What are the best music notation software?
1. Finale Review
- Compose, arrange, notate, and print engraver-quality sheet music
- New improved lyric entry and spacing, and easier staff layout
- New Garritan sounds with an updated Aria Player, plus external sound library support for VST/AU instruments and effects
- New music education worksheets, expanded percussion playback and much more
- Multiple options to enter your music using a MIDI keyboard, computer keyboard, mouse, mic, or scanner
I am very impressed with Finale. The sounds are incredible, the interface has greatly improved and it’s easier to use. You are only limited by your imagination. If you’re looking to put your musical ideas down to paper, I highly recommend Finale. There really isn’t anything this software can’t do.
Finale bundles with Garritan Personal Orchestra, Jazz and Big Band, and Tapspace Drumline sound libraries. These alone would easily cost more than $400 if purchased separately. Even world instruments like Taiko drums, Shakuhachi and Koto are included. It has great features I love like customizable playback, more than 24 staves, the ablity to assign playback articulations to symbols, cross-staff beam connection, etc. These features can’t be found in the cheaper versions like Printmusic, that’s one reason I prefer the full version.
It’s nice to be able to upgrade this software in the future without having to pay full price again. You end up saving a lot of money. If printing production quality music is your wish and you want a great degree of control over playback, Finale 2011 is the answer. With this music notation software, you can do what you want and you’re not limited.
I love the way Finale continues to upgrade its products. This newest version is the best yet. With each upgrade there are more and more tools that make your workflow easier to achieve quality notation. I like the fact that I can make and save my own templates.
Composing, conducting, performing, it’s all there. Finale is amazing! A real powerhouse.
Learn more about Finale 2011. Learn about its features, prices etc. Read reviews and see whether or not it works for you. Click here to read about Finale 2011 music notation software.
2. Sibelius Review
New in Sibelius 7
- Task-oriented user interface
- Optimized for single-monitor use
- Professional sound library
- Reasons to switch to Sibelius from Finale
- Text and typography enhancements
- Native 64-bit support
- Expanded graphics import and export
I had been using Finale for a couple of years and finally decided to try Sibelius. What caught my attention right away with Sibelius was the relative ease of using the numeric keypad to enter note values and accidentals. You can easily enter notes with your mouse thanks to the “preview notes” feature, and you can use regular keys A-G just as easily if you choose. You can use top row numeric keys to add intervals, and arrow keys to bump notes up and down. For each note you enter you can listen to the audio.
With Sibelius music notation software, you can even scan in music that is already printed and save it as a PDF. You can use optical character recognition to convert it to note info. While this process is not perfect (you still have to do some tweaking), it can save you a lot of time in time manual entry. Do you want to separate chords into individual parts, you can use Explode. To go the other way, use Implode.
You can even slave apps like Logic or Reason with Sibelius, thanks to the utilization of Rewire. If you want to take your music production to the next level, this is it.
Sibelius is an invaluable tool for composing, orchestrating and engraving, no matter what your level of competence. Whether you’re a music hobbyist or a professional, it will help you get up and running in a flash.
I like both programs, Finale and Sibelius. Although, in terms of the interface which I find to be more intuitive and simplified, I’ll give Sibelius the edge. Click here to learn about Sibelius 7®.