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    #247982 - 02/02/21 05:11 AM Music notation software recommendations?
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Australia
    Iíd like to buy the best possible music notation software as an aid for my son to compose pieces for his school elective subject, which would double as a gift. His school uses Flat which is limited. The head music teacher uses Sibelius software. We are thinking of purchasing Sibelius Ultimate, but wondering if anyone would recommend any other software (based on features rather than cost).

    Sibelius Ultimate is available on a monthly subscription basis & subscribers apparently have access to software updates, however has anyone purchased Sibelius Ultimate as an upfront purchase - did you have to pay any additional costs to get software updates?

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    #247983 - 02/02/21 01:33 PM Re: Music notation software recommendations? [Re: Eagle Mum]
    cricket3 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 682
    Iím canít answer your questions about the pricing, but can definitely recommend Sibelius. We found it to be very user friendly and intuitive, though the electronic simulation of some of the instruments was not great. My older kid used it during middle school and high school and really liked it.

    However, I donít think the ďultimateĒ line existed back then; if it did, we didnít use it. I seem to remember my kid having some frustrations with the amount of memory/space limitations for saving pieces, but only towards the end of high school (when she had built up a fair amount of work). Otherwise, the basic program met her needs. However, she mainly wrote for smaller ensembles, quintets and similar, not full orchestral pieces, which seems to be one of the other bigger differences between the two levels based on a quick look.

    Itís somewhat odd that the school uses different software than the teacher; it can be helpful/easier for coursework if the program is the same one the class uses, though I guess not if youíve found it to be lacking. My kid is in college now, and I donít know what program she uses (itís whatever is provided by the college at this point, thankfully) but I can ask if she has any additional input.

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    #247984 - 02/02/21 07:31 PM Re: Music notation software recommendations? [Re: Eagle Mum]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1662
    Loc: Australia
    We were asked to purchase Sibelius perpetual (not ultimate perpetual) at our child's specialist music school (conservatory attached high school). That said, one of our instrumental teachers strongly prefers one of the free programs, MuseScore.

    In particular it is useful for importing scores from online repositories to work from. For example when needing to transcribe a piece of music into the correct key for your instrument. It's a boring task to put the whole thing into Sibelius, then transcribe, or transcribe as you go. Not that long ago, when one of the other instrumental teachers was unable to source the correct version of a piece, and we could not source it at our local stores, this teacher found it online as a musescore file in the original key, transcribed it and sent it to me in moments. This was an old and well known piece, out of copyright. But written for a different instrument and not easily available in the correct key.

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    #247988 - 02/03/21 01:17 AM Re: Music notation software recommendations? [Re: Eagle Mum]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Australia
    Thank you both for taking the time to provide your thoughtful replies.

    @MumOfThree, I posed this same question on a forum frequented by high school students and MuseScore also came up there and seems to be the favourite. Your anecdote of file sharing benefits sounds awesome. Since it is free, Iíll definitely get my son to download & try.

    @Cricket3, thanks for sharing your DCís experience with Sibelius and your feedback that she found it user friendly & intuitive. I was starting to worry that it might not be user friendly. Whilst we will try MuseScore, weíll likely still get Sibelius as I really want to make sure DS is well supported with everything he needs.

    Wrt class vs teacher resources, our local high school serves a mixed demographic with more families at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum. School fees are very low and noncompulsory, so they have a shoestring budget. Teachers often buy their own resources to make their lessons more effective. I do donate quite a bit since Iím not paying expensive private school fees and the school does a lot with very little, but I also furnish my kids with supplemental resources, so that they arenít at a disadvantage.

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    #247990 - 02/03/21 05:40 AM Re: Music notation software recommendations? [Re: Eagle Mum]
    cricket3 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 682
    Interesting discussion- Iíll have to ask DD about MuseScore. The professor she has right now is asking for everything to be submitted handwritten, which is unusual in her experience. She tells me she still uses Sibelius, and has been able to download it even though we stopped paying for the subscription several years ago- apparently the lack of updates hasnít been an issue for her (though I suspect it might make a big difference depending on what one does/how one uses it).

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    #247991 - 02/03/21 01:35 PM Re: Music notation software recommendations? [Re: Eagle Mum]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3740
    DC has also been using MuseScore for some time, and finding it sufficient for a wide range of compositional projects. The sounds aren't great, but the purpose is notation, and it seems to be adequate for that. And free is good. (DC has access to other resources for higher-quality synth & sampled sounds.)

    ...handwritten is very old school!
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247992 - 02/04/21 03:11 AM Re: Music notation software recommendations? [Re: Eagle Mum]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Australia
    Iíve been searching the Internet for reviews and discussions. The original developers of Sibelius went off and created Dorico and reportedly honed the latter based on lessons learned from Sibelius. So much to choose from!!!

    Both Sibelius & Dorico have free starter versions, so he can try both of these in addition to MuseScore. Iíll get the most comprehensive product for whichever one he likes best. He has a couple of unfinished compositions (limited by Flat), so he can use these as a specific task/test to evaluate & compare all three programs. Thanks everyone!

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