Is it still 2020? Yes. Believe it or not, there’s more than a month to go in a year that’s been unlike any other.
One tradition that persists is the desire to score some deals, as well as score some notes, in the later weeks of November leading into the holiday season. Black Friday used to be one day — the day after US Thanksgiving, when companies hoped to turn profitable for the year (“in the black”), but lately it’s become a whole week or month, or even just a state of mind…
Anyway… enough commentary about all of that. Let’s go shopping!
Support Scoring Notes while you shop
Yes, we will get right to it. But first, a bit about Scoring Notes. 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.
And don’t forget our podcast, launched this year, and already a huge hit in our corner of the industry.
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.
All prices listed are in US dollars unless otherwise noted. Prices may vary by country or region, and may not all be available in your area. Be sure to verify pricing with the seller.
Sibelius and other Avid products
- 20% off new 1-year subscriptions (individual, educational & crossgrades)
- Valid from November 23, 2020 to November 29, 2020
- Use the code BF2020 at checkout
Cyber Monday (“Cyber Week”):
- 20% off new 1-year subscriptions (individual, educational & crossgrades)
- Valid from November 30, 2020 to December 6, 2020
- Use the code CW2020 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 2020:
- The focus is on staves with the Sibelius 2020.9 update
- Sibelius 2020.6 brings better MusicXML import, color options
- Sibelius 2020.3 released with laissez vibrer ties, other fixes
- Sibelius 2020.1 brings automatic staff spacing, tie improvements, and more
MakeMusic has announced the lowest prices we have ever seen on Finale, and their deals are heavily focused on upgrades, which is a great way of keeping existing customers current with the latest versions of the software.
These offers are available from Wednesday, November 25 through Tuesday, December 1, 2020, with the use of the code CREATEYOURWAY:
- Registered users of any previous version of Finale can upgrade to the latest version, v26, for just $65 — more than a 55% discount off the usual upgrade price of $149. Occasionally we’ve seen upgrade deals for $79 or $99 in the past, but this is considerably lower than that.
- There is also an offer for those “trading up” from Finale “child” products Allegro, PrintMusic, or Songwriter: just $85, again, more than a 55% discount off the usual trade-up price of $200.
- Rounding out the Finale deals is a $235 price for new customers, down more than 60% from the usual $600.
And, as has been the case in recent years, college and university students with a valid US student email address can purchase Finale for just $99.
Dorico and other Steinberg products
Steinberg is heavily discounting many of their products by 50% for Black Friday / Cyber Monday in one of the best sales we’ve seen yet.
The deals are valid from November 23 to December 7, 2020, and all require the use of of the coupon code CYBERDEALS.
Chief among them, as it pertains to Scoring Notes readers: A discount of 50% is offered on Dorico new retail and crossgrade licenses, plus updates to Dorico Pro 3.5 from Dorico Pro 3 and earlier, updates to Dorico Elements 3.5 from Dorico Elements 3 and earlier, and upgrades from Dorico Elements to Dorico Pro and from Dorico SE to Dorico Elements.
Other products possibly of interest to Scoring Notes readers that are also reduced by 50% include:
- The Iconica orchestral sample library
- The Absolute Collection that brings together a collection of instruments including HALion 6, Groove Agent, Padshop, Retrologue
- Cubasis, the mobile music creation app for iOS and Android
- Spectralayers, the spectral editing tool
- The live recording software Nuendo Live
Read our extensive reviews of Dorico this year and subsequent updates:
- Dorico 3.5.10: Little things mean so much
- Dorico 3.5 review
- Dorico 3.1.10 update is available
- Dorico 3.1 is out with condensing changes, lines, and much more
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 now until December 2, 2020, there is a discount of 50% to get a Musescore Pro subscription. There is no discount code is needed. Sign up for an entire year of full access for just $24.99, compared to the usual price of $49.99.
In addition, there is also a Black Friday / Cyber Monday discount for the Mastering Musescore online course taught by Marc Sabatella.
The Mastering MuseScore School is offering a 20% discount on all courses using the coupon code BF2020, good from now through November 30, 2020. This includes the flagship Mastering MuseScore: Complete Online Course (regularly $25, discounted to $20) as well the two newer courses Basic Music Theory ($35 discounted to $28) and Harmony and Chord Progressions ($117 discounted to $93.60). It also applies to all bundles and subscriptions.
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, 3.3 and 3.4 right here on Scoring Notes.
Be sure to check out our podcast episode where we interview Daniel Ray and Martin Keary from Musescore where we get into the details of Musescore design and find out the plan for what’s to come in Musescore 4.
Notion and other PreSonus products
PreSonus is ringing in the holiday shopping season with sales on their subscription, software and hardware products.
From Monday, November 23 though Monday, November 30, 2020, customers can get 10% off a 1-year PreSonus Sphere Membership (a $16.50 value). PreSonus Sphere membership includes: the Studio One 5 DAW and Notion 6 scoring program, all Studio One and Notion add-ons, 30GB cloud storage, collaboration tools, and exclusive member content and training.
The Studio One and Notion products continue to be available separately as non-subscription offerings as well, and from Monday, November 23 though Monday, November 30 you can pick those up at 30% off their usual prices (educational and add-ons excluded).
PreSonus will also be rolling out hardware sales during the sale period. One such offer is over 20% off their Eris HD10BT Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones, through the rest of the year.
The online notation editor Noteflight is running a couple of specials for Black Friday and beyond.
For Black Friday, Noteflight Premium is on sale now through Monday, November 30, 2020. Noteflight Premium affords users the full range of features in Noteflight’s web-based notation software. The Lifetime plan — a one-time fee to use the service forever, without any future upgrade costs — is ordinarily $299, but during this special offer you can grab it for just $150, scoring nearly 50% off. Use this link or the coupon code PLT150.
If you’re not ready to make a lifetime commitment but prefer to take it year-by-year, you can get nearly 50% off of the Annual plan, which is on sale for $25 instead of the usual $49. Use this link above or the coupon code BFCM25.
Also, although it’s not expressly related to Black Friday, Noteflight is announcing a 6-month option for Noteflight Learn, the private, COPPA-compliant website designed specifically for music education. This is for schools that need an online solution for the spring, so that they can purchase for the back half of the academic year. The purchase window is December 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, and Noteflight is selling a the 6-month subscription to Noteflight Learn at half price. Teachers need to email [email protected] to redeem.
At the 2020 NAMM Show we covered Noteflight and spoke with its managing director John Mlynczak, and we plan on having John as a guest on the podcast in a future episode.
NiceChart is running a big promotion from now through December 31, 2020.
All of the NiceChart customizable content (except any titles from outside publishers) is only $0.50. No promo code is required at checkout.
For those not familiar with NiceChart, this service allows you to select your ensemble’s instrumentation and individual player proficiencies before you purchase arrangements, and their technology will automatically adjust the arrangement to best fit those specifications. Under the “Scoring” filter in their catalog you can select “Customizable” to view eligible titles.
Soundslice, the impressive learning software and music player, has, in recent years, added a notation/tab editor and many other professional-level features. It’s now a comprehensive service that syncs audio, video and music notation into a robust platform and elegant browser-based viewer for music professionals, teachers, and students to learn any kind of music.
At $5/month, the core notation product is already a great deal. To celebrate Black Friday, Soundslice is offering 50% off selected courses in the Soundslice Store, the friendly interactive environment where you can find transcriptions and music lessons in a wide variety of genres. The sale is active from Friday, November 27 through Sunday, November 29, 2020.
We had a great time chatting with Adrian Holovaty, Soundslice’s founder, on the Scoring Notes podcast earlier this year.
It’s hard to believe that at NYC Music Services we launched our own marketplace for music notation technology this year. Notation Central is the place to make the most of the music notation software you use.
To celebrate Black Friday, please be our guest and use the coupon code SCORINGNOTES for $5 off your order on Notation Central totaling $50 or more (items already on sale are excluded). Use it on our productivity tools, wide selection of fonts, plug-ins, templates, or sheet music. Or use it on one of our education resources or even to book a training session. Just add the code to your cart at checkout.
Tristan Noon’s excellent e-books Notes to Notes and From DAW to Score are each 20% off their usual prices of $11.99 and $8.99, respectively, with the coupon code NOONTUNE, now through November 30, 2020. Read our review of Notes to Notes from earlier this year.
We’re also offering Cinesamples’ CineScore Templates for Sibelius and Finale at 50% off. From now until November 30, 2020, pick up these industry-standard film scoring templates for just $39 instead of their usual price of $79.
2020 was a major year for StaffPad, the music composition app that uses handwriting recognition as the means of music entry. With the long-awaited iPad release and the complete overhaul of the app on the Windows side in early 2020, it has since been updated several times this year.
Although there are no Black Friday sales on the StaffPad app itself, the beautiful Cinesamples StaffPad Edition sound libraries are all on sale at 50% off their usual price, now through November 30, 2020. This includes the following libraries, which may be downloaded directly through the StaffPad app on iPad and Windows:
- CineStrings, CineWinds, CineBrass, CinePerc, VOXOS: Sale price is $49.99
- Taylor Davis Violin, Tina Guo Cello: Sale price is $19.99
- CineHarps, CinePiano, CineStrings solo: Sale price is $34.99
Be sure to read our detailed review of the February 2020 StaffPad release with video coverage. We also spoke with StaffPad founder David William Hearn on the podcast earlier this year.
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, thanks in part to Notation Express, the custom-designed profiles created especially for these devices from our own Notation Central marketplace 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 $29.99 for the 15-key profile for Sibelius, Dorico, and Musescore, and $39.99 for the 32-key XL profile, for Sibelius or Dorico.
And don’t forget our handy Express VC Stream Deck Profile for Zoom for just $4.99, for the Mac and Windows desktop versions of Zoom. You can use it to mute, unmute, start and stop video, screen share, recording, chat and more. Toggle full screen and Speaker View or Gallery view, invite participants, and raise or lower your hand in a meeting.
It’s designed with the same style of beautiful icons you may already enjoy in Notation Express, so you’ll feel right at home if you’re already using Notation Express to control Sibelius, Dorico, or Musescore.
If you’re looking to pick up the Stream Deck console itself, Elgato has a store-wide Black Friday deal of 15% off if you use the code BF2020 at checkout.
The Stream Deck and Stream Deck XL consoles can also be found at Amazon and are sometimes discounted there as well. See if there are sale prices that are discounted from the usual prices:
- 15-key Stream Deck console: regular price $149.99
- 32-key Stream Deck XL console: regular price $249.99
Acon Digital, purveyors of cutting edge audio editing software and processing tools, have some great Black Friday / Cyber Monday specials on the entire wide range of products they offer, from audio editing, restoration, mastering and effects processing — all conceived with ultimate audio quality and usability in mind.
We rely on their Restoration Suite — specifically DeNoise 2 and DeClick 2 — to help produce our Scoring Notes podcast. Whether you are an audio production neophyte or a top-flight professional producer, you’ll want to have their tools at the ready. Fun fact: Acon founder Stian Aagedal also worked on the playback engine for StaffPad!
Onto the deals: The main attraction is a whopping 70% off their Mastering Suite, with a usual price of $129.90. For less than $40 you can pick up their five audio mastering plug-ins: Dynamics, Multiband Dynamics, Limit, Equalize, and Dither.
All other Acon products are on sale during the special period for 30% off their usual price. This includes new purchases as well as any updates to any products, such as the aforementioned Restoration Suite, the audio cleaner AudioLava, the Acoustica Premium Edition bundle, and various other plug-ins.
Acon’s sale period runs from Thursday, November 26 to Monday, November 30.
Elbsound.studio, the enterprise run by Finale and font expert Jan Angermüller, is having a Black Friday sale. Use the code BLACKFRIDAY20 and save 40% off the following, from November 27 to November 30, 2020:
- All Perfect Layout upgrades for all users who already own the Perfect Layout plug-in for Finale and have purchased it before November 27, 2020;
- Elbsound Music Fonts Package (188 music fonts);
- The Elbsound Text Fonts Package (259 text fonts) with selected text fonts especially for musical scores.
During the Cinesamples Cyber Month Sitewide Sale, everything that Cinesamples sells is 50% off through November 30, 2020.
As mentioned earlier, the beautiful Cinesamples StaffPad Edition sound libraries are all on sale directly through the StaffPad app at 50% off their usual price.
And, finally, at Notation Central you’ll find the CineScore Templates for Sibelius and Finale at 50% off, where you can pick up these industry-standard film scoring templates for just $39 instead of their usual price of $79.
EastWest / Sounds Online
EastWest / Sounds Online is making their products available for 60% off the usual price in their EastWest Holiday Super Sale.
In addition, new subscribers to ComposerCloud X can obtain a price of $199 for the first year of the service, or $299 for ComposerCloud Plus.
Dozens of Black Friday deals can be found at Best Service, where it’s always a highlight of the holiday season to visit their deals page and 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
To celebrate Black Friday, VSL is setting all of their Big Bang Orchestra Packs to their original introductory prices. If you’ve ever wanted a sample library with 112 string players, their newest pack BBO: Zodiac is for you. You can get it for €295, which is 25% off the usual price of €395. Or, you’ll find it included if you splurge for the Big Bang Orchestra Bundle at €1,690, about a 10% savings off the usual price.
The mixing and hosting application Vienna Ensemble Pro 7 is also on sale for 25% off, at a price of €145 (reg. €195). Their Symphonic Cube will be discounted by more than 35%: the standard library sale price is €795, and the full library sale price is €1,790.
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 $18 USD).
The entire list of deals is at the VSL 2020 Black Friday Deals web site. The sale runs from Monday, November 23 through Monday, November 30, 2020.
An enormous catalog of sample libraries, sounds, and effects is on sale at 50% off their usual prices during the Native Instruments Cyber Season Sale.
Kontakt, Symphony Series, and the Definitive Piano Collection are just a few of the many products on sale. There are a few exclusions, but you’ll no doubt get lost exploring all of the eligible items.
This sale is active now and runs through Monday, December 7, 2020.
A Sound Effect
Independent sound community marketplace A Sound Effect has a Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale from Monday, November 23 through Saturday, December 5, with discounts of up to 79% on hundreds of sound libraries, plug-ins, and virtual instruments.
Highlights from the sale:
- Sound effects libraries, plug-ins, and virtual instruments on sale in a wide range of genres, as well as special 1-day offers during the sale period
- All orders include a bonus pack of 9+ GB worth of premium sound effects (220+ mins, 414 files), the free 60+ page Sound Success Guide and the 1-page guide to Easy Multi-User Licensing e-books
- Depending on the order size, customers can also get additional perks such as the complete Krypton SFX library, 45 days of Soundly PRO access, or 700+ premium sound effects from creators such as The Sound Pack Tree, Sound Response, PM:SFX and Articulated Sounds
Our good friends at Tapspace are offering a site-wide 15% off discount using the promo code HOLIDAY15. While it’s probably most relevant to Scoring Notes readers as it applies to their lauded software instrument Virtual Drumline, it also includes their whole sheet music catalog, practice pads, apparel, downloadable music, etc.
The promotion will remain active from December 8-23, 2020.