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Reviews of notation software?
Would like comments on inexpensive notation software. MuseScore, Notion, Symphonix Evolution, others?
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fiddlrgrrl
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June 26, 2017 - 8:56 pm
Member Since: January 23, 2012
Forum Posts: 73
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I'm NOT writing symphonies, I just want to arrange simple well known songs from beginner violin books (e.g. Essential Elements for Strings) so a small group of mixed voice and instruments can have fun playing together. Example: Banana Boat Song - book version is shortened, I'll add the other 2 phrases. Lyrics require changing some note values. That kind of stuff.

MuseScore is free and easy enough but doesn't have a phone app that edits, just one that plays.

Notion (by PreSonus) is $149 desktop, and has a ~$10 iPhone app that does edit.  However transposing from C to the key of D, it puts in 2 flats.  G gets 1 flat.  Bflat gets 1 sharp.  All backwards. Went through the registration on the website, put in a help ticket, no answer. No record of the ticket. No way to contact a live person that I can see. So not likely to pay $149.

Symphonix Evolution, i've just downloaded on my phone but there's no desktop version.

I teach beginning violin at our local small midwest town music store. They may put software on the store computer that all the 10+ teachers can access, so that's a possible consideration. Maybe MuseScore is adequate for our simple needs.  What do other people use?

Fiddlrgrrl

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
June 27, 2017 - 3:16 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3590
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I use MuseScore on PC and laptop.   Never yet found a really good 'phone app for editing....  I actually suspect I wouldn't use a 'phone app in any sort of serious way - it's good to have a large working area with lots of windows visible...

Musescore has a very extensive set of plugins as well.   The two I use are ABC import (for taking fiddle tunes from http://www.thesession.org which are 'notated' if you can call it that, in ABC format) - and - the MusicXML import - which I have used to successfully import files from Finale.  Oh - there is also a PDF reader which I used once or twice, but the PDF score has to be an actual PDF document, not an embedded image in a PDF file.

Some folks say MuseScore can be difficult to use, and maybe don't like the way the editor works on a "bar by bar" basis if you are "composing something from scratch" making it awkward to simply insert a note and have everything "shuffle along", but if you're using it just to do simple, multi-voice arrangements of existing pieces - it's a breeze.  And I suppose, once arranged, other students can just use it in play-mode on mobile devices ?

I actually spent - I think it was $40 at the time - on "Noteworthy Composer" before I discovered MuseScore...   NC has never been used since...

I'm sure you knew all that already - my ramblings probably didn't help - just sort of saying that right now, I can't think of anything better for your use....

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 27, 2017 - 7:25 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15489

The price is certainly worth it Billy. Finale is considerably more!!!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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fiddlrgrrl
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July 2, 2017 - 3:00 pm
Member Since: January 23, 2012
Forum Posts: 73
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Thanks BillyG, that was VERY helpful and validated what I was thinking.  I appreciate your time answering.

Fiddlrgrrl

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 2, 2017 - 3:16 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3590
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You're very welcome @fiddlrgrrl - good luck with your project there ! 

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
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April 25, 2021 - 2:34 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 402
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Edited - Have since found out that the MuseScore on phones includes iPhones, BUT it is not free. Not evident on Google Play, but after 7 day free period, it will cost $29.99 per year or $6.99/month for all features. Apparently can be used in a limited fashion after trial, but no saves.

Without Pro, No PDF export, No offline playback, No transposition,  No ad-free usage, No playback adjustments.

It is also only a source for scores, NOT notation software!!!!

***************************************************8

Since the original post and comment, MuseScore has come out for phones, at least Android, on Google Play. With almost 65,000 ratings, it has a 4.6 of 5 rating. I've recommended it to my son who is currently using Maestro, but don't know if he will heed. 

Apparently, the advantage is the huge library of free sheet music and, of course, can access anywhere there is phone reception!

I am neither recommending nor condemning this as I have no experience with it.

***************************************

That being said, I've recently started using it on my Windows 10 computer for transposition and altering to alto clef and have found it perfect for my purposes. I'm very happy with it!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
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July 17, 2021 - 4:54 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 402
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Addendum and clarification to my previous post on MuseScore. There two very distinct and different faces to MuseScore (kinda like the god, Janus). MuseScore dot com and it's associated apps is a primarily pay based system for acquiring scores and sheet music.

MuseScore dot org furnishes a FREE notation software package which will allow one to write, print, and share scores and sheet music. It will also import PDF files via a function of MuseScore dot com from within the software. It can also directly open a myriad of files. MuseScore files (naturally), MusicXML, MIDI, MuseData, Capella, BB, Overture, Bagpipe Music Writer, Guitar Pro, and Power Tab Editor.

I have been using it extensively for converting treble clef (violin) sheet music to alto clef and transposing to an octave lower and/or changing keys to meet my limited abilities.

With it's capability to play the music using it's own mixer and synthesized sounds, one can get an idea of what it should sound like and the best tempo to meet your mood and/or capability. On multi-staffed sheet music, different instruments can be assigned to different parts. Since one can produce an output MP4 file, it is possible to create a complete sound track to play along with, or by eliminating your instrument part, create a backing track.

I've been very favorably impressed with this, and the price is right!!!

The old curmudgeon!

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