StaffPad – Review

Perfect for the budding Beethoven or emerging Elgar. Already popular on Windows machines, StaffPad is now available on the iPad too.

  • StaffPad Ltd
  • £84.99, $89.99, 99,99 €
  • Compatibility: iOS 12.2 or later

Already popular on Windows machines, StaffPad is now available on the iPad too, but system requirements are pretty high. A pro-level app that’s free to download but expensive to upgrade to the full version, it lets you write music on your screen, converting your handwritten notes into typeset score. It greatly simplifies editing. you can change pitches; transpose selections; add additional elements such as symbols, lines and text; and quickly cut, copy and paste sections of music for repeated bars.

Arguably the best thing about StaffPad is its playback facilities, with 55 instruments catered for. Tap the Play icon and your music is played, allowing you to hear what it sounds like as you progress. Some instruments and groups of instruments are additional In-App Purchases. If you have your musician friends around, and they have the free StaffPad Reader app, you can share sections of your score with them too.

Although it costs a lot of money, especially if you want the additional instruments, StaffPad is definitely an asset for the 21st Century composer. Imagine what Mozart or Schubert would’ve achieved with it.

  • Overall


A comprehensive – if expensive – tool for composers, songwriters and musicians.

+ Great editing features
+ 55-instrument playback
+ Useful share facility
– Expensive

Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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