Open Source cross platform music composer/score wrighter.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source
The pricing means you can dump it on any computer you like, without having to empty your wallet for a license. It also means you have a chance to use this program as a starting point for your own engraving software program, if you are also a programmer.
Contrary to most of its commercial counterparts, MuseScore is lightweight (less than 100MB) and can run acceptably on aging computers.
Pro MusicXML import and export ensures a degree of compatibility with other programs
If you are submitting files to a publisher, MusicXML format can be read by the big engraving programs: Sibelius, Finale, MuseScore, etc. Often there are some display issues that will need to be tweaked when using MusicXML between different programs, but publishers will spend a lot of time tweaking the file anyhow.
Pro Great sheet sharing web page
So you composed a new score! Now what? Well, you can start by putting it on the muse score sheet music sharing web page where others will be able to enjoy it and comment on it. Or maybe you're just looking for a score from an old video game: in that case, you should probably search the page for it, and download one of the many available formats (pdf, muse score format, mp3, xml, etc).
Pro Bugs quickly fixed
The fact that Musescore is open source and relies on a huge community of volunteers, combined with a strraightforward issue tracker ensure the rapid development of musescore.
Pro Easy inscription
The newest version of MuseScore added collision detection for elements - so unless you're importing something really wonky, you shouldn't have text and notes overlapping or hitting each other. You can save your favorite spacing and size preferences to a file and have MuseScore automatically load it when you start a new project, or load it manually from the file.
Pro Easy to add new sounds
If you're not happy with the default sounds (a good, but aging set from Roland), you can import any .sf2 and .sf3 soundfonts and easily use them. You can even have multiple soundfonts running simultaneously.
Pro Polished GUI
Looks on par with Apple software. Better than almost all FOSS software.
Pro Decent tutorial
Walks your through all the features.
Pro Automatic part generation
MuseScore can automatically generate scores for individual parts which 'link' to the main score - you can change things on the score and see that change appear in the relevant part, and vice versa.
Pro Available on Mobile
Android and iOS.
Pro Ultimate Guitar Merger gives hope for professional improvements
With Ultimate Guitar merger, hopefully, needed improvements will be done in a timely fashion and a lot fewer workarounds.
Con No real-time transcription tool
If you are looking to play your MIDI keyboard and have the computer attempt to transcribe and print out your latest masterwork as you play, MuseScore is not the tool for you. It does, however, have a "semi-realtime" note input mode, which is kind of the same thing as a transcription tool.
Con Cannot copy and paste time signature changes
Copying a section of music with multiple time changes not possible. Muse developers talk of this as an enhancement rather than a basic need.
Con Cymbal rolls sound bad
There is no easy way to add good-sounding cymbal rolls.
Con Bad sounds
Although its ok for basic composing, the default sounds can sound inferior to other more polished sounds. In fact, it will remind you of old mario games with midi music; because that is pretty much what it is.
Con Bad support for microtonal music
Although Musescore does offer in addition to the Western 𝄫/♭/♮/♯/𝄪 accidentals also nonstandard ones, but they are essentially just glyphs; MuseScore does not know how to resolve them or use them in key signatures, let alone offer proper tuning of the playback pitches. (Playback pitch can be set manually in cents, but this is very cumbersome and error-prone.)