A program to transfer an .mp3 piano recording to sheet music?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
Pittsburgh, PA
This is kind of out there, but it's worth a shot asking...

Does anyone know of a program that can take an audio sample of piano and turn it into sheet music?

I don't know if this will help, but here's the peice I'm interested in turning into sheet music:
Dave Matthews Band's #41 mp3

This is for myself only, and I don't plan on sharing this. I understand this is the artist's work, and he should own the rights to it.


macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
Western US
johnbro23 said:
Does anyone know of a program that can take an audio sample of piano and turn it into sheet music?
I don't know of any app that can do this. That would require some extremely complex signal analysis, probably requiring much more computational ability than your PC is capable of. There are apps that can convert MIDI into sheet music, but none I know of that can do it from an audio sample. Much easier for you to just go find some sheet music from someone who has jotted it down by hand, or go buy it from a music store. You might try the alt.binaries.sheet-music Usenet newsgroup.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks for the reply. I'm thinking about just going to a piano store and picking up a copy of it.

Do does anyone have any idea of how I could do this?


macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
Solon, OH
I don't think it's possible to convert non-MIDI-like formats to sheet music because other formats don't keep enough information to determine easily what the notes are. I know that the family of music module formats meets the information criteria, and I also know that typical compressed music formats (MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, etc.) do NOT meet the information criteria.

Curious about music modules?

site to download modules
a free module player for Mac OS X
an open-source module player for Mac OS X


macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2004
London, UK
I remember hearing at one point of a microphone you could hook up to your computer and, using Finale, you could play music into the microphone and it would come out as notation on the computer. Perhaps you could set it up so the recording of the song could play into the microphone? I'm sorry, I don't remember the name of the device or any details about it. Perhaps a Google search would turn up some results.


macrumors regular
Nov 19, 2003
There is a peice of software called Transcribe that may HELP you do the job you are wanting to do.

It won't actually transcribe a recording into sheet music, but it will analyse the signal of specific parts of the song in order for you to visually see a wavelength against a keyboard.

Using this, you can then transcribe the music much easier.

I have used it once to figure out a very difficult extended and chromatic chord, and found it quite useful.


Hope it helps.


macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2003
I know this isn't the answer you are looking for, but if you are serious about playing the piano, you should try to transcribe it yourself. It can be a daunting task if you've never done it before, but if you take it in small chunks, i think you might surprise yourself at how much you can pick up. Also it sounds like he's pretty much just improvizing over the chord changes (which are fairly simple) so it would be something that you could use to practice improvization yourself.

To answer your actual question, i am fairly certain that there is no program that can transcribe an audio sample of piano.

I think the finale mic thing works for one note at a time, but it would never pick up those thick piano chords. Plus you would have to go out and buy finale.


macrumors newbie
Dec 11, 2008

Audioscore can convert up to 16 tracks from an mp3 into sheet music for sibelius but you need sibelius and audioscore and they are expensive...

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