Classical musicians and the digital tools they love

Link via SF Classical Music Examiner

Finale vs. Sibelius

Composers seem to be about evenly divided between the two major notation packages, although I always steer first-timers to Sibelius. Despite Finale’s massive improvements, Sibelius remains easier to learn. Both applications produce beautiful printed scores, can generate parts automatically, and in general make a musician’s life easier.

And they have put an end to the worst aspect of performing new music: players have been liberated from deciphering a composer’s handwritten manuscript. Some composers were careful autographers, but many weren’t, and among my most painful memories of the pre-digital era was trying to squint may way through a careless composer’s chicken-scratching. This may not have improved the overall quality of new-music performances measurably, but it certainly has done away with at least one needless aggravation.

Finale 2009 is available at an academic discount price of $252.

Sibelius 5 is available at an academic discount price of $249

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