MuseScore Notation Software

This is not a sponsored post! 

I wanted to take a quick minute to tell you about some FREE (yes, for real) notation software. MuseScore and I have been friends for about 5 years now and I have found myself converted to a loyal follower and also annoyed by other notation softwares (that you have to pay for…) since I started using it!

Here’s what I love:

Sensibility – this software MAKES SENSE..what a thought! I’ll throw in the caveat that it does make sense to me because I am used to it, but that aside, it is very quick to pick up and makes lots of sense.

Want to add a page break? Drag and drop the page break tool onto the measure where you want the break. 

Want to change the title? Double click it and adjust as needed. 

Want to add measures? Add them easily with the measure tool. 

Chose the wrong key signature in the wizard set up? No biggie – change it with the key signature tool. 

Flexibility – this software is very forgiving if you make a mistake (which I do frequently!) It doesn’t make you start over or make huge adjustments if you need to add something or if you need to delete something. It is easy to save and print in a variety of file formats, including .mscz for upload into practice softwares. Easily save your ensembles in the set up wizard to pre-populate the instruments you need.

Price – let’s be honest for a second. The price tag of $0 is completely enticing.

You get what you pay for – DOES NOT APPLY to this software. I am serious. I keep waiting for it to do something totally wacky or ridiculous I look for places where it is just not up to the same standard as other programs that you pay (a lot) for. I am at a loss – I think it’s great.

Online Community! – there is a great online community associated with MuseScore. All you need to do to join is log in to their website – you can share scores with others, use scores that others have shared, and find a lot of usable content. While I don’t regularly use this, MY STUDENTS love that they can find nearly any song they want to learn through this online community. I even have some budding composers who share their own work on the community as well!

What I use MuseScore for: 

  • creating exercises/worksheets for my students
  • arranging short, pep type tunes for my students
  • editing and adjusting parts
  • creating MIDI practice tracks for my students to practice along with (think: all region type music or SOLOS)

While I absolutely do work with some fully orchestrated band music in MuseScore, most of my work is done quickly, is short, and is fairly low key. This program is perfect for what I need.

When I knew I really loved MuseScore

I had the opportunity to teach an online Music Technology class to undergraduate students this past fall. I was thrilled at the opportunity and really enjoyed the challenge! In the course, we spent several weeks on how to use notation software. The software we used in the class is one that you have to purchase (and it costs quite a bit!). As I was creating my assignments, how to videos, and modules for my students to work through, I found myself frustrated and annoyed that I could not easily do everything that I can on MuseScore. While part of that came from a difference in familiarity with these programs; we all know that change or lack of familiarity can be challenging sometimes; part of came from me knowing I could do something in one program and being kept from doing it in another.

My recommendations

Do you already efficiently use and enjoy a music notation software program?

Stick with it if it has what you need! 

Are you looking for a notation software to use/are not very familiar with one yet?

Try out MuseScore and see if you like it (I bet you will!) 

Do you have a student interested in composition?

Introduce them to MuseScore for a start and they can move on to something else later. 

Do you teach a class that includes music notation on a computer?

Consider using MuseScore so that students would be able to continue composing on their own at home with a reasonable price tag! 

Want more information about MuseScore? Visit their website to learn more and download the program 

What music notation software do you use and what do you love about it?

Ever used MuseScore? What do you love and dislike about it?

Cheers to free notation software!

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