Within the specialized area of music notation software there’s a holy war between the users of the two most popular packages, Finale and Sibeleus, that nearly rises to the level of Mac v PC. These are expensive and complex applications that can handle any music notation task from creating band arrangements, choral parts, orchestral works, and even movie scores. I won’t add fuel to that fire but if your music scoring needs are a bit simpler, there is a great web app for notation called Noteflight. There are two tiers of features, a free version with up to 10 scores, and a subscription version called Crescendo with unlimited scores and many additional features such as midi input, high-quality playback samples, individual part output, templates, and others. There is a demo of Crescendo available as well. Scores can be shared with other Noteflight users, and they can comment or “favorite” scores that are shared. I’ve used the tool to make quick lead sheets, create practice exercises, and to “clean up” notes from music theory classes. It’s definitely worth a look.

-- David Darrow