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Finale SongWriter

by MakeMusic!
Windows 7 / Vista / XP, Mac OS X
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews) 24 answered questions

List Price: $49.95
Price: $38.21 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Features

  • Fast, easy way to create and print professional-quality sheet music.
  • Compose with either a MIDI keyboard, mouse or computer keyboard. SongWriter can open files made by the entire family of Finale software as well as import MIDI and MusicXML files created by hundreds of other products.
  • Human Playback plays your music with the nuance and expression of human performers. When Human Playback is combined with the high-quality software instrument sounds built into SongWriter, the results are amazing.
  • Band-in-a-Box Auto-Harmonizing can automatically turn your melody into two- or three-voice harmony. Use Drum Groove to easily add custom drum parts in a variety of styles.
  • Add lyrics, chord symbols, repeats, codas, create guitar or bass tablature, and create percussion notation. Should you ever have a question, SongWriter includes QuickStart Videos and other resources, right in the Launch Window.

System Requirements

  • Platform:    Windows 7 / Vista / XP, Mac OS X
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1

Frequently Bought Together

Finale SongWriter + SANOXY USB MIDI Cable Converter PC to Music Keyboard Window Win Vista XP, Mac OS + HDE USB MIDI Cable Converter PC to Music Keyboard
Price for all three: $47.29

These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers.

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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B007JPMZDE
  • Item model number: MM00223
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: March 8, 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #928 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)

Product Description

Finale SongWriter, designed specifically for songwriters, is the fast, easy way to create and print professional-quality sheet music. Import and export MIDI files, enter music with your mouse, computer keyboard or MIDI device to create music with up to 8 staves. Breathe life into sheet music with professional instrument sounds, realistic playback, and creative inspiration. Hear your notes as you enter them, then press Play to hear how they interact. But SongWriter does more than make sounds. SongWriter makes music – and even offers creative suggestions. Your music deserves to be heard with all the feeling and phrasing you imagined when you wrote it. Human Playback makes this possible by playing your music with the nuance and expression of human performers. When Human Playback is combined with the high-quality software instrument sounds built into SongWriter, the results are amazing. Need help harmonizing your melody ? Not sure what the drummer should play ? No problem. SongWriter offers composers and arrangers idea-generating tools to save time and suggest creative options. Band-in-a-Box Auto-Harmonizing can automatically turn your melody into two - or three-voice harmony. Use Drum Groove to easily add custom drum parts in a variety of styles. When you notate your music by hand, changing the key or adding an intro means starting over. When your music is in SongWriter it's easy to change keys, add measures, and move things around any way your creative impulses move you. Don't let great ideas get away! Simply play your MIDI keyboard and music automatically appears in SongWriter. You can also enter notes with your computer keyboard or mouse. SongWriter can open files made by the entire family of Finale software as well as import MIDI and MusicXML files created by hundreds of other products. Should you ever have a question, SongWriter includes QuickStart Videos and other resources, right in the Launch Window.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really hard to use November 18, 2012
I'm giving it 3 stars because it was cheap, and seems to be very powerful, but my goodness is it stupid and difficult to use. For example, I'm trying to record from a keyboard, and it knows I'm recording from a keyboard, and knows it should be recording on to two staffs (because I've told it, in addition to, duh, it's recording from a keyboard, and it's showing two staffs, so you can see them), but records all the notes on to one staff. Sometimes, by accident, seemingly, it does it correctly, but I haven't figured out why. I can't imagine who programmed this, and why they wouldn't just make it automatic that if you tell it you're recording from a keyboard, that it should record on to two staffs, and split which notes go to which staff at middle C. If the user wants to change from the default, fine, but set up a sensible default that 99.99% of users would want to use.

From reading other comments of other software, it seems that they're all horrible, so that's another reason for not giving this lower marks.

There are dialog boxes missing "OK" buttons, just an "x" to close them, so it's not intuitive whether selections are saved or not. It just seems, in general, like very power, and inexpensive, software, but not designed by someone who understood elementary software design considerations.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By rose
Over the past many years, I have have used Finale in a 60 person chorus. I have been a big fan of using the various features to be able to hear your own part, and add other parts back in as you practice. I bought Songwriter so I could take the director's arrangements and create mp3s from them.

Over the years it has been a total hassle trying to collaborate with others who have software releases from different years. Different releases are not compatible with each other.

If you are working strictly alone, and have no need to share files with others, this product will do what you want it to, (if you have the patience to learn it.)

If you buy this expecting to be able to work on files with others who also "have Finale"--beware--they will not even be able to open the file in the most basic way unless they have your same year's release (or later) than yours. Meaning, they will have to purchase the software again (full price, no discount) in order to work with your files.

Today the "customer service" rep "explained" to me that there is a workaround "that is only 3 clicks"--seriously underestimating the total hassle presented by all of the many ways that Finales versions are not compatible or consistent with each other. (note that the "3 clicks" mentioned have to be made by the SENDER who has no idea whether there is a compatibility problem or not).

I had called Finale today to request that my purchase of Songwriter 2010 be refunded so that I could purchase Songwriter 2012 and be able to work with my director's Finale 2012 files.

When a customer service rep is barking at me saying "you have to follow the rules just like everyone else" I know it's just time to get out.

Buyer Beware.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inferior company and product August 11, 2012
Inserts rests in score where music is being played. Takes a lot of editing. Also tried the top teer version trial and saw little difference in the interface. Difference you pay must be for the sound library, which I did not get to hear. Based on what I got I would never buy from this company again. Am now using musecore which is open source and free and even comes with a library of classics, also free and am saving for Sibelius 7. Sibelius 7 comes with a much larger library of sounds and if that is what I have to pay for then I want the best. This company lures you in with the free version. Don't get taken.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Search for Authorization Code Ruins User Experience December 19, 2012
By Jeff
Do not buy if you do not have internet access.

My elderly parents purchased this software, and I installed it on their older computer running Windows XP. First off, it requires Windows XP SP3, and this requirement is not specified anywhere on the box or in the documentation. They do not have internet, which was a huge problem for software activation. I thought I could simply install it on my computer to get the Authorization Code that I could then relay to them. No dice, once the software has been activated over the internet, the Authorization Code is not available. My only solution here is to actually call their tech support line to get an Authorization Code. I understand that they are trying to prevent software piracy, but they ruined the user experience in the process. Will not buy from again.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read instructions December 1, 2012
By cta123
Verified Purchase
I spent two days trying to get the software to work. After several emails I noticed to RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR. Do this . If you don't you will get that annoying font error message! Otherwise, the product behaved as advertised.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Positive review for Finale SongWriter October 26, 2012
Verified Purchase
The software takes some time to get used to. Some of the functions (repeats with second endings especially) do not have an intuitive method of entry. However, it is a very useful tool for people participating in multi-player/singer music groups, as it allows participants to input their music individually and hear it played perfectly outside the full group.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I actually like the program. January 22, 2014
By Eric
I use it for lyrics and guitar chord notation, so my needs are pretty basic. I can't comment on more complex arrangements or collaboration between composers, but for my simple needs, it works well.

My only gripe is that I was unable to activate my old version of this software. It appears that you must perform some sort of online deregistration when moving it from one computer to another. So, if your computer crashed beyond repair while this program is loaded, you're screwed.

UPDATE: I did contact the company about my older version of this program. They helped me register it on my newer system. Unfortunately, it's not completely compatible with Windows 7
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars nice
Daughter loves it. Spends a lot of time on it.
Published 9 days ago by mr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Ready to make music sheet and print.
Published 11 days ago by Stephen Nguyen
5.0 out of 5 stars But its a lot of fun to make your own tune and play it back
This takes a bit of learning if you don't read music. But its a lot of fun to make your own tune and play it back. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Thea
1.0 out of 5 stars MENSA MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED....
APPARENTLY I'M NOT SMART ENOUGH TO USE THIS SOFTWARE....THE INSTRUCTIONS ARE REMARKABLY CONVOLUTED...TRAINING VIDEOS LEAVE OUT CRITICAL INFORMATION... Read more
Published 18 days ago by DALLASARCHITECT
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Easy to use. Just started using it and had to look just a couple of things up
Published 1 month ago by Ang42
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good program that can do complex music writing, but not too hard to use.
Published 2 months ago by Buffy Currens
1.0 out of 5 stars Cumbersome and Flawed
I've never used any other composing software before, so I have nothing to compare it to and I have just started using it.

First, it's very slow and cumbersome. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Don Tsuchiyama
3.0 out of 5 stars Complicated. Still haven't figured out how to use it ...
Complicated. Still haven't figured out how to use it.
Published 3 months ago by Super Scholar
1.0 out of 5 stars Only 1 Computer
Good for only one computer. Nowhere is this made clear or obvious before you buy it. If, like most people, you use a home computer and a laptop while you're out and about, forget... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Thomas Grady
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it is supposed to do.
It does what it is designed to do and does it well. There is a pretty good learning curve with it and the video helps go a little fast, but then you can listen over again. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sid
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