Screenshot of the Free Notation Software FORTE Free

Free Music Writing Software – FORTE Free

Guest post by Charlotte A. F. Farley

If you’re a musician, chances are you’ve tried your hand at writing a song or two along the way. You might even have a host of tunes you’d like to chart out, but you have no idea where to start. You’re interested in trying out music writing software, but it all seems too expensive. So, it makes sense to start with a music writing software that’s free, right? With FORTE Free, you have nothing to lose—and great composition software to gain. Here are some of the highlights:

Free music writing software saves money

The fact that FORTE Free is, well, free, means you won’t waste your resources on your first experimentatio into composing.
Simple navigation
There’s nothing worse (or more intimidating) than learning how to use a new program and then discovering that it’s impossible to locate the tools you need to start working. Most other music writing software is not as easy to navigate as FORTE. The design and layout are clean, organized, and set up for immediate use. It’s set up to make things easy to locate from the start.
Perfect for small ensembles
Forte free allows for one and two staves perfect for experimenting with duets or solo voice. For example, you can write the guitar part and the voice part or two lines of vocals.
The amazing ruler feature
The ingenious ability of the ruler feature is that is sets everything to the sixteenth note. Basically, you can divide the measure any way you want to. Say you want to put a note on beat two—the ruler function lets you put a note on beat two easily. Check it out:

Screenshot of the Free Music Writing Software FORTE Free

Screenshot of the Free Music Writing Software FORTE Free

And pretend you want to put the next note on beat four and it carries over into the next measure: Forte will automatically put the correct notation in for the held note to cross over the bar.

So the note entry looks like a grid on each measure. Using the ruler, you put the note in the measure and the software immediately fills in the rests. Why is this awesome? Because not only do you not have to manually insert the rests yourself, but this an extreme improvement over all other music writing software out there, which requires you to write both the notes and the rests.

When you finally decide to take the plunge into composing, FORTE Free is simply the smartest choice on the market.

15 replies
  1. Rod Garnett
    Rod Garnett says:

    Hello; I am an old fart that likes Classic Country Music and Gospel songs. Songs form the 40 to 80s. I want a simple and standard way to write out the words with the chords. So each songs is always on the same format. Can this program be of help. I do not write my own music and I am not very good with a guitar BUT I try. I have a HP pro Book and windows 10. I prefer to use explorer 11. I have Forte 7 Basic.
    Thanks and God Bless

  2. Judy Fosness
    Judy Fosness says:

    I have music memorized in my head that I can play on the piano and sing, but it has never been written down. What do I need to transcribe this from my brain unto a piece of sheet music?

    • FORTE Team
      FORTE Team says:

      Dear Judy,
      thank you for your question.
      You’re right, this is a common issue.
      Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to solve as one might wish.
      I recommend you try the trial version of FORTE 8 Premium
      and use the real-time midi recording.
      You will have to play your singing voice and add the lyrics manually, of course.

      Kind regards,
      FORTE Team

    • FORTE Team
      FORTE Team says:

      Hi Stephfon,
      thank you for your question.
      FORTE Free saves its files as *.fnf (=the FORTE format).
      For using your FORTE scores with other software, you’ll need at least the MIDI format (available in FORTE Basic and above) or the MusicXML format (Premium only).
      You can download trial versions of the editions here:

      Kind regards,
      Your FORTE Team


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