PROS / You can enter notation via MIDI or virtual keyboard.
CONS / There currently isn't an option for phone support.
VERDICT / This software is free but offers many features of paid software we reviewed. If you are on a budget, you should consider MuseScore 2.
MuseScore 2 is a music notation program that is free for download. Even though this program is free, it provides many of the same features paid software programs provide.
When you open MuseScore 2, an opening window prompts you to choose a sheet music template. This music composition software gives you the option to not only create musical scores for piano, but also guitar tablature and percussion sheet music. You can also link staffs together, which is great for guitar tablature staffs. This way, you can have the notation on one staff and the tablature on another. Beyond notation and tablature, you can also add chord names and lyrics to your sheet music. These additions can help when lyrics and other guitars in a group accompany your music.
This notation software displays a clean user interface. The toolbar sits atop your score with basic file menu tools and your notation tools. MuseScore features a metronome so you can add notes as you play them on time and in tempo. There is also a button called concert pitch. This is the score transposition tool used to help you edit keys and pitches of scores when you are dealing with varying instruments. On the left side of your score are the palettes – information such as bar lines, key signatures and clefs can be found here. The right of the score is the inspector that displays various information about your note input.
You can create a musical score in a variety of different ways. You can create an entire music score by inputting all of the notes with your mouse, but this method can be time-consuming. You can use a MIDI controller via USB and, as you play, your score will be created. This software also supports standard MIDI file import and MusicXML file import. If you don't have a MIDI controller handy, you can input notes by using the virtual keyboard within the software.
You can also export your sheet music in a variety of different ways. You can print your scores or transfer them via standard MIDI file export. You can also save your sheet music as a PDF or graphic. This can be helpful if you want to pull your sheet music up on a tablet or an iPad for a live performance.
If you have any questions regarding this notation program you can fill out an email via the company's contact form. You can also search through the user forum for information regarding the software. You currently can't contact the manufacturer via phone.
MuseScore 2 is a free alternative to paid composition software. Although it is free, it provides many features found in other software that has a price tag. MuseScore 2 is great if you are on a budget.