Download Free Finale NotePad Software

Use Finale NotePad to Notate, Arrange, and Compose Music

Finale NotePad software is the free version of the industry-standard program for notating music (Sibelius software is also widely used by professionals). Finale software has been a stalwart music notation tool of composers and arrangers for decades. If you're new to music notation software and want to get your feet wet, or just want free and simple software to compose and arrange music, here's how to get it.

First you have to create an account on the www.makemusic.com website. Don't worry about offering up your email address and getting spammed in return. I've been using Finale software for decades and they're a reputable company. Once you've created your account, follow the steps below.

  • Log in to your newly created account: click here Log in to your MakeMusic account
  • Then click here to find the proper file to download
  • Search for the correct NotePad file to download
  • Choose "NotePad" as the product.
  • Chose Finale NotePad
  • Choose the version. Pick the most recent version unless you want an older one for some reason.
  • Finale NotePad version
  • Choose your platform (Windows or Macintosh)
  • Choose the Finale NotePad platform Choose the Finale NotePad platform
  • Choose "Any Category" for the category field
  • Don't fill the "Name" field
  • Don't choose anything for "Sort By"
  • Choose any category, no name, and no sort for Finale Notepad
  • Click "Search"
  • Click on "search" to find the correct Finale NotePad version to download
  • You should get one or more search results
  • Click on "Finale NotePad for Windows" or "Finale NotePad for Macintosh", depending on your operating system
  • Click on the search results for Finale NotePad
  • Click the "Download" button and save the file
  • Click on the download button to download Finale NotePad Save the Finale NotePad file
  • Install the software
  • When you first run Finale NotePad it will prompt you for a serial number. You should have received a serial number via email when you created an account. Enter the serial number and begin using Finale NotePad.

Finale NotePad

I'm guessing that you'll find Finale NotePad fairly easy to use. It's a very watered-down version of the full flagship Finale product, but it's a great place to start. If you like its features and want to upgrade to get more, there are various options and price ranges available to you. If you're a student or teacher, you may be eligible for an educational discount.

One feature of NotePad that may not be obvious is cleverly hidden in the bottom left-hand corner - the layer feature. The small numbers - 1, 2, 3, and 4 - can be clicked on to notate four different layers of music in each measure. (The notes usually appear in four different colors so you can tell them apart.) The notes in each layer must add up to the number of beats in the measure. Use layers to notate parts that are independent in some way, like the melody and bass lines. The layer feature is especially helpful in contrapuntal textures (several melodies occurring at the same time). Of course, there are many features in the software, but this one can be easily missed - hidden as it is on the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions please send me an email at jla@jlamusic.com. I've been using Finale for decades and use it every day to compose, arrange, record, teach, notate, transcribe, create tests, import and export midi files, create pedagogical materials, export graphics, and more. It's a powerful tool that can benefit any musician.

Happy music making!

Jeff Anvinson, owner/operator of JLA Music

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