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Teaching with LiveScores

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Digital scores have been part of the musical landscape for many years now, especially in education, where they are a powerful asset. You can enrich them as you wish with videos or audio accompaniments, but also annotate them digitally, and above all they are super easy to share with your students.

But here’s the thing: if the benefits of using digital scores are no longer being questioned, it’s still not so easy to get digital scores today. And if sites such as IMSLP or Mutopia allow you to easily find PDF scores, finding digital scores online in a format compatible across the different software you use (like the universal MusicXML format) has been more complicated… Until now.

Thanks to Maestria, the artificial intelligence technology developed by Newzik, it is now possible to bring any of your paper or PDF scores to life by transforming them into interactive LiveScores.

What is a LiveScore ?

A LiveScore is a new kind of sheet music that combines the advantages of PDF, MusicXML and MIDI. It provides a multi-sensorial approach to sheet music, a more interactive and advanced experience.

Thanks to it’s MIDI layer, you can play and listen to your LiveScore. LiveScores help your students learn new pieces faster, improve their sight-reading skills, and develop audiation.

In just one click, you can transpose the accompaniment to practice in another key, slow the score down, or even remove one instrument from the mix to practice. You’ll see, it’s pretty cool to be the conductor…

Most importantly, your score can be rearranged and modified at will, as LiveScores are universally compatible with all notation software.

Now that we understand what a LiveScore is, let’s look at three different ways to use them in your teaching.

How to generate a play-along version of any score

Via Newzik it is possible to add audio and video directly to your pdf scores! This is very practical when you want to add value to a score. As a teacher, it allows you to pass on to your students a variety of sources and enrich their musical experience.

However, doing this sort of score enhancement yourself takes time. But now with Maestria, it becomes entirely automatic as part of the LiveScore conversion process. With LiveScores, your students will feel like they are playing with a full orchestra! You start your score and play along. This way, your students can play their piece and feel like they are playing with a symphony orchestra.


How to rearrange a paper score in your notation software

You can also use LiveScores to quickly convert any paper score you own in a format compatible with your notation software, to use it as the basis for a new arrangement.

The Newzik software will analyse the pdf of the music score and convert it into XML format, compatible with the different notation software available today. The musicXML is a universal exchange format compatible with all notation software, free and paid.

Thus, you can quickly recreate an arrangement from a score you have in paper or PDF format, and adapt it to the specific needs of your students. From a simple note change to a complete reharmonization of a line to fit the range of a specific instrument, it’s all available at the touch of a button.

How to transform paper scores into audio files in your DAW

But that’s not all. Thanks to the MIDI layer of LiveScores, you can also export your LiveScore to your DAW for audio editing and rendering.

If you’ve got nice soundbanks in Logic Pro or even Garageband, this is the quickest way to create a professional-grade soundtrack from just a paper score.

Of course, the MIDI information can be played directly in Newzik Web with the default soundbank. But while that’s very practical for a quick audio check of the notation, it’s best if you use some of the nicer soundbanks available out there.

Here are 6 top orchestral VSTs you can use to go from a paper score to a professional-grade audio rendering in just a couple of minutes.

As you can see, LiveScores offer a whole new music reading experience. Create your account to try this with your own scores!

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Margaux Desprez

Content & Communication Manager

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