I don't need audio, but MIDI input would be nice.
I tried the most popular ones while trying to configure them in the most optimal way (audio backend disabled, ALSA or portmidi for MIDI input, no soundfonts loaded). I tested them on a short, single-instrument MIDI clip in the public domain, this one. These are my results:
- Canorus - Reasonable startup time, very lightweight but doesn't have a way to load .mid files from the command line
- Denemo - Slow startup time, also some CPU hits when I use it
- MuseScore - Slowest startup time, in general it's more of a full-featured package than a lightweight program, I don't think there is a way to change that
- nted - Fastest startup time and very fast but it's abandoned, lacks many features others have and most importantly, doesn't have a way to pass a .mid file via the command line
- Rosegarden - Reasonable startup time, notation editor is very full-featured. The interface is not that MIDI-friendly though, since Rosegarden is also a DAW
These are my tests/opinions and I think there is still some room for improvement. Please note that I am talking about graphic notation software, I can get almost zero load times by using LilyPond or ABC.
Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?