Composing Music

Canorus – music score editor

Canorus is a graphical music score editor written for the Qt toolkit.

It is a sequel of the well-known music score editor for Linux, NoteEdit. Canorus uses LilyPond for music engraving to achieve a very high quality in the resulting documents. This software supports note writing, scripting support, import/export of various file formats, MIDI input and output and more.

Canorus offers a number of import and export filters for LilyPond, MusicXML, Midi, NoteEdit and others.

Features include:

  • Modern and flexible Qt4-based graphical user interface with vector graphics for music elements, multiple viewports on a single score.
  • Multiple voices – Polyphony and unlimited number of contexts.
  • Multiple viewports on the same music score.
  • MIDI playback.
  • Transposition.
  • Lyrics.
  • Scalable icons and other graphics.
  • Multiple views of the score.
  • Write the score using mouse and keyboard on one or more sheets as composers do and use copy&paste functionality then.
  • Type the score in LilyPond syntax using the Score Source View.
  • Unlimited undo/redo.
  • Score elements:
    • Notes, rests, various barlines.
    • Various key signatures, time signatures and clefs.
    • Triplets and other tuplets.
    • Ties, slurs and phrasing slurs.
    • Tempo marks (BPM), ritardando, accellerando.
    • Fixed dynamic marks (piano, forte etc.), crescendo, decrescendo.
    • Repeat signs (repeat bars, segno, coda).
    • Bookmarks, custom text signs, rehersal marks.
    • Pedal marks.
    • Instrument change.
    • Fingering.
    • Articulation marks (marcato, accent, tenuto, bow marks, trills, pralls etc).
    • Lyrics.
    • Figured bass.
    • Function marks.
    • Transposition and accidentals reinterpretation.
  • Preview and printing achieved externally by exporting the score to LilyPond and running a PDF viewer application.
  • Playback of the score.
  • Live recording of Midi performance.
  • Insertion of notes and rests using Midi keyboard.
  • Uses native tar-gzipped XML file format.
  • Supports various resources you can add to score like images, sounds, videos and others stored inside the score.
  • Export to LilyPond, Midi, PDF.
  • Import from LilyPond (incomplete), Midi and MusicXML.
  • Plugins.
  • Internationalization support: 12 languages.

Developer: Canorus Development Team
License: GNU General Public License v2.0


Canorus is written in Python, C++, and Ruby. Learn Python with our recommended free books and free tutorials. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials. Learn Ruby with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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