Music Transcribing

Writing down notes for an unnotated piece of music is called transcribing. You can do it to train your ear or to make the world a better place for musicians who can't get notes to a specific song :)

I am currently transcribing wintermute, written by Ryan Lott. You can track my progress and get the notes here.

Work in progress wintermute transcription

Writing your own sheet music

Try using LilyPond for a LaTeX-like experience. LilyPond can generate PDFs with the notes as well as midi files that you can play to verify that your notations are correct. Use timidity for playing the midi file (you'll also need to install a soundfont unless your distribution ships one as a dependency) or pmidi to route the midi notes to a synthesizer (hardware or software).

Beginning of wintermute, written in LilyPond:

TODO: fix the key once you know exactly what it is

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  \tempo 4 = 90

  \partial 2.
  f,2. _\markup {\italic legato }
  g8 ( f es  d es \> f  es4 d4. )
  c2. \pp

  d8 ( c8 bes8 a8 bes8 c8 bes8 d4 g2 )

  <<des2 ges bes>>

  (c8 bes as g as bes as c)