Know your (music notation) editor

Published on April 21st, 2021

As part of the Music orchestration course for stringed instruments that I’ve been taking, I’ve been starting to use MuseScore as my music notation software.

When going through the final project of the course, the teacher asks students to spend 15-30 mins developing ideas for a theme / melody and write it on a music notation software. Even though she’s been using Sibelius instead of MuseScore, I noticed that she’s been pretty good at using keyboard shortcuts. And I like seeing her using that approach very much.

As a software developer, I fundamentally believe that it’s very important to know how to navigate the tools used on a daily basis. I’ve been using a text editor called Vim for programming (and text editing) and I’ve been generally enjoying my overall workflow because I learned how to leverage what the tool has to offer (via key bindings) while there’s still so much I don’t know about it.

Before moving forward with using MuseScore (and later on, when using a DAW), I know by experience that I’ll need to go through the learning curve of navigating this tool well (to some extent). That will take some practice, and this is something I already spent more time than the project exercise itself.

Whether it’s in music composing, software development or in any activities requiring the use of an editor/software, we should always aim to be familiar with our tool, to know how to navigate it in order to improve our workflow effectively: the better our workflow is, the more we can spend time and fully focus on the actual core of our activities.

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