Music notation software and Windows 11 [updated]

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Microsoft’s Windows operating system, which undergirds many millions of computers, has notched version number 11, same as on the Mac side.

Whether you abstain from imbibing the Apple juice entirely or use both Windows and Mac computers, you can learn about all the big changes in Windows 11, such as design changes, Android app integration, better virtual desktop support, and more, directly from Microsoft and from many unofficial sources such as CNET, PCGamer, and Tom’s Guide, among others.

Here on Scoring Notes, we’ll focus on what you can expect from your favorite desktop notation software if you open a new “Window”.

When it comes to those applications — we’re talking about Sibelius, Finale, Dorico, MuseScore, and Notion— Windows 11 does not appear to affect these applications much one way or the other. Generally speaking, the software developers have issued encouraging statements regarding compatibility, but are waiting to announce official support for Windows 11 until they have fully completed their tests on the publicly-released OS, which seems prudent.

Here’s what we know at this time.

Updated October 5, 2021: Initial post.
Updated October 7, 2021 with information about Notion.
Updated October 15, 2021 with information about Finale.
Updated November 16, 2021 with information about MuseScore.

We’ll continue to update this post as warranted.

Sibelius

Official status: Not supported, but no issues reported

Avid’s Sam Butler told Scoring Notes on October 1, 2021: “At this stage, we haven’t finished our qualification on Windows 11, so although we don’t expect any issues, we’ll wait until we’ve finished our tests before claiming full compatibility.”

You’ll also want to bookmark the operating system compatibility chart for all versions of Sibelius (going back to 1.4!), and periodically refer to it when it is updated.

Finale

Official status: Supported

As of October 15, 2021, the official Knowledge Base article says:

After thorough testing with our Finale notation and Garritan products, we have not found anything in Windows 11 that prevents the programs from operating as expected. Windows 11 is considered a supported OS within our system requirements.

For a full list of system requirements for Finale and other MakeMusic notation products, visit this Knowledge Base article.

Dorico

Official status: Not supported, but no issues reported

Steinberg’s Daniel Spreadbury told Scoring Notes on October 1, 2021: “We’re not expecting any problems with Dorico, but it’s best to wait and see. Steinberg’s official line will be that only current versions will be supported on Windows 11, and we’ve not tried older versions, but my guess is they’ll probably run without problems.”

Indeed, the official line can be found in this article from Steinberg, which was published on September 27, 2021 and will be updated as needed:

Windows 11 is imminent. We recommend our customers not to update to the new OS, since neither our software nor our hardware products officially support Windows 11 until we conduct necessary compatibility tests. Our official recommendation for Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system will be reflected in this article that we plan to update regularly.

MuseScore

Official status: Not supported, but no issues reported

On November 16, 2021, MuseScore’s head of design Martin Keary provided the following statement to Scoring Notes:

Regarding Windows 11, plenty of users have made the transition and everything we’ve seen so far indicates that 3.6.2 is working perfectly with it. Our tests have not thrown up anything worrying either. However, we are not yet recommending that people upgrade to Windows 11 until more time for community feedback has passed.

Notion

Official status: Supported

This PreSonus announcement from October 7, 2021 states that Notion (v6.8.2 Build 18133) is supported, along with Studio One v5.4.0 build 66465, which is often used in tandem with Notion.

Prudent general advice is given: “Check your third-party plug-in developers’ websites for updates, as many of them may not install or run correctly under Windows 11, and will need updates themselves to work correctly.”

Comments

  1. Peter Robertson

    Just tried Windows 11 with Finale 26 v26.3.1.520.
    Doesn’t get beyond the splash screen unfortunately. Tried de-installing and reinstalling to no avail.
    All my other software seems to function well under Windows 11 but as I need Finale I’ve had to “downgrade” to Windows 11.

    1. Peter Robertson

      Update: Managed to get Finale 26 working in WIndows 11. The stalling on the splash screen is a recurrence of a bug that had seemed to go away. You can get round the issue by stopping the print spooler in Services. This will allow Finale 26 to load correctly. Once Finale 26 is up you can then restart the print spooler process.

  2. Bill

    No problems with Finale 25, though have done little more than open some older files.

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