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Old 03-17-2012, 10:57 AM
dialer dialer is offline
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Default Software for piano sheet music

Hi, does anybody know some good notation software, mainly for solo piano pieces?

For once I'd like to have one that doesn't suck at slurs and pedal lines, and other things specific to piano scores (like cross staff beaming, fingering hints, multiple voices).

I used to work with Finale, the results always looked super clean and very professional, but only after *a lot* of work; among other things, the actual note input (nothing beats the Cubase Key Editor imo, quite frankly...) really bugged me. There were also several other flaws that made me not using it anymore.
Finale had some very useful tools though, e.g. for turning the whole thing into production-ready pdf book with ease.

I've always wondered what professional publishers use, like Wonderland (Disney) or Chester Music. I think their scores looks very clean, and it's not Sibelius (just looks different).
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:58 AM
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It's 99% Finale and Sibelius. They use templates so the formatting is mostly done already.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:22 PM
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When you say suck at slurs, are you talking about playback or notation? - Sibelius is the best for both. If you're not too bothered about playback then try MuseScore - it's free and the interface is very similar to Sibelius'
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:13 PM
dialer dialer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddiesel41264 View Post
When you say suck at slurs, are you talking about playback or notation? - Sibelius is the best for both. If you're not too bothered about playback then try MuseScore - it's free and the interface is very similar to Sibelius'
I'm talking only about the notation. Playback doesn't matter as longs as I can hear some notes being played.

I haven't heard about MuseScore before; I thought it was like pkm said - Finale and Sibelius (even though I had hoped I was wrong).

I've been looking through some sheets, and I'm wondering what Square Enix uses (talk Final Fantasy Piano Collections). I may be wrong, but I think it's neither Sibelius nor Finale. There are little details that just look different from Sibelius' scores (even though they could've theoretically put a lot of work into it to change that), and Finale simply didn't support unicode characters at that time.

Anyways thanks so far, I'd be glad for further hints/suggestions.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:47 PM
MPDmike MPDmike is offline
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I first bought Finale back in 1992 (it had no competition then), but I was never happy that it was easy to use. I took advantage of the cheap cross-grade to Sibelius 2/3 years ago, and I am now a convinced convert. Sibelius is so intuitive that I hardly need to refer to the manual. I would say get Sibelius if you are a serious musician who needs to produce professional notation.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:09 PM
Manolito Mystiq Manolito Mystiq is offline
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@dialer: What you need is a better output: better music fonts.

Sibelius is a great program and so is Finale (I've hardly used Finale, but since it's also a standard, it does say something about its quality), but both don't have great fonts. That is, I'm fed up with the fonts. I'd say Finale's look a bit better, but that's probably because I hardly use Finale, and so they appear fresh to me.

Sibelius | Finale

STANDARD: Opus | Maestro/Maestro Wide/Petrucci
HAND COPIED: Reprise | Broadway Copyist
PLATE-ENGRAVED: Helsinki | Engraver
FAKEBOOK: Inkpen2 | Jazz

Check MuseGraph for some quality commercial fonts. I especially recommend Vienna.
If you have Sibelius 7, stay away from Zurich, because you can verticalize text with the program itself. I was disappointed with Stockholm: I don't like the flat accidentals. Paris is nice (based on the popular LilyPond, though I don't like the G-clef). I can't comment on either Firenza or Oslo (though they seem nice from the examples).
Another very good alternative is November by Klemm. It's pricey, but you get both a beautiful standard font (quite like Vienna from MuseGraph), and an interesting medieval font (quite like Firenza from MuseGraph).

The thing missing with both Finale's and Sibelius's fonts is blackness/thickness. The engraver and handwritten fonts improve on that, but the styles can clash the period (I wouldn't use them to transcribe a Beethoven piece), and one could simply want a good standard font, but with a thick presence.

Another thing: edit the Engraving Rules. Go through everything. Small differences in margin, font, size, etc., can make a huge difference.
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