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Music Composition Apps For The iPad

The iPad can be a great tool for composers. There are a limited of number of apps out there for composers. We gather them up and dissect them in this AppGuide.

Essential Apps

Symphony Pro

by Xenon Labs, LLC

Symphony Pro is the essential app for composers. The app is fairly new and already it blows the competition out of the water. You can either start from scratch or import a MIDI, ABC or Symphony file. Compositions can be completed with dynamics, arpeggios, accelerandos, staccatos, repeats, and much more. Currently the app is limited to quartets with up to six tracks. Playback is included with the app so you know what your piece will sound like. We would love to see MIDI keyboard input as an option. Right now, this is the best option for composers on the go.

Notable Apps

Brushes – iPad Edition

by Steve Sprang

Brushes is mainly used as an art tool. We found that the app succeeds as a great app for composers. The ability to use any image and write/draw over it is simply killer. The flexibility is here for 21th century composers to use circular staves and more abstract composition techniques. Your creativity can simply go wild in an app like this. Composers that are wanting to think outside the box should give Brushes a try!

Master Piano

by Better Day Wireless

Master Piano is an interesting app. Those needing both a piano and song writing capabilities should be fairly happy with this app. The included piano is a very good one, although not as full featured as Pianist Pro. The reason this app made this list is the song writing capabilities. Simply record, edit and save your song. Fine tuning your songs to include the little things is a fairly simple in this app. We simply loved writing music in a non-traditional manner with this app. Those that don't like to use staff paper should give this app a try.

Decent Apps

scorio Music Notator

by fun communications GmbH

Scorio Music Notator is one of those apps that we hope improves over time. Right now the app is a web page wrapped inside a native app. The website allows you to create music from any web browser. We love the idea of this, but a true native app is needed on the iPad. The refresh times and speed of composing in this app are simply unbearable. Scorio is a notable app only because of the great promise of composing on any device anywhere in the world. The app itself is currently not great. The future we hope is a bright one.


by Alterme Inc

Composer is an overpriced alternative to Symphony Pro. The app lacks in almost every way. The interface is terrible. There are simply not enough options for customizing your score. Things lacking from this app include dynamics, slurs, and other important markings. We really wanted to love this app, but it was disappointing.

Music Composer

by Kejian Jin

Music Composer was created by the same developer that brought us Composer. We found something really remarkable. The app is identical! We were shocked that Apple accepted a second app with the same exact code base and interface. We cannot recommend apps from Kejian Jin and the Alterme Inc company as a result. The developer simply has no standards and is obviously trying to make a quick buck. There is nothing redeeming in this app that warrants your $3.99.

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