Pretty simple question. I play clarinet and a few other reed instruments. I don’t play flute. In being asked to play occasional musicals the reed book I get most often will have some flute parts. Is there a computer program ( or iPad app) that will will let me I put a picture or PDF image of a flute part, and after completing a transposition, let me print out the results as a clarinet part?

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    Not an answer to your question, but would a C clarinet work here? I don't know as I'm only as bass player, but I do know that any excuse for more instruments is a good thing ;) – Jamie Apr 9 '18 at 0:50

This is a complex problem called Optical Music Recognition. There are several proprietary solutions but only one free solution I know of: Audiveris. There is also a tool by Myriad which can interpret PDF files that store music notation as glyphs rather than raster images.


The 'Photoscore Lite' that comes free with Sibelius will cope with a single-instrument page. But it's not an auto-magic solution. You may find it useful in getting the notes into a Sibelius file. Very often it's quicker to enter them manually.

Once in Sibelius, it's trivial to take a Flute stave, add a Clarinet stave below it and copy/paste the contents across. As long as the staves are defined correctly, transposition will be automatic.

If you're prepared to forget the 'scan and read' part - which really won't save you THAT much time, if any - MuseScore will be fine. And it's free.


Sibelius software has an option you need, easier to find the standard already converted PDF score on Petrucci free library or a similar and a score for MuseScore or Finale software

  • I douby you'll find many current Music Theatre orchestra parts in a free library! – Laurence Payne Apr 8 '18 at 13:03

Sibelius has an additional PhotoScore program, which is specially purchased. It loads PDFs or even scans. Then this file opens in Sibelius and transposes it. I do this often for my colleagues winds and singers, so I know the procedure :)

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