7 free music notation software for Windows and Mac

Here is a list of free music notation software that enables you to create and compose your own music sheets. In other words, Music notation software allows you to create, playback and print music sheets. It is also one of the ways to preserve your musical ideas.

Music notation freeware listed here allows you to input, edit, share and output sheet music and MIDI files. Choose your favorite notation software and let us know on the comment area.

Finale NotePad

Finale NotePad is free music notation software that lets you put notes one the printed page, creates orchestrations of up to 8 staves, enter notes, import MusicXML files and more. It also allows you to setup notations for instruments and include 128 built-in software instrument sounds.

Main features of Finale NotePad

  • Handles instrument clefs, transposition, key signatures, etc.
  • Helps to Capture ideas and select notes on a computer by typing note names
  • Enter notes using MIDI keyboard and devices
  • Open files made by other similar software
  • Add markings, enter lyric verse, enter percussion notation
  • Create Guitar and Electric Bass tablature
  • Import MIDI and MusicXML files
  • Allows you to hear your notes as you enter them
  • Plays your music with Human Playback features
  • Allows you to print, exchange and share your music

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8 (support 64-bit)

Website: Finale NotePad

Crescendo

Crescendo is freely available music score writing and composing software that helps you to create, save and print music compositions on your PC. Using this free music notation software, you can arrange professional quality sheet music, compose songs, music , scores and soundtracks and write musical notation.

Key features of Crescendo

  • Easily add notation with Point and Click method
  • Add music notes including whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes and rests
  • Helps to compose music in Bass, Treble and Alto Clefs
  • Add different accidentals to notes (sharp, flat and natural)
  • Insert text to specify tempo, a title, dynamics and lyrics
  • Support adding ties and slurs across notes
  • Create chords, dotted notes, add repeats
  • Allows you to listen your music with MIDI playback
  • Export MIDI music files
  • Print music projects and more

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8

Website: Crescendo Music Notation Editor

MuseScore

MuseScore is open source, full featured and free music notation and composition software that lets you create music sheet. The software includes WYSIWYG music sheet creator and editor.

Key features of MuseScore free music notation software

  • Create New Score either from template or from scratch (unlimited score length and staves)
  • Add notes and rests to a staff
  • Enter different types of notes (accidental, arpeggio, glissando, etc)
  • Integrate sequencer and synthesizer to play score
  • Include many types of text including Lyrics, Chord names, Dynamic marking, fingering, Headings, etc.
  • Insert pitches using MIDI keyboard
  • Include formatting tools such as Break, Spacer, Frame, etc
  • Comes with percussion notation, early music notation, cross-staff beaming, jazz notation
  • Append, insert, delete measure operations
  • Support listening to score with computer playback
  • Export and view Score to PDF, PS, PNG, SVG. Export and listen in WAV, FLAC, OGG, MP3 file formats
  • Share with other music software including MusicXML, mxl, mid, midi, kar, ly, md, etc

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, Mac OS X 10.7 or higher, Linux, BSD

Website: MuseScore Music Editor

Musink Lite

Musink Lite is freely available music composition software that lets you write music quickly. The software comes in two versions: Musink Lite and Musink Pro. The Musink Pro is commercial version provides more advanced features including recording from MIDI devices and importing MIDI files.

Basic features of Musink

  • Create and compose scores, snippets, books and MIDI files and support multi-score projects
  • Play back your music to you
  • Support Auto-backup
  • Percussion Specific functionality
  • Support exporting MIDI
  • Export and publish your files as PDF, XPS documents and PGN image formats
  • Export your music for the web
  • Import Musink Templates
  • Include Multiple Voices and voice groups
  • Write music for many voices
  • Enables you to Write drum music and export drum loops

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8 (support 64-bit)

Website: Musink Lite free music notation software

MC Music Editor

MC Musiceditor is open source and free music notation software that provides easy way to write, refine, hear and print professional scores.

Key features of MC Musiceditor

  • Create music scores from melodies to complex symphony score
  • Allows to enter notes by mouse click, keyboard shortcuts or by typing
  • Enter chords by mouse click
  • Support exporting music scores to MIDI and PDF
  • Include pitch manipulations (transpose, pitch converter) and format functions (score, midi)
  • Comes with external previewer
  • Convert MCM and ABC code to a JavaScript to allow sheet music rendered with a browser

Compatibility: Windows XP and above

Website: MC Musiceditor 

LilyPond

LilyPond is free music notation software that lets you produce high quality sheet music. This music engraving software comes with basic tools such as style settings and font designs.

Key features of LilyPond

  • Write and manage style sheets
  • Processes text input that contains all information of your music score
  • Retrace and tweak in the layout
  • Manage your scores with version control
  • Comes with effective layout choices
  • Mix music and text in OpenOffice/LibreOffice
  • Has plugins that enables you to incorporate in various blogs
  • Allows to add your own functions and more features

Compatibility: Support all platforms ( Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux)

Website: LilyPond Music Notation software

Musette

Musette is easy to use and free music notation software that enables you edit and format your score.

Main features of Musette Music Editor

  • Add notes, lyrics and bar lines in any order
  • Support keyboard shortcuts for faster editing
  • Resize note groups and transpose and change clefs
  • Load 2 tracks of a MIDI file
  • Comes with Treble and Bass Clefs
  • Limited time signature
  • Reformat note  and staff spacing
  • Create Chords and beam notes manually
  • Support score playback
  • Support drag to add beams and group notes
  • Print full scores and separate parts

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7

Website: Musette Music Notation Editor

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