NoteWorthy Composer (NWC) is a graphical score editor for Microsoft Windows computers (from Windows 95 to Windows 7), and is also reported to work on PCs under Linux with Wine. Version 1 of NWC was released in October 1994, and Version 2 in September 2008. The current version is Version 2.5.2.
NWC is intended for the creation of sheet music, but it can also import and export MIDI and Karaoke files and can export graphical WMFs. The user interface works either from the keyboard or the mouse. Visual results are immediate, and audible results can be heard at any time. Notes can also be entered by playing on a MIDI device, when configured. In version 2, the notes can be heard as they are entered.
The NWC file format is undocumented and facilities to convert it into documented formats are limited. Version 2 of NWC introduced a textual version of the files, NWCTXT. These can be used for conversion to many other formats, including LilyPond.
A feature of the user interface is that notation is displayed during editing. Each staff proceeds linearly from left to right, without being wrapped to the screen. Staff systems are visually broken to fit margins during page layout, allowing many possibilities at "print time", so solo instrument or full conductor can be produced with the same file. Many users prefer this editor layout over the so-called WYSIWYG editors because slowdowns in note entry, as the composition becomes larger, are much less dramatic than in WYSIWYG editors. Print preview is available for adjustments to page layout.
The program lacks the more advanced engraving, graphic sophistication, playback and publishing capabilities of more expensive scriptwriting software such as Sibelius or Finale. It does, however, allow the rendering of custom key signatures which do not follow the usual circle of fifths order of sharps and flats. A free viewer is available. The otherwise fully functional demo version imposes a limit of 10 saves per file name, adds a small footer to each printed page, and prints a registration form with each printed score. Besides the demo program, a downloadable plug-in for Winamp allows Winamp to play files from NWC.
Because of the availability of a free viewer, Noteworthy has been adopted as the standard score distribution format by the large hymn database, the Cyber Hymnal. An "unofficial" catalog of compositions and helpful files contributed by users (including e.g. complete transcriptions of Handel's Messiah, Beethoven's symphonies and Holst's Planets suite) is available from the NoteWorthy Scriptorium.
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- "Noteworthy Composer 1.70", ZDNet Belgium (Dutch)
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- "Ziff-Davis Announces Winners of Its 1995 Shareware Awards Competition", Ziff-Davis, 26 June 1996