MuseScore is a free cross-platform WYSIWYG music notation program, that offers a cost-effective alternative to professional programs such as Sibelius and Finale. You can print beautifully engraved sheet music or save it as PDF or MIDI file. That’s what MuseScore website says. By the way, MuseScore is available for the PC, Mac, Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mandrake.
I’m currently working on a jazz piece by Lee Morgan called Ceora from his 1966 album Cornbread. I’m not a professional musician, so I need help in interpreting some of the difficult passages. What I needed was a music notation software to play the original melody. I had a slightly older, circa 2001, music notation software on my PC that simply refused to work.
So, I searched for a music notation software online. I was even willing to pay up to a certain amount. I came across MuseScore. And the best part of it all, it’s free. I downloaded the software on my MacBook Air and went to work right away. By the way, there are several how-to videos of MuseScore in YouTube.
Creating a new score is quite easy. It’s very intuitive. Placing notes on the score wasn’t difficult. Adding rests and incidentals were a bit tricky, but I learned how to do it after a few tries. Adding triplets was the difficult part. I had to get help. Thankfully, there is Help Me file available in the program.
After an hour, I was able to place the melody of Ceora on MuseScore. I have the option to save it as a MID, WAV or the Vorbis OGG format. If you’re a jazz fan, here’s the original track of Ceora as recorded by Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Billy Higgins and Hank Mobley.