Music Major


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 5, 2010
I'm a Music major and I'm sure somebody out there might be too.

I haven't purchased my Mac as yet but will be this week.
I'm looking for any music programs that I can use for theory composition.(Or any other programs that are good for music majors)ie music history.

I would love to hear about any programs you may recommend.

Thanks :)


macrumors newbie
Apr 24, 2010
I loved singing and wanted to major in music as well when i was back in school. However, have stage fright and was not sure what to do with the major, so i decided against it. If you feel that you would like to pursue a career in this field, then go for it. However, I would suggest for you to take additional classes other than music, such as business, etc just in case you decide not to pursue a career in this area later on.


macrumors newbie
Oct 1, 2008
For notation, the two big applications are Finale and Sibelius. You may want to find out which your school focuses on if you decide to purchase one or the other. I personally prefer Sibelius, but it seems that Finale is somewhat more entrenched in the educational systems.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2009
DMA student here! Welcome to the Mac :) What's your instrument/field?

As mentioned above, Finale vs. Sibelius is mostly a matter of what the specific music technology professor at your school is used to. Some schools will even have both installed. Generally Sibelius is easier to learn, but Finale is better for really advanced things. Unless you're a composer, you'll probably be happier with Sibelius, but either one will get the job done.

Any music technology class will probably cover sequencing, which you can at least begin with GarageBand (which will be pre-installed on your Mac). If you get into advanced sequencing, most schools will probably be using some flavor of Logic.

There's also a theory/ear training package called MacGamut that's pretty standard. I never used it much, but I know a lot of my friends found it helpful in sightsinging classes.

If you have a portable recorder like the Zoom H2/H4 (which is HIGHLY recommended; they're cheap and you can get great recordings of lessons, rehearsals, and even performances), you'll probably want some kind of audio editing software to clean up the recordings, break them into tracks, remove dead space and applause, etc. You can do this in GarageBand, but you might also like Audacity, which is also free. For some more advanced stuff, you can look into something like Sound Studio.

You probably won't have any need to use Pro Tools unless you take some recording courses, but it's worth getting familiar with.

And, finally, this is a relatively niche thing, but if you find yourself needing to do any transcriptions, you might like a program called "Transcribe!" (exclamation mark included). It lets you slow down recordings without changing the pitch so you can hear more clearly what's going on. There's also a program called "The Amazing Slow Downer" that does pretty much the same thing.