If you're looking for the most professional music composition software possible then you can't go far wrong with Finale.
Finale is strictly a tool for professionals, and beginners to music composition will quickly find themselves overwhelmed. It has however been made easier to use in recent releases and Finale 2011 is probably the most user friendly version yet. There are also several major improvements in the latest version including Improved Lyric Entry and Spacing, Instant Capo Chords and Expanded Percussion Playback.
Certainly Finale is still probably one of the most powerful cross platform tools for turning ideas into music. There are literally hundreds of features in Finale's rather crowded interface which make it very intimidating at first. However, Finale 2011 has made things much quicker and more intuitive meaning you can get more music written in half the time. Many of the old keyboard shortcuts have also been replaced by one click actions meaning you don't have to remember all those "Alt" key functions.
Finale 2011 is the best version of Finale yet although beginners should be prepared for a very steep but worthwhile learning curve.
- Improved Lyric Entry and Spacing
- Garritan sounds
- New Fonts
- Expanded Percussion Playback
- Instant Capo Chords
- Easier Staff Layout
- Music Education Worksheets
- Finale AlphaNotes Font
- Updated Aria Player
- Improved Pickup measures and more