Monday, April 25, 2011

Finale-The 'Final Note' In Music Software

     I love to compose and arrange- in fact, that love started when I was just a child taking lessons. I would write poems and put them to music, and then hide them away in a file. :) Most of them are still there, by the way. But a few songs have been resurrected and used in our church choir both when we were in Nova Scotia, and now in New Brunswick. In 2007 I wrote a Christmas drama, a biblical fiction about the wise men. I also wrote a theme song for that drama called "What Can I Give?" that has been sung several times. It is now in the beginning stages of being copyrighted.  
     Since 2002, I have used Noteworthy Composer for all of my composing and printing, and it has served my small scale purposes very well. I would recommend it for anyone who is starting out and doesn't plan to mass produce their music. :) It is very user friendly, which means a lot to me when it comes to computers!
     I have some friends who use Music Creator by Cakewalk and they find it sufficient for their composing goals.
     This post, though, is really to put in a plug for Finale, which is possibly the leading music software company at this time. They have several different editions, depending on what your needs are. This software has been on the back of my mind for a couple of years now- on my wish list, that is!  I had heard that it was really expensive, and so I put it on the back burner. But you know what? It's not really expensive, unless you want the $600 version. ;) I'm looking on a smaller scale, so now I've got my eye on Finale PrintMusic- it looks perfect for what I have in mind for my future goals in music. I'd like to get more into the playback type of notating, and since I already have the Midi keyboard, why not?!  I have about 12 piano arrangements stored away in my brain that I would love to get onto paper and into print. In the past I have put arrangements into the computer note by note- yeah, that is seriously outdated now!  
      The Finale website is very visitor-friendly, and has many 'at-a-glance' pages, allowing you to compare the 
     features of each software version, and easily choose the one that best suits your goals. Have a look around, and be impressed.  You can even download any software edition for free and try it out for 30 days! Another great thing about PrintMusic is that it comes with 150 printable theory worksheets and flashcards for music educators- yay, that's us!
     What about you? Do you do composing and arranging? If so, what music software do you use?


Tifany said...

I've never had a computer music program before. My husband just got me on for my birthday in February. It is the Finale PrintMusic 2011. I LOVE IT!!! It's great for playing in my own arrangements & I'm learning more and more about how to use the program every time I do another project. Recently I had a piano student come to lessons with the piano alphabet written to a Lion King song, right hand only. I thought it was great! I added triad chords for her left hand. She practiced it for a couple of weeks. Last week I set up my MIDI & computer for her to play the song. It was so fun for her to see her piano alphabet notes pop up on the screen as "real music notes"! We will be spending a few weeks refining her arrangement. She loves it & I hope it will motivate & inspire her to learn even more:)

Tifany said...

That one worked!!!! Thanks for putting up with my comment "dump"! Love your blog!

Leah said... problem about the comment trouble. :) I think I ended up seeing them all.
The thing I'm wondering about Finale is whether or not it comes with the cable to connect the keyboard to the computer- or do you buy that separately?
My husband dropped a hint the other day about getting it for my birthday in June. He has wanted to get it for me since we got married (6 years ago) but I always told him no because I thought it was too expensive. Now I'm like "Yes, get it yesterday!" haha :)

Tifany said...

Yep, it came with the cable. You just plug it in to your computer, no disc needed for getting started if you have a Mac. One thing we did not consider is how much more space on our computer we needed to work the 2011 edition. I had never upgraded our computer since the year we bought it back in 2007. So we ended up dishing out another couple hundred dollars to upgrade:) But it has been totally worth every penny!

Leah said...

Hmm, yeah I saw how much space it needs and I'll have to make sure we have it. Someone just gave us a new computer that is just 2 years old. It has only the basic stuff on it, so there's plenty of space to do what we need for now. Thanks for the tips!