My Journey with MuseScore! Part 2: Pros and Cons of MuseScore

Posted 8 years ago

Okay, so I figured I should go ahead and post part two of my blog.
Now, I am giving an honest opinion on this, I in no way am trying to discourage. Overall, I will acknowledge that MuseScore is a great notation program.

When I started, I instantly noticed that there were a few bugs in the system. Most of them were corrected. What I didn't like was that there was a tendency for words and notes to overlap. There was a lot of overlapping that I observed. Now, one thing that is very noticeable would be the sound. What I originally thought about the choir sound was that it was alright, it's just that the notes around middle C were horrible. It did sound good when I arranged for choir though. The piano sound was a little bit generic. The string sounds, eh. Woodwind sounds: everything but clarinets were alright. Brass: the trumpet sound was only good when it was played in a full-orchestra setting. Everything else was alright. I ended up changing the sound font. I currently use the SGM-V2.01. I think that that has the best audio overall. You can simply search it up on google if you want it. Finale in my opinion has the best sound, however, they use Garritain's Personal Orchestra. If you're willing to pay a lot for it, it is compatible with MuseScore, There are some existent forum topics that address that issue of how to install it.
Now that 2.0.3 is released, I am starting to like MuseScore a lot better. However, I was still one of those people that though "I'm only using this because I can't afford Finale". That later changed, but I will explain that later.
Another con that I notice is that MuseScore doesn't exactly follow proper music notation at times. For instance, in choral music, if you intend to have the TB sing a little counter-melody than the SA, then the words would go above the TB staff right under the words of the SA staff. MuseScore just simply puts the words below. Also, in regards to markings like Staccato, dynamics, prall, etc. There is an order from top to bottom that they have to appear in if the note has more than one of them attached to it, however MuseScore doesn't follow that order that well.

Now, the pros is that it is easier to use than most notation programs. You basically, just press keys, then edit the notes that you want an octave higher or lower, insert style/dynamic markings and BINGO! Beautiful sheet music. Not to mention, it's a money saver :). I like how it's easy to figure out how to use it after they give you a simple tutorial. I have also enjoyed the template creating feature. I also like the start center feature, I thought that was pretty neat.
Now, the biggest pro about MuseScore is the support. I have posted many "help me" topics in the forums and the people who appear to be deeply involved with MuseScore (Marc and Thomas) would be quick to reply! I know Sibelius isn't exactly like that, I'm not sure about Finale!
When I became a tester for the beta 3.0.0, my jaw dropped. I saw the new feature of how overlaps are "not going to happen" anymore and I was excited about that! I can see how that feature is going to help a lot!

Now, what changed me from having the mindset of "I'm only using this because I can't afford Finale" to "I think this is a really great program" was the first glimpses of 3.0.0. For the first time, I actually saw a spark of potential in this free software. I have read how many people have reviewed and stated that MuseScore actually might put Finale in a coffin and nail it shut as it develops. I am actually believing that now.

Well, I guess that that's all I have time to blog about today. If you have any further thoughts or questions, then go ahead and COMMENT!!!!!

Keep watch for my next post, which will be a special post, "What I am hoping to see (or am already envisioning) happen around the time of MuseScore 4 or MuseSore 5.