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#909649 - 03/20/03 11:41 PM Music Notation Software--any experiences?
TheLoneliestMonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 49
I write a lot of piano music and I'm thinking of getting a music notation software program. Does anyone have experience with any of the many programs that are available out there?

Thanks

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#909650 - 03/21/03 12:29 AM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Sibelius is the best I've used---expensive, but you get what you pay for.

You can find a demo on their site if you do a google search.

Mat D.

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#909651 - 03/21/03 01:14 AM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
Evan Davis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/02
Posts: 56
Loc: Mountain View, CA
I, too, recommend Sibelius. I use it quite a bit for orchestrations and found that it allows me to notate the music in an easy manner.

If you have a child in school (or you are in education) you can get an educational discount from this place:

http://www.academicsuperstore.com/

While the educational discount is still expensive ($220), it is much better than the list price of $500 or so. You can also get an educational discount for use for a church.

Evan

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#909652 - 03/21/03 04:46 AM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
LowKey Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 5
Loc: Seattle, WA
Another Sibelius user here! I have used it for three years and have been very happy with it. The program is easy to learn and to use. I have done orchestrations, parts, and piano and vocal books with it.

Dolly

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#909653 - 03/21/03 08:40 AM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I used to do a fair amount of music editing for print, so I have Finale and Sibelius. I prefer Sibelius as I find it more intuitive. As for the price, I remember the days when Finale was $695, so today's prices don't seem so bad to me...
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#909654 - 03/21/03 04:00 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
Dan Offline


Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
Question for you advanced users.

I tried out the Finale Notepad a year or two ago (that's the free version of Finale, I think). I found that if I knew exactly what I wanted to put down BEFORE I started placing any notes, it was fine. But, heaven forbid that I need to "erase" anything or insert a measure or change a note value.

Does Sibelius and the more expensive Finale software solve this problem? I freely admit to being a very casual composer (i.e. I don't compose much, and I do it only for my own enjoyment), but the Finale Notepad was such a nightmare for editing that I eventually just gave it up and went to pen and paper.

Do either of these full programs have a 30 day free trial or anything? Or is massive editing not a normal thing for most composers?

Dan

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#909655 - 03/21/03 04:02 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Both Finale and Sibelius are extremely powerful musical tools. They both come with a bit of a learning curve (especially Finale), but both can yield excellent results.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#909656 - 03/21/03 04:50 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
We have both Finale and Sibelius. Both are excellent, and both are continually making upgrades -- one will jump ahead with a feature, and then the other will leapfrog over it.

Daughter the composer marginally prefers Sibelius, though the copy function in Finale is much easier to use. I think Sibelius makes nicer pages when there is full orchestration. (not a problem for piano stuff.)

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#909657 - 03/21/03 04:50 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
LowKey Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 5
Loc: Seattle, WA
Sibelius has a demo that you can download from their site. Only the print and save functions are disabled.

Here is the address:
http://sibelius.com/download/

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#909658 - 03/21/03 05:03 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
I have used Finale the most, and I think its an excellent program. I compose a lot of music that is sometimes in the style of Boulez/ Messiaen, so I have to often use unconventional notation techniques. At first, it is difficult to find out how to do everything. The learning curve is fairly steep, but after one is familar with the program, its capabilities are substantial.

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#909659 - 03/21/03 06:12 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
bboy1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 29
Loc: Illinois
I have used Noteworthy Composer, however I use it mostly to get music in MIDI format. It seems to have quite a few features and it's pretty easy to enter from sheet music I have (with one or two exceptions)

You can give it a free try here

Noteworthy Composer

and it's not that expensive to buy if you like it (around $40 if I remember).

Brian

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#909660 - 03/21/03 09:41 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
RickG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 947
Loc: Texas
After having the Finale 3.1 and the 98 version, I will NOT buy another version of Finale. I have too many frustrations with it and will buy Sebelius the next time.
RickG
_________________________
RickG

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#909661 - 03/21/03 09:57 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
On a similar note, even though the Finale manual is comprehensive, has anyone tried some of the books written on this program? I am interested in one called "Finale Power", has anyone read this? Books like these, when well written, are helpful to provide some shortcuts and much needed information!

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#909662 - 03/22/03 11:25 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1757
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
I am interested in knowing two things; which program, Finale or Sibelius
1) makes a better looking piece of printed sheet music, especially piano. I like the way CF Peters or Henle scores look best, and
2) has better playback characteristics especially through a sampoling synthesizer?

I own Finale but if Sibelius is so much better, I'd like to know about it.
_________________________
David Burton's Blog
http://dpbmss041010.blogspot.com/

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#909663 - 03/23/03 12:13 AM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
Paul Tran Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 3
Loc: southern california
i prefer the look of sibelius's printed music better. i also think it runs better and more smoothly than finale. to compare it to henle...i couldn't really say as you can also change the noteheads in sibelius...but, i think the layout, interface, and typset of sibelius (overall) is much better than finale's.

hope this helps,
paul

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#909664 - 03/23/03 01:47 AM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
More published music is done with Finale than any other program. I've rarely been asked to edit files in any other format.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#909665 - 03/24/03 05:22 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
Evan Davis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/02
Posts: 56
Loc: Mountain View, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by David Burton:
I am interested in knowing two things; which program, Finale or Sibelius
1) makes a better looking piece of printed sheet music, especially piano. I like the way CF Peters or Henle scores look best, and
2) has better playback characteristics especially through a sampoling synthesizer?
[/b]
I have not used Finale for printing (just eval) so I personally do not know the printing output quality difference. However, musicians have been able to tell what application I used by just looking at the output. I was told that was "a good thing".

Concerning the playback, that is up to the MIDI support on your computer.

Evan

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#909666 - 03/24/03 05:24 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
Evan Davis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/02
Posts: 56
Loc: Mountain View, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dan:
Question for you advanced users.

I tried out the Finale Notepad a year or two ago (that's the free version of Finale, I think). I found that if I knew exactly what I wanted to put down BEFORE I started placing any notes, it was fine. But, heaven forbid that I need to "erase" anything or insert a measure or change a note value.

Does Sibelius and the more expensive Finale software solve this problem? I freely admit to being a very casual composer (i.e. I don't compose much, and I do it only for my own enjoyment), but the Finale Notepad was such a nightmare for editing that I eventually just gave it up and went to pen and paper.

Do either of these full programs have a 30 day free trial or anything? Or is massive editing not a normal thing for most composers?

Dan[/b]
Changing or erasing notes is very easy with Sibelius.

Sibelius has a 5 day full featured demo. After that some functions have been disabled (printing).

Evan

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#909667 - 03/24/03 05:34 PM Re: Music Notation Software--any experiences?
Peter_dup2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 269
USE FINALE!

I use PrintMusic 2001 which is really good considering the price. (about 30 dollars.) It has everything you need, it's easy to use and I absolutely love it!

You should definately consider buying it since it's well worth the money. A lot of notation software costs a fortune, and I think that this one is just as good (or almost) as them.

I think you can get a demo at finale.com. (I'm not sure about the website, you'll have to look it up on google)

Anyway, consider it. It's good.

Regards,
_________________________
"When you want something so badly that you're willing to do ANYTHING to get it odds are you wont get it." -Peter

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