If you ever wondered how musicians write and compose music nowadays, here's the answer. No longer do they scribble dots onto sheets of music paper. Instead, most composers use music notation software. Think of it as being like a word processor for music. You enter notes onto the stave (those ruled lines) by dragging with the mouse, or by playing them into the PC from an attached keyboard. You can then move the notes around to edit the music and adjust the timing, and you can also play your composition as you go in order to hear how it sounds.
Forte Notation is a music notation package for Windows, which is great fun to use. Whether you've written music before, or not, it's a great experience to try out the software. And even if you don't have an external MIDI-capable instrument such as a keyboard, you can still compose with your mouse by entering the notes directly.
If you want to try Forte Notation, the Basic edition of the current version 7 will normally cost you $24.95. But head to http://www.fortenotation.com/en/giveaway before September 4th and you can get a registration code for free, in return for your email address. Just complete the simple form, then check your mailbox for a verification link, download link, and licence code. You can then install the software and use it forever.
The download is 52 MB and works on all recent versions of Windows. The file is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.
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