I want to convert a song to a midi file. The sheet music I've found on the internet for this song is almost complete. It's missing a few notes that I can hear when I listen to the song. I can just about make out the missing notes before the singing on the track starts. What's the best way figure out the missing notes?

For example the first bar is missing two notes that should be played at the end.

C#(g#)major C#(f)major F#major

Should be

C#(g#)major C#(f)major F#major C# A#

Any advice on transcribing songs to midi would be helpful also. Thanks.

EDIT: Using mingus to make the midi file.

  • 2
    Do you mean keys, notes or chords?
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Sep 17, 2012 at 20:48
  • how are you planning on converting the sheet music to midi? scanner, clicking it in? please specify. Sep 17, 2012 at 21:53
  • Regarding "figure out the missing [notes/chords]": Do a search on "ear training" in this site and you will find questions and answers that should help you. Sep 17, 2012 at 22:25
  • @StephenHazel Using Mingus code.google.com/p/mingus
    – Neil
    Sep 18, 2012 at 9:19
  • @DrMayhem notes
    – Neil
    Sep 18, 2012 at 9:24

4 Answers 4


Very easy, use the opensource software (read free) MuseScore.

It allows you to input the sheet (imports different formats and lets you put the notes by hand), play them for you and export to pdf and MIDI files among others.

Just try a few settings for the missing notes in musescore, the playback function will tell you if it is correct or not.

You don't want to code a midi file yourself, as it is a very low level document type, written in hexadecimal code.


If you have a recording of the music Sibelius has something called AudioScore which deals with transcribing from recording to e-notation (e.g. midi), though this solution costs. Googling around I found http://www.rinki.net/pekka/slowmp3/ which seems to be a free alternative - I've not yet tried it out though.

If you only have sheet music Again Sibelius offers a solution with PhotoScore, which can convert sheet music to e-notation (midi); again this costs money.

If you're just missing some chords / notes It's generally possible to guess missing chords from understanding music theory. Chord sequences tend to be repeated throughout a piece, so look for a matching pattern to what you have elsewhere in the piece & try grafting that over the missing section.

  • In case you don't want to buy Sibelius, read dorien's answer as well because it includes MuseScore (which I highly recommend). Also, you can't forget Finale (by MakeMusic)! (The full version includes a pdf-to-digital score utility, among countless other wonderful features.)
    – Stan
    Feb 12, 2014 at 1:31
  • Don't waste your money on AudioScore (which attempts to convert audio to MIDI). It's useless. SlowMP3 attempts something quite different, and doubtless does it well. But it helps YOU transcribe, it doesn't attempt to do the job for you. PhotoScore (notation to MIDI, not audio to MIDI)
    – Laurence
    Sep 29, 2018 at 13:58

hmmm, I'm not familiar with Mingus I'm afraid... Ask the developer if you're having probs with it, but I suspect you're not (kinda hard to tell:)

Your link isn't to "sheet music" - it's to a lead sheet - just listing chords and melody, not an actual arrangement of exact notes to play.

So hit google and look for other renditions of that song. There may be one already in midi format (or not:) If you find a midi file, it'll have all the notes that make the chords and from that you can polish off the lead sheet into a midi file of "just the chords". Or you can google for the (actual) sheet music via...

filetype:pdf "sea diver"

good luck to ya.


I use Melody Assistant to physically write piano midis from sheet music. BUT after I write the midi, I export it to a complete midi in my computer and import it to Notation Composer, edit it to make sure that the softeware completely and correctly imported the song, and then print it as Notation Composer had a better printing section.

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