Singscope - How to Prepare and Import Your Music Files

The Singscope's feature pack includes a set of special sheet music for Vocal Warm Up Exercises. This feature pack also accepts a type of sheet music for songs, namely lead sheets. It can import lead sheets in a digital sheet music exchange format, MusicXML. In this document, we describe what music elements in MusicXML are supported, and how to prepare, import, and use your lead sheets in Singscope.

The Vocal Warm Up Exercises Feature Pack is an in-app purchase item. Before purchasing the item, you can activate the free trial version and check if the function is suitable for your use. If you'd like to activate the free trial version or purchase the item, please visit our In-App Store in the Singscope app.

We regularly update our app to improve the usability and fix problems, especially for the compatibility of different MusicXML lead sheet files. The version information is available in the following link:

What's New

1. Introduction

In Vocal Warm Up Exercises Feature Pack, we accept digital Lead Sheet file in MusicXML format. The purpose is to get the music notes of your song into Singscope so that you can practice your song with the app. This can be done by notating your song in a Lead Sheet using a notation application, export the file in MusicXML format, and then import the file to Singscope.

If you are new to Lead Sheet, it is a form of sheet music that includes the essential elements of a popular song: the melody, lyrics and harmony. The song's melody is “described” by the notes, the lyric is written as text below the staff, and the harmony is specified with chord symbols above the staff. For example:

Leadsheet Half Line

Singscope does not create or edit music notes. It only imports lead sheet files in MusicXML format. The lead sheets have to be created by a music notation application on a computer. After the file is created and imported to Singscope, you can use all the feature pack functions for your song, including melody note position highlighted in the pitch graph, playback the melody and harmony with synthesized piano sound, adjust the speed (tempo), and perform a music transposition (change key) of your song, etc.

Please note that the MusicXML importing function is currently in test phase. This is because MusicXML is a general purpose digital sheet music format that could include wide range of music elements, and we only support a subset of elements used in “Lead Sheets”. When importing a general digital sheet music file, there may be some cases that we have not yet considered in our implementation and that could cause a problem in the app. In your lead sheets, if you only use the supported music elements as described here in the next section, it is likely to work. If you encounter any problems, please let us know (see the “Contact Us” section near the end of this document). We will fix the issues and update our app regularly.

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2. Supported Music Elements

This section describe the music elements currently supported in the app's feature pack.

Sample LeadSheet

Sample LeadSheet

*If the above picture is too small on an iPhone screen, you can rotate the phone to landscape mode and get a larger image.

The supported music elements are listed below:

  • Clef: We support treble clef (G clef), which is used in most lead sheets.
  • Key Signature: You can specify any key signature in the lead sheet. After imported to the app, we provide music transposition function inside the app for changing the song to any key of your choice.
  • Time Signature: We support most commonly used tempo: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8.
  • Melody: The song's main melody is specified by the notes on the staff. Singscope app uses this information for highlighting each note position in pitch graph, and also for playing back the melody with piano sound. The supported music note symbols are limited to notes and rests, dotted notes, common accidentals, ties, slurs, and triplet.
  • Chord Symbols: These symbols are for musical accompaniment of the song. We support most commonly used chord symbols. In the app, we currently include simple accompaniment styles for playing back chords. We are working on improved styles that will be released in the future updates.
  • Tempo: We only support tempo expressed by metronome marking, which explicitly specify the note length of a beat, and how many beats per minutes (bpm), as shown in above example. After imported to the app, there is a function to adjust the speed in inside the app.
  • Lyrics: The lyric text is written as text below the staff. We support hyphens for separating syllables, and melisma for extending a word over two or more notes. For multiple verses, the verse number can be entered as part of the first syllable, and the app will properly align the numbers, as shown in above example. When playing back the melody, the corresponding lyrics syllable will be highlighted in real time.
  • Rehearsal Marks: Rehearsal marks can be used to mark the various sections in the score. It can be letters or numbers, like A, B, C, etc., or commonly used name like Intro, Verse, Chorus, and Bridge, etc. Currently in the app, the rehearsal marks will just show up in the score, above the staff. In the future App version, we plan to add functions to let users arranging the singing sequence and repeating for the marked sections.
  • Title, Composer, Lyricist: These texts are printed in the title area on the first page.
  • Copyright: The copyright text is printed in the footer area on the first page.

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3. Prepare MusicXML

To create a MusicXML lead sheet file, You need music notation software and a computer. We recommend MuseScore, an open-source and free notation application. It is available for Windows, Mac, Linux platforms. To download or learn more about this application, please visit the official web site.

https://musescore.org

If you are new to MuseScore, there are several video tutorials and instructions available in the official website. Compared to a full sheet music, a typical lead sheet just utilize a subset of music elements, so you actually don't need to go through all the functions. Simply search the term “Lead Sheets MuseScore” on the web, and you can find good information on how to create a lead sheet using MuseScore.

For your reference, we created a sample lead sheet in MuseScore version 2.1. The file can be downloaded from the following link:

Home, Sweet Home.mscz

After you complete your song's lead sheet in MuseScore, you can export it as a MusicXML file. To export the file, choose the menu item “File/Export” as shown below:

muscreen45

Then, in the Export box, choose the file type “MusicXML File”:

muscreen46

Note that the importing of “Compressed MusicXML File” is not supported yet, so please do not choose the compressed file type. Also note that in this example, the file name is specified as following:

Home, Sweet Home@Classical.xml

It is formated in this way such that, when the file is loaded into Singscope App, the “Home, Sweet Home” will be set as song title, and “Classical” will be set as song information. Song inforation is optional. If presents, it can be genre, author, album name, or anything that is helpful for categorizing and identifying the song. This extra information could be useful for finding a song when you have many songs imported to the app.

After the MuiscXML file is saved, we are ready to import it to Singscope. The importing methods are described in the next section.

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4. Import MusicXML

After you have a Lead Sheet MusicXML file ready, the next step is to deliver it to your iPhone or iPad, and then import it to Singscope app. If you are using a Mac that supports AirDrop, the file can be transfered directly using AirDrop. For any computer or platform, you can use one of the popular cloud drive services, including iCloud Drive, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. Or, you can simply Email to yourself on iPhone or iPad. For details, please refer to the following linked page:

How to Import MusicXML

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5. Use Your Lead Sheets

In Singscope, the imported Lead Sheet MusicXML files are saved in the “My Song Book” folder. You can open a lead sheet and practice your song using the music functions provided by the feature pack. That includes the functions for highlighting the position of the musical notes in pitch graph, playing musical notes and chords in the lead sheet with piano sound, transposition the key of the song, adjusting tempo of the song, etc. In the “My Song Book” folder that keeps all you lead sheet files, we also provide functions to share, rename, delete files. For details, please refer to the following document.

Use Your Lead Sheets

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Contact Us

Any comments, suggestions, inquiries, and bug reports, please email us at developer@singscope.com.

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