any new thoughts on notation software.  curently i use a program called midisoft.  i have been very happy with it.  the only problems i have with it is that no one else uses it and very few other profesionals have even heard of it.  the other problem i have is that it is not mac compatable and i have over the last year or two am so happy to say i have escaped that evil pc world.  so i have been looking into finale but it is so much more than i want.  i just want to make good professional lead sheets with my notation programs and i do not want to spend 3000 hours learning a program to figure out how to make a simple good lead sheet and pay out the yin yang to do it.... that is my complaint with finale...  too complicated and too expensive for my purposes... although i would pay the price if it would do my make good profesional lead sheets with out a horific learning curve.  so my question is;
   has anyone heard of any new companies out there competing in the notation software field that might be mac compatable?
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i have a mac too. i was told that mac was the best for music. so i have 2 tools:
- garage band. it's pretty useless for notation
- logic. it's great for studio stuff. it has nice effect and all. i can even make my sax sounds decent. unfortunately, it totally blows for notation.  

so i use a tool called rosegarden. i create sheets like this one:
(my weekly assignments). with midi, it takes me just minutes to get it in.  
the problem is it doesn't work on mac. it's linux only. so i installed linux in a virtual box on my mac just so i can run that. it's free.  

i know some people (like doug) use band in a box. it's not very expensive, probably easier to install than my setup.  
i would bet not as good, but might be.
not sure what price range you'd consider, but this looks interesting:
well i guess you have to go here:

and look for a product called sibelius first.  they're selling it for $129
by gvox inc.
as having used finale, encore, and sibelius for many years, i would say by far that sibelius is the best that money can buy.

like you, i didn't know much about finale and didn't pore over the manual as i didn't have the time. i started using finale with 98 and used it up through much of college (finale 2004-5). i was editing a score, and everything just looked awful. in finale you can make stuff look good, but you really have to master all these arcane features. a composer friend of mine, came over, saw me struggling with presentation, and then moved it into sibelius and in like 45 seconds had it looking incredible. sibelius on the default settings looks far, far better than finale. it looks very good and presentable, and it makes all of its default settings make everything look best, so all you have to worry about is entering your notes.  

i've never used sibelius first. i'd download a demo first, for sure, it seems like it might lock you into having to use these lame rhythm section parts, rather than just being able to go in and make a lead sheet.

if all you're looking to do really is make a lead sheet, band in a box is an option, but note entry is extremely cumbersome compared to finale or sibelius, unless they've really changed everything since i last used it. it's really cheap, but i'd say you kind of get what you pay for.

perhaps check out rosegarden, which is free, i think, and run it as a virtual machine in linux with parallels desktop or the free virtualbox program. if you want to get in and get out without spending anything, that's the way to go.

hmmm.  i smell an opportunity for someone.  it would be nice
to have for notation what reaper has done for recording.
i swear by sibelius.  i used finale for over 10 years and it can do anything, but sibelius is also great and can do anything, and the first day i tried using sibelius i was charting out lead sheets faster than i could do in finale and i used to know finale as well as i know the c major scale.
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musescore is a ffree music composition & notation software.

it is used by most of wikifonia contributors:
wow, they are using music xml and have some kind of flash plugin for it... wonder if i could get them to let me use it here?  it would be so cool to let people actually put music in their messages instead of trying to explain what notes to play!
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
is a free cross platform wysiwyg music notation program, licenced under gnu gpl.

some highlights: screenshot

    * wysiwyg, notes are entered on a "virtual note sheet"
    * unlimited number of staves
    * up to four voices per staff
    * easy and fast note entry with mouse, keyboard or midi
    * integrated sequencer and fluidsynth software synthesizer
    * import and export of musicxml and standard midi files
    * available for windows, mac and linux
    * translated in 20 languages
    * gnu gpl licenced
an excellent software for music.

part 1 score setup:

part 2 the musescore screen:

part 3 note entry basics:

part 4 note entry with a midi keyboard and playback:
i just did a search for music xml plugins- people have been busy the last year and a half.  just recently there was nothing, now there are a handful of projects.

that means... sheet music in messages when i figure it all out :)
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
it would be wonderful in ljp.
good luck.
+1 for sibelius
forget the others, everyone i know uses sibelius. it's not hard to learn - and it has a great manual - worth paying a bit extra to get the hard copy (in book form).

you can find out how to do anything in there in seconds, which is more than you can say for the logic manual.
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