problem is (see Troubleshooting below).  If the score is scanning in the background the dot is shown animated.

Deleting a document

This works like Photos.  Choose select and tap any documents to be deleted.  Then tap the bin.

Sharing a document

Also works like Photos.  Choose select and tap any documents you want to share.  Now tap the export icon bottom left of the screen.

The Play screen

This is where you work on your document.  If its a PDF you can tap the page-select icon at the top right to choose the pages to play.  If its a score you have photographed or scanned you will see the page-rearrange icon.

Near the top, there is a field to enter a name for your score.  Pull down on the horizontal bar to reveal a field where you can enter the composer.  If you pull down further you will see some more options (see Control Panel below)

Swipe left to recapture a page or delete it.  Tap the red band to delete, or the green band to  recapture.  If you swipe left all the way you go straight to the camera screen.

From the Play screen the camera icon adds a page to the end of the score.  Use the the page-rearrange icon to position the page somewhere else in the sequence.

If a page is on its side for some reason, just twist the page with two fingers to get it the right way up.


To export a PlayScore 2 playable document, a MIDI file or a MusicXML file tap the export icon top right of the Play screen.  You will see all the sharing methods available.  You will be able to Copy the MusicXML or MIDI file to any other app that can receive them.

Locked documents

The padlock at the top right of the Play screen shows the locked status of the document.  A locked document can not be altered.  When you are happy with a document, lock it to prevent accidental changes.

Parts, instruments and transposition

On the play screen, tap the staff icon at the bottom left to see the Parts screen.  You will see a section for each staff in your song.  1 is the top staff, 2 the next down and so on.

At the top of each section is a picker allowing you to select from 18 different instruments.

Under the instrument picker is the volume.  Move the slider all the way to the left to mute the staff.

At the bottom of each section are transposition buttons marked + and .  These let you transpose an octave up or down in semitones.

PlayScore 2 also has an Auto-transpose feature.  This affects multiple staves and is located in the control panel.  See The control panel below


Masking allows you to mask portions of a page and make them invisible to PlayScore 2.  For example ,if a song in a songbook ends half way down the page and you don’t want the beginning of the next song to play you can mask it off.

Another use for masking is to hide any part of a page that is preventing correct recognition.  For example, some vocal scores begin with an indication of the voice part ranges.  If this causes a playback problem just mask it off.

Tap the masking icon on the left of the group of icons top right of the Play screen.  You can then adjust sliding upper and lower borders to mask off parts of the page.  Tap the plus (+) button to create rectangular masks which can be sized and moved over any part of the page.

tip: to remove a mask, make it very small.


SeeScore from the makers of PlayScore 2 is an app for displaying and playing MusicXML notation files.  If you have the SeeScore app you will see Copy to SeeScore as an option when you share a MusicXML file.  SeeScore can create a fresh score from your scanned music; it can even create parts.  It can also play using instruments such as guitar and violin, as well as piano, and you can use Airturn devices to turn the pages.

The control panel

The control panel contains options and settings applying to a score.   At the top of the Play screen, locate the horizontal bar just below the song title and pull it down to reveal some additional controls.  If you can’t find the bar, tap the ? button to see chevrons appear above and below.  With the bar all the way down you will see the following settings applying to the current song.

Title – you can type a title for your song here.  If it is a PDF, the name of the PDF will appear here by default.

Composer – if you add a name here you will be able to search by composer in the Documents screen.

Status – this tells you the processing status of your score.  If it indicates that there is a problem, try tapping the rescan button.

Rescan – to the right of the Status is a circular ‘recycle’ icon.  This rotates to show when scanning is in progress.  You can rescan the music at any time by tapping this icon.

Dynamic range – this tells PlayScore how much to vary the volume according to markings like f, p, crescendos, diminuendos, accents etc.  If you slide it to the right you will hear the full dynamic range in the music.  All the way to the left causes the music to be played at maximum volume, subject to the device’s volume buttons.

PDF process quality (PDF scores only) this allows you to alter how the music is processed.  In general this is a quality/speed tradeoff, but some scores translate better at a lower or a higher setting and it is worth trying different settings if recognition is poor.  For some poor quality scores it is possible to find a ‘sweet spot’ where the music sounds best.

Play repeats – with this setting on, PlayScore plays any repeats in the music.  Note that this does not affect MusicXML export which always reflects any repeats.

Auto transposition – turn this on to set transpositions appropriately for transposing instruments in mixed-instrument scores.  For example, if your piece is for clarinet and piano, and the clarinet is in Bb say, auto-transposition will make the clarinet part play at the pitch a clarinet would have done.  NB because Auto-transposition uses the key signature to determine the correct transposition for each instrument it will not work for old scores that include horns or trumpets.  By convention in older scores these instruments are written without a key signature regardless of the key of the music, and this prevents PlayScore 2 from determining the correct transposition.

Part magnetism – this is an auto-correction feature that can spot mistakes in a score or or recognition errors.  In most music it works well, but in some music where there are false relations (notes played together on the same degree of the scale but with a different accidentals) it may try to ‘correct’ these.  If this happens, turn the setting off.


If there was a problem scanning a score, the score icon on the Documents screen will show an exclamation mark.  Go to the Play Screen (tap on the document) to see what’s wrong.   Usually there will be a bubble indicating the problem.  Problems are normally on a specific page.  You can tell which page it is by looking for one showing an exclamation mark.

In case of scanning problems the Status (see Control panel) will show more information.

If the problem is in a photographed score, the first thing to try is to recapture the page and rescan.  If this doesn’t work, or the score is a PDF or from scanned images, try eliminating the page and rebuilding (recycle icon).  Alternatively a different setting for the PDF Processing slider may correct the problem.  Once localised to a particular page you can use masking to narrow down even further to the measure, allowing the page to play.

You can always rescan at any time by tapping the rescan icon in the Control panel.

Please feel free to send us any score that doesn’t give good results (  We can often fix the problem or offer help.


PlayScore 2 recognises the following

Bars, notes, rests, accidentals including double accidentals
Tuplets: triplets, duplets, quintuplets, septuplets (both marked and implied)
Staff bracketing: grand staff braces, grouped staff brackets etc
Measures: bar lines, double bar lines, repeats, 1st and 2nd ending, bars spanning systems and pages
Anacruses, compliment anacruses
Dynamics: f, ff, fff, fz, fp, mf, p, pp etc
Hairpins (crescendos and diminuendos)
Articulation (>, ^, . – etc)
Ornaments trills, turns, mordents etc
Tremolo: note strikethrough, alternating, beamed alternating white notes etc
Special symbols: fermata, repeat-bar etc
Fingering for piano, violin etc
Slurs and ties
Clefs (system and inline): treble, bass, tenor, alto, soprano etc
Key changes: system, inline, cautionary
Time signatures: system, inline, cautionary and implied


Without a subscription you can

Play and interact with any PlayScore playable Score
Play pages of music in 1 or 2 staves per system from a photo
Create and share single page playable documents

PlayScore 2 Productivity subscription

Create and play multi-staff, multi-page scores captured with the camera or imported as images
Export your documents for anyone to play and interact with using our free player
Interact with scores, cater for transposing instruments, export MIDI files

PlayScore 2 Professional subscription

Create Playable Score documents from PDF scores that anyone can play (using the free player)
Export any score as MIDI and MusicXML containing full notation
Productivity and Professional versions are available as 1-month or 12-month auto-renewing subscriptions.

iTunes Account

Payments will be charged to your iTunes Account at confirmation of purchase
The subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period
Your account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period, and show the cost of the renewal
You may manage your subscriptions and turn off auto-renewal by going to your Account Settings on-line after purchase

Important: Capturing copyrighted music without the copyright holder’s permission is illegal.