I have been using MusicTime notation program for decades, and changed to Encore a few years ago.  Both have served me well.  However a glitch in Encore drove me to Passport Music support (who are the most recent publishers).  There is no response whatsoever, and further research seems to indicate that PassportMusic have gone out of business.  Does anyone have any information on this.

I am stuck with hundreds of .mus file which these programs generate and I am worried that I shan't be able to access these files if I am forced to migrate to another notation program.

All the Morley midi file on this website, which I know many of you find useful were generated using either MusicTime or Encore, both of which generate .mus files which were then converted into midi files.

Any help or advice (or even information) would be appreciated.

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Hey Anthony, it seems that you are not alone:

See link:



Anthony, I have an idea. Try downloading Musescore. It's free. That's what I use for notation and playback etc. I have found that it accepts scores generated by other programs or applications or whatever they are called. I haven't tried it with something generated by Encore. If it fails you will have lost less than an hour and nothing more.


Yes I have downloaded Musescore, but it doesn't seem to want to accept .mus files from Encore (yet).  I think there might be a way, just haven't found it.. I don't want to lose sight of the 100s of .mus files in my system.   I bet there are lot of folks in the same position.

Musescore does indeed accept .mus files which is good to know.  Their banjo sounds like a tin cam being hit by a drumstick, ukulele sounds better but not great.  However, I shall persevere with Musescore, in the meantime keepig Encore going as best as it will.

This is good news. In my opinion *all* midi "banjo" files sound like a can being hit by a drumstick. At best it sounds like a sterling silver can being hit by a drumstick made of exquisitely grained cocobolo wood but it's still a can and stick. For me the midi is for quickly discerning the melody, not for listening enjoyment. So far the only enjoyable sound I've heard from Musescore is the harmonium, which is very nice indeed.

Anthony Peabody said:

Musescore does indeed accept .mus files which is good to know.  Their banjo sounds like a tin cam being hit by a drumstick, ukulele sounds better but not great.  However, I shall persevere with Musescore, in the meantime keepig Encore going as best as it will.

Like Jody, I'm not looking for the best sound, just something where I can hear the tune. Musescore has a pretty good Grand Piano midi sound, at least here on these speakers.

Musescore has a lot of online support. Their forum is excellent, very searchable and when I have a question that I can't find via search, somebody always chimes in to help out. It has quirks, just like any other music software.

I think a lot of the Ragtime stuff seen on RagtimeDorianHenry's youtube videos are published in Musescore. It seems whenever I go search for something I've seen, it shows up in Musescore's library. That makes it way too easy to copy and massage into a banjo score...

While Musescore does import many file formats, not all are easy or come thru properly. The .tef files from TablEdit are not directly supported and must be exported to a common format. What I do is export my TablEdit files to .abc. Musescore has an .abc plugin that works really well, easy to use and appears to be spot on.

I'm a Musescore user too, though I don't really use the midi feature beyond input reference.

Hello Anthony,

I used to use Encore and liked it.  It looks as though it is heading into obsolescence which is a shame. However, it was always very time consuming producing finished printable copies at level of appearance that I thought acceptable.  I was running dance bands and orchestras for musical theatre, as well as involved arranging for both symphony orchestras and concert bands at the time.  So producing 10 - 60 individual instrumental parts for each piece of music became very tiresome with all the additional editing required.  I have a more recent copy of Encore but only use it to open old scores and convert them to music xml files.  The xml files open in almost all current music notation software - so that may be an option for you.  Depending on the version of Encore you have, you should be able to export (see the file menu) the files you have as xml.  That way you won't lose any of the work you have done so far.

I changed over to Sibelius (version 3 at the time) about 20 years ago and have never looked back.  I still use Sibelius 6 which is quite out of date now, but have never felt a need to upgrade.  I worked as a music teacher at a high school about 10 years ago and they had the then latest version of Sibelius (version 7 I think). I found that really different and much more difficult to find my way around - but perhaps that was just because I was so used to the earlier versions.  They now only sell a subscription version that you have to pay more money for each year.  So I am content to stay with my version 6 as I see no reason to keep paying them every year when what I have does everything I need.  So if you do think you need to change from Encore, I would see if you can find a copy second- hand.  I'd highly recommend it.  Sibelius has the ability to easily add most of the unique banjo markings we use - fingering, etc.  Whereas I have struggled to find ways of doing this with other programmes. I found it quite easy to change from Encore when I did.  And there's a large number of people using it (including older versions - like me).

I have also tried Musescore.  It is ok - especially given it is free, but seems to lack the flexibility Sibelius has. To be fair, I have probably not given enough time to it.  But at the end of the day from what I have seen, Sibelius seems better and I as I already know it I'm reluctant to put the time in learning Musescore.

I've also dabbled with Finale over the years and totally hate it. I tried both Sibelius and Finale at the same time when I changed from Encore and soon gave up on Finale.  For me I found it so slow and cumbersome to use compared to Sibelius and unless you're prepared to spend hours (or should I say days) with it, it is very hard to get things looking how you want - so I'd although it's highly regarded by many (mostly in North America) I'd avoid it.  As you may have guessed I'm fussy about how my parts look and hate sloppy scores filled with ambiguity because the layout some computer programmer thought would work, isn't clear.

I'm interested to try Dorico but lately have neither the time nor money to learn a new program when I'd sooner be playing an instrument.  It was developed by some of the team who originally created Sibelius after they were dumped when Sibelius was bought out.  Apparently, rather than just an update, it was designed from the ground up avoiding any of the weaknesses Sibelius has. I heard good things about it 5 or 6 years ago, but not much since.

Anyway, that's my thoughts.  I hope it helps.


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