MusicJOT® for iOS®

The fastest way to notate music since paper and pencil.

PROMOTIONAL PRICE! 40% OFF - ONLY $29.99 (reg. $49.99)

Chosen by Apple iTunes, "New Apps We Love."
Featured in iTunes Music Apps in the top rotating carousel.
Featured in iTunes "Perfect With Apple Pencil."

IMPORTANT - To download this app, visit the App Store on your iPad.
Apple has removed the ability to buy an iOS app from your desktop or laptop computer. You must now use the App Store directly from your iPad to purchase MusicJOT.

  • Overview
  • Media
  • Features
  • Panels
  • Tech Specs
  • Tutorials
  • About Us
  • Support
  • Updates

MusicJOT® is a music notation iPad app that combines palette selection entry with natural handwriting

A full-featured notation app that lets you compose naturally just as you would with paper and pencil using state-of-the art handwriting recognition technology, MusicJOT recognizes most music symbols used in standard notation.

In addition to natural handwriting, a palette interface technology provides all the features you expect from a desktop music notation program on iOS.

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Write with your finger, a stylus or use the palettes

Write in your own handwritting using your finger or a stylus (recommended). Powered by MyScript® and the MusicJOT® music engine, your handwriting will be recognized and rendered.

If you use a stylus, MusicJOT is already set up to take full advantage of the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro and Adonit Pixel with an interface to allow customization of the styluses behavior including settings for righties and lefties.

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Virtual Pointer™

MusicJOT's Virtual Pointer lets you get the precision of a stylus with just your finger. Drag the VP around, and the score under the pointer gets magnified. You can tap to select and insert notes and it will sound the note you are over and display its name and octave.

The pointer can be set to sound single notes, whole chords or scrub your entire score.

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Layers and Quick Options

Slide a drawer out from the left side for easy access to often used options. In addition, you can show/hide various score elements with layers. Very handy in removing clutter when you just want to concentrate on the music.

Quickly transpose notes up/down by octave, turn notes into rests and back again, add ties, common 8th note triplets, and the most often used forward/backward repeat pair.

Show/hide notes, text, lyrics, shapes (such as slurs, hairpins, accelerandos, ottava signs, etc.), and expressions.

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MusicJOT has a complete menu of actions

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..and options.

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Advanced Settings

MusicJOT is completely customizable. From staff line weight to measure padding to beam angles to music spacing. Make your own house rules.

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MusicJOT video (4:31)

Here's a short demonstration of MusicJOT in action.

MusicJOT In Action


  • Natural Handwriting Recognition
  • Export to MusicXML
  • Export to MIDI
  • Staffs limited only by memory
  • 128 General MIDI sounds
  • Cut, copy, paste, undo and redo
  • Two voices per staff
  • Print to a wireless printer


  • Unlimited view sizes
  • Live spacing
  • Go to measure #
  • Change music spacing


  • Drag up/down for pitch
  • Drag left/right for duration
  • Double flats to double sharps
  • Grace notes
  • Half step transpositions
  • Octave transpositions
  • Tuplets

Dynamics (playback enabled)

  • Crescendo, decrescendo
  • ppp - fff, sfz, fp

Tempos (playback enabled)

  • Tempo text
  • Font, size, style
  • Beats per note duration

Clefs, keys, meters

  • Change selected only
  • Change selected to next change
  • Change selected to end
  • Mid-measure clef changes
  • Keys transpose up, down or none
  • Measure duration clipping
  • Automatic transpositions


  • Free form text
  • Placement - above/below staff
  • Border option for rehearsal letters
  • Font, size, style

Articulations & Ornaments

  • Staccato
  • Marcato
  • Accent
  • Tenuto
  • Harmonic
  • Left hand pizzicato
  • Fermata
  • Up and down bows
  • Roll chord
  • Turn
  • Mordent
  • Trill
  • Trill flat
  • Trill natural
  • Trill sharp
  • Cesura
  • Breath
  • Pedal on/off
  • L.H.
  • R.H.
  • Roman numerals (I - V)
  • Numbers (0 - 5)


  • Glissando
  • Bend hat
  • Tie
  • Slur
  • 8va, 8vb
  • 15ma, 15mb
  • Accelerando/Ritardando


  • Free, verse, chorus of unlimited number
  • Auto flow into score
  • Duplicate
  • Find in score
  • Span notes, group words, melismas


  • Notes
  • Marks
  • Shapes
  • Text
  • Lyrics


  • Normal, double, solid, dotted, final
  • Repeats (playback enabled)
  • Show repeat map
  • Backwards, forwards, 1st and 2nd endings
  • DC, DS, Del Segno, Coda, Finé

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Advanced features

Illegal Measure Buttons

MusicJOT allows you to compose freely without meter restrictions, but will indicate measures that are not meter compliant in duration by placing a small not equal (illegal measure) button in measures that do not comply. To fix a measure automatically, just tap the button. MusicJOT will either truncate or add rests to the measure.

Layers and Options Drawer

Placing your finger on the bevel of the iPad just to the left of the screen and quickly dragging to the left will bring up the layers and quick options window. Here you'll find some often used options. Here you can also show/hide various musical elements.

Virtual Pointer

If you don't have a stylus, the virtual pointer is a neat way to select interior chordal notes or notes that are just very close together. In addition, the VP acts as a live music scrubber, sounding individual notes, chords, or the entire score.

Visual Road Map

If you have a complicated repeat structure in your score (1st and 2nd endings, del segnos, etc.) the repeat map window shows how the score will play according to your repeat structure. You can tap on any line in the map window and the relevant measures will be highlighted in the measure bar.

Help System

MusicJOT has a 10 step tutorial and a context sensitive reference manual.

Playback Supported Events

Currently, MusicJOT supports playback of the basic dynamics (ppp - fff) and tempo markings. Future enhancements are planned.

Music Spacing

MusicJOT uses a sophisticated algorithm for spacing music which can be adjusted to suit. User preferences for switching between different algorithms.

Transposing Instruments

All of the standard instrument transpositions are included. Under the actions menu:Options:Transposing Instruments, you will find additional controls for both displaying and inserting in concert pitch.

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Context Sensitive Menus

Context sensitive menus appear for a variety of selections including deletions, cut/copy and paste, toggling notes/rests, octave transpositions, simple triplets and repeats, lyric shifting, expression resets and, quick clef changes.

Modification Panels

A variety of panels are available as an alternative to handwriting including clef, key, meter, bars, repeats, tuplets, tempo, text, lyrics, tools, expressions, dynamics, shapes, staff names and instrument transpositions.

Computer system requirements.

Below are the minimum hardware and operating system requirements for MusicJOT for iOS.


Apple iOS 10.0 or higher

Apple iPad

iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Pro (12.9 inch), iPad Pro (9.7 inch)

Optional Accessories

Apple Pencil (highly recommended), Adonit Pixel (active stylus), or any passive stylus

Getting Started

Following are ten very short tutorials to help get you started. These tutorials are also available from within MusicJOT, so if you forget how to do something, help is right at your fingertips. In addition to tutorials, MusicJOT features a context sensitive help system.

Creating a new score
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John Reed

Professional cellist, co-founder and principal arranger for Grammy® nominated, Juilliard trained, The Hampton [Rock] String Quartet® (HSQ). HSQ has sold over 1 million CDs worldwide and their rock video, Get A Job was aired on MTV and VH1. HSQ arrangements have been played around the world and featured on the hit HBO series True Blood. HSQ has performed on The Today Show and numerous radio and TV spots from NYC to Liverpool. The members of HSQ have performed with Depeche Mode at Madison Square Garden and *NSYNC at Radio City Music Hall for the 2000 MTV Awards, as well as with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Sting, Paul Simon, and Aerosmith, to name just a few.

John is the founder and president of Mona Lisa Sound (MLS), Past President of the String Industry Council and Past Board Member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). MLS is the premier source for rock string quartet sheet music. John has written over 100 string quartet arrangements.

John has been a computer programmer since 1979 (self-taught) and is the principal developer and programmer for MusicJOT®.

Mark Dalrymple

Software developer and instructor, author of Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide.

Mark is also an accomplished trombone and bassoon player and plays with many groups.

Mark has been programming since 1979, and professionally since 1990. He has had software running on Wall Street trading desks and in space (literally). NASA was running a trial program for an electronic help desk using Visix Galaxy™. Mark wrote some of that code. His code can also be found on millions of Mac desktops.

He is a co-founder of CocoaHeads, an international Mac and iOS developers society, with chapters in 40 countries spanning six continents.


Special thanks to Adam Coti for his expertise in templating this site for me and thanks to Janna Glasser for putting up with my ups and downs through this long haul. I also want to thank Fred Flowerday and everyone at MakeMusic for granting us use of their beautiful Maestro® music font. And of course, thanks to our friends at MyScript® for making awesome handwriting recognition technology.

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Maestro © 1999 MakeMusic, Inc. All rights reserved. Maestro is a trademark of MakeMusic, Inc.
MyScript © 2014.


Contact Us - Let us know what you think.

- Get update info on MusicJOT happenings.

MusicJOT Forum - participate or just browse the official MusicJOT forum. We will send you an invite.


Q: MusicJOT is either not recognizing, or misinterpreting what I've written.

A: Try zooming in on the score before starting in Script mode and write as neatly as possible.

Q: I don't see a way to do part extraction.

A: Part extraction is coming soon.

Q: Is there a way to delete a note with my handwriting by just crossing stuff out?

A: Yes. Scribble out a note to delete. You can also draw a big circle around note/events (circle must extend both above and below the staff), then tap on delete in the context sensitive menu at the bottom. If you are using the Adonit Pixel Stylus, you can use the top button (configurable in the Actions menu:Script:Configure Adonit Stylus.

Q: Moving the virtual pointer over a note is slow in sounding.

A: On some iPad models this is a known issue. Turning off 'Edits Sound' in the left slide out drawer will speed things up considerably.

Q: I can't slide out the layers and options drawer.

A: You may be placing your finger too far off the bevel or dragging to the right too slowly.

Known issues

Future support for guitar tablature or chord diagrams is planned.

Future support for percussion notation is planned.

Deleting or adding measures with a complicated set of repeats in place is not updating the repeat map. After measure deletions and additions, you will have to reselect each 'jumper' type of repeat and reset its target.

Future support for measure-attached text is planned.

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Version updates

Version 1.2.5 (build 28, svn 4873) released Novemenber 30, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Improved zooming and scrolling performance, especially with large documents.

  • Fixed an unexpected quit with large documents on older iPads.

  • Fixed an issue when popping up panels. Sometime they were either partially or totally offscreen.

  • Fixed an issue where selecting at the very bottom of the screen was inhibited by the presence of the context sensitive menu whether visible or not.

  • Fixed an issue where saving the document (either automatically or manually) might clobber memory and crash.

  • Fixed a serious issue where some users could not load a previous score without crashing.

  • Fixed an issue where some older documents that used multiple voices were flipping stems in the wrong direction.

Features Added

  • Added visible drag handles to shapes such as slurs, hairpins, regions, etc.

  • Added a virtual pointer style user pref.

  • Added a Reset Defaults in the Options drop down.

  • Added meter shortcuts to context sensitive menu.

  • Updated help files.

Version 1.2.4 (build 27, svn 4747) released October 16, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed an issue where a selected tool of any rest was inserting a note instead.

  • Fixes handwriting for drawing ties on non-bottom notes in chords.

  • Fixed memory increasing bug that could cause crashes after scrolling around.

  • Fixed an issue where changing the abbreviated name in the staff panel could crash.

  • Fixed handwriting where existing measures have multiple character meters such as 11/16.

Features Added

  • Removed crosshairs from virtual pointer and replaced with a thin circumference for a less cluttered look.

  • Added a Staff Manager to allow re-ordering of staffs.

  • Added abbreviated staff name.

  • Added sort by length in score manager.

  • We now detect unexpected quits and give the user the option of attempting to reload the prior document.

Version 1.2.1(2) (build 24, svn 4570) released August 14, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed an issue where clefs were not being shown at the start of each system in page view.

  • Fixed an issue where handwriting in page view was not creating the correct pitches.

  • Fixed an issue where handwriting in page view was shifting all of the pitches for that measure.

Version 1.2 (build 23, svn 4536) released August 7, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Deleting multiple measure stacks is more reliable and other general reliability improvements.

  • Fixed print out title centering.

  • Fixed the case when inserting a new note at the end of a measure when the previous last note had a clef change, new note was in wrong clef.

  • Numerous other bugs and improvements.

  • Fixed an issue where a bluetooth headphone did not work with the audio.

  • MusicJOT icon attachment during email export now correctly being assigned.

  • Green add new note rectangular selection bar now only appearing if a note can be added.

  • Numerous undo/redo bugs fixed.

  • Fixed an issue where the first note of a beam group could start a beam group even if if was on a weak beat.

  • Fixed an issue where a key cancellation plus a flatted key was not spacing the following notes properly causing overlapping elements.

  • Fixed an inconsistency where if multiSelectOnSameTypeOnly was ON marquee selection wasn’t excluding different score item types.

  • Sorting order in the Scores view is now maintained across subsequent calls.

Features Added

  • Two voices per staff.

  • New UI button controls for voices

Version 1.1.2 (build 19, svn 4276) released April 21, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed an issue where notes that were dragged up or down producing more than 4 ledger lines couldn't be dragged back.

  • Fixed an issue where un-beamed notes with flags were not getting extra space to compensate for their flag.

  • Title is now white which is more readable.

  • Fixed issues where the tutorials window header and buttons were not being updated as appropriate.

  • Changed various default user preference metrics (advanced settings).

  • Fixed playback issue where sound was only coming from headphones but not speaker (v1.1.1).

  • Fixed various spacing issues.

  • Fixed spacing issues with mid-measure clefs.

  • Fixed an issue when editing a chord with handwriting that had accidentals was shifting accidentals to the wrong chordal notes when rendering.

  • Unified a number of UI colors and background fills.

  • Fixed playhead scrolling behavior in page view.

  • Fixed playback playhead position when zoomed in page view.

  • Improved handwriting performance with Apple pencil.

  • Fixed a number of situations where the app could crash.

  • Fixed an issue where user supplied document info was not updating immediately in page view after tapping ‘Apply.’

  • Fixed an issue where handwriting an accidental to a chordal note was not being rendered.

Features Added

  • Added “Subtitle” metadata to score information (now ‘Document info’).

  • Changed action menu heading from composer/opus to “Document Info…”

  • Now showing Adonit stylus status indicator when using the Adonit stylus.

  • Added color themes.

Version 1.1.1 (build 18, svn 4188) released March 25, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Unmute All in the settings menu when in audio playback now is enabled/disabled when appropriate.

  • Improved proportional spacing and hooked into music spacing slider.

  • Fixed an issue where paste-merging rests was not checking for pre-existing rests in same slot. Also now not adding notes NOT inserted to selection (which caused phantom selections).

  • Fixed numerous issues with transposed instruments (staff).

  • Fixed unwanted measure width shifting when moving into and out of handwriting.

  • Handwriting recognition now properly positions clefs on staffs in page view.

  • Fixed an issue where handwriting wasn’t always recognizing key signature when drawing new notes.

  • Fixed an issue where time signatures might not be vertically aligned when a transposed instrument presented a different key signature than the other staffs.

  • Fixed unexpected behavior when handwriting non-treble clef on staffs in page view.

  • Fixed an issue where inserting a note from the palettes was not updating the display until tapping in the clear.

  • Fixed an issue where if there was only one measure stack, deleting the last measure from the action menu was crashing.

  • Fixed an issue where tapping in the clear with help balloons displayed was not removing help balloons.

  • Fixed an issue where the Report a Bug screenshot was resulting in partial or no image when score was scrolled.

Features Added

  • Made it easier to change instrument sounds from playback sidebar by a single tap on the instrument name instead of a long press.

  • Added user prefs in “Report a bug” email for improved diagnostics.

  • Added feature that chases last note in measure that matches inserted note and picks up its accidental.

  • Pitch and duration dragging is now active in non-handwriting mode in all cases except when dragging out slurs, ties, hairpins, etc.

  • Added a Fibonacci spacing algorithm that Improves music spacing.

  • Added Fibonacci spacing as a new preference in Advanced Settings: Music Spacing.

  • Added previous and next buttons to navigation button area as an alternative way to move measure-by-measure.

  • Report A Bug now offers a choice whether or not to include a screenshot.

  • Improved slur contours.

Version 1.1 (build 17) released March 10, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed an issue where spacing didn't always update unless you deselected everything (tapping in the clear).

  • Fixed an issue where tapping and dragging a rest was not behaving the same as with notes.

  • Fixed an issue when both a note and tempo was selected, after double tapping to edit the tempo, a warning box appeared instead of just editing the tempo.

  • Fixed an issue when both a note and text was selected, after double tapping on text to edit, a new text was created instead.

  • Fixed an issue where handwritten expressions were immovable.

  • Fixed unexpected behavior when adding expressions to existing chords.

  • Really fixed the welcome screen animations on early iPad models.

  • Fixed an issue where the note displayed in a tempo mark was not changing color when selected.

  • Fixed an issue where trying to copy was quitting the app.

  • Renamed “Settings” dropdown to “Actions.”

  • Changed duration dragging to only occur when in note mode so that note-to-note dragging of shapes is possible (esp. to allow ties on internal chordal notes).

  • Fixed an issue in “Report a bug…” that included the drop down menu in the attached screen image.

  • Fixed an issue where the virtual pointer was not selecting notes if the expression tool was selected.

  • Fixed an issue where changing virtual pointer modes was sometimes out of sync with its display.

Features Added

  • Printing scores.

  • Added email pdf to Sharing. Removed old jpg/png options. New pdf is properly formatted with score heading, staff names, composer and opus.

  • Added composer and opus to top of page view.

  • Can now drag directly from note head to note head for slurs, ties, etc. as well as from above/below the two involved notes when in palette mode.

  • Report a bug now automatically includes hardware information.

Version 1.0.3 (build 15) released February 20, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed an issue where odd numerator meters of 5, 7 or 11 were not getting beamed.

  • Fixed an issue where trying to drag a tie or glissando between two notes was not working in non-handwriting.

  • Fixed unexpected behavior when handwriting expressions.

Features Added

  • You can now drag a bar line anywhere in the score to change the measure width, not just from the measure bar.

Version 1.0.2 (build 14) released February 14, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed an issue where app was crashing during the Welcome screen animations.

  • Changed destination email in Report a bug...

  • Fixed unexpected behavior with deleting and undoing shapes (such as slurs).

  • Fixed unexpected behavior when deleting expressions.

  • Fixed unexpected behavior with handwriting in measures with dotted rhythms.

Features Added

  • Can now play from measure in playback by putting a measure number in the nav text box and tapping play.

Version 1.0.1 (build 13) released February 1, 2017

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed an issue where a tuplet group that immediately preceded a grace note had the bracket include the grace note.

  • Much improved interval drag label both in positioning and look.

  • Fixed unexpected behavior when handwriting in a measure with a chord that spans a large interval.

  • Fixed an issue where new staffs added in the score manager for a new score were not setting appropriate default clef for that instrument.

  • Fixed unexpected behavior when handwriting a new note into an existing chord.

  • Fixed issue where rendered accidentals (including key signatures) was not always getting applied to handwriting notes.

Version 1.0 (build 12) released January 26, 2017

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