MUST HAVE music FREEWARE programs

One of the major objectives I would like to accomplish with this site is to keep a post page with [tag]FREEWARE[/tag] programs I use for both for my home life and for the college. During the course of the year, I trudge through countless versions of both commercial and freeware programs. Many times I find useless programs and other times I find real treasures.

Most of my students, upon graduation, will and do get jobs in school districts that have very small budgets for things like software, especially for music students. In my classes, I endeavor to show the students both the major commercial applications and many similar freeware applications.

There can be little argument that the commercial applications almost always are the better products but it amazes me how many GOOD programs are available for absolutely nothing! A big Thanks to those who take the time to write these programs for us!

In the near future, I am going to make a separate page on JPisano.com that will be updated, fairly regularly, that will list the programs that I use throughout my daily life that I find both valuable and completely free. For now, here is my…

TOP 10 list of [tag]Music Freeware[/tag] (plus one):

[tag]Audacity[/tag]: A free, open source software for recording and editing sounds in Linux, Mac OS X, and other operating systems. One of the best digital audio editing suites available. This program will “more than fit the bill” for the casual audio editor.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

[tag]Anvil Studio[/tag]: Anvil Studio is a free Windows program for multi-track recording, composing, and editing of audio and [tag]MIDI[/tag] music files. A great MIDI sequencer and composing tool. You may not need any other.

http://www.anvilstudio.com/

[tag]Finale Notepad[/tag]:Music notation software. Finale Notepad is the freeware version of Finale. This program is perfect for those that don’t have a midi lab or a budget. All you need is a computer to run the program. Available in cross-platform versions. A must have for ALL musicians.

http://www.finalemusic.com/notepad/

Function [tag]Ear Trainer[/tag]-Basic: This program establishes the key or tonality by playing a chord sequence, followed by a random note. The user has to guess what note was played. A must have program for ear training.

http://www.miles.be/

‘e’ [tag]chromatic tuner[/tag]: It’s hard to find a freeware chromatic tuner. Here is one that looks great and does a good job as well.

http://www.sharewareplaza.com/The-e-Chromatic-Tuner-download_37449.html

[tag]Picasa 2[/tag]: A free software download from Google. Picasa is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your computer. Undoubtedly one of the greatest freeware picture organizer available.

http://picasa.google.com/download/index.html

[tag]CDBurnerXP Pro[/tag]: Burn and Rip Cd’s easily, quickly and for free.

http://www.cdburnerxp.se/

[tag]AMAZING MIDI[/tag]: AmazingMIDI automatically transcribes music, converting WAVE files into MIDI files. It can recognize single-instrument polyphonic music. It’s a powerful tool to help you to transcribe music, to practice musical instruments and to make MIDI files, and so on. It really does work. It’s not perfect but it does work.

http://www.pluto.dti.ne.jp/~araki/amazingmidi/

[tag]MidiNotate Player[/tag]: A free MIDI player that shows notes as midi music is playing. Also print the score! This is a great freeware program for grabbing midi files off the net and using them as a visual aid.

http://www.notation.com/MidiNotatePlayer.htm

TwelveKey’s [tag]Transcribe[/tag] Assistant: TwelveKeys is a program designed to assist musicians to transcribe music recordings. A must have for jazz and other “play by ear” musicians alike.

http://www.nch.com.au/twelvekeys/index.html

Media [tag]Catalog[/tag] Studio Lite: Get a handle on all your music and media files. Think of it as an audio organizer like Picasa is a photo organizer. Great program.

http://www.maniactools.com/soft/media_catalog_studio/index.shtml

I know this list is HEAVILY on the PC side. For those of you who are Mac Users (and MACS are indeed Awesome!), Here is a current link to some excellent Freewares for OS X from The Second Press.

~J. Pisano

Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
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