Sibelius vs MuseScore

There is an awesomely exciting side to being a classically trained musician. We learn to read and perform sheet music and write down notation ourselves. The latter sometimes needs special practice, and well, it’s just one of those cases – when there is a will, there is a way 🙂

It so happened that, ever since the musicians agreed on certain ways for musical notation, it’s stayed pretty much the same for some centuries now. New elements develop all the time, and there are always (and endless!) questions about the interpretation of the known written music… like how silent is that ”silent” mark in the score, and how fast is Allegro in Baroque compared to modern compositions… and still the musical language is pretty much homogeneous for all written music of the world. Plus, we also know a few Italian and, occasionally, German and French words here and there thanks to the internationally accepted descriptions inserted into the musical texts of the past and modern works.

This exciting side comes handy at the time when I decide to notate my own creations. The first sheet music I made was song lines for the singers, to which I would improvise on the piano (yes, I also have songs in store!). Finally, last year, when we were working on a mezzo-soprano and piano song with one of my colleagues, she suggested that it would be easier for her to practice if I wrote out the piano part. I happily realized that it was easier than I thought because by then I pretty much settled with the music piece and there was very little improvisation, everything had found its place. So I typed it with Sibelius.

Sibelius is amazing for studying purposes in particular. It’s indeed highly intuitive, and there is a lot of support on the web. It has convenient shortcuts. The downside at this point is that I want to be able to work anywhere with my own computers… this made me wonder about available freeware, which I could use for the time being (my love is still with Sibelius!) After a bit of googling, we found out about MuseScore, compared both programs and now I am testing the latter 🙂 Here is the comparison chart.

So far for a freeware it’s pretty good, and my first impression is – let’s go for it! Naturally, I started with the track simplest for notation, and this is how the default settings are:

If Our Souls sample



Looking forward to finding out how this gets finalized ;)

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