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CooManChu 01-09-2005 12:24 PM

Music Notation Software for Linux

I was wondering if anyone has experience with any music notation software in Linux. If so, could they give a positive recommendation for one that would fit my current needs?

I use Finale (for Windows) quite a bit. I have not been successful at getting wine to run Finale in Linux. According to the wine website, Finale 2003 can be run in wine, but I have 2004 and no longer have the CD for 2003 (or I'd give it a shot too). At this point, I'd like to move away from my Windows machine even more, and being able to create manuscript in Linux would be HUGE for me. Converting all my Finale files would be an issue, but I'll worry about that separately.


Even though Finale has come a long way in playback and MIDI features, right now I'm more interested in a straight-up notation package than I am in all the MIDI and playback capabilities. Many of Finale's features are complete overhead for me. I really just want to create good looking, readable manuscript. In addition to scores and individual instrument parts, I write alot of drum set parts out, so I need the flexibility to use the 5 line staff as a drum set staff as well as being able to use the various standard note heads indicating different pieces and surfaces of the drum kit. Finale's flexibility is not overhead, in this case, as it allows me to do these things more or less without hassle.

Now, if the software has some minimal playback, that would be nice for checking that what I've written out is actually what I intended, but it's not critical.

Barring any existing software, maybe I'll start a project and write my own app. I pay the bills writing code, but I've never written any Linux programs except simple command line stuff. A music notation package would be a gigantic leap. Maybe a recommendation on how to make the leap would be just as useful as a recommendation for an existing software package.

Thanks alot for any help,

Scott Cook
Chicago, IL

bulliver 01-09-2005 02:40 PM

Have a google for is the only native linux music notation app that I know of. If it doesn't have the features you need/want then perhaps you can join their development rather than starting a new project from scratch.

Edit: here is the link...

CooManChu 01-09-2005 05:58 PM

Thanks! I'll check it out.


CooManChu 01-09-2005 06:10 PM

I just visited their web and took a brief tour of the application. It looks great. Without really digging in, I'm not sure if it is as flexible a notation tool as Finale, but WOW! it looks like it might just do the trick.

Thanks again for the tip. Maybe I'll checking into jumping into the delopment effort (at least as a testor if nothing else).

Take care,


Nightfrost 01-13-2005 01:55 AM

There is actually a distro which is aiming to become some sort of a multimedia-distro, packed with softwares useful for musician, etc. At least that's how I understand them. It's called agnula/demudi (debian based) and agnula/rehmudi (redhat based). I haven't really had a chance to try them out, but if you do let us know what you think :)

I found this article at slashdot:


Sleen writes: "DeMuDi stands for Debian Music Distribution. This is the first distribution of GNU/Linux whose sole purpose is to create a stable OS for Multimedia. The project is led by Guenter Gieger who is the developer of the Linux low latency driver for the RME Hammerfall 96xx series. Combined with realtime kernel patches, the Hammerfall card in Linux can achieve hardware level latencies. Though many are already using Linux to make music, Guenter has started this project to consolidate the decentralized resources needed for setting up a linux system for multimedia. Drivers, applications, a realtime kernel and many other things are missing from the typical linux distro. If anyone wonders what is available to work with, take a look at the packages page. They include multitrack hard disk recording software, physical modelling and virtual analog synthesizers, beatboxes, midi sequencers, processors, and Advanced Open Architecture Synthesis systems such as Csound. For more information such as project details, a mailing list and contact info visit"
and here's the link to agnula.

CooManChu 01-15-2005 07:54 PM

Thanks Nightfrost - I'll check into the RedHat one.


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