Music Notation Software

Are you looking to share your music with others? Do you want to find the best way to transfer the songs you compose to a sheet of paper? With a music notation software program, you'll be able to do just that.

Since there are many different options available when you are looking for music notation software, we have reviewed the top five options for you. After reading our reviews, you'll be able to decide which product is best for you and make your purchase.

Top 5: Music Notation Software Reviews

Recommendation #1

Notion 6

9.9

Recommendation #2

MuseScore

9.7

Recommendation #3

Sibelius Ultimate

9.5

Recommendation #4

Finale PrintMusic

9.2

Recommendation #5

Forte Home

9.0

Notion 6

Notion 6 by PreSonus comes loaded with features you'll love. This product is perfect for everyone in the music field, including songwriters, composers, arrangers, and students.

With Notion 6, you can use the interactive features to enter your music, capture the correct picture, or drum parts. This option features an interactive keyboard, drum pad, and fretboard to help you get your music recorded perfectly.

In addition to entering your score using the interactive tools, Notion 6 also has a MyScript feature. This feature will allow you to hand-write your score, and it will convert what you enter into a digital format.

With Notion 6, you'll be able to enter and customize cords using the chord library. As you choose cords, they will remain on your fretboard, allowing you to enter them repeatedly with ease. You can attach chord symbols anywhere, allowing you to easily create lead sheets.

The Sequences Overlay will let you see your notations as well as MIDI performance information on the same staff. You can use this information to edit your music, including the duration times and staring or end points.

Notion 6 can also be helpful for those who compose to videos. You will be able to work with all major video formats. The software offers a timecode view that helps you edit your video and make modifications.

This option also includes a built-in software mixer. You can run your sounds through eight different effects to create the perfect sound you are looking for.

Notion 6 is compatible with both Mac and Windows. There is also a mobile feature that will allow you to compose on the go and edit your work in more detail using the full software.

Pros

  • The software can turn handwritten notes into a digital format.
  • The chord library will let you easily enter and customize cords.
  • There is an interactive keyboard, drum board, and fretboard you can use to enter your music.

Cons

  • This option is more expensive than many other available programs.
MuseScore

If you are looking for a quality free option, consider MuseScore. While this option is free, it offers many of the same capabilities used by professionals. You can use this program to compose music for various instruments and groups such as pianos, guitars, orchestras, bands, choirs, and more.

You can easily input your recordings and transfer them to musical scores using a MIDI keyboard. MuseScore also has a virtual piano that can be used to enter your music. After entering your music, you will be able to use the software to make edits and changes to it.

With MuseScore, you are able to import music from other programs and export music into other programs. This will allow you to make edits and easily share your work.

MuseScore is set up to be very user-friendly. You can set up your workspace so that the tools you use most are more readily available.

If you are primarily a piano player and are looking to create music for other instruments, turning on the Concert Pitch button will help you. This option will allow you to notes for other instruments based on how they sound in concert pitch.

Pros

  • This is a free option.
  • You can use this program to compose for different groups or instruments.
  • There are numerous ways to export your creations.

Cons

  • There is not a virtual fretboard.
Sibelius Ultimate

Sibelius offers three different software options to match your needs and skill levels. The Sibelius First option is free and will allow you to add up to four instrument parts into more basic scores.

The Sibelius option has a low monthly cost. This option allows you to incorporate up to 16 different instrument parts and make more complex music scores. For a higher monthly fee, the Sibelius Ultimate option allows you to create customized musical layouts and add unlimited instrumental parts to your musical scores.

There are a lot of features you'll love about Sibelius Ultimate. This product is perfect for anyone who needs to creation notion worksheets, compose, arrange, or publish music. This option can be installed on up to two different computers, for single-use.

With Sibelius Ultimate, you'll enjoy a variety of notation features, such as different bar types, accidentals, customizing brackets, braces, and rest groupings, and customizing chord symbols. This option also includes a fully customizable range of instrument options.

Sibelius

The Sibelius Ultimate version will also allow you to edit MIDI data, which is not an option with the two other versions. You can also easily record edit, and play back your options using Live Tempo with this program.

Arranging music, adding comments, comparing scores, importing MusicXML files, and more is also possible with Sibelius Ultimate.

When you are ready to publish your piece, you'll be able to choose from different layout options, enter the fonts use, add headers or footers, and edit the staff spacing. Sibelius Ultimate also offers lots of different options for exporting your scores. You can email scores, export graphics files, export to Music XML files, publish to score exchange, and much more.

Pros

  • There is a free and lower-priced option.
  • The Ultimate version offers numerous ways to edit your scores.
  • With the Ultimate version, you can add unlimited instrumental parts to your scores.

Cons

  • You will have to pay for the Ultimate feature if you want to enjoy the full range of benefits.
Finale PrintMusic

Final PrintMusic is designed to be used with Windows. With Finale PrintMusic, you'll be able to create easy-to read and professional musical scores.

This program will allow you to hear a playback of the score you create, make orchestrations of up to 24 staves, extract sections of music, and print sheet music. You can enter your musical notes using a MIDI keyboard or by clicking on the notes you want using your mouse. You can choose to have the software add a harmony to your creation automatically.

Finale PrintMusic

Since you can have the program play your music back to you, you'll be able to identify problematic areas and make edits to them. There are different playback options you can choose from that use sounds from more than 128 instruments.

After creating a musical score, you'll be able to share it in a variety of formats. You can create PDFs, MP3s, graphic files, as well as importing and exporting Music XML files.

Pros

  • The playback options include more than 128 instruments.
  • The software will play your music back to you, allowing you to make edits.
  • The software can automatically add a harmony to your creations if you want it to.

Cons

  • There is no virtual keyboard to use for entering notes; you will need to click on the notes you want or use a MIDI keyboard.
Forte Home

If you are looking for an easy-to-use option, consider Forte Home. This product is designed for music hobbyists, band leaders, choir directors, and other individuals in the musical field who don't need to pay for extra features they won't use.

With this product, you can create musical scores in just 10 minutes. You can use the program to make original creations, edit your creations, and perform music.

Forte Home features a simple and straightforward interface that is easy to understand and use. You can import notes using the music ruler function without needing to input rests first.

This option also allows you to import audio and have it play alongside your creation. You can also use it to create customized layouts, align text, add lyrics, and much more. This software also includes 16 staves, 2 voices, drum notation, tablature for guitar and bass, 25 ornament signs, and 12 different noteheads.

Once you are satisfied, and your creation is finalized and ready to share, you can export your data in .MP3 or .WAVE formats.

This product can be downloaded or purchased to be installed directly onto your computer.

Pros

  • Using this program is simple and straightforward.
  • You can import notes using the music ruler function; you won't need to input rests first.
  • You can import audio to play with your music.

Cons

  • This option does not include all the features offered by more expensive software programs.

Buying Guide

A music notation software makes it easy to produce and share your musical creations with others. You'll be able to enjoying creating unique musical scores using the software you choose. However, not all software options are the same; be sure to take some time to consider what you want to see in the option you choose.

First, you will want to choose a product that matches your skill level. Look for options that are intuitive and easy to use. You may want to examine the user interface before making a final decision.

Next, consider the different ways the program offers for inputting your music. Can you enter it manually, using a MIDI instrument, on the virtual instruments, or all of the above?

You will also want to consider the quality of the playback. How do songs sound when they are played by the software? Are there different instruments you can choose from to playback your music?

You may also want to look for an option that has features such as handwriting recognition or a mobile app. Handwriting recognition will make it easier for you to manually write notes and have the program turn them into a digital format. A mobile app can allow you to capture ideas as they come to you, regardless of where you are.

Finally, be sure to pay attention to how easy it is to export files using the program. You will also want to make sure the files that are exported will be in a well-known and easy-to-use format.

Top Pick

Notion 6 by PreSonus is our top pick. We think you'll enjoy all the features and capabilities that this option has to offer.

With Notion 6, inputting your music is easy. You can choose to use one of the virtual instruments, a MIDI instrument, or you can even handwrite your notes. This range of options will allow you to get your music enter exactly how you prefer.

Notion 6 has a comprehensive chord library which will allow you to enter and customize cords in your songs. The cords are also saved on the fretboard, which will make it easy to reenter them.

Notion 6

With Notion 6, you are also able to view MIDI performance on top of your notations. This will let you edit your music until it sounds exactly as you want it to.

There is a lot to love about Notion 6. Whether you are a student or a professional in the music field, be sure to place your order. You'll love using all the features offered by this product.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Music Notation Software Work?

Music notation software helps you layout and share the notes for music with others. Some software options will allow you to get the notes for music recorded by connecting to a MIDI instrument or through manual entry. After creating the musical notes with the software, you can also make edits and adjustments to the passage.

Why Should You Use Music Notation Software?

There are a few main reasons to give music notation software a try. First, the software can playback the notes you have recorded, allowing you to hear what it will sound like. When you use a music notation software, you will also be able to create or publish easy-to-read music scores. These will be much easier for someone else to read who is trying to play the song you wrote.

Do Music Notation Software Programs Allow You to Hear Different Instruments Playback Your Score?

Most programs have a piano option for playing back your music. Some may offer other instruments, but you will need to read the specific product information for the programs you are considering.

How Much Does Music Notation Software Cost?

Music notation software programs vary in price, but most versions tend to cost a few hundred dollars.

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


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