How to Convert PDF Files to Overture Sheet Music

Updated July 20, 2017

Overture is an affordable, easy-to-use and versatile music-notation software. While you can turn your music sheet created with Overture into a PDF file, you cannot do the opposite directly. You will have to go through another program to turn your PDF file into a MusicXML file, then turn that file into a music sheet editable with Overture. This improved feature came with Overture 4 and is not available on previous versions.

Make sure your PDF file is impeccable to minimise errors. If the PDF was obtained from a scan, look at it closely to make sure there are no stains or blotches that could be mistaken for a note or any other musical symbol.

Convert your PDF into a MusicXML file with SharpEye or the music optical character recognition (OCR) software of your choice. Music OCR is similar to text OCR but applies to music. Overture does not have its own, so you need to go through this extra process from an external software. As of 2010, SharpEye runs around £104 and can be downloaded directly through the SharpEye website (see Resources). Some other music OCR software, also called music-scanning software, are Photoscore or SmartScore.

Import the MusicXML file in Overture. Run Overture and select the "Import" option. Find your file and let Overture import it.

Proofread your Overture file carefully and make adjustments. Music OCR is an automated process and robots fail too! Especially if your original file was from a handwritten sheet, you might run into some errors. Furthermore, since two separate steps are involved, this multiplies the chances for errors.

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About the Author

Melissa Lavabre had her work first published in 2007. Some of her film reviews appear in "Cinema Without Borders," and she is a volunteer proofreader for Project Gutenberg. Lavabre holds a Bachelor of Arts in film production from Loyola Marymount University..