Music Software

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Music Software

Does anyone know of a good music notation software program that is inexpensive and easy to use? All I need is something to make so called "lead sheets" with, ie a single note melody line with the chords listed above. It would be nice to have one that plays the tune back once it is "written." I think most software will do this. Even if it just plays it back with that cheesy, computer sound that's not quite real music, it is helpful to hear the piece.

Being the tightwad that I am, "inexpensive" might be the key word here. Free download perhaps?

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Couple of standards

Hey Richie,

It has been a while since I have looked but a the programs that I have used in the past are Tabledit, and PowerTab. Tabledit has a free reader and a cheap editor add-on and PowerTab is outright free. Both of them display tab as well as notation and will midi the music back to you.

One of the really cool things about Tabledit is that there is already a huge library of tab files (check out: and it seems to be the more prevalent choice for acoustic players.

For more info and opinions on these two programs and their ilk, you might have a look at this previous post where we discussed them in more detail.

Play Well.


Shawn: Thanks a lot for your input. I'll check out both programs and report back when I've had time to form an opinion.

Play nice!

Joined: 5 Jun 2009
Groups: None
Finale Notepad

Finale Notepad will cost you ten bucks and it will do what you need. Slick and easy to use.

Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Groups: None

I am a longtime user of both Finale and Encore. I do orchestral and film in Finale but my lead sheets and choral work are done in Encore. I do prefer Finale for tablature and Encore for MIDI.

I have also owned and used half a dozen other notation programs that have come and gone. Sibelius is OK but, like the full featured version of Finale, is way too much for what you need.

The problem with NotePad is that it allows only one lyric line. Even though it is only $9.95, that makes it not worth the money IMO. Dang!

I think that Finale Songwriter is a much better buy - even though it costs $49.95. The second you want to enter a second verse...

I have never found freeware to be worth the trouble - though Tabedit is ok if you are doing TAB.

Here is a comparison chart for the various Finale programs:

For 'down and dirty' note entry, I use Encore. Unfortunately, it and its less featured sibling, MusicTime Deluxe, are way too expensive for the features they offer. Were I not an old customer and doing upgrades, i would never spend the money to buy it new.

Academic and Theologic pricing exists if you qualify.

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