I'm not a musician or composer, but I've had a crack at producing music from time to time on various Windows audio trackers/sequencers and the other day I fancied a bash on my main operating system Kubuntu.
I poked around the web and found references to Rosegarden, MusE, MilkyTracker and Schism Tracker. After installing Rosegarden and MusE I found out that I had to have JACK installed and running as well. Not only with JACK, but also QSynth for MIDI synthesis.
And even then after tinkering around with these I still couldn't get any audio. Apparently, I had to install a low resolution kernel, but even after doing so there was no change in circumstances.
So, in the eleventh hour, just as I was about to call it a day and forget about music production on Linux, I did one last search on Google for Rosegarden alternatives and came across this page:-
The first in the list at the time of writing is some software called LMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio). I got it from the repositories with:-
I fired it up and took a gasp at the gorgeous looking interface, very similar to Hydrogen (a drum kit based sequencer). After taking a few minutes to get used to the interface I wanted to see what MIDI facilities it has. I found that it could use Soundfont files which I previously installed with:-
sudo aptitude install lmms
The Soundfont files will be located in :-
sudo aptitude install fluid-soundfont-gs fluid-soundfont-gm
In LMMS on the left hand side I saw a column of speaker icons. To expand the Instruments Plugins panel I clicked on the top most icon. In that panel was a section called Sf2 Player. I hovered the cursor over that section and it automatically expanded. Then I dragged that section across to the left hand pane of the Song Editor window and now I had a track for MIDI output. Whoopee!
However, before getting it to work I had to point that track in the location of the Soundfonts files, which I mentioned earlier. By clicking on its name of Default Preset I got a little window where I gave it the location of the Soundfont files and which patch/instrument to use. Not only that, but in that window there were a ton of fancy options to play with, like chrous and refurb and envelopes and what not.
Overall, an excellent piece of software!