If you use music scoring software, are you aware of the turmoil in the market right now? AVID shut down development and support for Sibelius a few months ago, and there is much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments as a result.
In addition to leaving Sibelius users high and dry, this also puts the other “standard” software package, Finale, in the de facto monopoly position in the market.
Or does it? It turns out that there are other music scoring programs out there, some with similar capabilities to Finale or Sibelius, some less capable. Here’s one look at where things are going: http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/notational-alternatives-beyond-finale-and-sibelius/
Although I have been using Finale PrintMusic for quite a while, I decided to give MuseScore a try recently and was very, very impressed. This is a SourceForge project, that is, an open source project contributed to and maintained by volunteers. Like OpenOffice, IntelliCAD and other similar projects, MuseScore aims to implement the features, file compatibility and user interface of the “big name” programs, while being free for download by any and all.
Of particular interest (for my purposes), there is a plug-in for MuseScore that permits easy creation of jazz-style lead sheets. This is a big improvement over lyric-and-chord sheets (the rhythms are explicit, rather than implied) and much faster to bash out than a full vocal line with chords.
So, if you’re a Sibelius user looking for an alternative, or a Finale user loathe to spend big bucks on an upgrade, you should look into MuseScore (or one of the other alternatives). In fact, if you haven’t been using music notation software for your band, the slash notation plug-in might be the “magic app” that makes it worthwhile to start. The price is certainly right.