What does MuseScore lack compared to other so-called more professional music notation software?

• Jan 9, 2021 - 21:02

MuseScore describes itself as a non-professional music notation software. I would like to know what features are missing from MuseScore compared to other so-called professional music notation software such as Sibelius, Finale or Notion.


I've never seen MuseScore claim it's not a professional music notation software but others have made that claim. The biggest feature it lacks is a big price tag to purchase it.

I've recently switched back to Musescore (I was a Musescore 1 user a long time ago) from Sibelius. Here are what I've found the differences to be:
- Musescore doesn't cost me over $100 a year (plus I can encourage my students and colleagues to use it, which I wasn't comfortable doing with Sibelius's steep price tag).
- Musescore allows me to write my own plugins and improvements (instruments, extensions etc) for my niche set of instruments.
- Musescore has a huge support community

It lacks copy/paste and insert mode. For the rest it is at the same level as professional, actually much better by the speed if its support forum (even if answers "work as designed" to mean "work as programmed" can sometimes be a bit frustrating).

In reply to by frfancha

In reply to by frfancha

Every professional notation program has it's own features that other programs do not when it comes to user interface. When it comes to the bottom line though, in the hands of a well informed user you will have a hard time determining which program created a score if you use the same fonts for each one. This is what a music notation program is ultimately about.

One can always nitpick about specific niche features or symbols that program X has and MuseScore does not, although there are also plenty of niche features that MuseScore has and other programs lacks. In virtually every case it's more a question of it merely requiring a few extra steps to accomplish the same result in the other program, not truly being a result one program can produce that another can't.

The main area where overall MuseScore lags behind other professional notation software is in integration with commercial third party audio libraries or software. This gap also may well be closed or at least narrowed by the time MuseScore 4 comes out - hopefully by the end of the year.

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