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#1147499 - 10/29/07 04:50 PM Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Strat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 570
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I want to be able to share sheet music I'm working on with others. Is there a program I could download (for free) that will let me create some musical score?

Which would you recommend and why? \:\)
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Piano & Music Acc. / Sheet Music


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#1147500 - 10/29/07 04:55 PM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
There's a free version of Finale called Finale Notepad:

http://www.petersreviews.com/finale_notepad.html

http://www.finalemusic.com/notepad/
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#1147501 - 10/29/07 10:54 PM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5903
Loc: Down Under
I found the free Finale notepad too basic for my needs (I've got a full version on my other computer), but it depends how complicated your scores are. Is there a free version of Sibelius as well?
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#1147502 - 10/30/07 12:38 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Strat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 570
Loc: Toronto, Canada
How's the full version of Finale, anyway? Honestly, the biggest problem I have with any audio-related application is that they seem to be irritatingly counter-intuitive to use, so you either need to spend hours to figure the simplest things out or you end up giving up out of sheer frustration.
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#1147503 - 10/30/07 12:46 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
gundala Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 40
I use Sibelius

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#1147504 - 10/30/07 01:41 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5903
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Strat:
How's the full version of Finale, anyway? Honestly, the biggest problem I have with any audio-related application is that they seem to be irritatingly counter-intuitive to use, so you either need to spend hours to figure the simplest things out or you end up giving up out of sheer frustration. [/b]
Yes well it is a bit like that \:\) . My full version is pretty old, because having spent all that time learning how to use it, I couldn't face learning any changes, so newer versions might be actually easier to use, if I only had the courage to try. The time-consuming thing for me is working out what to call that thing i want to do so that I can then look up how to do it. But having worked it out, I can say that it does everything i want it to do, and the results look very good. I don't use the play-and-have-it-notate-for-you features, so I can't comment there. I just use it like you would use a word-processor for writing words.
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#1147505 - 10/30/07 05:37 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
I use 'Music Publisher'. I found it easy to use, and very powerful.

You can download it free and try it for as long as you want, but you can't print or export files without purchasing the liscense. I forget the price , but it,s not very expensive.
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#1147506 - 10/30/07 06:57 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
I use Sibelius 3, and I'm happy with it so far.

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#1147507 - 10/30/07 09:05 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
There isn't a free version of Sibelius, but they have recently offered a student version of the software for $99 US.
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#1147508 - 10/30/07 10:10 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2703
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
As a user of Finale 2004 and earlier version going back to 1990 it got much easier after Sibelius came out. What I find cool is that there are commands in the quick entry tool that are also in the step time tool (flipping stems, etc.). I'm sure the current version is not only easier to use, but sounds better as well.

My looks at Sibelius have been very brief and shallow, so I can't offer any comparisons.

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#1147509 - 10/30/07 10:14 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
playadom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/06
Posts: 1366
Loc: New Jersey
http://lilypond.org/web/

I'd recommend LilyPond. It may not be easy to use, but it makes *beautiful* sheet music.
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Practice makes permanent - Perfect practice makes perfect.

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#1147510 - 10/30/07 10:31 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
I'm going to try LilyPond per your recommendation. My mental backlog of compositions is becoming unmanageable. If I died today, they would be lost. Whether they are worth preserving, of course, is for the jury to decide.
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#1147511 - 10/30/07 10:40 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
It's not for everyone. If you are looking for WYSIWYG, look elsewhere.

I kind of like it, though, and am going to use it. This represents the kind of simple, to-the-point thinking that characterizes open source solutions. There is not a lot that can go wrong with this product, and the output seems to be of a high quality.

If you happen to be a software programmer or otherwise in the technical fields, or remember simple computer music composition on early computers from the 1970's, this is a great little program.

Kudos for the heads-up!
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Wikicital: A collaborative effort to build a knowledgebase of classical music history combined with examples. Your chance to both perform and write...

Don't click here!

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#1147512 - 10/30/07 10:30 PM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Allazart Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 389
I use lilypond once I have settled on the score.
In the initial stages, I prefer to use noteworthy composer.

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#1147513 - 12/13/07 09:31 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Art of the Fugue Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I tried Lilypond a long time ago and wasn't impressed by the output, but looking over their website recently it seems they have improved a lot.

The interface (plain text) hasn't changed much since I tried it.

It can be hard to learn. So can using Sibelius if you really want something to look a specific way. Having used Sibelius recently I see you can get a long long way and get beautiful output just using their outstandingly well written manual.

But to get to the point where you can typeset practically anything and have it look just the way you want is going to take a lot of work and study no matter what program you use, so...

I find myself interested in Lilypond once again, because ... free program and free upgrades for life on any operating system, and the possibilities of what you can do with it as far as printed music goes are quite literally endless.

Obviously I'm really biased because I am a computer programmer, so make of that what you will.

P.S. The main advantages of plain text are:
- It encourages you to be precise
- Easily compare revisions
- Always copy and paste the exact scope of formatting you desire

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#1147514 - 12/13/07 09:37 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Another one to look for is MagicScore Maestro. It doesn't have the limitations of Notepad and is much more reasonable than the full version of Finale.

Rich
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#1147515 - 01/13/08 11:36 PM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
JamesD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/08
Posts: 25
Loc: Brandon, MS
I use Sibelius 5 connected to a MIDI keyboard on my iMac and this works great. Printing is done on a wide-format inkjet printer.

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#1147516 - 01/14/08 01:49 AM Re: Is there a PC program to write sheet music for piano?
Late Beginner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 588
Loc: West Australia
Hi,

I've been using Finale Notepad and it's been good enough for my modest needs.

But if you want something that is cheap, intuitive and does exactly what you want, then you really can't go past printing out some blank scores, using the old fashioned pencil and pen method, and then using a photocopier or scanning it into the computer. \:\)

Sometimes, with a bit of an upgrade, the old ways still work OK. ;\)

Cheers,

Chris
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