Top Five Apps for Sheet Writing and Composing Music

The iPad is wonderfully versatile, and no matter what you do, there’s a way that the iPad can help. This week’s PadGadget focus is on music, and this list of apps is designed for those of you who like to create your own sheet music or musical compositions.

There aren’t many apps out there for composers and writers, but we did unearth a few must have musical gems. Make sure to take a look at our list after the break.

Symphony Pro ($14.99) – Symphony Pro is a complete music notation editor that you can use to write and playback music wherever you happen to be. You can start with a blank page or import MusicXML, MIDI, and MXL, and Symphony files from apps like Mail, Safari, and Dropbox. There’s an 88-key virtual keyboard, so you can select a note length and then tap anywhere on your score to add the note. You can also add a wide range of notational elements, from dynamics and arpeggios to trills and tempo changes. If you only download a single music composition app, make it Symphony Pro.


Notion ($6.99) – Notion is a notation editor and playback tool that allows you to compose, edit, and playback scores with real audio samples from The London Symphony Orchestra. The app has an interactive piano keyboard, fretboard, and drum pad, making music composition simple. You can import MusicXML, Guitar Pro, and MIDI files, then alter them with a full palette of articulations, expressions, and dynamics. You can then save your files in the same formats for sharing.


Scorecerer ($19.99) – With this app, you can transfer your entire sheet music collection to your iPad for both practices and performances, using the free computer companion app. When your music is on the iPad, you can use handwritten highlights and annotations to alter your sheet music to your liking, and from there, you can send and receive MIDI Program changes and organize songs into set lists. The app features full support for MIDI devices as both inputs and outputs.


GuitarScript ($7.99) – GuitarScript is an app that makes writing guitar tablature a simple task. You can create your own song sheet in mere seconds, and then share it with your friends. This app features 13 instrumental voices and built-in tunings with customizable presets for guitar, bass, and ukelele, so you can build your own instrument in the app. You can touch and drag to add notes and rearrange your tab, then play it back to hear what it sounds like. Thanks to all of these handy features, GuitarScript is a great app for both novice and advanced guitarists.


Music Studio ($14.99) – Music Studio is a complete music production environment for the iPad, combining a piano keyboard with 65 studio quality instruments (you can buy even more in-app) and a fully fledged 127-track sequencer. It also features extensive note editing, reverb, and real time effects, all in an easy to use interface. Music can be composed in four categories: classic, band, electronic, and world, and you can export in MIDI, WAV, and AAC formats. This app has a laundry list of features, so if you want to try it out before you buy, download the lite version.

About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli

  • cpc464freak

    I have all of these, the only one that does a good job with sheet music editing and allows you to hear your composition with a good range of instruments is Notion.

  • George Tsui

    it costs, so i cant be bothered to buy it…

  • Pilgrim Ivanhoe

    May be Stave’n’Tabs can become a good alternative. It is free with in-app purchases. Though it is young but already supports MIDI and MusicXML files.