WRITE MUSIC, NATURALLY. StaffPad is a groundbreaking music notation application, featuring advanced handwriting recognition. Write music, using your digital pen*, and StaffPad will transform your handwritten notation into a beautifully typeset score which you can then edit, play back, print and share. For composers and musicians, StaffPad revolutionises the art of writing music. *IMPORTANT NOTE: STAFFPAD **REQUIRES** A DEVICE WITH ACTIVE PEN CAPABILITIES. DESIGNED FOR SURFACE. MUSIC RECOGNITION StaffPad has been designed from the ground up for pen input. Simply write your music straight on to the screen, using your device’s pen. As you move from bar to bar, StaffPad will convert your handwriting into a beautifully engraved score. You can draw notes, beams, stems, articulations, accidentals, slurs, ties and more. It’s the most natural way to write music on digital device, ever. AN ORCHESTRA IN THE TIP OF YOUR PEN StaffPad contains a bespoke playback engine, and an entire orchestra which has been meticulously recorded and programmed to play back your score with incredible realism. Multiple dynamics layers, multiple recorded articulations, repetition samples and smart playback rules ensure that what you see is what you hear. The entire symphony orchestra is represented, and more instruments are available to purchase from the in-app store. StaffPad is powerful. Everything from a basic piano lead sheet to a full symphony score can be written with StaffPad. A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE Writing music should be the focus of a composer. StaffPad handles everything else for you whilst you work. The interface has been designed to reduce clutter, and is context sensitive - showing only the information you want, when you want it. PEN AND TOUCH By combining the power of digital inking and multitouch, we can offer a no-compromises approach to virtual manuscript. Use your finger to move around the score, and pinch to zoom - with butter-smooth scrolling. When you want to write music, just use the pen. Use your eraser button on the pen to remove both ink strokes and existing notation. You can also draw freehand on the score, using the sketch layer, to quickly brainstorm and leave notes/comments for yourself and others. PRINT YOUR RESULTS StaffPad will intelligently layout the score when it’s time to print. You can print the entire score, as well as individual parts for each musician. StaffPad has smart collision avoidance and music layout rules which handle the reflowing of the music to a page-based layout automatically. SHARE YOUR WORK StaffPad allows you to easily share and export your work. You can export MIDI and MusicXML, should you wish to continue working on your score in other programs. You can also export your score to MP3/WAV format, or quickly email an MP3 of your work in just a couple of taps. StaffPad also supports import of MusicXML and MIDI files. SCORE SYNC AND AUTO-SAVE StaffPad is always saving your score, and keeping track of versions - which you can return to at anytime. By saving your scores to OneDrive, you can ensure that your scores are kept in sync across all your devices. StaffPad also syncs your settings and preferences. You can also organise your scores into ‘collections’, meaning that your scores and projects stay neatly organised, for easy access. You can even pin frequently accessed scores straight to the Start Screen. COMPOSER ASSISTANT A voice activated composer assistant allows you to interact with your score using your voice. Want to change the key signature to G major at bar 10? No problem - tap the assistant and say "Change to G major at bar 10". The assistant can quickly help you set up your score, adding instruments, setting the tempo, the key signature, the time signature, adding barlines, playing from rehearsal marks or specific bars, printing, exporting and transposing your score. Currently, the voice assistant is available in US and UK English only. EXPRESS YOURSELF StaffPad is the first notation application which allows you to easily draw dynamics/music expression data right onto the staff. By toggling the expression layer, you can elegantly draw in additional dynamics detail, which can enhance the realism of playback without compromising the existing dynamics markings on your score. PROFESSIONAL FEATURES StaffPad intelligently handles transposing instruments, allowing you to write in concert pitch and toggle to transposing when you’re ready, or when printing. You can write music in multiple voices, transpose selections, reverse stem directions, quickly repeat bars and insert text intuitively via the quick input tiles. Quick symbols provide the easiest way to enter trills, tremolos, fermatas, rehearsal marks, pedal markings, hairpins and much more. EDUCATION StaffPad is designed for professional composers and musicians, but it’s also a great learning tool for students. Within the application there are multiple video tutorials explaining how to use the app, and key musical concepts. COMPATIBILITY: StaffPad REQUIRES a device with a digital pen (also known as an active digitiser) and multitouch capabilities in order to function as designed*. If your device does not support pen and touch, the app will not function correctly. Support will not be available to users attempting to run StaffPad on an incompatible device. *StaffPad has been designed for Surface 3, Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4.

Available on



Version notes

Version number: Varies by device

This update includes: - New instruments, and existing instrument playback improvements - Improved MusicXML interoperability - Adjustable portamento styling


  • Music handwriting recognition
  • Designed for pen and touch
  • Realistic score playback
  • Score auto-layout
  • Beautiful, simple UI design
  • Full orchestral instrument library included
  • Print full score and individual parts
  • Sketch layer for freehand comments/markings
  • Expression layer
  • Smart articulation symbols
  • Import MIDI/MusicXML
  • Export to MIDI/MusicXML/MP3/WAV
  • Organise scores into collections
  • Sync scores with OneDrive
  • Multiple voice layers
  • In-app store for more instruments
  • Voice activated composer assistant.
  • Transposing score support
  • Partial bar selection
  • Quick start templates

System Requirements

OS Windows 10, Windows 8.1
Architecture x86, x64
Touch Integrated Touch
Notes Not specified
OS Windows 10, Windows 8.1
Architecture x86, x64
Touch Integrated Touch
Designed for Surface

Additional info

Published by
StaffPad Ltd
Copyright © 2016, StaffPad Ltd.

Approximate download size
435.12 MB - 827.58 MB


This app can
Use your microphone
Access your Internet connection
Access to your Account’s username and picture

In-app purchases
Free - $7.99

Install on up to ten Windows 10 devices.

Language supported
English (United States)

Publisher Info
Publisher Website
Publisher Support

Additional terms
StaffPad privacy policy

Ratings and reviews

Filter by:

To rate and review this product go to client store on the device it’s installed on.

Most helpful favorable review




Platform: PC

This is the kind of App I got my Surface for!

I have been dreaming of a great notation app like this for a while, I hoped Finale would work with the pen like this does and I kept waiting for a update but nothing yet. This program is awesome, I purchased it yesterday morning and already wrote out 2 pieces of music for trumpet and flute, printed them and used them last night at band rehearsal. Yes, there are things that can be tweaked and added, but overall, this is an awesome start. And for the reviewer that said you can't change time signatures, it's very easy, simply touch the time signature on the staff and you get a menu able to change time, key or clef! You can also export the file into Finale and add or adjust anything you like, such as adding lyrics or chords. I would love to see these features here one day. Thank You!!!

22 out of 24 people found this helpful.

Most helpful critical review




Platform: PC

Could be a LOT better...

This app has just been a waste of time. The so-called "intelligent" printing function has done nothing but mess up, giving me anything but a cleanly laid out copy. I think there is a lot more potential for this app. Contemporary composers are going to find a lot lacking, i.e. different noteheads for string harmonics and other alternate methods, cross-staff functionality, easier printing and PDF exporting methods. I feel quite limited creatively because of what is missing.

25 out of 33 people found this helpful.




Platform: PC

So much promise

Such a great idea and use for the pen and Surface. But falls short. Recognition of written symbols only works if you specifically and accurately enter them as instructed. If you are used to writing music an a different way (quarter rests for example) you have to relearn. It's not nearly as fast as simple pencil and paper. The app doesn't seem to use AI to learn your intent or handwriting (music writing). For a higher priced app, I expected more. But this is a great early attempt, I hope this app keeps growing and improving. BTW - I have all kinds of install problems with this app. One day, it just wouldn't run and said it needed to be reinstalled. But the reinstall keeps hanging for no apparent reason. Very frustrating and time-wasting!

4 out of 4 people found this helpful.




Platform: PC

A remarkable achievement

Excellent weaving of the digital and physical world to bring the best aspects of each in a truly inspirational music app. Sometimes I love to write music visually without any sonic feedback and see what it sounds like eventually when I play it. Very interesting.




Platform: PC

Works just as advertised

I have been using this app for several months. It performs exactly as advertised. I use a Surface Pro 4 i5 with 4 GB of RAM. I am taking music theory and composition and find this app to be great for writing music, especially while away from my piano. I can write while traveling, even in crowds using my earbuds. Highly recommended. [It is sort of like a magic pad of staff paper.] Several other reviews make incorrect statements about functions that are missing or don't work; perhaps they don't own and use the app?

One person found this helpful.




Platform: PC

A Good Start

As someone who normally writes by hand and then inputs into Finale, I have loved being able to skip a step with this app. For the most part it's great and easy to use, but recognition improvement is needed with accidentals (especially flats) and ties. Being able to copy and paste multiple measures and staves at a time would also be a great feature. For the most part, this has been a great app to arrange songs for my piano students of all levels and a great tool to arrange songs before recording them. A strong start for this still young software.

8 out of 8 people found this helpful.




Platform: PC

Very steep learning curve, pen just isn't good enough

I've pretty much given up on this. The MS pen interface just isn't up to the task of writing at normal size (for paper) and getting the perfect gestures needed to create music efficiently. It's a bit like the old palm alphabet - you have to relearn how to notate from scratch, and with the poor pen interface in MS you have to do it at 200%-300% scale just to get the strokes to be recognized. If you have weeks or months to learn to re-write and don't mind your tablet screen being reduced to the effective area of a post-it note for writing, go for it. If not, stick with traditional keyboard input methods - they're so much faster and so much more complete in their ability to properly set a page. Ten years from now, this may be the perfect input program for music, but I suspect it will take that long to make it "pencil on paper" good.

17 out of 46 people found this helpful.




Platform: PC

A great music notation app

StaffPad is the only music notation software that lets you write music naturally, with a pen, the way you do on paper. It works wonderfully well, it is full-featured but the interface is simple and elegant. The sounds are great too. Bravo for a really excellent and incredibly useful app. I loved this app from the beginning, but I continue to notice significant improvements. Most important for me -- the program keeps getting better at interpreting my pen strokes. Currently it is very rare that my pen input is not understood (and when that happens it's super easy to fix). I'm using it with a Surface Pro 3 -- performance is excellent. Everyone who sees me entering notation with StaffPad says, "Wow!"

3 out of 3 people found this helpful.




Platform: PC

Great app, but not for Vocal Music

I love this app. It's a really pretty and well created piece of software for orchestrations, jazz, and any instrumental music, but it just isn't there for vocal music. The voice tool really only has a male voice and is very leggy compared to other instruments, along with when trying to outline a vocal song with just voice and piano, the piano and voice weirdly switching off which one is louder because lower notes on the voice are very quiet and higher ones are incredibly loud. Unfortunately, for now it seems I've bought an expensive playback and orchestration engine rather than something I can use to write anything.

11 out of 13 people found this helpful.




Platform: PC

Kind of amazing...

...I absolutely love writing on this. At first it was pretty difficult, then I actually watched the instructional videos :P Now it is really wonderful. Only issue I am coming across is that it seems to reset the volumes of individual instruments, when I come back a piece. I am very particular about the volume of the individual instruments, and sometimes it just seems like the application puts the volumes wherever it wants...Is this a glitch, or am I crazy?

5 out of 7 people found this helpful.




Platform: PC

Basic Functionality is Not There

Can't copy and past multiple measures at a time. Can't insert blank measures. Everything MUST be hand drawn. Hand recognition requires specific stokes. Difficult app to use. Not worth the money. I regret the purchase.

4 out of 9 people found this helpful.




Platform: PC

A lot better than doing it by hand

A great program at a great price. It has its bugs but I bought a surface just to be able to have this app. it has me writing music again.

2 out of 3 people found this helpful.



Developer comment · responded on