Consumption, or creation?

When it comes to notation and musical scores, the iPad (and tablets, generally) has fallen on the side of reading rather than writing, display rather than creation.

Notion for iPad, a mobile version of the desktop notation software, looks poised to change all of that. See video, above, for an overview of the features. Highlights:

  • Entry, editing, and playback for notation and guitar tab
  • Built-in samples, including keys, guitar and bass, and the London Symphony Orchestra as recorded at Abbey Road Studios
  • Enter notes by tapping a keyboard or 24-fret fretboard, or select and drag and drop
  • Mixer and effects
  • Orchestra and guitar articulations and marks
  • Text/lyrics support
  • Import MIDI, MusicXML, GuitarPro, and export to PDF, MusicXML, and MIDI
  • Look for guitar tab, MIDI, and MusicXML right inside the app – this could be a huge feature

There are also in-app purchases of instruments and effects and so on.

It’s a big deal, I think, and a huge release. Even if you use software other than Notion on desktop, I can see this as – at last – a way for people comfortable with notation to sketch ideas and enter MIDI and scores from a music stand. I look forward to testing it. (Anyone know of any other candidates in this category? Since Sibelius focused on score reading, Notion seems to be the first major release of this kind for a tablet.)

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

By the way, what’s up with the lines at the end of the video?

You Honor Tradition!
You Defy Genre!
You The Create Future! [sic]

You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What would you do without freedom? Will you fight?

They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!

(Sorry, I may have broken into the speech from Braveheart there. It could be the London Symphony Orchestra music. Alba gu bra!)

  • Speak

    Absolutely nothing against notion but it is a big surprise that they made it to market before finale and avid with this only because iREALLY thought those 'giant' (relatively speaking) companies would throw significant resources into the effort.

    • griotspeak

      Second paragraph was cut off, so–in short–congratulations NOTION. 

    • peterkirn

      Yeah, my thoughts, exactly. And you'd expect the bigger players to think about just something like this. It's a whole new, more level playing field on these new platforms. Will see if Finale or Sibelius get a score *writer* out there.

  • haj

    Comparison to Symphony Pro?

  • I've been using Notion for about a month and I'm very pleased with everything it can do. It's a great learning tool in addition to being a powerful composing tool. I never bothered much with music notation before, everything I played by ear. But for the first time I'm understanding notation which makes it so much easier to share my music with other musicians. I feel much more confident sharing my ideas now. This is an awesome app!