View Full Version : Whatís The Best Music Notation Software?

Help! I need some advice/expertise from experienced folks whoíve actually used some of these music notation software programs before. Any insight you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Iím on the hunt for information about the best music notation software, and Iíve been researching online trying to decide the software that is the smartest purchase between these three:

#1 Ė Sibelius First

Of course the Sibelius First would pop up first on Amazon. Itís got some great customer reviews, but Iím not thrilled about the $90-plus price tag. Also, the conflicting reviews are a little confusing. Some people say that itís great and easy to figure out with keyboard shortcuts, while others write that it took them a whole hour to do something as simple as changing the playback tempo!

Iím not in the mood to wrestle with some overly complicated and complex software that makes you jump through hoops to perform what should be easy tasks. And I really donít want to pay nearly "a hundo" for a program thatís very difficult to learn.

#2 Ė Notion 4

Now this program is looking better in terms of ease of use and understandability, even if the price tag is higher at nearly $100 a pop. Itís not like I want to pay more, but it could be worth it if it saves time Ė because time is money.

Iíve learned that the interface is supposedly well laid out and that this program is easy to use and understand, so I like that feedback. In fact, I donít see anything negative about this program at all, which only makes me slightly skeptical and leaves me wondering if there arenít just a bunch of paid reviews about the product online.

But those customer reviews seem real, with folks raving about what they were able to create when using Notion 4. In fact, one customer went back and amended their original lower rating because they took the time to work with the software and got to know it better, and actually used it to create music.

Perhaps the only stopping point would be the price.

#3 Ė Forte Notation

I discovered positive feedback about Forte Notation when I read how much a music teacher loved using it to write or compose sheet music that is customized to the students. Also, folks raved about the free version that allowed them to create certain options. Of course, that free version is limited Ė but heck, itís free!

The main thing that has me leaning toward Forte Notation is some kind of explanatory documentation titled "Forte in Ten Minutes" that you should be able to download to help you understand how to use the whole thing. Iíve got ten minutes to learn just about anything, so that sounds like my fastest route to getting this sheet music thing downpat.

I feel like Iím one step closer to making my music creation dreams a reality, but I want to make sure Iím getting the best product possible.

What are your thoughts?

Have you been using music notation softwareĖ and which one is the best in your experience?

I think you need to ask yourself what you’re hoping to get out of the software… i.e what’s your eventual goal?

If you want to produce a professional looking score, have a clear upgrade path to an app that’s used day in, day out in this industry, then Sibelius First is the way to go. Yes, it’s more expensive and more complex, but it’s ultimately the only one that will lead you to ‘bigger things’.

Notion is very good for what it does. If you’re more interested in getting your ideas down, and not in the formatting/layout, then this is the way to go. There’s also a very good companion iPad app (sold separately).

Also, if you’re into ‘playing piano in’, check out ScoreCloud – it’s quite interesting.

Noteflight.com is also worth looking at if you’re really at the foot of the mountain looking up… it’s great for beginners.

So there we are; personally, if you’re serious – I’d go with Sibelius First.

Thanks man, I appreciate your in-depth answer

I really liked the way DtotheWH has elucidated the things above. One more thing I would like to add up is that I continuously use to scroll the webpages for the similar reviews and I have found “MuseScore” is another good option for you. You can also try it for free and can access its compatibility for you.