Music Notation Software

Do you have a music-writing software program that you would recommend for organ music? I tried the 30-day free download from Finale and I was just starting to learn how to use the program when my trial period expired.  I would like to be able to continue writing duets and special arrangements for my students, but I can’t afford $600 for the Finale program.

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I prefer Sibelius to Finale, but I still get frustrated because Sibelius staffs the pedals separately from the manual. When I try to score the pedal on the same staff as the greats, it is really difficult to properly voice the two lines.

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Musical Mom:

I like Musescore. It does everything I need, it’s opensource, and it’s free.

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My experience with music notation software is limited. I used NotePad, the freebie version of Finale for awhile and then upgraded to their PrintMusic product. It gives me pretty much everything I need for creating musical compositions…and the off-the-shelf price is only $120. But if that is still more money than you want to put out, you can go the ultra-cheap route and check out the free versions like NotePad, MuseScore, M C Music Editor, and Notation Software. The price is great, but you know how it goes—you get what you pay for. I found NotePad awkward and limiting—only a slight step up from hand writing my musical compositions.

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6 thoughts on “Music Notation Software

  1. I preferred Finale for lots of reasons. Both Finale and Sibelius have things I’m not wild about, but I learned Finale first, and I think that always gives something an edge. I do NOT compose, haven’t that creative talent. But, I arranged a lot of stuff for differently-voiced choirs and choral groups, and it just seemed to me that Finale was faster. What do I know? I have friends who’ve tried Finale and swear by Sibelius. I just like what I like! I haven’t done much of anything for over a year now, so I’m not up on the new versions.

  2. My daughter bought one for me which I couldn’t install on newer computers, so I tried MuseScore and thought it had features that
    the older one didn’t have. And the price was right! Free.

  3. It’s Sibelius all the way for me. It’s expensive, but if you know a student you can get it in their name and get a discount. Thankfully I am still a student. Sibelius 7 has more in the way of organ sounds, too, though it’s still quite limited – but for producing neat scores quickly and easily there is no parallel. I’ve tried Finale and find it really awkward to use.

  4. I have used both Sibelius and Finale. I prefer Finale, and you can get it for much less if you’re a school or church musician.

    • I’ve used Finale for years and have always found it to support whatever I wanted to do (which, admittedly, is NOT full orchestration – but it would do that easily, I’m sure.) I’m in the trial version of Sibelius and finding major differences between the two programs. Sibelius wins some of the time – then it’s back to Finale’s court. I’d like to ask Janet Budge why she prefers Finale?

      • Another option is Scorewriter. I’ve used it for years, and though I’ve not compared it with other programs as to quality/features, it works well for me.

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