Good Notation Software for composers
is like a good word processing program for writers
You don't have
to compose with notation software. If you are faster by taking a pen,
scratching mystic symbols on dirty paper, go on. You might forget it
But if you
have to write an musical score for a symphony orchestra, you would be
better off with a good notation software, because others have to read and
play it. Yes, changing from handwriting to a notation software may take
some time, but then you have perfectly professional scores.
notation functions of the big MIDI sequencing programs became quite
professional overtime, you may want to use software that is specialized in
What does it
have to offer for the money?
All musical Symbols.
Like you want to have all the characters
and special signs in your word processing software, you want to have all
musical symbols in your notation software.
different ways to notate music and even
let you switch between some of them like notes, tablature, chord symbols
in writing scores. All of the "laws", written or unwritten, of how to
write a musical score that is easy to read, should be implemented in the
It should give you
perfect looking sheets with no tedious editing work.
Auto Compose or Arrange
tools. This "intelligent" feature lets you
save a lot of time and might be a welcome source of inspiration for the
professional composer or arranger. It produces arrangements or chord
progressions to a given melody, or a score from a given chord progression
High Quality Playback
of the score. Today, you don't have to rely
on cheap soundcards and squeaky sounds in order to listen to your score.
You can get almost perfect quality if you want to.
Since quite a
while two programs fight for the top position, that are hard to beat.
both for Mac and Windows. By the fact that they even try to persuade you
to cross grade to their program, you can see how hard this battle is
differentiates them from the rest?
have all the functions built in, that you eventually might need. I don't
know exactly why, but what I have seen is, that rather jazz oriented
people seem to slightly prefer Sibelius, while Finale dominates the
Both have a
full set of functions and now also built in virtual instruments to hear
what you just have composed. The sound quality is baffling. Very close to
the original, and I certainly don't say that lightheartedly. You would not
have expected that from a notation software.
After a look
under the hood it's no wonder why, because both programs come with "state
of the art" sound generation.
They both come
fully equipped with a special edition of Kontakt, one of the best software
sampler around, made by "Native Instruments". It's fed by one of the best
orchestral sound libraries, Garritan. So it's no wonder why they sound so
In case you
don't need all of these functions or just want to spend less money, you
can try Overture,
Encore. These programs are
a notch simpler but also
get the job done, if you just need to write music score sheets.