10 Best Free Music Notation Software in 2023

free music notation software

Last updated on January 24th, 2023 at 6:18 pm

Are you a music composer? Want to create the next blockbuster hit song?

Yes, and hell yes!

Then, download the best music composing software on your laptop or mobile so you can start writing lyrics wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. In fact, much great music notation software is fully free and allows you to do a lot more than simple lyrics writing. These musical software can help you virtually visualize your composition to understand how your lyrics will sound with music.

To kickstart your career as a songwriter, having the best music composing software can be a game-changer for you. So, let’s check out the top 10 free music notation software without any ado!

10 Best Free Music Notation Software in 2023

Writing music is a creative process. Thus, the music notation software has to be intuitive, simple, and fully functional. So, stepping into the shoes of musicians, we have selected the following best 10 music composing software:

1. Notion 6

Software Rating: 4.9/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows 10 or later and MacOS 10.13 or later

Useful For: Fast and easy music composer

Price: Free for basic features. The full package for $104.97.

Whether you are a student or professional songwriter, Notion 6 is the best music notation software in the market. It is a blazing-fast and intuitive music composition solution. Using this software, you can compose music the way you want to, even enter music with your handwriting. You can take your music composition to the next level with Studio One deep integration. It allows you to hear and perform stunning music samples by the London Symphony Orchestra and others.

Notion 6

Top Features

  • Notion 6 offers cross-platform handwriting recognition and smooth layout control.
  • The new Notion Scores library provides a great collection of songs.
  • Ability to visualize music better with the new instruments from Soundiron.
  • MIDI over ReWire for smooth integration with the popular digital audio workstations.
  • Side-by-side workflow integration with Studio One Artist or other professionals.

Pros

  • Intuitive workflow.
  • Simple and easy.
  • Mobile-friendliness.

Cons

  • Consumes a lot of hard drive space.

2. Sibelius First

Software Rating: 4.9/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows 7 or later and MacOS 10.9 or later

Useful For: Smart music notation software

Price: Free

Sibelius First is the fastest and easiest music notation software. It is a perfect tool to share and write music compositions with your teachers and students. Without using any musical instrument, you can compose music with Sibelius First intuitive interface. It has a premium sound library that can playback your composition in stunning details. You can directly launch your music online on YouTube, Facebook, and SoundCloud.

Sibelius First

Top Features

  • You can easily compose music using transcribed audio, scan sheet music, and MIDI instruments.
  • Using AU virtual instruments and Ideas library, you can fully kickstart your creativity.
  • You can directly export scores to videos and post on your SoundCloud, Facebook, or YouTube accounts.
  • Magnetic Layout can help you write music and produce quality print scores.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface.
  • Easy add notations.

Cons

  • The free version has limited features.

3. Minitool MovieMaker

Software Rating: 4.8/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows 10/8/7 or later

Useful For: Powerful audio and video editor

Price: Free

Minitool MovieMaker is a freemium yet powerful audio/video editing software. This software can help you create a blockbuster hit video to compliment your music. Using the simple interface, you can design a video with no prior experience. You simply have to add your files, transitions, effects, and boom, your music video is ready. You can select the fun themes to create stunning and visual-rich Hollywood-style videos.

Minitool MovieMaker

Top Features

  • Easy to edit videos/images using different effects, motions, transition modes, or color corrections.
  • Ability to add beautiful animated titles and credits to your videos.
  • Fully revamp the aesthetic of your videos with creative filters and 3D LUTs.
  • A free video trimmer can help you seamlessly split large videos into parts or automatically fine-tune the duration.

Pros

  • Neat UI.
  • Fully free.
  • Stunning video templates.

Cons

  • Not exactly music composing software.

4. MuseScore

Software Rating: 4.7/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows, MacOS, and Linux

Useful For: Customizable music composing solution

Price: Free

MuseScore is a free and open-source music notation software that supports a wide range of input methods and file formats. It is launched under the GNU General Public License software that allows you to customize the score writer interface as per your needs. MuseScore has a WYSIWYG environment to create high-quality engraved musical scores using unlimited staves, cross-staff beaming, automatic transposition, and more.

MuseScore

Top Features

  • Multiple style options to change the layout and appearance to create dynamic scores.
  • It can import and export files to numerous file formats.
  • MuseScore’s synthesizer can add multiple sound fonts, including mute, solo, reverb, and other effects.
  • Its functions can be extended using different free plugins as per your needs.
  • Many predefined templates are available for several types of ensembles.

Pros

  • Simple interface.
  • Fully free.
  • Highly customizable.

Cons

  • Outdated interface.

5. Impro-Visor

Software Rating: 4.6/4

Compatible Platforms: Windows, MacOS, and Linux

Useful For: Jazz music composition

Price: Free

Impro-Visor is the perfect free music notation software to compose Jazz music. The program is useful for improving the understanding of tune chording and solo construction. As the name suggests, the software can improvise on its own. It has a dedicated rhythm section containing different instruments to generate music from chords automatically. You can give a push to your career as a jazz musician with this free tool.

impro-Visor

Top Features

  • A great solution for producing lead sheets and monophonic melodies.
  • Add music notation using point-and-click and visual harmonic hints.
  • A vast musical store including licks, scales, chords, and more.
  • Ability to save music as text files so you can make quick edits at any time.
  • Additional music notation features like roadmap generator, MIDI exports, fast chord entry, automatic lick generation, and more. 

Pros

  • Automatic music composer.
  • Easy and fast.
  • Excellent style editor.

Cons

  • Outdated interface.
  • Lacks many features.

6. EasyABC

Software Rating: 4.5/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows, MacOS, Linux, and BSD

Useful For: Open-source music notation software

Price: Free

EasyABC is a robust music notation software developed by Nila Liberg. It is a simple interface that can even be used by children to learn music. Overall, this free music notation software is complete with many advanced features to create, play, edit, and convert music. It is written using Python 2.7 and WxPython, which make it a super functional program for no cost.

EasyABC

Top Features

  • It can import MIDI, Noteworthy, and MusicXML composer files.
  • Easily add music symbols using the dropdown menu in the toolbar.
  • Ability to record songs from MIDI directly in the program.
  • The music score will automatically update as you insert it in ABC code.
  • Transpose and halve note length functionality.
  • Supports multiple languages such as Danish, Italian, French, Swedish, and English.

Pros

  • Easy to learn.
  • Simple tune sorting method.
  • Multiple ABC typing options.

Cons

  • Slow updates.

7. Forte Home

Software Rating: 4.4/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows 10/8/7 or later

Useful For: Sophisticated music composing software

Price: Free trial version. A full version for $99.

Forte Home is an elegant yet simple music composing software for someone who wants to compose music on the go. The program has all the essential functions that you need to compose music scores wherever inspiration strikes. It is a perfect software for students who have just started to learn music. You will get 16 instruments, 6 verses, 4 voices, and MIDI live recording per system for the starters.

Forte Home

Top Features

  • Supports WAV and MP3 audio file formats for exporting.
  • It allows musicians to scan music sheets and sing in the choir.
  • A large music library and modules to take inspiration from.
  • It is perfect for playing and editing guitar notes.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Good for editing purposes.

Cons

  • The desktop version isn’t compatible with Mac.

8. Finale PrintMusic

Software Rating: 4.4/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows 10/8.1/8/7 or later

Useful For: Fast and simple music composition software

Price: Offers a 30-day free trial—a full version for $119.95.

Finale PrintMusic is a perfect tool for creating professional-looking music sheets and sharing them with your team. It is neat and easy notation software that a novice musician can even use. The software comes with many advanced features such as extracting music parts, orchestra up to 24 staves, hearing the playback, and printing music sheets. All in all, it is a simple music notation software.

Top Features

  • Allows you to add notes using a mouse or a MIDI keyboard.
  • Using SmartScore Lite, you can scan your music sheets.
  • Easy to transpose, cut, paste and rearrange music files without picking a pen and paper.
  • You can play your music to get instant feedback and refine your work.
  • More than 128 instruments, including Row-Loff™ Marching Percussion sounds.
  • Quickly produce and share high-quality music sheets, MP3, PDF, and graphics.

Pros

  • Good for novice users.
  • Neat UI.

Cons

  • No virtual keyboard.

9. Cakewalk Sonar

Software Rating: 4.3/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows 10/8/7 or older

Useful For: Dynamic music creation

Price: 100% free basic version. Unlimited versions for $49 and $99.

Cakewalk Sonar is a powerful and free music notation software. It is a full creative experience with several advanced technologies to compose, record, and edit music sheets. You can achieve pristine studio sounds and create dynamic mixes with ultra-advanced mixing tools using this program. You can also use the built-in mastering tools and share songs directly to Facebook, SoundCloud, and more.

Cakewalk Sonar

Top Features

  • Powerful tools to create and edit MIDI sequences.
  • Sonar integration staff view allows you to compose songs.
  • Impressive virtual instruments that help to fill out tracks.
  • You can sing out your melodies to convert them into instrument parts.
  • You can use SoundCloud integration to share your composition on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.
  • The standard notation staff view and guitar tab with the notate, compose or print music sheets.

Pros

  • Professional notation software.
  • Multiple device support.

Cons

  • No built-in sampler.

10. NanoStudio

Software Rating: 4.1/5

Compatible Platforms: Windows 8/7/Vista/XP or older, MacOS, iOS, and Android

Useful For: Impressive music notation software

Price: Free basic version. Full version for $11.99.

NanoStudio is the best music composing software for all the leading operating systems. It has a simple yet intuitive interface that can be exported to SoundCloud, DAWs, and MIDI devices. Besides this, the software offers many studio tools such as Eden Synth, mic mastering, TRG-16, equalizer, and more. The Mac and Windows versions are free, but the Android and iOS versions are not.

NanoStudio

Top Features

  • A full-size keyboard, twin XY pads, and a patch wheel to control essentials.
  • Powerful mixing panels and color-coded displays to create sophisticated musical notations.
  • Fantastic sound quality through MIDI devices and computer audio.
  • Built-in help resources to better use the software to create music notes.

Pros

  • Intuitive user interface. 
  • Several effects and filters.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • Complex documents.
  • Not suitable for novice users.

Let’s Create Some Music Notes!

Writing music has become an easy and simple process with attractive yet free music notation software. These software allows you to create music, edit, and share with your team members or social media followers with a click.

 We have already disclosed the best 10 music composing software that you can use. So, we suggest you select the suitable notation software according to your needs and start your musical journey today.

If you find this post useful, do share it with your musician pals. Also, follow us on social networks for more informative articles.

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