Now that there don't seem to be any more responses trickling in to my
question about music notation software, here is a summary of what I've
learned. For each program, I list the web page of the company and comments
that others have made of the program. These comments are condensed (or
you will be reading a *lot*) and list their author (I hope no one wanted
to be anonymous!). I hope I have all the authors correct and that I haven't
seriously twisted words around! At the end, I have a few other comments
from contributors that I thought were appropriate. After wading through
all that was sent, my recommendation is to download versions that seem
appropriate for what you want to do and try them out. Nearly all have a
version that can be downloaded. This isn't a cop-out, this is one place
especially where YMMV!
Recommends using a "little brother" program to start.
Recommends buying from a computer savvy music store, not a computer store.
If you find good tech support, it is worth the long distance call if they move.
I thank all those that responded. I've certainly learned from this and
hope you do too.
Composer in Residence
Detroit Handbell Ensemble
Original was not saved in the archives and is lost.
Nightingale music notation software
And Sarah Prince writes:
... at last, [I had] an excuse (on short
notice of course) to buy notation software!
I hadn't been able to make much happen with the Finale demo I downloaded a
while ago (always sounds like a good idea to be prepared for cross-platform
sharing) so I tried a Mac-only program called Nightingale, which was
mentioned specifically for handbell music by someone on this list or in web
material I found via links from "here." I was impressed by the demo, with
which I was able to start doing what I wanted in short order (not save it,
alas, or even print it without the Sonata font, but note entry was
So I bought it (around $200), and have had pretty good results, astonishing
the director et al. Sometimes I can't quite make it do what I want,
probably due to my limited understanding thus far, but its EPSF exported
files parse fine into Adobe Illustrator where I can tweak mere position of
objects to my heart's content.
S. S. Prince
8 Dec 1998