Resources for Scoring Your Music
Music Notation Software choices from inexpensive to professional are listed and linked below.
Creating your own scores and music and being able to share it with your sister half way across the country is as easy as recording it and sending an audio file or video. But what happens when you she wants to play it for herself?
You need to be able to write up a score and mail it to her or scan it and email. But, editing that score into the final product can be rough. So you might need notation software to make it easier.
I use a couple of low and mid range packages in the past and have good luck with it for my purposes. However, there are times I wish I had more options to work with. Choosing the package that is right for you will depend on budget and need.
Notation software comes in a number of capabilities and costs.
High end notation software is for those that plan on doing a lot of scoring and arrangements for bands or orchestra.
Mid and low range packages will probably work for the majority of musicians and part time composers.
I’ve tried some free ones and just haven’t felt they live up to a standard that anyone really wants to use. At less than $50 you can get good music notation software for doing simple composing.
Here we take a look at the popular and new options for making getting your music down on paper.
Music Notation Software High End
Finale and Sibelius
At the $500 to $600 price range the battle rages on between MakeMusic Finale and Sibelius Notation Software. These are the two main players in the full blown notation market. Each has it’s supporters and detractors. As in most cases the controversy really boils down to what you learned first and what you become accustomed to using. Both of these packages will perform any required scoring demands. The issue I see is in the learn time. And when you have to buy separate books on how to use them then you know that they probably have every tool you’d ever want. But then again, there’s always something missing…
At the bottom of the high end, Notion 3 provides a new entry into adding live performance to the notation software. This digital audio workstation combines both worlds for a resonable price usually discounted at about $200.
Learn more at Notation Software – High End page.
Music Notation Software – Mid Range
The mid range notation packages defined as $70 to $200 packages will likely handle over 90% of your notation demands. The feature rich packages add significant tools to make your life easier and faster when creating, modifying, and playing back your scores.
Typical Packages in this range are Finale’s Print Music and Muziaks SmartScore packages for scanning and editing those hand written or printed scores.
Check out the descriptions at: Notation Software – Mid Range
Music Notation Software – Inexpensive
For the under $60 and typically $30 to $50 range these packages will provide you with basic notation needs and probably take care of 80% of your notation efforts. The low end packages are getting better with more features and are a great value for the music notation software requirements of most musicians.
Finale’s Songwriter and Geniesofts Scorewriter are both in this class. Notation Musician is a new comer in the this category and is focused on converting midi files and annotation.
Go Here to view: Notation Software – Inexpensive
Guitar Notation and Tablature Software
For the Guitar player and composer there are a couple of good notation/tablature software packages, such as Notion Progression Guitar Notation/Tablature – Excellent feature rich program, Musitek SmartScore X2 Guitar Edition – handling scanned in music and editing, and eMedia Guitar Pro Multi-Track Tablature Editor.
See the summaries at: Guitar Tabs and Notation Software
Go ahead and Score it!