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Leland C. Smith

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Biography: 

Leland C. Smith was born in Oakland, California in 1925. He began composing in 1938 and first studied with Darius Milhaud at age 15. He did some dance band work, and then served in a Navy band (and combo) for two and a half years. He studied with Sessions in Berkeley, where he served as his assistant, and received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of California in 1948. He attended the Paris Conservatory from 1948-1949 and returned to California in 1950. Smith played the bassoon and clarinet with the San Francisco Opera and Symphony. His first teaching position was at Mills College from 1951-1952, then at the University of Chicago for 6 years. He also played with the Chicago Opera and Symphony. He returned to California to teach at Stanford in 1958.

[from Sibelius Blog:]  Smith was a pioneering computer programmer who made lasting contributions to music’s digital age with his music input system, music typesetting research and computer music. In 1970 Smith turned his attention to computerized music typography, and in 1979 he published the first book on music ever produced completely by the computer.

The SCORE music typography system was released in 1986 as the outgrowth of Smith’s work, and over the course of the 1980s and 1990s it became the first music software embraced by leading music publishers. Written in FORTRAN for the DOS operating system, SCORE was suited to professionals accustomed to engraving music with a precise level of manual control. Later, even as programs like Finale and Sibelius began to gain broad consumer acceptance, SCORE maintained a dedicated following of users who continue to produce high-quality work with it to this day.

Leland Smith, creator of SCORE, the first commercially available music notation program, died on December 17th, 2013 at his home in Palo Alto, California. He was 88 years old.