Review by Craig Johnston
Each of us has different reasons for using a notation program, but surely each of us also has more
than one reason. As musicians and academics, we often wear several hats at once.
My personal expectations for a notation program fall into three primary areas:
- As a composer, it is absolutely necessary that I be able to produce scores and parts without compromise: documents which look exactly as I want them to look, including the possibility of both conventional and innoative notation...
- As a theorist and scholar, it is important to be able to produce analytical sketches and
diagrams. In practice, this almost always calls for non-conventional notation and page layout,
as well as the flexibility to employ whatever notational syntax is
appropriate for the information being exemplified.
- As an educator, it is important to be able to produce pedagogical materials such as handouts
and examinations papers. This generally requirs great flexibility in mixing music notation and
text within a document.
I have found NoteWriter to be the only available notation program which meets any one of these
criteria adequately -- and happily, it does all of these things easily, in addition to more
conventional tasks. In addition, since musical intelligence is supplied by the user, the program
itself is considerably simpler to use than MIDI-based programs.