What are the best music notation apps for iPhone or iPad?

For any musician, flashes of inspiration can come at any time. You need to jot down that melody that comes across your mind when it hits. To help you out with that, have a look at these notation apps that you can use in your iPhone or iPad.

22 contributors
15 solutions
  1. 3



    Stave'n'Tabs is a notation and tab editor app which helps users in creating music. This app also enables users to practice their songs, improve compositions, manage projects, and share their scores and tabs with friends.


    Web, iOS, Android


    Daria Key
    Written on June 10, 2019
    "Easy to use and intuitive, not expensive, works with many formats"
  2. 2



    Newzik is one of the best music reader apps that you will ever encounter for iPhone or iPad users. It is tailored to meet the needs of music writers. Musicians can read synced sheet music and make any edits in real-time.




    Matan Daskal
    Written on January 13, 2019
    "After trying many other notation apps I find Newzik to be the top for mainly 7 reasons: - Organizations: Neat and clear organization windows, allowing to create setlists for concert or educational purposes. - Collaborative Setlists: You can share your markings or any edits in real-time - Cloud: All the data you create in Newzik is uploaded to Newzik's cloud, not needing to worry about ruining your ipad. You can always access all this information from any other iOs device - MusicXML: Ability to import MusicXML files. - Audio/video/youtube: Ability to import any audio, video or youtube link and attach it to a piece. - Imslp: In app access to the imslp library for free. - Stable as a rock"
  3. 1



    forScore lets you read your music and get into the technical aspect of songwriting without breaking a sweat. Play with your creativity and let this music notation software guide you. 




    Vishal Kadam
    Written on November 8, 2017
    "This app has all the tools you need. It is easy to use and you can take it anywhere, so you can write or edit music whenever inspiration strikes. The program is intuitive and easy to figure out, so you'll have no problem figuring out a recording whatever song you've just been inspired to make. Also, it makes it easy to share with friends, bandmates, or just with yourself so you can have a copy on the PC as well."


Did you know that musical notation is almost as old as writing? The earliest known writing system was made by the Sumerians around 3000BC, while the earliest form of musical notation, also by the Sumerians, was dated around 2000BC. Written in cuneiform, the artifact contained information on how to perform a piece of music. Since then, musical notation has come to include melodies, rhythms, note duration, the key in which the music is played, the manner in which the music is to be played, and many more.

It was Boethius, a 6th-century Roman philosopher, who assigned the first letters of the alphabet to the notes of a scale. Another primary specialist of this type of musical notation is Guido d’Arezzo, an Italian monk. He created the do-re-mi notation basing from a hymn to Saint John the Baptist, derived from the first syllables of each line: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and si. He changed ‘Ut’ to ‘do,’ as it is easier to sing and pronounce. It is taken from the Latin word “Dominus,” which means “the Lord.” At present, various countries and regions have their own systems, but it is the Western musical notation that is the most widely-used notation in the world. This notation is composed of staves and noteheads. Because of the rise of interest of people in composing and reading music, sheet music writer has become a must-have for every self-composing singers, musician, and composers. And as technology develops, they released various software for music notation as well. A lot of musicians debate between Finale or Sibelius for being the best music notation software. It was proven that both are very powerful and does its job well, at the end familiarity wins out always.

  1. 0



    Notion is a great music creation tool which has helped may composers with their music. This app lets you explore the limits of where you can take your music by using music notations and many more.


    iOS, Mac

    $14.99- with in-app purchases

    Sun Wu
    Written on March 27, 2019
    "Wow, I think it is as powerful as the desktop extension of this music notation software. It is like when I am at home I can write musical scores in my pc and when I leave home I can continue my work on the bus or train. Pretty convenient. "
  2. 0

    #5Notation Pad

    Notation Pad

    Notation Pad is a free app which enables you to read, compose, edit, playback scores and write lyrics on your mobile device. This is designed for beginners who want to learn about music scoring. 


    iOS, Android

    Free- with in-app purchases

    Sandra Kennedy
    Written on March 27, 2019
    "I just think that Notation Pad should be first on the list of the best notation apps for iPhone for so many reasons. First, the app supports a lot of different instruments like guitar and even drums. Also, it has multiple voices feature!"
  3. 0



    MusicJOT is an easy to use music notation app where you can quickly write and compose music and watch it get rendered into a notated music, which can be exported in MusicXML or MIDI. 




    Joseph Mendoza
    Written on July 10, 2018
    "Downloaded this app but haven't used it for awhile already because it keeps on crashing so i always have difficulty using it. But, today i updated the app and checked if it improved. Yes it did, however, i still would not use this. Not worth your money. "
  4. 0



    iWriteMusic is an easy and fun to use music notation app with its simple user interface, which supports most of the major notation elements and has data & sheet sharing features. 




    Ismael Calderón
    Written on July 10, 2018
    "iWritemusic is a good optuion to anyone trying to compose music on a mobile device. However, in my case this app has been crashing and i coould not complete my project on it. :((("
  5. 0



    NotateMe is a cool music creation tool that lets musicians and composers handwrite their compositions. With your phone, it would be much easier to enjoy making music with this free tool. 


    Android, iOS


    Joseph Smith
    Written on March 27, 2019
    "PROS: I like that this is customizable. It lets me use my handwriting for easier and faster music composition. The interface is clear yet intuitive. No options and other tools that might distract me. Clean, I must say. Changes in the notes or as a whole composition are easy to make. Kudos!"
  6. 0



    GarageBand is a music making software and app for Mac and iOS respectively. It offers a sound library with software instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and virtual session drummers. Users can access piano and guitar lessons.


    Mac, iOS


    Carl Russell
    Written on October 30, 2017
    "Digital music production has been something that I wanted to try out for a while. When I started college they provided us with iPads that were loaded with the GarageBand app. I found it to be a relatively easy app to use and have really taken a liking to it."
  7. 0

    #10Symphony Pro

    Symphony Pro

    Symphony Pro is an app that lets you worry less about the technicalities of music writing and composition, The app lets you be more creative using your phone in a very easy and creative way. 




    Shreya Yadav
    Written on November 5, 2017
    "problems though is that sometimes I would like to look over things on my phone rather than a physical paper. I came across Symphony Pro for my iPad and have to say that I love it. So many options available at the tip of my fingers."
  8. 0



    Frettable is an easy-to-use platform which will automatically transcribe instrument recordings into sheet music and tabs using your device whether online or offline. It also can provide you the music sheet within seconds. 


    Web, iOS, Android


    Kyle Presca
    Written on April 23, 2019
    "Frettable can transcribe audio from live recordings within the app to music notation. Works for single instrument recordings only, but can create music notation for a variety of instruments: piano, guitar, vocals, brass, and woodwinds. Can then share the sheet music you create within the app."
  9. 0

    #12Guitar Pro

    Guitar Pro

    The famous music composition software that allows you to transcribe your favorite songs, or simply read the thousands of tabs already available on the Internet.


    Windows, Android, iOS


    Linda Rs
    Written on January 23, 2019
    "This is a great on-the-go version of Guitar Pro. Really helpful to write your track and end your composition in the desktop version. It is also really useful to read all pre existing GP files but you can NOT edit them. You can download tabs from your browser and open directly in the app too which is helpful."
  10. 0



    ScoreCloud is a music notation software created by Doremir Music Research AB. It supports most instruments, including voice. It has a free limited version but is also offered at two other paid versions.


    Windows, Mac, iOS

    Free- Varies by plan

    Catherine Schmidt
    Written on March 27, 2019
    "No doubt that my other friends dubbed this as music notation app as a Google translate, except that this is for music creation! I mean, it is as easy as playing an instrument of my choice and it will listen to what I am playing and create the sheet for me so I won't have to enter them one by one."
  11. 0

    #14Touch Notation

    Touch Notation

    Touch Notation is a music notation app developed by Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co. that features easy musical score creation and a wide range of functions. Musical symbols can also be entered by hand through it.



    $11.99- with in-app purchases

    Roger Meyer
    Written on March 27, 2019
    "Among all other music notation software, Touch Notation is one of the few that lets me draw musical symbols using my hand whenever I am using my ipad for creating a musical score. Imagine your simple gestures are powerful enough to be understood by the intuitive interface."
  12. -1



    Flat is an application for composing and editing music scores. It has a collaborative platform and can even be used offline. It can be used for free but requires a paid subscription for unlimited use and 24/7 support.


    Web, iOS

    Free- Varies by plan

    Romain Boces
    Written on November 26, 2018
    "Flat is a collaborative sheet music editor that lets you create music scores and guitar tabs! Create and edit your music score documents with your iPhone/Ipad or with the web browser in real-time with your friends or colleagues."


Best What are the best music notation apps for iPhone or iPad
1Stave'n'TabsApps 3 Free
2NewzikApps 2 Paid
3forScoreApps 1 Paid
4NotionApps 0 Paid
5Notation PadApps 0 Free
6MusicJOTApps 0 Paid
7iWriteMusicApps 0 Paid
8NotateMeApps 0 Paid
9GarageBandSoftware 0 Free
10Symphony Pro Apps 0 Paid

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