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#655702 - 09/11/03 12:53 AM Does any body know any good composing software?
Tony C Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 95
What I am looking for is something that allows me compose different lines of music and assign instruments to each line.

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#655703 - 09/11/03 02:23 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
Tony, at $350 for academic sales and $450 for private sales, Finale might be a bit pricey, but it will do what you're asking. (Those prices are a couple of years out of date)
Want 6 voices? Create 6 staves, enter your note-line in each staff, then assign the desired Midi instrument to each staff.

I think Sibelius will do the same thing, but I don't work with it enough to be positive.

Cakewalk and BandInABox MIGHT do this, but the first two are the better bets.

Bob

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#655704 - 09/29/03 12:41 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
My daughter has both Sibelius and Finale. She much prefers Sibelius for full scores. Both have steep learning curves, with Sibelius being, perhaps, a little stepper.

There are also simplified versions of Finale (I think one is called "Allegro").

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#655705 - 10/27/03 06:37 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
starmender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 461
Loc: Australia
I use and love Sibelius. I actually think it is really easy to use. My son uses it too, and his level of music literacy is just OK. He does brilliant things with it.

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#655706 - 12/03/03 07:44 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
Another vote for Sibelius
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Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#655707 - 12/10/03 01:42 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Baw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/09/03
Posts: 1
Does Sibelius read old Finale files? I use a Macintosh with Mac OS X.1.5 which is incompatible with existing Finale versions. Seeing that Finale 2004 will be their first release on OS X and has been delayed many times, I am thinking about giving Sibelius a shot. I have some very old Finale files from the Finale 2.x/3.0 days and would like to know if I can open them with Sibelius 3 (notation only, no MIDI association). Thanks.

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#655708 - 12/10/03 02:18 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
xxx.ETF = Enigma Transportable File

Finale files can be saved in .ETF format and Sibelius will open .EFT formatted files. A lot of the detail is lost, but it still opens in Sibelius intact enough to print the sheet music and do some massaging in Sibelius.

I can't remember it the Sibelius program will save files in the .ETF format, but I don't think it will. (at least not in 2001/2002 editions. (In other words its a one-way street from Fin to Sib.)

ETF may be a bit old hat now though, as a new "generalized music format" from Recordair is making inroads. I've forgotten its name and file extension and have had no personal experience with it. It is part of a system of programs aimed at higher quality "visual scan-in" of info from sheet music directly into the program's memory. Consistently successful scanning ......well that's both off topic and a long way away yet, but YES you can open Finale files in Sibelius if you output them from Finale into a .ETF file instead of a .MUS file.

Finale can accept a MIDI file and transcribe it in a flash. If Sibelius can also translate MIDI files into printed scores (which I assume it can)you could just save your Finale file as a .MID file and then import that .MID file into the Sibelius program as well.

Bob

This is all on IBM compatibles, Windows 9x or so. Of Mac, ich weis nicht.

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#655709 - 01/06/04 11:57 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21275
Loc: Oakland
I was at MacWorld Expo today, which gave me an opportunity to update my copy of SmartScore. It's not the most complete music editing package out there, but it is definitely the best music OCR application I've seen. I've used it to clean up some poorly put-together copies of Henry Cowell's music, and although it would be unreasonable to expect it to get everything, it makes a good start.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with music OCR, it takes a scan of a musical score, and converts it to editable music, in the same way that regular OCR converts a scan to editable text. It also has MIDI playback capability, so that you can listen to what you are editing for mistakes. As OCR is not perfect, that is important. I think of this as a music editing application, not so much music composing, though. You can compose with it, however, and it might even be able to read music from your henscratches if your handwriting is neat enough.

Web page: SmartScore
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Semipro Tech

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#655710 - 01/10/04 03:18 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1718
Loc: Los Angeles
I use performer for midi composition.

I never tried it, but Mark of the Unicorn had something called FreeStyle, which was good at interpreting timing and properly scoring music on the fly.

Anyone have experience with this?
_________________________
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Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Seiler | Restored Steinway

BauerHouse Productions

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#655711 - 01/10/04 03:26 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I use Finale 2004, and I got the academic version for about $250. I have used Sibelius, and for me, Finale is more efficient with its smart entry and generally can do a little more than Sibelius. The interface also appeals to me more.

I have used Finale for small scores, like piano, and for larger string quartet and orchestral compositions as well. It is a little more cumbersome with a large score because you have so much to work with and move around, but after some experience, Finale works great.

Shant, from my experience and from the general consensus, Finale has a steeper learning curve than Sibelius, and not vice versa.

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#655712 - 01/11/04 03:16 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1718
Loc: Los Angeles
 Quote:
Originally posted by CrashTest:
I have used Finale for small scores, like piano, and for larger string quartet and orchestral compositions as well. It is a little more cumbersome with a large score because you have so much to work with and move around, but after some experience, Finale works great. [/b]
Did they fix the issue with layers? Meaning, when you would have multiple lines on on staff (say two flute parts), you would have to set up two different layers so you could seperate the note stem directions.

The problem with the old version of finale I have is there is nothing that marks which layer you are currently on - making for some highly confusing situations when you are working on a long score, and you have to seperate out the parts later.
_________________________
Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Seiler | Restored Steinway

BauerHouse Productions

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#655713 - 01/11/04 02:44 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13759
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yes. Different layers are now displayed in different colors.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#655714 - 01/11/04 03:07 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
I have Finale 2002 and it has 4 different colors for its layers as well.

Crash, you were using a version before 2004 I believe. Which version was it and what improvements do you like most?

Is the scanning (from hardcopy score to Finale file) any better, or is that something you even use very much?

I think they changed the SpeedyInput a little, but I don't know the details.

Bob

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#655715 - 03/05/04 09:28 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
DR LO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 98
Loc: Southwest Iowa
I have PrintMusic 2001 and it is kinda old, but it does a lot of stuff, i've got a few problems with writing layers, and it is basicly impossible to write a drum score, but everything else is easy.

--DR LO

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#655716 - 04/11/04 04:37 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
pqbd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 47
Tony C's question is a bit vague to me. Does he want to compose and to be able to print the music out? Or does he want to compose and sequence so that it comes out on the sound card (usually via MIDI) the way he wants it to sound? Or is it both? For the former, if I want to print out professional-looking sheet music, I use Finale 2003. For the latter, if I want my computer to be my orchestra and play any of my compositions, I use Cakewalk Pro Audio 9. The Cakewalk is old, I know, but I don't need any of the features that Sonar has.

And RKVS1, I've seen academic versions of Finale go as low as $209. And this is the full-featured version, not Allegro or PrintMusic. See www.needsoftware.com .


pqbd

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#655717 - 08/21/04 02:22 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
pianobrit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 47
Loc: Colorado
www.suprnova.org
they have it all for free

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#655718 - 09/04/04 03:57 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Freedom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 1192
Loc: Scotland
Sibelius is by far the best in my opinion. \:\)
_________________________
"A print of the score has everything you need to know about the music, except the essential."

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#655719 - 09/08/04 12:52 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Swine Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 2
Loc: Sydney
I'd go with Sibeleus. It lets you do both of those things but doesn't cost heaps.

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#655720 - 10/20/04 03:38 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Alvin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/19/04
Posts: 29
Loc: Hong Kong
Geniesoft Overture is a very very powerful software!
I don't understand why it is so unpopular!
It is totally free!!!
Try it!
download overture

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#655721 - 01/16/05 06:35 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Riyoku Sakimori Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 137
Loc: Chesterfield, MO
I use Finale NotePad. It's free and you can download it from the internet. If you search for it in google, you're bound to find it easily.
_________________________
I need help with composition. If you have Finale NotePad installed, please ask me to send the file somehow and rate it. Or send an Adobe Reader copy of the music.

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#655722 - 12/31/05 07:48 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
hannoverstudent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 26
Hi. I use Sibelius. You can download the demo on the internet, and try it yourself!

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#655723 - 12/31/05 07:54 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
matthewpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 303
Loc: North West United Kingdom
For simple stuff, Finale Notepad is the way to go (published by Coda Music and free). For anything more complex I swear by Sibelius (version 3, but version 4 is available now). Its incredible and I have not yet come across anything it won't do.
_________________________
Classical and jazz pianist, singer, songwriter, and avid listener and concert-goer. SCHIMMEL and BLUTHNER fan and avidly AGAINST the dumbing down of quality music.

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#655724 - 01/02/06 03:18 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
I have been doing the same research for notation software currently myself. Because Sibelius and Finale get so much talk, I figured one of these would be the way for me to go. But when I did a web search under "notation software" I found quite a few other softwares perhaps not as powerful as Finale or Sibulius but looked like they would work well for an amateur or novice at least. I felt they may even be advantageous as they may be simpler to learn to get started and then get the more powerful software once one has learned on something simpler. Do you think this would be true?

One of the other problems it seems is that there is a big variance in what different softwares can do. Some only provide 8 staves, while others provide a lot more. Basically some are more limited overall. Even within the group of notation softwares Finale offered some softwares that did "less" than their professional version but still did quite a bit. Also some notation software overall almost seems to cater more to writing for bands/vocal/guitar than orchestra. So a lot really depends on what you want. For me, I don't really have a desire to write a bunch of band music as in non-orchestra band music.

For me I am mainly interested in writing for voice, piano, and orchestral instruments. Is there any lower priced software for amateurs like me who just want to fool around as a hobby and aren't serious professionals? Does anyone know of a good notation software say under $100 or up to $150 that has enough staves, etc. for writing for full orchestra? Also, does any notation software include realistic orchestral instrument sounds or does one have to buy additional software to get these sounds? Also, any have thier own piano sounds built in or does one need additional software for piano sounds?

I have become really confused in my research. The main thing I want to be able to do is have some decent notation software without spending more than $100-150. It seems their is a lot to go with besides Sibelius or Finale that might suite my needs although Finale Allegro or MusicPrint would probably be fine for what I needed. Then I am confused as to whether a person needs additional music recording software to make a recording of the music one composes or if the notation software is sufficient to make recordings without additional recording software. Also, does a person need a keyboard hooked up to a computer to use notation software efficiently? Does any notation software come with a virtual keyboard or synthesizer or does one need additional software for a virtual keyboard, etc. if one doesn't want to hook one up or have a keyboard? I did look at the GenieSoft notation software and it did look very good as well as some others.

Anyone have any recommendations for something other than Sibelius or Finale that one can write for full orchestra with?

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#655725 - 12/09/07 09:21 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
What about "Band-in a box"? The software retails for about $99.00

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#655726 - 01/07/08 04:53 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Jimmo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 67
Loc: United Kingdom
I'm pretty pleased with Harmony Assistant from Myriad Software - it's also got a learning curve but it's pretty powerful...and very cheap too! So far it's been more than adequate for my needs.
_________________________
Pay me a visit: www.jimmo.org
Chat with the gang: forum.jimmo.org

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#655727 - 01/29/08 10:55 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
washingtonpianist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Washington
The Noteworthy program trial is free and even though it says that it is only a 30 day trial it really won't go away. And it works pretty well.
_________________________
I want a grand piano if you would like to donate please e-mail me. Only joking, kind of.
I play:
Piano, Organ, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Flute, Recorder, Penny Whistle, Jaw Harp, Harmonica, Guitar, Mandolin, and Ukulele

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#655728 - 02/20/08 10:30 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
bukopaudan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 506
Loc: USA
Finale is really really nice. It's great software and a really nice program.
_________________________
"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein

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#655729 - 02/20/08 12:32 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Tony.S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/06
Posts: 211
Loc: Alberta
I've downloaded the free version of Finale Notepad and found it to be excellent. 4 voices and very intuitive, great platform, lots of abilities ... and free \:\)
_________________________
Estonia 168 - slow down, relax, & listen

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#655730 - 05/05/08 08:42 PM Re: Does any body know any good composing software?
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
I'm very happy with a shareware program named Mup (www.arkkra.com). It cost me $30 and does everything I want it to do.

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#1188819 - 04/28/09 04:50 AM Re: Does any body know any good composing software? [Re: Tony C]
Maestro2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 4
Finale is too expensive, don't know if it's worth its price. I use MagicScore Maestro, it is quite affordable and is a really multifunctional tool. It supports many instruments, has virtual tools for piano and guitar, u can tune sounds and create a goos stuff without being a profi, one should just have an ear for music:)

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