The score notation in Csound is indeed not very helpful for a beginner. Its power lies in the fact that you can provide as many parameters as you want to each event, and these can be used by instruments to modify their sound in many ways, as opposed to only an amplitude and a duration.
I have started using Csound a year ago, but I am not using its score functionality. Instead, I am writing the music in ABC notation, which is still an ASCII format, but which is much more intuitive. I convert the ABC score to MIDI, which can then be processed directly by Csound. The only drawback is that Csound instruments need to be explicitly written to handle MIDI events, although it is not hard to modify existing ones.
Writing good instruments is also hard for a beginner. A sine wave is easy, but unless you are composing chiptunes, you probably want something more realistic. Fortunately, you can use VST instruments, or for example use the FluidSynth engine to play back samples from soundfonts.
You can find a simple example of my ABC+FluidSynth+Csound setup, which renders music from its source files by simply using the "make" command, here: