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Notation Software

Composing music is no easy feat, but putting those compositions in writing shouldn't be so tough. In the past, it involved spending hours bent over staff paper - or even drawing your own staff lines on plain white paper, and then having to go back to write in the notes and directions. But we're not in the past anymore, and in today's digital production environment, there's plenty of notation software to do the grunt work for us. These programs generate sheet music that you can print out or even save on your favorite e-reader, making it easier than ever to publish your arrangements and compositions. It's also a breeze to make changes after the fact, so you'll never have to hesitate about tweaking a note here or there.

One of the top-selling notation software packages is Avid's Sibelius 7.5, and it's available in standard, academic, upgrade and crossgrade editions, so it's easy to find the best download to suit your needs. To unlock the full potential of Sibelius, pair it up with a Surface Pro 3 Tablet: this combo empowers you to add and edit notes quickly in real time. It also allows comments to be written digitally right on the score, and you can use a virtual keyboard and fretboard to play your composition as you write it - meaning that experimentation to find the perfect melody is simple, fast and intuitive.

Some of the notation software in this section, such as the Musitek SmartScore X2 Pro 3-Pack, is what's called "music scanning software." This means you don't even have to write your tunes in advance. Instead, the software can analyze recordings or live music to reverse-engineer the notation. It's fantastic for making on-the-fly arrangements of your favorite songs, ready for editing to give them your own personal twist. You could even use it to create a written record of your own improv sessions.

The age of music typewriters and cabinets full of staff paper are long gone. Today, all you need is a computer or tablet running some good notation software and you'll produce sheet music in a fraction of the time. And it's not only faster - it's easier, too, with the ability to generate notations right out of your digital audio workstation or even from "listening" to a recorded audio sample. What it all comes down to is that writing sheet music isn't a chore anymore. Thanks to notation software, it's a pretty simple task!