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  • #3274

    I have several songs which I wrote specifically to fit certain traditional tunes and I am wondering how to go about creating sheet music for them. Any advice?

  • #3275

    Musescore (available at is a free, open-source music notation software that I, writing primarily for a cappella choir, have found to suit my needs quite well. There are various other options, both free and paid, but this is the one that I have generally found to be quite satisfactory. It has downloadable applications for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  • #3276


  • #3278

    Lynn Martin

    I also use MuseScore and find it to work quite well. I don’t think it’s quite as intuitive as Sibelius or Finale, but since you have to pay for those and MuseScore is free, I didn’t mind the learning curve.

    Pro tip: To convert to shape notes in MuseScore, click on a staff, then right-click on the staff and click “Staff/Part Properties.” In the dialog box that appears, click “Advanced style properties…” Then at “Notehead scheme:” choose “7-shape (Aiken).”

    If you have some cases where two parts are singing unison “fa” and the triangular noteheads together look like they make up a “la” instead, then do this: Choose one of the notes, and in the toolbar to the left, go to the top and choose the “Properties” tab. Near the bottom of that toolbar, choose “Hide notehead.” That will hide the notehead but not the stem, and it will now look like a unison “fa.”

    You can find answers to most questions in online MuseScore forums, but that’s one where it’s mostly just Anabaptists who need the answer. 🙂

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Lynn Martin.
  • #3281

    One more question. I got musescore and it seems to work very well on the whole but I can’t figure out how to add the lyrics. Any advice?

  • #3283

    To add lyrics, simply select a note, press Ctrl L, and type away. If for some reason you wish to add a space without changing to a different note, Ctrl Space will do the trick.

    Also, whether you’re making a fa in a second voice (or anything else) disappear, you can just press V to change the visibility.

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