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#1148563 - 01/17/08 04:19 AM Score Writing Software
Turfer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Australia
Hi just curious as to what composing software composers use. I personally use ScoreWriter 2.0, and I think it is absolutely fantastic! I have also tried Notation Musician but that was complete rubbish. So I was just wondering if there are any others out there.

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#1148564 - 01/17/08 04:30 AM Re: Score Writing Software
Nikolas Online   blank
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6489
Loc: UK
Hi Chris,

As far as I know the two professional and industry standard notation software are:
Finale 2008 and
Sibelius 5

There is also NOTION (I think it's verions 2, but not sure actually), but I think that it's right in the middle of a sequencer and a notation software and not perfect in either case.

BTW, what exactly do you mean by "composing software"? There isn't a software that composes music. You either get notation (to create score) or sequence (to create audio files, by sequencing your music). I replied due to the subject of the thread.

#1148565 - 01/17/08 07:34 AM Re: Score Writing Software
Ozor Mox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 231
Loc: Hampshire, England
I use LilyPond . It's free and open source software, but it doesn't use a graphical front end. Rather, you write the notation in a special syntax and it compiles it into sheet music. The syntax is pretty easy to learn and extremely powerful, but definitely not as simple to use as a notation editor like Finale or Sibelius.

#1148566 - 01/17/08 08:58 AM Re: Score Writing Software
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13837
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The above mentioned programs are primarily for notating scores.

Many composers who work outside classical styles use DAW packages like Pro Tools or Logic.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#1148567 - 01/17/08 02:56 PM Re: Score Writing Software
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1916
Loc: Netherlands
Originally posted by Nikolas:
There isn't a software that composes music.[/b]
Yes there is. \:D

Anyway, I use Score Writer 4, which I suppose is an upgrade of version 2? Anyway, it's probably not as good as Finale or Sibelius but much cheaper and so far I never needed a feature it didn't have.

Then again, I don't do much composing inside of a notation package. I also use LilyPond because it creates good-looking scores, but it's much more labor intensive.

For sequencing, you can use REAPER. It's free to try (indefinitely) and cheap to buy. It has a simple MIDI editor built in.
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

#1148568 - 01/17/08 04:21 PM Re: Score Writing Software
Nikolas Online   blank
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6489
Loc: UK


are the main ones really (and yes I consider reaper a "main one" as well. I love cockos! \:D )

#1148569 - 01/17/08 04:23 PM Re: Score Writing Software
epf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 658
Loc: Central Texas
I use Encore since I don't need all the bells and whistles found in Finale or Sibelius.

"...a man ... should engage himself with the causes of the harmonious combination of sounds, and with the composition of music." Anatolius of Alexandria

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#1148570 - 01/17/08 06:04 PM Re: Score Writing Software
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6158
Loc: Down Under
I use an *old* version of Finale (I'd be embarrassed to tell you how old) which does everything I need it to do (which is a fair bit!). When the *old* (to match) computer and laser printer pack it in, I'll have to get an up-to-date version, I expect. Maybe then I'll look at Sibelius, but for now, I'm quite happy \:\) .
Du holde Kunst...

#1555801 - 11/11/10 06:14 PM Re: Score Writing Software [Re: Turfer]
notatorist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 1
Loc: Germany
Hi, I use Obtiv Octava Composer Octava Composer Professional. There are more
versions with and without composition tools. You will not believe... I am curious what other people say.
There are also some tutorial videos.


Edited by notatorist (11/11/10 06:16 PM)

#1555810 - 11/11/10 06:29 PM Re: Score Writing Software [Re: Turfer]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
If you are an ordinary musician and not a professional copyist who absolutely requires the latest and greatest just to keep up with the heavy workload, I see no reason at all to pay anything for notation software when there are good free options.

Musescore is 100% free, and not disabled in the ways that the cheap "teasers" are for the expensive programs. It's not as shiny as Sibelius or Finale, but it works fine - and it's free.

Lilypond is also 100% free, makes nicer scores than Musescore (makes nicer scores than Finale for that matter), and is most likely harder to use for the average person.
(I'm a piano teacher.)

#1556251 - 11/12/10 01:09 PM Re: Score Writing Software [Re: Turfer]
Jared Hoeft Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 174
Loc: Hutchinson, Minnesota, United ...
I use Finale 2007. It has its share of problems, but it's been faithful to my needs for over 4 years now!


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