Last Updated December, 2022
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01
Editor's Choice
Star Ratings
An online music notation software designed to create, view, print, and hear professionally designed digital music sheets for musicians
  • Music educator platform
  • Supported on all devices
  • Interactive forum
9.9
overall rating
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02
Star Ratings
Making it easy to write down your musical ideas quickly while also being able to hear your scores back with in-built orchestral samples
  • Hand-to-digital notation
  • Orchestral samples
  • Easy composition and edit
9.8
overall rating
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03
Star Ratings
A popular notation software that helps musicians create, play, and print beautiful sheet music for them to keep track of their work
  • Open source
  • Input via MIDI keyboard
  • Easy-to-use
9.6
overall rating
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04
Star Ratings
Make professional music sheets for free and with ease using a simple software for musicians that save their work on a digital platform
  • Windows only
  • Intuitive interface
  • Easy-to-use
9.5
overall rating
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05
Star Ratings
Allowing musicians to produce an easy-to-read elegant sheet music that is inspired by the finest hand-engraved music for font design
  • Extensible design
  • Excellent support
  • Text input
9.3
overall rating
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06
Star Ratings
A convenient software to help teachers, students, professionals, and even amateurs read, understand, edit, compose, and notate music
  • For professionals and amateurs
  • Discounts for teachers and students
  • Easy-to-use software
9.1
overall rating
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07
An award-winning music notation software for musicians who want to compose, edit and share their music using new digital technology
  • Recording and synchronization
  • Easy import and export
  • Convenient audio mixing
9.1
overall rating
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08
Star Ratings
An all-in-one music composing software that turns your screen into a real studio recording session where you can compose and edit music
  • Smart Tempo
  • Logic Remote
  • Composing and performance
8.9
overall rating
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09
Star Ratings
Enabling musicians to work seamlessly in producing tunes, sharing score, and working with specific tools to compose professional music
  • Easy note entries
  • Mac and PC compatible
  • Music into scores
8.7
overall rating
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10
Star Ratings
Write your sheet music by simply using the innovations of digital technology and play your work using in-built instruments conveniently
  • Easy input methods
  • User-friendly interface
  • Mobile friendly
8.6
overall rating
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Frequently asked questions about music notation software

Music notation is the language of music. It is a way of communicating with people about how a particular song or note should sound when played with instruments. In a sense, it is similar to how text conveys words to the reader. The modern Western system of music notation has its roots in the works of Italian medieval music theorist Guido d’Arezzo.

For anyone learning music, music notation software is a welcoming invention. It makes the process of writing music notations relatively easy and simple with the use of technology.

What is music notation software?

Music notation software helps to write or create music scores. This software is especially useful for anyone composing music in a band or as part of a music study course.

How does music notation software work?

The main purpose of music notation software is that it simplifies the process of writing music. Handwritten music notation is often hard to understand. However, music notation software makes it easy to understand and read music scores with utmost accuracy.

The software lets you place symbols, chords, music lyrics, and dynamics exactly where they should be. This simplifies reading and, in turn, playing it. Also, the software lets you listen to what you have written in parts or as a whole so you can make the necessary edits.

How to use music notation software?

Using music notation software is relatively easy. The system lets you write sheet music that is easy to understand for playback. Music notation lets you:

  • Make changes to the time signature and key signature
  • Add notes including whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and thirty-second notes
  • Insert ties, dotted notes, and rests
  • Add sharps and flats
  • Work with guitar tabs and percussion notation
  • Playback to listen to a composition

Depending on software specifics, each music notation software can offer unique features. Most music notation software is compatible with new versions of Windows, Android, or Mac OS. Depending on the software, you can input notes with the help of a MIDI keyboard, mouse, virtual guitar fretboard, or other similar options.

Features to look for in music notation software

If you are new to music notation software, knowing which one to choose could be tricky.

A good music notation software lets you access numerous pieces of sheet music with minimal charges. Additionally, you should be able to access metronome, have the ability to download and play offline, and export to PDF format.

Moreover, it should have an easy-to-use software with a simple interface. A music notation software that is easy for beginners and those with experience in music is what you should look for.

Inputting notations should be hassle-free. Most software allows you to use a MIDI controller, the computer mouse, or even a virtual keyboard that comes with the software. These features could help you use the software better.

What is the best music notation software?

Some of the best options of software to consider are:

Noteflight

Noteflight is a cloud-based notation software that permits musicians to create, teach, purchase, and sell original music. This is one of the most preferred platforms for music educators. Noteflight Learn is a platform designed for music educators. Some of its notables features are:

  • Availability of a free basic Noteflight account for beginners
  • Ability to import scores using MusicXML or MIDI formats
  • Support for major browsers, including Google Chrome

Notion™ 6

Notion 6 is one of the best music composition and notation software options available in the market. Its highly intuitive functioning lets musicians compose anything from simple sheet music to complete scores. Moreover, integration with StudioOne truly takes project compositions to higher levels. Its highlights are as follows:

  • Samples from the London Symphony Orchestra
  • Cross-platform handwriting recognition
  • MusicXML support for seamless transfer

MuseScore

MuseScore has one of the most easy-to-use interfaces among music notation software options. Being completely free, it is a great platform for beginners to start learning or composing music. Its features are:

  • Completely free
  • Offers support for MIDI file and MusicXML
  • Input through a mouse, MIDI controller, or virtual keyboard

Is it worth paying for music notation software?

Finally, if you are wondering whether it is worth paying for music notation software, the answer depends on the level of features you require. If you are simply seeking a basic notation software, MuseScore would be ideal for you, as it scores composing needs at no extra charge. This is a great option for students and anyone learning music for the first time.

However, if your needs for notation are professional, it is definitely worth paying for the extra effects that come with paid music notation software platforms. This is true for anyone using this software to compose the entire score of a film or a music album, as this would require an immense focus on minor details, like dynamics. The best way to see what works for you is by checking out the trial version of any notation software and reading reviews before making a decision.

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