Maybe 15 years or so ago I think I used a free version of Noteworthy on a PC to play MIDI files of Rich Mullins' songs that are on the internet, and it notated them perfectly and I printed them out. (I no longer have a PC)
-- Is there softward that will do this on a Mac?
-- Is this still legal?
-- Would it have to be a MIDI file or can I play a recording off of iTunes or elsewhere and have it notated?
Mary LaPlante wrote Sorrow's Joy several years ago. I asked her if I could get the music for it because I would like to play it in a recital. She said she never wrote it down but I was welcome to do it if I wanted to.
Sure, just google transcribing music software mac or something similar and you'll find lots of info on the process. On a very quick search I saw at least two programs that, while they don't do the transcription for you, they will slow down an audio file maintaining pitch allowing you to analyze the notes, etc. so that YOU can do the actual transcription. It does sound a little tedious. And I'll bet if you have never transcribed something by ear, it may involve a pretty steep learning curve, I don't know. But at least it's possible! The easiest thing is obviously to obtain a midi file. Should be plenty of software options in that event, I wouldn't be surprised to see shareware that'll do that for you. Get someone to play it on a midi-enabled keyboard, and there you go!
Thanks micra. I guess I was looking for a quickie. (not that kind...) I haven't tried slowing it down and I guess that would be the best thing for me to learn anyway. I actually can transcribe things by ear pretty well if I can hear them slowly enough to pick out the harmony. I've played by ear since I was a little kid, and it's been both a blessing and a curse. Now, playing serious music with serious musicians in our local symphony I have to actually read the notes, darnit. I must admit I still do listen to recordings, especially to be able to understand complex time signature changes (Overture to Candide for example) Anyway, for purposes of transcribing Sorrow's Joy, slowing in down should let me do it.
I use Audacity in combination with MuseScore on my Macs. Audacity has the ability to slow down the tempo and keep the same pitch. MuseScore allows for inputting music notation. I don't know of any Mac app that allows for automatic transcription of .midi files.
Just did a google search on transcription midi file mac and several came up. Finale Notepad came up as a free download, for eg. I'm not familiar with any of these, so I'm not endorsing them or anything, but there are applications out there to do this. Sounds like in @fiddlrgrrl's case, she doesn't have a midi file for this song, though, so it's a moot point.
I was going for the free route. Transcribe! looks to be a really nice program, although more complicated than the two I use and at $40, may be more than she wants to spend. There is a 30-day trial period, but I can't give it a review as I've never used it. Transcribe! takes .mp3 files as well, which is probably what most of us have anyway. My method of transcription can take a lot longer than others, though, so while it's free, it's probably not everyone's cup of tea.
Thanks iBud and micra. I did download Audacity and I'm very happy it slows the song down to where I will be able to transcribe it by hand. It had a good Help link too. At first I thought it wouldn't work because just changing the speed also changes the pitch. But I see you have to go in under Effects and change the Tempo. It uses the MP3s right out of my iTunes library and lets me play along with most of the concert music I am working on, which is a big help!