Best Music Notation Software

Best Music Notation Software

If you enjoy composing music directly on your preferred instrument, you may want to consider purchasing a music notation software. With music notation software, you'll be able to easily take the song you composed and turn it into a musical score that is ready to be shared and played by others.

There are many music notation software programs, and each program offers different features and benefits. We have completed a review of five of the best options on the market to help you decide which one you would most like to try.

Top 5: Music Notation Software Review

Recommendation #3

You can use Sibelius Ultimate to compose songs in a variety of ways. It offers the option to write musical scores using your voice, a guitar, or a keyboard to enter notes. This software program provides you with the ability to create custom layouts and add an unlimited number of parts to the scores you create.

Sibelius has a 36 GB sound library. This feature makes it possible for you to hear what your pieces will sound like when they are played by different instruments. The playback features help you notice each and every detail of the music you make and can help you make any needed modifications.

Another great feature of this software is how easy it makes it for you to share the scores you create. Sibelius has a cloud sharing option that will help you send your composition to friends, family, colleagues, or those who may be interested in working with you in the future.

Your purchase of Sibelius Ultimate also includes AudioScore Lite and PhotoScore & NotateMe Lite. With these additional applications, you'll be able to get more out of your purchase by turning recorded CD tracks into notations, credit editable scores from PDF or printed sheet music, and more.


  • The 36 GB sound library will help you hear just what your compositions will sound like when played by different instruments.
  • You can compose musical score using a keyboard, a guitar, or your voice.
  • AudioScore Lite and PhotoScore & NotateMe Lite are included for free with your purchase.


  • This is the most expensive product on our list.

Finale is designed to provide you the flexibility to create music however you want. It can be used to compose everything from complex scores to basic lead sheets.

Finale's tools are also designed to make it easy for you to edit the music you write. You'll find that it is easy to make modifications like changing the key, moving measures, and a variety of other edits you may want to make.

You may also receive editorial input about your scores from Finale. For example, if the notes you included are outside of the range of a certain instrument, Finale will alert you.

Once you are satisfied with how your score is coming together, you can use Finale to listen to how it will sound when it is performed. There is a large library of instrument sounds to help you experience your music in the same way an audience will.

After you've made any other necessary changes or tweaks to your compositions, you'll be able to share them with other people, even those who do not use Finale. You can also print sheet music, create PDF's, and make audio files.


  • The editing tools make it easy for you to make the changes and modifications you want to your music.
  • Finale can play your musical scores to let you hear how they'll sound when played by different instruments.
  • Sharing your completed work with others is easy.


  • When you save a file as a PDF, Finale sometimes makes minor changes to the formatting of your piece.

Guitar Pro is another software option you'll want to consider. This program can be used to create musical scores for guitars and other instruments. It offers three different ways for you to input musical notes: using the mouse, typing on the numerical pad, or playing a MIDI instrument.

You'll also enjoy three different types of notation with Guitar Pro. They are standard, tablature, and slash. It can also display a virtual keyboard or fretboard to help you see exactly where your finger will need to be for different sections of your music.

You can hear realistic playbacks of the music you create thanks to Guitar Pro's sound engine. It has over 1,000 sound presets. Also, with over 80 different effects, you can create a studio-like sounds to hear just what your final product will sound like.


  • You can input musical notes using a MIDI instrument, the numerical pad, or the mouse.
  • The sound engine offers more than 1,000 preset sounds.
  • There are 80 sound effects for you to choose from.


  • A few customers shared that they had trouble receiving the license code to allow them to use the program.

Notion 6 offers a lot of features designed to make it easy for you to create music and make tweaks and changes to improve your finished product. You'll enjoy using a variety of interactive tools, like the keyboard, drum pad, and fretboard, to enter your music with ease. Notion 6 also can take hand-written scores and convert them into digital formats.

Another feature you're sure to find helpful is the chord library. With the chord library, you can choose chords, view them on the fretboard, and enter them into your scores repeatedly with ease.

If you are looking to compose your music to videos, you'll also be able to do this with Notion 6. The software allows you to work with all major video formats and includes a time code to make editing your work easier.


  • This program offers an interactive fretboard, keyboard, and drum pad.
  • The chord library will make it easy to choose cords and add them to your compositions.
  • The editing tools are designed to make it easy for you to make modifications to your music.


  • The hand writing recognition may not always work properly, which can be frustrating.

Finally, you may also want to look into Crescendo Professional Edition. This software is available for download for both PCs and Macs.

The notation interface is designed to be user-friendly and easy-to-use. You will easily be able to add accidentals, sharps, flats, slurs, and other elements to your scores.

This program also allows you to create music is different time or key signatures. You will also be able to add lyrics, dynamics, titles, and more to your scores.

Once you have created a musical score, you can listen to it using the MIDI playback feature. Crescendo will also allow you to export and print the sheet music for your pieces once they are completed.


  • Adding sharps, flats, accidentals, and more to your compositions is easy.
  • You can make music in different key signatures.
  • The MIDI playback feature will let you hear what your compositions will sound like.


  • There are not clear instructions for some of the features, so it can be a challenge to figure out how to use everything included with the software.

Buying Guide

Music notation software programs are designed to help you create scores of your original compositions. Each program is a little different and offers different features, though. So, you'll want to take some time to compare each of your different options and make sure you select one that will give you what you're looking for.

One of the first thing you'll want to look for is the different options offered by each programming for inputting music. Some programs include options to enter notes manually, using a MIDI instrument, or through a virtual instrument.

Another way you may be able to enter music is through handwriting recognition or mobile apps. These features provide you with additional options that may be of interest to you. Look for a program that will let you use the method that will work best for you.

Next, look at the different options that are offered for sharing the scores you create. Does the program make it easy for you to send files to colleagues, friends, family, or prospects, or will there be a lot of tedious steps you'll need to complete?

Finally, be sure to consider your budget. Look for a product that offers the features you want, while also considering whether you're looking for something for professional use or something that is more for enjoyment and fun.

Top Pick

After completing our reviews above, we had to select Sibelius Ultimate as our top pick. You'll be truly impressed with this music notation software.

First, Sibelius Ultimate provides you with lots of different options for writing your musical scores. You can input notes using your voice, a keyboard, or a guitar. There are no limits placed on the number of parts you can add to your scores, and you'll be able to create custom layouts.

After you have created a score, you'll be able to hear just what it will sound like in real life. The 36 GB sound library will let you listen to a variety of different instruments playing your music.

After you've finalized your piece, you can easily share it with others, if you want. The cloud sharing option will let you securely send your music to someone else.

AudioScore Lite and PhotoScore & NotateMe Lite are included for free with your purchase. These applications will help you achieve even more and make the most of your purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Music Notation Software?

Music notation software can help you turn a song you composed into musical notes. Music notation software programs can connect with MIDI instruments or can transcribe recorded audio.

Does Music Notation Software Allow You to Hear What the Songs You Composed Will Sound like When Played by Different Instruments?

Some software programs will allow you to hear what your songs will sound like when they are played by different instruments. However, this feature is not included with all programs, so you will want to check the specific product information if it is a feature you want to see.

What Are the Benefits of Using Music Notation Software?

Music notation software can make it easy to move a song you composed to notes that can be played to recreate the song. With music notation software, you can publish professional-looking music scores to share with others. Music notation software programs also allow you to make edits and modifications to the songs you compose.

Final Verdict

Sibelius Ultimate is an excellent option for you to consider when you're looking for a music notation software. Place your order today and start creating!




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