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#1139998 - 05/01/08 08:05 PM what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1905
Loc: El Cajon, CA
Hi guys. I need to get some better music notation software than what I've been using. I'm currently using Lime version 9.00 but there are things that aren't displaying/printing properly, and a reinstall of the software didn't cure it. (Yes I know they want $65 for it, but I'm currently using the unregistered nagware version.)



As you can see, the bar lines on the left aren't displaying, and the lowest notes on the lowest line are cut off.

So, I'm thinking, since I'm kinda into writing and transcribing music, it's time to invest in better software. I would like one that's better in every way than Lime, and I would ESPECIALLY like full midi editing support (so I can assign different instruments to playing the songs, for example.)

Some software I'm aware of is Sibelius, Finale, and Sonar (which is primarily an audio/midi program though), but are there others I should look at?

I believe Finale Notepad would be too crippled for what I want to do, but I really don't want to pay for the full version of Finale (and I wouldn't be able to get the academic discount \:\( .)

I only have up to $1000 to spend, and that should get me ALL of the following:
1. registration for 2008 PTG National Convention
2. hotel stay fee (I'll probably stay at a cheaper $35-75, depending on what I can get) one off-site.)
3. music notation software
4. getting my current piano moved out of my house, if I can't get it done 4 free
5. a replacement upright piano (either a pre-serial#-200,000 Baldwin Hamilton studio, or a 147cm or taller upright in good condition)

By far, the biggest expense would be the National convention. Also, it's hard to find good pianos in the price that's left, so that would leave very little for notation software.
I'd like to keep the notation software price under $50, but if it's a really good / recommended program that'll blow what I'm currently using out of the orchestra, then I'd consider spending $100.

What would you guys recommend?
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Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#1139999 - 05/02/08 05:50 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
Lillypond is free and open-source, and it is as good as anything else out there, once you learn it's tricks. I don't know if it will play back your music like a sequencer, though.

I use Logic Pro 7 for notation. It's kind of complicated because Logic is capable of other stuff, too (it is full recording/production software)

Logic Express 8 is slimmed down, has a score editor (notation), and costs $200. Considering your budget, I'd go for Lillypond \:\)

Logic is IMO the most versatile midi sequencer/ recording software out there, but again it can do so much that figuring out any one specific aspect of it can take some searching.

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#1140000 - 05/02/08 06:59 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1905
Loc: El Cajon, CA
Ok....

Which of those has an installer that'll install it on Windows XP SP2?
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#1140001 - 05/02/08 08:36 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
both, i imagine. check the websites to be sure.

oops I spelled it wrong. It's Lilypond:
http://lilypond.org/web/

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#1140002 - 05/03/08 04:08 AM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
I'm very happy with ScoreWriter 4 from www.geniesoft.com -- costs about 60 bucks and does everything I want, although nobody seems to know of its existence. \:\)
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#1140003 - 05/03/08 07:41 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
I like Mup (www.arkkra.com) - it cost me $30 and all upgrades are free. It's kinda like Lilypond, but a lot easier to use.

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#1140004 - 05/04/08 11:27 AM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
xcal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 78
Take a look at MUSEDIT (www.musedit.com). It is, I believe, $79US including lifetime free upgrades. I've been using it for years and like it very much. I've notated multiple instruments with it, including guitar and percussion. I've heard that Finale and Sibelius (especially Finale) has a very steep learning curve. It all depends on what you plan on doing with it. If you're writing for symphony orchestra, you should probably go with the high end like Sibelius.

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#1140005 - 05/04/08 02:58 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
dannac Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 595
Loc: USA
Sibelius Academic version .... all features and plugins included but at a better price.
Check out www.triplets.com

Not hard to use.
But if you have troubles , there is a very helpful forum (just like here)

Check computer requirements though ...
need 500 ram and a DVD drive.

Try it ... your search for music notation software will be over.

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#1140006 - 05/05/08 11:55 AM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
Markeyz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 135
Loc: Seattle
Isn't Logic Mac only?

I wasn't able to find a notation software package that I liked for $50 so I figured if I was going to have to spend real money I might as well go all the way. I ended up with Sibelius, but I was able to get the academic discount.
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Jazz pianist and teacher.

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#1140007 - 05/07/08 09:52 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
JazzManToo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/04
Posts: 104
Loc: Somerville, Massachusetts
Finale and Sibelius are the both very good and although both need some time to master. I suggest trying demo versions of all the various levels of these two and finding one that does what you want. I've been very happy with Finale Allegro. It's more than you want to spend ($200,) but Finale Print Music does most of what Allegro does for $100. Demo downloads are available for MAC and PC.
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#1140008 - 05/08/08 04:03 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
You want free? Ever tried abc notation? It's amazing what you can do with it.

It's biggest downfall (for being free) is the print output isn't as nice as Sibelius/Finale.

I use both abc and Sibelius.
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"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
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#1140009 - 05/08/08 08:09 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
I use Magic Score Maestro, but it does not position everything perfectly.
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#1140010 - 06/20/08 03:46 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
jjtpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 213
Loc: Jamestown, NC
I like Finale. It's expensive, but worth it, especially if you're going to be transcribing piano music.

It's not all that hard to use. The newest version has a lot of very slick and time-saving features.
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Live Music Is Best

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#1140011 - 06/21/08 01:39 AM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Older versions on LimeWire
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Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

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#1140012 - 06/23/08 11:16 AM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
Eternal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
 Quote:
$0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
$0? $50? $100? $200? $400?[/b]

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#1140013 - 06/27/08 03:16 AM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
No. $350 is okay but $400 is out of the question.
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#1140014 - 06/27/08 08:01 AM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1905
Loc: El Cajon, CA
I guess I picked the wrong arbitrary price tiers.....

How about something like....

$0 (free - try-before-you-buy and crippleware-please-pay-to-unlock, etc, does NOT qualify under this category), $30, $60, $100, $150, $200, $300, $400, best-at-any-price
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#1140015 - 07/11/08 12:37 PM Re: what's good music notation software at $0? $50? $100? $200? $350?
soundinstyle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 8
I use Finale 2008, but for the longest time I used to use Finale NotePad, which is 100% free and very easy to learn, I found. I only recently got Finale 2008, and before that I was using NotePad for creating compositions in my music theory class and for arranging multi part a cappella music. (In fact I think our whole a cappella scene at college uses it for that purpose.) So it's definitely very useable.

Also, on Finale (and probably most other notation software), you can get an academic license if you're qualified, either by buying from a company that distributes academic software (such as Journeyed.com) or through the software company's own website. You can also get Finale pretty cheap for new as compared to the original price if you buy from Amazon (not someone reselling through Amazon).

I do strongly discourage you from buying used, whether that be eBay or Amazon, unless you feel confident about verifying the legitimacy of it; A.) lots of people sell pirated copies of software and B.) at least Finale requires you to register your software, and you can only register on a max of two computers. You can unregister it, but suppose somebody forgot...?

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