Free Notation Software

Best free notation and composition software

Free music software is available for download on the internet. Open source notation and composition software allows you to enter notes into the software directly from your keyboard. As you compose and create melodies, it is recorded directly onto the virtual music sheets for you to replay, edit, add flats, sharps, notes, time signatures, repeats, etc. Free notation software gives everyone the opportunity to record their inspired music onto music sheets and edit with ease, without needing to pay hundreds (or thousands) of dollars.

The following composition and notation software are free alternatives to the popular and somewhat expensive Sibelius and Finale software.

List of best free music composition and notation software

Musescore is a very popular open source free music composition software. Read more about it and download it from their website. It is probably the most downloaded alternative to the paid software packages Sibelius and Finale. Musescore boasts unlimited staves, up to four voices per stave, note entry through mouse, keyboard, or MIDI, import file types: xml, mxl, md, bww, ove, mgu, sgu, cap, kar, export to file types: midi, wav, flac, ogg, pdf, png, ps, svg, ly. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms and translated into 43 languages. "Create beautiful sheet music, fast and easy". A true international free music notation and composition software. Musescore is considered intuitive and does come with a large helpful users guide available on its website.

finale NotePad
Finale Notepad is a free composition offering by the company that produces the premium paid version of Finale. A fairly popular and clean looking piece of free notation software, it is often described by critics and one of the best alternatives to paying for composition software. It would definitely be worth trying and then deciding if it works for you. Read more about it and download at the link above.

LilyPond is a very popular free music notation program that features "elegant sheet music" and classical engraving. An open source music software, thousands of hours were put into producing it, and it continues to be developed. LilyPond says it gets formatting right from the start, and that composers will need to spend less time tweaking the layout. Any problems with lyrics, notes, and chords are resolved automatically, and slurs and beams are sloped automatically. LilyPond accepts ASCII input, you can add music into a document easily, lots of support and plugins available for this free notation software. Read more and download from link.

Imrpo-visor is free notation software, focusing on the hand inputting and editing of music. It's claim to fame is being able to offer "improvisation advice", automated suggestions for your music. It is considered useful for beginners and experts. Impro-visor is seen as one of the better free alternatives to Band in a Box. Impro-visor has several useful features. It includes MusicXML import through the Musescore software, MusicXML and MIDI exports, and MIDI import (single track). Download available from link.

Please let us know if you think this is another peice of music composition or notation software that is free and deserves to be listed here.

Last Updated: December 10, 2013

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