The first thing to know is that music transcription (as in audio to transcription) is different than engraving. Those terms are sometimes used interchangeably in some circles. Music engraving is the process of taking a very old score that has erasures and other wear marks and modifying the score so it’s back to its former glory. Sometimes this will involve digitizing the score to make sure the music stands a longer test of time than it would in its older, more beat-up state.
For purposes of this post, music transcription is the art of hearing the audio on an mp3, CD or other medium and being able to transcribe into musical notation what is being played. This requires a consummate and accurate ear to pick up styles, notation and techniques and how they are being played. Sometimes, one may need a keyboard or other input device to properly put in the desired notation.
You simply just get your audio from your audio source and sit with a notation software open and play or type the notes into the notation software you’re using. This requires time. It is not a quick pro quo kind of job. The audio requires repeated replays to make sure one gets the information notated accurately. Even after all the notes are entered, it is wise to replay the music again in order to put all the appropriate articulations, slurs, dots and anything else in the proper places on the score. There is going to be a specific spot where I talk about this called “Dressing The Score.”
Stay tuned for that as we go through this series of articles and videos (Yes, there are videos coming of how to do this later on).
Hi. My name is Cody Weinmann. I am the owner and operator of cjw-music-transcriptions.com. I am a composer, arranger, transcriber and orchestrator who lives just outside of L.A. My love is sharing music to people and helping them with it to transform their lives.