Free Music Writing Software – FORTE Free [Updated for 2021]

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…

It makes sense to start with a music writing software that’s free, right? And with FORTE Free, you have nothing to lose—and great composition software to gain.

Let’s look at some of the highlights of this software…

Free music writing software saves money

The fact that FORTE Free is, well, free, means you won’t waste resources on your first experimentation into composing.

Simple navigation
There’s nothing worse (or more intimidating) than learning how to use a new program and then discovering 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.

FORTE’s design and layout are clean, organized and set up for immediate use. And as you’ll discover, FORTE is set up to make things easy to locate from the start.

Perfect for soloists
Forte Free allows for one staff, which is perfect for experimenting with solo voice.

The amazing ruler feature
The ingenious ruler feature shows you where to put down the notes precisely to the beat. It adjusts automatically to the selected note value. Check it out:

Screenshot of the Music Ruler in FORTE

Now imagine you want to put the next note on beat four and carry it over into the next measure… FORTE will automatically put the correct notation in for the held note to cross over the bar.

As you can see, the note entry looks like a grid on each measure. Using the ruler, you simply put the note in the measure and the software immediately fills in the rests.

Why is this so amazing? Because…

  1. You do not have to manually insert the rests yourself
  2. This is a significant improvement over other music writing software out there. Other programs generally require you to write both the notes and the rests

When you decide to take the plunge into composing, FORTE Free really is 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

  3. Stephfon DeFrance Shavers.
    Stephfon DeFrance Shavers. says:

    I just download Forte free can I use Forte with Sony Sound Forge 10 Academic Audio Software and ujam.

    • 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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