I’ve used Symphony Pro 6 to compose sheet music that people have downloaded. And I’ve used it for a music theory assignment. Whether your a professional or student, you should consider the app.
It’s not too expensive, so you don’t need a huge budget. But you can still complete plenty of different musical composition projects.
Before we get into the full Symphony Pro 6 review, this post contains affiliate links. Click here for my full disclosure policy.
What Is Symphony Pro 6?
Symphony Pro 6 is a music notation app that you can use on an iPad or iPhone. It has a lot of the same features you’ll find on a desktop program. But you don’t need to use a desktop or laptop to compose and arrange music.
You can compose original music or arrange existing pieces. I’ve used the app for a few years, and it makes creating music super easy and convenient.
Not only does it work for writing pieces, but it’s also great for creating short exercises or completing music theory assignments. Then, you can do whatever you need to do with music notation.
Pros and Cons
Before you use Symphony Pro 6, consider its advantages:
- Easy to use
- Touchscreen interface
- Affordable (one-time purchase)
- Multiple lines
- Different articulations
Unfortunately, Symphony Pro 6 does have a few downsides, including:
- Not as many features as some programs
- Can glitch if you leave the app and come back in the middle of a project
- Not entirely free
When you use Symphony Pro, you can create a new project from the home screen. The app lets you create a score from scratch or with a template. And you can import certain files to start your next project.
If you create a score from scratch, you can change the name, subtitle, and composer name. You can also set the key signature and time signature, including the option to add a pickup beat.
Plus, you can add multiple instruments to your project. If you want to compose with a transposing instrument, you can compose the notes in concert pitch and transpose them later or transpose as you go.
And when you’re ready to edit a score, you can add all sorts of marks. Then, you can make sure performers understand the dynamics, articulation, and other things.
If you have an Apple Pencil, you can use that to input the notes more accurately with your finger. And you can even pay extra to be able to write with your Apple Pencil as if you’re writing on paper.
To make inputting notes easier, you can also use the on-screen piano keyboard. Then, you can choose the right notes without having to select the right spot in the staff.
Tips and Tricks
If you want to use Symphony Pro 6, you can start to learn it yourself. But I’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the years that can help you now. Then, you don’t have to waste time learning the basics.
Here are a few things you can do to make using Symphony Pro easier.
Even if you eventually want to compose for a large ensemble, start with a solo or small ensemble piece. Then, you can work with the different features that the app offers, and you can learn on a smaller-scale piece.
If you start with one part, you can just write for that one instrument. You can then go back over and add any special markings that you want. That can go a lot quicker, so you can figure out how everything works.
As you get more practice, you can start to write for larger groups. Eventually, you’ll be able to write for more parts within one piece.
Like with any new concept or program, it can take a while to get to know how Symphony Pro works. Try to make time to practice using the app for at least a few minutes each day.
Give yourself a few weeks to get used to how it all works. As you gain more practice, you’ll be able to do more complex notation. Then, you can compose almost anything that you want to create.
Soon enough, you may find that you like composing with Symphony Pro more than any other app or even paper. And if you want to get your ideas out, you can do so as long as you have your iPad or iPhone with you.
Use an Apple Pencil
Whether or not you upgrade to the handwriting feature, an Apple Pencil is a crucial tool for using Symphony Pro. When I use my stylus, I can work a lot more quickly than with just my finger.
I can also be much more precise, which is nice when adding slurs and other articulation markings. Sure, you can add those things with your finger. But it can be more frustrating, and you might make a lot of mistakes.
When you add an Apple Pencil or any other stylus, you don’t have to worry about that. Your stylus can help you be more accurate. Then, you can compose more music more quickly.
Is Symphony Pro Good for Professionals?
Symphony Pro can be an excellent choice for professionals. If you want to focus on solo and chamber pieces, you shouldn’t have to worry about any limitations that the app has.
Now, if you want to focus on bigger works, you may find it hard to compose for a lot of instruments on your iPad. But you can still supplement another notation program if you need to work on something smaller on the go.
The app is great for composers, arrangers, teachers, and performers. If you ever need to jot a musical idea down, the app is great. You can always export it and work in a different program later.
Is Symphony Pro Good for Students?
Symphony Pro is perfect for music students. If you study composition, you can use it the same way as a professional composer. You can start projects, notate melodic ideas, or compose full works.
If you study another area of music, you can still use the app. Whenever you need to complete a music theory exercise, notate it in Symphony Pro. Then, you can export the file and print it out to bring to class.
Plus, you don’t have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee. That can help you save a lot of money during college, but you can still use a premium sheet music notation program.
Composing on an iPad vs. Computer
To decide if Symphony Pro is right for you, consider the differences and similarities between composing on an iPad and a computer. If you like to be able to compose music anywhere, an iPad is great.
You can throw the tablet in your bag and compose music on the go. This is great for students and even professionals who need to work in different places. If you’re a teacher, for example, you can write out a quick exercise during a lesson.
On the other hand, a computer can help you get a lot of work done. You don’t have to worry as much about charging a device before you use it. And laptop chargers tend to be longer than iPad chargers, so you have more flexibility if you do need to compose while you charge your computer.
If you’re used to using a computer to notate music, switching to an iPad may also involve a learning curve. So if you don’t want to deal with that, you may want to stick to a laptop.
Is Symphony Pro 6 Right for You?
Symphony Pro 6 is an excellent sheet music program that you can use on a mobile device. If you want to create a short exercise or a full sonata, you can use this app.
It’s not as expensive as some programs, and it has more features than some free options. Plus, you can use it anywhere you can bring your iPad.
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