Years ago, writing music was a time-consuming and difficult task that meant poring over papers and made even the smallest changes tough. Fortunately, that's no longer the case thanks to today's music notation and composition software. With modern music production being so digitally-oriented, the software that we use is now one of the most important parts of our content creation toolbox. If your focus is on the composition side of things, the right choice for you could be PG Music's Band-in-a-Box series. These are MIDI arranger programs that work especially well for genres like pop, jazz, rock and country. The software lets you play back your compositions in an unlimited number of styles, either pre-programmed or one that you create yourself. Band-in-a-Box supports MIDI as well as digitally sampled audio that PG Music calls 'RealTracks' and 'RealDrums.' Using all of these features allows you to create your own accompaniments to export to a MIDI sequencer or save as audio files for playback and sharing.
For those more concerned about notation, there is Makemusic Finale. It's an industry standard for musical notation software, which supports manual writing as well as transposing music played on a keyboard controller onto the page. Writing coordinated parts is made straightforward by the ability to show and hide multiple layers of music on the same staff, and you can color-code as well. Finale is known for being good at handling the fussy rules, like minding stem direction and getting chord layouts right the first time. Read More >