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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: OK.. What sheet music program do I need ?

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TuneWeaver - Posted - 08/09/2019:  15:07:30

?? Musescore????

texasstyleguy - Posted - 08/09/2019:  15:27:20

Musescore is the best free option for sure; however, my personal favorite is NoteWorthy composer ( It's much more intuitive, and the virtual keyboard at the bottom of the screen for note entry is super convenient. Musescore has so many features that it feels bloated to use it; unless you have some really specialty needs, NoteWorthy is the way to go imho.

texasstyleguy - Posted - 08/09/2019:  16:13:04

Of course, if you're looking simply for blank sheet music to write on by hand, is your best friend

Dick Hauser - Posted - 08/10/2019:  09:11:24

Are we discussing tab, standard notation, or both ?  For standard music notation, I use Finale "Printmusic".

It does everything  the typical player will ever want.  The software makes extensive use of 

"Windows" features.  A person doesn't realize how useful they are until they use software that does not include these features.  It also has the best organized and informative "HELP" option I have ever used in any software.

For playing the fiddle using standard GDAE tuning, I prefer using musical notation.  It enables me to more quickly visualize the flow of the music.  On the 5 string banjo, I use Tabledit.  I use it to print tunes showing both tab and standard notation.  The enables me take some down the neck licks, see the note progressions, and easily create an up the neck version.  

I think Tabledit is maintained by a very small programming staff, maybe one person.  It is not free.  A tab creation software that is considered "shareware" is free, and should be more advanced than software being maintained by a very small staff.  But it may be subject to more "bugs".   Before I did anything, I would give "Musedit" a try.  It is free.  When using new software, you always have lots of questions and out of ignorance, complaints.  It just takes patience, time, and questions before you get as proficient as you would like to be.  I think "MUsedit" is as sophisticated as Tabledit.  I also found it more easy to use.  But I did buy the "Musedit" manual.  IMHO, Tabledit does not have a decent users manual.   


Edited by - Dick Hauser on 08/10/2019 09:32:32

martynspeck - Posted - 08/12/2019:  07:28:29

I like to use EasyABC. It uses ABC notation to produce sheet music.

I like it because it produces the dots just by typing without having to drag them around the page.

It will play back your composition although it won't play the chords for you.

alaskafiddler - Posted - 08/12/2019:  17:44:44

I found musescore pretty easy to do what I need...

I guess I would consider various factors and tradeoffs.

How easy of intuitive is it to get up and running; use for what you mostly need. For example some easy might do simple things that fit limited application... in a fairly narrow way; so at expense of adjustability and limitation of bit more advanced features. 

Advanced features... the program is more designed for advanced users... advanced configurable, adjustment, ,less default, make you specify a lot of parameters and settings; use less advanced terminology... can they make the basic workflow less intuitive and confusing; so can make the learning curve a little steeper; and/or more intimidating. Some features might be more hidden; like the virtual keyboard at bottom of screen (BTW musescore does have that, it's just defaulted off)

There are some aspects about workflow; that can be just a personal preference (or annoyance). It can six of one, half dozen of other. For me there are some aspects to editing and scrolling in musecore that I find clunky...  works okay will get the job done, but other programs are a bit smoother/efficient in how I want to work. As well some design is there  to prevent other easy accidental problems, make harder to mess up; less auto select type things... requiring redundant command; safer but slower; others are faster but have to be careful... it's a personal choice.

Of course the trade-off for most is the price. Inexpensive or FREE is always a bonus, can makes other problems less an issue. (might depends on how much you use it; or livelihood depends on it, what your time is worth). 

With that I would suggest TRY IT, musescore, or any FREE program or demo... Only way to evaluate for your needs, is to use it, see if works for you personally (not others)... if not it didn't really cost you anything.  

One consideration to mention is portability and compatability. Musescore, and I believe most others... can save the file in a format that can be opened by another program. But not always. This is important for example if you did work, but decide to switch software in future; you'll want to be able to convert it to the new; or if you have to send it to another person, or publisher and their requirements; or even if you want to do something like import it in a DAW; or play MIDI device/keyboard. Just saying many folks have been burned on that issue before (what the only thing will open and use this file is that old program in Windows 98,  got for free?). sad


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