If you’re used to working with music notation software you might have heard the name MuseScore – and if you haven’t, have you been living under a rock? Learn all about it and why it’s raising to the top!
The ongoing music notation software battle
For those that aren’t aware of it, music notation software is getting more and more common – so much so that there’s a kind of hidden ongoing war to battle for the top.
In one of our blog posts from a year ago, we talked about the rivalry between the two big guns, Sibelius and Finale. Funnily enough, we concluded how “you might find everything you need in a more basic and free software like MuseScore”, which seems like a prophecy coming true.
A year has passed and our prophecy has not only been confirmed but surpassed. MuseScore is in no way as basic or as simple as it used to be. It’s getting more and more complete and improving its features each week. And this new foe joining the party is making it difficult for Finale and Sibelius to stay on the top: it’s precisely the fact that MuseScore is completely free and open-source which attracts so many people.
MuseScore rise to the top
One of the persons responsible for its growth is Tantacrul, a YouTuber whose famous series of reviewing and ranting about music notation software included an extensive 33-minute-long diatribe on MuseScore. It gained so many views that the people at MuseScore themselves actually offered him to be in charge of their big interface redesign.
He’s currently offering weekly updates on his personal Twitter and engaging with a steadily increasing number of MuseScore users, asking them how to improve the software and make one of the biggest updates it has ever seen.
Besides the (lack of) pricing, one of the other main factors of its popularity is precisely this constant engagement MuseScore offers its users. Their website isn’t just a platform in which to only download the program: it serves as an active forum where people can share their thoughts and make an impact to actually change things (unlike its competition, who are more business-driven rather than community-focused); it also encourages people to easily share sheet music.
On top of that, it has one of the most intuitive interfaces out there, based entirely on the ‘What You See Is What You Get’ idea: make it easy for the user to just drag and drop everything into the score.
Last but not least, it imports MusicXML files perfectly. They are the most common digital files when working with music notation software as they contain all of the information present in the sheet music. Finale and Sibelius tend to interpret them incorrectly, creating odd-looking scores with poor layouts. This hardly happens with MuseScore, which interprets all the XML information far better.
We really believe MuseScore can be on top of the game in the next few years. The only thing we are doubtful about is its pricing policy: do you believe it will stay free forever? Will its improvement push its competitors to offer better features? Will they have to lower their cost? Share your thoughts and answers to these questions through the Discord Channel where we discuss our latest blog posts!
How can such top-notch software that is directly competing with the big guns still be free? Will it last forever? We will have to wait until then, but for now, rest assured that MuseScore has everything you need completely for free.