Non-Linux FOSS: Let's Make Music Together


Just because you're not on Linux doesn't mean you can't have awesome open-source tools. I was having a conversation with a friend and reader (Don Crowder: @eldergeek) on Twitter the other day about music theory. Yes, I'm not just a computer nerd, but a music/math nerd too. Anyway after our conversation, I started looking for an open-source program for creating sheet music. Not only was I able to find one, but it happens to work for those folks on Windows as well as Linux.

Mind you, I'm a neophyte when it comes to music theory, but thankfully, MuseScore is useful for experts and n00bs alike. Not only can you create sheet music, but you also can download thousands of pieces others have created and shared on the Web site.

If you're a Windows user who wants to dabble in sheet music, but can't afford something like "Finale", MuseScore is right up your alley. If you're a musician who wants to give back, please join the community of users and contribute some of your music. To see how MuseScore is helping blind musicians, check out Katherine Druckman's article.

If you want to download MuseScore for yourself, you can download it from your repositories if you're on Linux, or download the installer from the Web site for Windows or OS X:


Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.


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As we cover the mobile

sollen's picture

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Anonymous's picture

Lilypond is a very mature package which produces beautiful scores. It's pretty easy to use as well.

Lilypond is a good score layout engine

Anonymous's picture

but MuseScore plays the music and reads/writes MIDI and MusicXML and even abc on a good day. It makes Lilypond redundant in the sense you dont need to read music to learn to play.
Oh and you can output Musecore for Lilypond should you so desire. But Musescore to Lilypond is the computer to the printing press.