I sometimes use the demo version of Sibelius to compose things. It's really convenient- the ability to see what I'm writing in notation lets me think about the music in different ways and usually results in better melodies. Also, the midi playback lets me hear things as I write, so I can hear how all the parts work together. I can focus on composing a piece, instead of remembering it. It's a hassle to have to write things out with a mouse, but the benefits more than outweigh the costs.
But the demo version can't save and it only prints the first page. This is a goshdarn hassle- I compose something good, I only have access to it as long as my computer stays on. If I try to print something longer than a page (i.e. anything I've ever written), I have to go through a VERY tedious cut and paste process. This takes a long time and generally destroys my faith in humanity.
This all brings me to my question: does anyone know of a free (I'm quite broke) compositional software that lets me make, save and print multi-instrument compositions? MIDI playback (or equivalent) and flexibility with things like time signatures are both musts. Guitar tab is nice, too.
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