A Look at Forte Notation Software, Plus a Free Giveaway!

3_editions_packshot_webWe are giving away one free download for Forte Premium, the top level product from Forte (retail price: $229)!  One winner will be chosen at random. Enter your name in the drawing up to three times – see details at the end of this post. Giveaway ends May 26, 2014. *UPDATE*: Congratulations to Jen Elle who has been randomly selected as the winner of our Forte Premium giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered!

Do you ever find yourself needing to write out an arrangement or transcription? Or maybe you want to write out some exercises to practice, or short pieces for your students? Perhaps you have tried a few music notation programs, but are still looking for the right fit. Here’s a look at a program you may not be familiar with: Forte Notation.

Forte, like other music notation companies, has multiple products that offer more or less features along with more or less cost, depending on what you need. This is an important point to consider – what do you need out of your music notation software? If you are a composer, you probably need the most powerful and robust version of a notation program. If you are an occasional arranger, perhaps you need a mid-level product. And if you hardly ever use notation software but are looking to find a simple and reasonable solution, then you may be able to get by with a free program or one at a low price-point.

Forte was created in Germany and they say on their website, “Simplicity is our top priority.” They also say, “We want our products to be affordable for most musicians.” The Forte products are indeed fairly simple and easy to use, and the costs are reasonable. Forte offers a free version of the software with very limited features, followed by a “Basic” version of the software for $24, which has a few more features than the free version.  You can see a feature comparison list of Forte products here.

The next step up is the “Home” version, which again includes additional features and seems to be geared towards an intermediate user. Forte’s layout and design incorporates a tabbed toolbar at the top, which resembles the layout of a Microsoft Office product. It is very intuitive to use and it is easy to find tools and features at the top of the window.

Screenshot while testing Forte Premium.  Notice the tabbed layout of the tools and features at the top.

Screenshot while testing Forte Premium. Notice the tabbed layout of the tools and features at the top.

Forte’s highest level product is the “Premium” version, which costs $229. With the “Premium” version, users get the ability to scan music into the software, upgraded sound samples, the ability to extract parts, and more. To see a short video tour of Forte, click here.

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a free download of Forte Premium!

We are giving away one free download for Forte Premium, the top level product from Forte (retail value: $229)! One winner will be randomly chosen. You can enter your name in the drawing up to three times. Here’s how:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling us how you would use your free download of Forte Premium.

2. Like us on Facebook and leave us a comment here letting us know you did so.

3. Post a tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and be sure to tag us – @Polyphonicorg.

Enter using one (or more!) of these methods by May 26, 2014, and the winner will be announced in the comments section of this post by June 2, 2014. Good luck!

About the author

Stephen Danyew
Stephen Danyew

Steve Danyew is a composer, saxophonist, teacher, and arts administrator based in Rochester, NY. Danyew composes works for chamber ensembles, large instrumental ensembles, choirs and more, and currently serves as Managing Editor of Polyphonic.org. His music has been hailed as “startlingly beautiful” and “undeniably well crafted and communicative” by the Miami Herald, and has been praised as possessing “sensitivity, skill and tremendous sophistication” by the Kansas City Independent. Steve received a B.M. cum laude, Pi Kappa Lambda from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and holds an M.M. in Composition and Certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music.


Leave a comment
  • I’m going to combine my comments so that you don’t miss the connection.
    I just “liked” you on Facebook…My name there is “Cherwyn Shropshire Ambuter.”

    I’ll use the Forte Premium software to arrange public domain music for my vocal ensemble, Zephyr Vocal Ensemble.

    Please feel free to delete the other two comments, below, as I don’t wish to “cheat the system” by three entries, and yet I needed both of these comments to be combined since my log-in here is different than my name on Facebook…So that you could verify I did both steps.

Leave a Reply