Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
MUC 126B
Course Title:
Computer Notation and Scoring 2
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Continues skill building, using Sibelius, Finale, or other software to generate music notation and charts in a variety of more advanced applications. Continues developing skills for transcribing music, creating scores, harmonization, and orchestration.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  • Use accepted practices for music notation and chart page layout, transcribe music from recorded source materials or known music;
  • Create readable lead sheets for original and/or cover songs and instrumental pieces;
  • Compose multiple vocal and/or instrumental parts from a single melody line;
  • Create a usable score including multiple parts;
  • Extract individual parts for vocalists and/or instrumentalists, including transposition (for horns, etc.) as necessary;
  • Use available software tools to mix and record the score to audio.

Course Activities and Design

  • Discussion and application of music notation, rules and accepted practice;
  • Demonstration of notation software operations and techniques;
  • Creation of lead sheets, including melody, chords, lyrics, and music flow (repeats, etc.);
  • Discussion and application of techniques for harmonizing and orchestration
  • Creation of multi-part scores, including, for example, piano, bass, percussion, strings, horns, and vocal parts. Includes measure numbers, rehearsal markings, repeats, dynamics, etc.
  • Extraction of individual parts from the score. Includes measure numbers, rehearsal markings, repeats, dynamics, etc., as well as any necessary transpositions.
  • Creation of recorded music from the score, using the playback and mixing capabilities of the notation software;
  • Playback of scores in class.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • In-class quizzes may be used to evaluate understanding of notation rules and practice. For example: placement of note stems for single and dual parts; proper use of meter and correct placement of partial measures; proper use of repeats, endings, D.S., D.C., fine, coda, etc.; identification and correct usage of key signatures.
  • Projects to be completed in lab demonstrate skills for proper notation and use of software. For example:
    • Transcribe melody lines and chordal harmony from recorded source material;
    • Create lead sheets for original or cover songs, clearly showing melody and song form, along with chord symbols, lyrics, and any other necessary markings or instructions.
    • Create rhythm section parts, harmonizations, counterpoint and/or riffs from a single melody line (use one of the lead sheets as a starting point). May use jazz block chord voicing (such as for horns), popular or folk styles, or more traditional techniques (such as a chorale). Present as a concert pitch multi-staff score, or as a choral score with SATB and accompaniment parts. Include dynamic and articulation markings, measure numbers, rehearsal markings, repeats, etc.
    • Create parts extracted from the score for individual musicians and singers. Transpose as necessary for certain instruments, and include all dynamic and articulation markings, measure numbers, rehearsal markings, repeats, etc. from the master score.
    • Export audio recording(s) from the completed score, using the mixing and playback functions of the software.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Review of music notation practice and guidelines;
  • Music dictation practice;
  • Review of fundamental operations in music notation software (note entry, editing, text, music flow, various markings, page layout, creation of parts);
  • Using multiple voices in a single staff;
  • Bar numbering and rehearsal marks;
  • Tools for transpose, invert, retrograde;
  • Creating guitar chord diagrams and tablature;
  • Creating notation for drum and percussion parts;
  • Creating grand staff notation for piano and keyboard parts;
  • Creating SATB score for choral music;
  • Importing lyrics and placing block form lyrics;
  • Fine points of page layout;
  • Transcribing original material or by ear from recorded material;
  • Review of orchestration techniques, chord blocking, etc.;
  • Writing multiple parts for horns, strings, and other instruments;
  • Mixing sound output from the score;
  • Adding cue points and scoring for picture;
  • Exporting audio from the score.