Music writing program for a university music student?

Can anyone recommend a music wsriting program – what would we call it, a note processor? – for a university level music student working the in the classical environment. Doing arrangements and some transcriptions.

Any price, but we ARE talking student! :open_mouth:

Hi there, if I’m not mistaken, Garageband has a note processor. You can place notes as if writing sheet music. Then afterwards you can have the piece played back using the instrument of your choice. Added bonus being, it’s free!!! :smiley:

looking for sequence or score work?

Big difference.

Eldritch - garageband is, shall we say, primitive. It’s ok for doing something insanely basic, but other than that, it’s not really worth considering.

Greenmorpher - I suppose you’re talking notation software (if you’re talking sequencing, I would say Logic - academic pricing for Uni students on Logic Pro is awesome, and I thought Logic Express was well priced). Obviously the standard is Sibelius. I know they do a student edition, but I’m not sure whether it’s fully featured, or how much the discount is. I have also come across Finale ($350 -student version) but I wouldn’t know whether to vouch for it or not. One thing that might be worth looking into is some of the scaled back versions of Finale (Notepad is free, songwriter is $50, PrintMusic is $100 and Allegro is $200).

Other than that, there’s also encore ( but I have no idea how good it is, or how it’s priced.

Look on in the audio section - there’s a few pieces of Notation software kicking around there.

I suppose it depends on your needs really. I mean, Sibelius may be the only option for you, it may be overkill, it may be totally the wrong paradigm; I have no idea.

Good luck.

Cubase has a score editor that (in my opinion) is nicely competitive with Sibelius. Cubase Studio 4, on education prices, is pretty competitive price-wise. Probably a bit overkill since you already have Logic (I have used Cubase (full version) for my sequencing and recording for years, very happy with it but it’s workflow is quite different to Logic), but I believe it’s still cheaper than Sibelius. I’ve heard that there’s a cheaper edition than Studio called ‘Essential’, which is quite limited on the DAW/Sequencer side, but still includes the full score editor.

Yeah, there’s a quaestion I can answer (I’m a music student myself and work as a freelance composer).

As said before it really depends on whether you want to do score notating (ie writing notes) or sequencing (ie recording actual music). For sequencing, I recommend Logic Pro (or Express, depending on your budget, but I strongly suggest Pro for various reasons). Basically you would use it to either compose on the fly (I suppose you’re composing music) when scoring a film or something similar, or to record prexisting music.

Notation is a completely other thing: In this casr you write scores on the Mac like you would do on a sheet of paper. In this case there are (if you want to go professional) only three real possibilities:

  1. MusicTeX, which is basically TeX but for music. Incredibly comlex and unless you mave a master in computer sciences quite useless to normal people (my own humble opinion TM).
  2. Finale. Very good, very powerful.
  3. Sibelius. Very good, very powerful.
    I am a fellow of Sibelius. Both apps are good, it’s basically a matter of taste, so just load the demo of both apps and try it out. Stay away from the stripped down-versions of Fin and Sib; these have major limitations (for example Sib First allows only 12 instruments, which is much too less when composing orchestral works).
    Important: Stay away from Sib Student!!! It’s crippled to mere nonexistence. You can purchase an EDU-Version of Sibelius, which comes at 399 and is identical to the “full” version only that its cheaper.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me; I’m always at your service :slight_smile:

While I second the suggestion for Sibelius or Finale (my preferred one being Sibelius), I would add that there is a free alternative with LilyPond. Not easy, but can get the job done.

Cheaper alternatives to Sibelius and Finale are NoteAbility and Igor Engraver, but you should try them to see if they fit your way of working. I’m always tempted by NoteAbility.


Thanks for the all recommendations, people. Looks as though Sibelius is the go.

Your help is most appreciated. :mrgreen: