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If you have ever attempted to produce sheet music for percussion, you will know that it can be a tedious process. Your frustration, however, could be over. Musink, a new free score-writing application, is promising to change how drummers produce music.

"I had spent the last decade becoming increasingly frustrated with existing notation editors," said Musink's creator, Lee Reid, "I was sick of taking hours to produce simple drum-kit notation, and still finding that the result was almost illegible. One day I snapped, and got programming."

The software, which is free to download, completely rethinks the process of writing music. Users need merely to click where they would like a note, and a note is created. As notes are added, note durations are automatically calculated, speeding up composition. Musink automatically takes care of most rules of music notation, such as correct stem direction and vertical alignment of multiple rhythmic values, as well as established rules for positioning of notes on chords. Letting users focus on writing, layout tasks are completely automated.

"The aim, from the beginning, was to be able to write music faster on a PC than was possible scribbling with a paper and pencil. For drummers, this meant adding a number of original features", said Reid. "For example, you can write snare- and bass-drum parts on completely separate staves, and have Musink combine them when you export to PDF. Almost the only thing not automated is writing the music itself."

Another common complaint surrounding many editors, flexibility, has also been laid to rest. While Musink can create a traditional orchestral score, it also allows creation of short musical 'snippets', posters, and exercise books. Recognition of the internet generation is also very apparent: in addition to PDFs, scores can be exported as image files for forums, articles, college assignments, and websites.

Feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with most users surprised at how straightforward and fast writing music has become.

“Again and again I receive thank you messages from drummers,” says Reid. “We all know that old fashioned notation editors are just not suitable for writing drum music. It’s great to know that, finally, we have another option.”

Musink can be downloaded for free from musink.net.


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