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I have an idea for a program I wish to write, but it requires a way to convert musical audio (single guitar, at first approximation) to notes (e.g., OCR/speech-recognition for music).

Google found IntelliScore, but although it advertises more power that I need (several instruments), it is proprietary, and I’m looking for something that is free and GPL-compatible.

Are there any free/GPL programs or libraries that can do this?

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There’s Notey. It can detect notes and transcribe them on screen. It’s GPL, so you should be able to extract and adapt the detection/conversion routines.

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Another options is music scribe kit which:

Is a toolkit for transcribing a music audio file to common music notation. This is done by manually annotating a spectrogram or something similar and converting it to a MIDI file and to a abc music notation file.

The proprietary program Transcribe! has an extensive list of other music-transcription tools, including some that are open-source. You can also check SourceForge for other open-source music-transcription programs.

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Google recommended waon.

Originally on http://waon.sourceforge.net/ I had it compile on Xubuntu 18.04, including gtk-based gui.

What is waon

WaoN is a Wave-to-Notes transcriber, that is, the inverse of timidity by Tuukka Toivonen (and its descendants timidity++). (...) My original intention is to pick up voicing of harmony from sound of my favorite pianists. (...)

Currently, WaoN contains three programs:

waon: transcriber (wav-to-mid converter)
pv: phase vocoder for time-streching and pitch-shifting
gwaon: GUI for waon and pv

WaoN is released under the GNU General Public License.

Where to find source code

CVS is dated and sourceforge is phasing out. I converted the CVS-based history to git and re-hosted it on https://github.com/fidergo-stephane-gourichon/waon .

Any options?

Here the summary of options the excutable provides.

 ./waon --help

WaoN - a Wave-to-Notes transcriber, Version 0.10

Copyright (C) 1998-2007 Kengo Ichiki <kichiki@users.sourceforge.net>
Web: http://waon.sourceforge.net/

WaoN is a Wave-to-Notes transcriber,
that is, a converter from sound file to midi file.

Usage: ./waon [option ...]

Options:
  -h --help print this help.
  -v, --version print version information.
OPTIONS FOR FILES
  -i --input    input wav file (default: stdin)
  -o --output   output mid file (default: 'output.mid')
    options -i and -o have argument '-' as stdin/stdout
  -p --patch    patch file (default: no patch)
FFT OPTIONS
  -n        sampling number from WAV in 1 step (default: 2048)
  -w --window   0 no window
        1 parzen window
        2 welch window
        3 hanning window (default)
        4 hamming window
        5 blackman window
        6 steeper 30-dB/octave rolloff window
READING WAV OPTIONS
  -s --shift    shift number from WAV in 1 step
        (default: 1/4 of the value in -n option)
PHASE-VOCODER OPTIONS
  -nophase  don't use phase diff to improve freq estimation.
        (default: use the correction)
NOTE SELECTION OPTIONS
  -c --cutoff   log10 of cut-off ratio to scale velocity of note
        (default: -5.0)
  -r --relative log10 of cut-off ratio relative to the average.
        (default: no relative cutoff
        = absolute cutoff with the value in -c option)
  -k --peak peak threshold for note-on, which ranges [0,127]
        (default: 128 = no peak-search = search only first on-event)
  -t --top  top note [midi #] (default: 103 = G7)
  -b --bottom   bottom note [midi #] (default: 28 = E1)
    Here middle C (261 Hz) = C4 = midi 60. Midi # ranges [0,127].
  -a --adjust   adjust-pitch param, which is suggested by WaoN after analysis.
        unit is half-note, that is, +1 is half-note up,
        and -0.5 is quater-note down. (default: 0)
DRUM-REMOVAL OPTIONS
  -psub-n   number of averaging bins in one side.
        that is, for n, (i-n,...,i,...,i+n) are averaged
        (default: 0)
  -psub-f   factor to the average, where the power is modified as
        p[i] = (sqrt(p[i]) - f * sqrt(ave[i]))^2
        (default: 0.0)
OCTAVE-REMOVAL OPTIONS
  -oct  factor to the octave removal, where the power is modified as
        p[i] = (sqrt(p[i]) - f * sqrt(oct[i]))^2
        (default: 0.0)

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