Listen carefully — it’s not just sleigh bells you’ll hear this time of year. It’s the cha-ching of the cash register. ’Tis the season when companies hope to turn profitable for the year — “in the black”, as in Black Friday.
Essential to it all are consumers who are as interested in scoring deals as they are in scoring notes. Ha.
That’s why you’re here! Not (just) for the witty prose, right?
Support Scoring Notes while you shop
Yes, we will get right to it. But first, about scoring notes — or Scoring Notes, rather. It’s been another great year and there’s still a whole month to go. We can’t do it without you, the reader. Thank you for coming here to get your fix on the field of music notation software and technology. Stay informed with all the latest news, tips, reviews and more — if you haven’t done so already, please subscribe, and like us on Facebook and Twitter.
Also, if you do your holiday shopping on Amazon, here’s an easy way to support Scoring Notes without it costing you anything extra. Simply start your shopping by clicking this special link for Amazon’s Black Friday deals, or click the image below. Then, add your items to your Amazon cart and make your purchase. For any purchase you make after clicking the link or image (even if it’s not a Black Friday special), Scoring Notes will receive a commission fee, at no cost to you. It’s as easy as that!
We also have a curated list of products we use and recommend — everything from computer accessories to music printing and binding supplies.
And now, Rudolph, Donner, Blitzen, et al.: Take us to those 2019 holiday deals!
Sibelius and other Avid products
- 20% off on all 1-year subscriptions (individual, educational & cross-grades)
- Valid from November 25, 2019 to December 1, 2019
- Use the code BF2019 at checkout
- 20% off on all 1-year subscriptions (individual, educational & cross-grades)
- Valid from December 2, 2019 to December 8, 2019
- Use the code CM2019 at checkout
As always, your best source for Sibelius reviews, tips and news is right here on Scoring Notes. Here are all of the updates released in 2019:
Advanced MIDI import arrives in Sibelius 2019.9
Sibelius 2019.7 released with MusicXML improvements, other fixes
Sibelius 2019.5 fixes audio and printing issues
Sibelius 2019.4 brings loop playback, scrubbing, more
Sibelius 2019.1 released with Review Mode, Avid Link
MakeMusic is running a special for both new Finale licenses and upgrades that can be as much as 50% off of the regular cost of a license.
- Upgrades from any previous Finale license: $99 (regularly $149)
- Trade up from other paid Finale products (PrintMusic, SongWriter, Allegro): $99 (regularly $200)
- New Finale licenses: $425 retail, $249 academic (regularly $600/$350)
Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY19 at checkout on the MakeMusic store for the discount. The offer runs Wednesday, November 27 through Monday, December 2.
The fine print: US customers only (international users, contact your nearest distributor); limit 1 per customer.
Dorico and other Steinberg products
However, Steinberg is offering 50% discounts on the following products in their Black Deals promotion, beginning November 29, 2019 and ending December 9, 2019.
- Absolute 4 VST collection: new licenses, updates from Absolute 3 and earlier, crossgrades from HALion
- Iconica Opus: new licenses, and upgrades from Iconica Ensembles or Iconica Sections & Players
- Use the code BLACKDEALS2019
Read our extensive reviews of Dorico 3 and subsequent updates:
Dorico 3 feature: Guitar notation
Dorico 3.0.10 released with fixes, Catalina support; free trial available
Dorico 3 feature: Harp pedaling
Dorico 3 feature: Lyric improvements
Dorico 3 feature: Condensing
Dorico 3 changes the score
The Musescore scoring program, of course, is free. Musescore.com, however, is used by musicians to share their work with the community, for music teachers to share tasks with their students, and for performers to find digital sheet music.
At this Musescore.com Black Friday page, from November 26 to December 4, 2019, there is a discount of 75% to get a Musescore Pro subscription. There is no discount code is needed. Sign up for an entire year of full access for just $1.67/month, billed annually for $19.99, compared to the usual price of $50.
In addition, there is also a Black Friday / Cyber Monday discount for the Mastering Musescore online course taught by Marc Sabatella.
Use coupon code BF2019 for a 25% discount on all courses at the Mastering Musescore School, from now through the end of November. The discount applies to the flagship Mastering Musescore: Complete Online Course (making the cost $18.75 instead of the usual $25.00) as well as to the already-discounted pre-registration for the upcoming Basic Music Theory course. The theory course is being made available as it is developed and will be formally launched by the end of the year, with other courses on theory and music creation to follow.
Marc is a contributor here at Scoring Notes and is the foremost expert on teaching Musescore. He’s the author of the comprehensive guide Mastering Musescore, and you can read his posts about Musescore 3, 3.2, and 3.3 right here on Scoring Notes.
Notion and other PreSonus products
PreSonus has a worldwide offer that is running from Monday, November 25, 2019 through Sunday, December 1, 2019, including its Notion music notation software:
- 50% off Studio One 4 and Notion 6
- Products include upgrades as well as Studio One + Notion bundles
- Excludes crossgrades, educational, and add-ons
PreSonus also has some hardware deals for US and Canada customers only, also from Monday, November 25, 2019 through Sunday, December 1, 2019:
- 25% off Faderport 8 control surface
- Save $50 on Audiobox iTwo Studio bundle (includes: iTwo audio interface, HD7 headphones, Studio One Artist, M7 condenser microphone, Studio Magic plug-in suite, XLR and USB cables)
- Save on headphones: $59 for HD9 and $39 for HD7 professional monitoring headphones
The online notation editor Noteflight is running a couple of specials, including the introduction of a new lifetime plan.
Noteflight is also introducing a new plan called Noteflight Premium Lifetime, which is a one-time fee to use the service forever, without any future upgrade costs. The regular price for Noteflight Premium Lifetime is $299, but during the Black Friday promotion you can grab it for $150 — nearly 50% off. Use the code plt150 or click directly on this link to have the code automatically applied.
These promos begin on Monday, November 25, 2019 and will run through Monday, December 2, 2019.
At the 2019 NAMM Show we covered Noteflight and spoke with its managing director John Mlynczak.
The folks at Newzik are running a special Black Friday contest for Scoring Notes readers.
Newzik is a cloud-based music reading app on iPads tailored for collaboration. Newzik enables musicians to import, read, annotate and share the markings in real time to any Newzik users.
For the chance to win a free three-month subscription to Newzik Premium (a $8.97 value):
- Download Newzik on the iOS App Store (it’s free!);
- Create a Newzik account using the Newzik Sign-up option when you download the app (not the Facebook login or Apple login);
- Input the e-mail address you used to create your Newzik account in this contact form, no later than Sunday, December 8, 2019.
Newzik will randomly select ten winners on Monday, December 9, 2019.
Once again at this year’s MOLA conference, we spoke with the Newzik team to learn about some of their latest updates, and we did an extensive review of the leading iPad score readers.
NiceChart is running a special deal for Scoring Notes readers.
Scoring Notes readers can take 20% off NiceChart’s signature customizable and digital arrangements with the coupon code SCORING at checkout from now through December 15, 2019.
If you’re planning on giving the gift of printed music for the holidays, NiceChart is an authorized dealer of all the top publishers including Hal Leonard, Alfred, Belwin, FJH, and Carl Fischer. The code will take 20% off any printed music product including band/orchestra, choral, method books, etc.
If you can’t find the printed title you’re looking for on their site, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll be happy to place an order for you with a 20% discount.
We spoke with Nicechart’s founder and CEO Steve Morell at the 2018 NAMM Show.
Soundslice, the impressive web-based learning software and music player, has, in recent years, added a notation/tab editor and interactive lessons and transcriptions.
On Friday, November 29, 2019 only, they’re offering their first-ever sale in the Soundslice Store, where you can grab many of those interactive lessons and transcriptions for 50% off. Everything sold on the Soundslice store uses the Soundslice player, which syncs music notation and tablature with real audio and video recordings.
No code is needed to take advantage of this deal, but you’ll have to hurry, as the sale is one day only, according to Soundslice’s Twitter feed.
We last checked in with Soundslice at the 2018 NAMM Show.
The nkoda sheet music subscription service has a Black Friday discount you might miss if you blink. For Friday, November 29, 2019 only, you can obtain a subscription for $0.99 / £0.99 per month for the first three months.
Fortunately, they’ve decided to reprise the deal for Cyber Monday, December 2, 2019 as well:
nkoda runs on a variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, and Mac and Windows computers.
Elgato Stream Deck and Stream Deck XL
Elgato’s Stream Deck consoles, originally intended for gamers, have become indispensable to many Sibelius and Dorico users this year, thanks in part to Notation Express, the custom-designed profiles created especially for these devices from our own NYC Music Services that make powerful Sibelius and Dorico features easy and fun to use.
We’re not running any specials for the Notation Express profiles, which are selling for their usual prices of $29 for the 15-key profile and $39 for the 32-key XL profile, for Sibelius or Dorico.
However, if you’re looking to pick up the Stream Deck console itself, you’ll find the best deals of the year now through December 2, 2019:
- $50 off the 15-key Stream Deck console for a special price of $99.99 on Amazon (regular price $149.99)
- $50 off the 32-key Stream Deck XL console for a special price of $199.99 on Amazon (regular price $249.99)
If you’re interested in other Black Friday deals from Elgato, with specific deals by retailer and region, check out the Elgato holiday deals megathread on their official Reddit account.
EastWest / Sounds Online
EastWest / Sounds Online is making their products available for 60% off the usual price in their November Mega Sale.
In addition, new subscribers to ComposerCloud X can obtain a price of $199 or €199 for the first year of the service, if purchased by Sunday, December 1, 2019.
Dozens of Black Friday deals can be found at Best Service, where it’s worth visiting their deals page to peruse the parade of gobsmacked expressions, even if you don’t take advantage of any of their discounts on sound libraries, plug-ins, and other music production software.
Vienna Symphonic Library
VSL is releasing their new Big Bang Orchestra: Andromeda at an introductory price of €65, which is 50% off what it will regularly sell at.
Many other products will be on sale, including 50% off VI Special Editions Vol. 1-4, and discounts ranging from 26% off to 81% off products such as Vienna Ensemble Pro 7, Vienna Suite Pro, and the Concert D-274.
And if you need a USB e-Licenser, either because you lost the one that you got for Dorico or you want a spare, those will be on sale, too for 38% off the usual price of €24: You can pick one up for just €15 (about $17 USD).
The entire list of deals is at the VSL 2019 Black Friday Deals web site. The sale runs from November 26, 2019 through December 2, 2019.
For Cyber Monday, December 2, 2019, only, all “Gold” editions and all “Silver/Silver400 to Gold upgrades” of Elbsound.studio’s Perfect Layout for Finale/Windows are 40% off. Use the code CYBERMONDAY19. The code is not valid for purchases of Silver400/Silver editions. All Gold editions can only be activated on one computer at the same time. The discount only gives access to the current Windows edition; a Mac version is not available at this time.
If you know of other Black Friday deals in music notation software and related tech that would be useful to readers, feel free to share them in the comments, and we will continue to update this page as needed.