Monday Mailbag – Notation Software

I’d love to be able to use notation software in my studio. I have some budding composers, and I also would love to do my own “edits” of songs for some students that is more readable than me just printing it out. However, there are several products out there, and they all claim to be the best! 🙂 Wondering if you use any, and also thought this might be an area that folks could share their expertise!

My first steps into the world of notation software came when a friend gave me her used copy of Print Music. I used that for several years until I came to the point where I needed capabilities that it didn’t offer. After doing some research, I eventually settled on Finale. There is considerable debate between Finale and Sibelius users and I won’t pretend to know enough to make a case for either. My only experience has been with Finale, but so far it does everything I need it to. They also have a NotePad version that is great for students as a starter-level software. It used to be free, but now costs $9.95. Still well worth it in my opinion!

There are a couple of free programs available: MuseScore is one that I heard about not to long ago. I’ve been wanting to take a look at it, but haven’t done so yet. LilyPond is an automated engraving system that looks really cool! I investigated it in depth several years ago, and if I had the time to devote to learning it, I would love to give it a try. (Definitely just for the more geeky among us, though. :-))

If you do decide to purchase a software program, I found this website called AABACA Music Barn that had by far the best prices I could find. It’s been quite a few years since I did my research, but I suspect they are still one of the best deals out there for music educators.

Obviously, my expertise in this field is rather limited, so if anyone else has thoughts or recommendations on notation software, please share!

Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!

Share and enjoy!

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