Canorus is a free cross-platform music score editor. It supports an unlimited number and length of staffs, polyphony, a MIDI playback of notes, chord markings, lyrics, import/export filters to formats like MIDI, MusicXML, ABC Music, MusiXTeX and LilyPond


  • Polyphony
  • Canorus ML Format (optionally as archive)
  • Scripting and Plugins (Python working, Ruby planned)
  • Multiple Views for different tasks (Score, CLI, Source, Help
  • Several configuration options for Editing, Appearance, Playback, Print
  • Translations into many different languages
  • Multiple Platform support (like Windows, Mac, Linux, *BSD)
  • Standard Notation elements (Rests, Notes, Clefs, Key/Time Signatures etc.)
  • Several Import Possibilities (Midi, MusicXML, Simple Lilypond, more planned)
  • Many Exporters available (Midi, MusicXML, Lilypond, more planned)
  • Zooming of Score and Several Score Views
  • Lyrics
  • Properties for music elements (staff, note, barline, voices, slures etc.)
  • Document Properties (Title, Composer, Copyright, Arranger etc.)
  • Document Recovery
  • Midi Recording and Playback as well as GM instrument configuration
  • Undo/Redo, Copy&Paste
  • Marks (Fermata, (De)Crescendo, Dynamics, Repeat, Fingering etc.)
  • Print Preview and Printing via Lilypond (more backends planned)
  • Coloring of music elements (for education), only scriptable for now
  • PDF and SVG export based on Lilypond
  • Midi based on well-tested backends: PMidi and RTMidi

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User Reviews

  • Canorus works wonderful.

    1 user found this review helpful.
  • Canorus is a very helpful tool for composers and rearrangers. It delivers great output with the lilypond backend. Currently though there are some speed issues for larger sheets to a score, especially when adding notes. I like the scripting possibilities but the developers have still to do quite a bit on documentation this feature. It's nice to see how the different views (help, (multiple) score, source, cli) integrate in the UI. Zoom with the scroll wheel works flawlessly. I'm really looking forward for being able to customize all the available function so I seldom need to use the mouse. I only once set a piece with a Midi keyboard (I cannot play piano/keyboard) and this worked without any problems.

  • canorus is small and works nicely

  • Canorus is really nice. However if somebody is looking for really simple/easy to use scorewriter I recommend Capriccio scorewriter under

  • Basic ideas are interresting. But there are not enought functionalities working to allow a deep test of the soft version 0.7 R1002 (win 32). I noticed the following points : Help menu item not operating, No menu item for dotted notes/rests, (addition of dots directly in the source is not easy), Incorrect printing with triplets, Nwc2ly test poorly operating (with LilyPond), No midi import, Problem with fonts on screen and printed document, ... A right clic sub-menu would be great as well as underlining of the source lines related to a selected element on the score. Anyway, I encourage you in this developpement and will be pleased to test new versions.

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Additional Project Details


Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Slovene

Intended Audience

Developers, End Users/Desktop, Testers

User Interface

Console/Terminal, Plugins, Qt

Programming Language

C++, Python, Ruby