EMUSIC-L FAQ: Notation software
:PREFACE: As a dedicated "lurker" I don't often make my presence
known, but having benefitted from this tread, I wanted to try to
make a contribution.
The follow is a summary of around 13 postings on the subjects:
COMPOSITION and NOTATION. I believe the opening question went
"I am looking for a good music notation software for windows.
I use Traxx for all my sequencing, but can print parts from
it. I know Finale is the top for the MAC, but I live in the
world of windows. Can anyone help? Let me know!"
The packages referenced in the various responses included; Finale,
Encore, Cakewalk-CWalkPro/Win-Cakewalk Pro, Master Tracks, Music
Time, Cubase Score, Traxx, and Notator Logic.
In the following sections I have tried to consolidate the comments
about the various packages discussed. Individual comments are
separated by rules. The various packages are listed in no
As I am not familiar with all of the packages (this thread was an
education for me), I may have introduced some errors in the
editing, if I did, I apologize to all, especially the authors of
the comments and the owners of the packages discussed. All
opinions expressed are those of the contributors, and are just
- Finale has NO limitations. in some cases this is a good thing. In
many cases, it is overkill. The time spent learning pays off down
- FINALE for Windows which is now out. List is about
$750, but discounted to about $500 and academic price is even
lower. It is manufactured by Coda in Minneapolis.
- Finale has made inroads in terms of ease of use.
- Use Finale for Windows.
- Finale for Windows seems like something you might want to check
[Recently seen an ad for Finale for $125 in Keyboard Magazine - could anyone confirm? -- JM]
Encore (Passport Designs)
- I also use Encore.
- Encore is much easier to use, but I haven't
found online help, which is disappointing, and it lacks some of
- Encore's my favorite because of its
- Right now I'm using it with Vision for Windows.
- The best notators [include] Encore from Passport.
Cakewalk - CWalkPro/Win - Cakewalk Pro
- I am using CWalkPro/Win and it really works great except there is
no text entry available...like lyrics etc....at least not that I
- Cakewalk Pro for Windows 3.0 is the version that I
believe added lyrics.
- (A related post included text from the
manual on how to include lyrics)
- For windows use Cakewalk Pro.
I think it is like in version 2.0 for windows now.
- I use
cakewalk as well (which is on 3.0 now), but it's not know for being
the best notation program (I use it strictly as a sequencer).
All of the reports I've read suggest that 3.0 was a big improvement
though, so you might want to check it out, but all of the info I
read suggests to stick with the well-know notation pros.
though Cakewalk Pro 3.0 for windows is more a sequencing engine, it
is a very good notation program. It allows printing, graphical
manipulation of controllers, piano rolls, event lists, and musical
- I find it a pleasure to use. I have composed many
pieces using it. You'll find *.wrk files on many BBS. It sells for
$349US from Twelve Tone Systems.
- I've heard about 4.0. Though I
hate it anyway ;)
Master Tracks (PassPort Designs)
With Passport, it's the same interface in MusicTime and you have a
much more limited vocabulary. Kind of like having a keyboard with
23 letters of the alphabet.
- I treat Master Tracks of Passport to
be the best [of the] home sequencers.
Cubase Score (Steinberg)
I find it very useful and relatively easy to use. Plus, it's
available on all platforms - file compatible.
- Steinberg is
devoted to music software , they are the leader and the pioneers
especially on Atari and Amiga computers . Now they are in dos and
windows versions as well a MAC version, quite expensive, they came
out with CUbase Lite which sells for about $100 canadian.
treat the Cubase to be a very good studio [sequencer].
Score is also [a] very good [notator].
- The notation program that
most publishers of music us is [?CUbase?] Score (its for pcs)
- [The best notators include] Notator Logic.
Misc Comments not specific to a given package but relating to the
Buy a used MAC. Most are 1/5 list and the learning curve is
- I don't much like the idea of an integrated
notation program myself. To me, the two are different applications.
When I'm working on a project, I'm usually either doing a studio
project with myself where there's no need for notation or focusing
on live performance, where MIDI sequencing features are to me
simply "prototyping" aids, and I'd rather focus on notation.
have to recommend a high-end program, however; you can get by
without a pro-level sequencer but not really a notation program.
Low end generally translates as headaches.
The responses summarized above were from the following people. I
would like to thank them for their contribution.
100321.1763@COMPUSERVE.COM (Christian Roth)
AFeditor@AOL.COM (Peter Kirn)
chrisshe@MICROSOFT.COM (Chris Sherwood)
DavidB10@AOL.COM (Davvid Brooks)
DCarr45465@AOL.COM (Donald R. Carroll,Jr.)
dodon@OZEMAIL.COM.AU (DAVID O'DONOGHUE)
FingersMan@AOL.COM (Joe Holiday)
gdorter@JULIAN.UWO.CA (Greg Dorter)
Peter_Mueller@UCSDLIBRARY.UCSD.EDU (Peter Mueller)
rvb@OUT.PHYS.MSU.SU (Roman Belavkin)
spowy@UNM.EDU (kenneth lee hankins)
BoNewman@aol.com (Bo Newman)