I'm using windows and I really want to do some composition. I'm away at college so I don't have access to a bass or drums, so I'd like to at least compose some stuff for myself for when I get back. Are there any programs out there that can do this? I've heard of band-in-a-box but from I've seen you can define the chords, style, and tempo, but not the rhythm. Are there alternatives?
for Rock/Tab type stuff, for band arrangements, I'd hit up Guitar Pro 5.

for more notation oriented single peice type things, I'd hit up Finale Notepad.

For orchestral type things, Sibelius maybe?

There are many other programs, I'm sure other people will answer, but those are the only ones off hand.
Yeah I want to be able to arrange for bass, drums, guitar, and vocal melody with as much control over the notes, rhythm, tempo, style as possible. I'll look into Guitar Pro, anything else?
Saying you are running Windows was the first mistake. For serious composing, Digital Performer 5! Get yourself some softsynths and you are ready to go.
I was once heavily prominent on these forums from 2004-2007, let's see how long I can stay now that I'm back.
Yeah Finale is good if you can figure it out.
"This is gunna blow my cover but I like the FedEx driver because he's a drug dealer and he doesn't even know it"-Mitch Hedberg RIP