Product Review: Forte 5 Premium Music Software

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Forte 5 Premium is a Music Notation, Transcription, Composition, and Recording software developed by several German classical musicians. I found that his version of the software is best for musicians whose music reading skills are advanced. This product would be useful for musicians who write scores for movies, band and orchestra teachers, classical and jazz composers, and performers who need to write and print scores for the musicians they hire.

Some features were user friendly; there are several menus at the top. The home menu/toolbar has features that allow you to select and insert notes, chords, different tempos, play and record controls. You are also able to transpose by instrument, key or interval using the transposition command. You can arrange parts of your score, add instruments and measures. This is just a very brief overview, as Forte has a million features, and there is a learning curve and understanding all of the features will take some time.

Notes are placed through a MIDI keyboard or you can drag and drop with their Music Ruler. Each note is audible, also. Forte also has VST plugins, import/export options, four voices, and more. My favorite feature is that there are over 100 virtual instruments that you can use. With Forte you are able to email or print the composition files via MusicXML or as a MIDI file.

As a progressive rock guitarist and writer I was not sure how this software would be relevant. I do read music but do not need to write out my songs in notation. Forte is not for guitarists who do not have a more advanced understanding of music theory and do not read music at a more advanced level.

Forte is a fascinating product and recommended for composers, classical and jazz musicians/band leaders and college level educators. If you are working on your music reading and want to compose there is a free trial available. For more information visit:

Below is a listing of some of the functions:

Other features include:
• built-in scan module
• Step-time and real-time entry from MIDI device or keyboard
• 32 staves/tracks max
• 4 voices pro stave/ track max.
• 2 voices
• 16 lyric verses pro stave/ track max
• Compound meter
• Pickup measure
• Part extraction
• FORTE Player
• Save as MP3 or as WAVE
• Swing feeling adjustable
• Import and export of MusicXML
• VST-interface/VST-effects
• Layout editable
• Individual assignable drum notation
• Complete tablature
• 25 ornament signs
• 12 different noteheads
• guitar fretboard
• advanced chord functions
• punch in/out record
• loop record
• real-time entry and step-mode entry from MIDI keyboard
• Import Finale MUSICXML and Capella CAPX files
• Transposition by instrument and chord identification
• Video plug-in
• OLE linking
• Digital Rights Management

~ Katrina Johannson

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