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The features of Sibelius fall into the following categories:

  • Look and feel
    Intuitive design with clear, instant graphics - no labyrinthine menus and dialogs to navigate, no waiting for the screen to redraw
  • Creating your score
    How to write notes and markings with no cumbersome set-up-including super-intelligent Flexi-time™ MlDI input
  • Playback
    Revolutionary features like Espressivo™ and SoundStage™ play back your score with unprecedented realism
  • Page layout and part extraction
    Intelligent, super-fast score reformatting and part extraction
  • Internet publishing
    How to put your scores straight onto your website so people can view them, transpose and play them back
  • Scanning, plug-ins and filters
    PhotoScore Lite™ music scanning plug-in (included as standard), other plug-in features which you can write yourself using Sibelius's built-in ManuScript™ language, plus how to search and edit your score using filters
  • Publishing and printing
    House Styles™ and other sophisticated engraving and publishing features
  • Special notations
    Dynamic guitar tab, automatic nested tuplets, drum set (kit) notation, figured bass and other specific notations

At Sibelius we believe that if you find a program hard to use its not your fault - it's because the program is badly designed. Why can't a program have the most complex and elegant functionality, yet be easy enough for an absolute novice to use? This is the whole philosophy behind Sibelius.

Virtual Manuscript Paper™ design
Unlike other scorewriters, the Sibelius screen is simple and uncluttered at all times, so you can concentrate on writing music without the constant distraction of menus and dialog boxes. To look around the music, just click and drag the score - it really feels like you're moving manuscript paper in front of you. Alternatively, drag the 'navigator' to move smoothly through many pages at once. You can even choose different colors and textures for your 'virtual' paper.

User interface
Sibelius is designed around a single tool palette called the 'keypad' which acts as the center of operations for your composition. You can select and edit any object in the score at any time - no need to switch between layers and tools first.

The menus for Sibelius are clear and concise. The most complex editing procedures are simplicity itself; the score reformats with every note you enter - instantly.

You'll quickly find that Sibelius's friendly interface will enhance your creativity, not raise your blood pressure!


sibeliusC.jpg (28649 bytes)When you want to start writing music, you shouldn't have to spend forever setting up a score or persuading your computer to notate what you want That's why Sibelius is designed to behave intelligently in all situations - as if it knows what you're thinking.

Starting off

To start a score, simply pick the instruments you want and they instantly appear on the page - with the correct names, clefs, transpositions, order and layout.

Inputting notes

There are three easy ways to input notes into Sibelius:

is Sibelius's unique system for notating music as you play it straight in from a MIDI keyboard in real time. There's no need to tap a pedal or play mechanically - just play naturally with both hands, and Sibelius will actually follow you as you speed up or slow down.

What's more, you can even listen to the music you've already written as you play in more music on top (overdubbing).

lets you play pitches from your MIDI keyboard with one hand, and choose rhythms and articulations from the keypad with the other.

sibeliusB.jpg (11274 bytes)Mouse & keystrokes allow you to input quickly without using MIDI. Pick note values and accidentals from the keypad with the mouse, and click to place them in the score. For extra speed, use the computer keyboard instead - specify pitch using the letters A to C, and rhythms or other markings from the keypad using the numeric keys. There are many more keyboard shortcuts for 'power users'.

The keypad lets you choose notes, articulations, ties, tremolos, etc. quickly - either with the mouse or your computer's numeric keys.

You can get other markings such as clefs, slurs and text from menus, and place them in the score with a click of the mouse.

, Encore's™ and Score™   file converters are coming soon from third-party developers.

Sibelius turns MIDI files straight into clean scores - far more intelligently than other scorewriters. This is the ideal way to notate music transferred from sequencers, other music programs, or the Internet.

You can also input music quickly by scanning it.

When inspiration strikes, Sibelius helps you get the notes down quickly and easily - before you forget them!


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Sibelius is not just for printing. It plays so well that you can hear just how your music will sound - far more realistically than with any other scorewriter.

Playing back your score
Sibelius automatically plays all the correct instrumental sounds through your soundcard or MIDI equipment. It reads, understands and plays all standard markings in your score without any tiresome set-up - including trills, repeats, text markings (see below), 8vas, percussion, and even guitar tab and drum set (kit) notation.

You can also highlight specific instruments or sections of music that you'd like to hear, insert MIDI program changes or control events, and make fine adjustments to balance, blend and panning.

sibeliusE.jpg (18341 bytes)Espressivo
Espressivo is a unique feature that makes your score sound astonishingly realistic, unlike the mechanical playback you might expect from scorewriters. Sibelius adds phrasing and expression as it plays, just like a human - even giving a slightly different 'performance' every time!

Playback dictionary
For text markings, Sibelius has a 'dictionary' so you can specify words and phrases in any language and define how they sound, such as: cresc, pizz., get slightly faster and en dehors. All standard musical terms are already defined for you, and you can add new ones, too.

SoundStage, swing and reverb
When playing back an orchestral or band score, the unique SoundStage feature positions the sounds correctly in 3-D space, as if the instruments were on a concert stage. You can also adjust the reverb settings to simulate different natural acoustics, and add 'swing' to jazz music.

Because Sibelius has such sophisticated playback features, you can use it for much more than just listening to music. Sibelius will help you in practising, making recordings and rehearsal tapes, and checking the notes you've written - it could even play alongside musicians in a live concert!


Intelligent page layout

Sibelius's unique page layout means that you won't have to worry about spacing, formatting, or how your score will look when it's printed.

As you add instruments, notes and lyrics to your score, Sibelius instantly applies hundreds of built-in engraving and spacing rules to organize your music on the page in the most appropriate and pleasing way - pushing bars onto subsequent pages if the music gets too cramped. The process is entirely automated giving the most elegant results - there's no need to waste creative time setting up complicated templates. Slurs, trills and other lines attach intelligently to notes, and stretch or contract if the spacing changes.

Sibelius is just as fast when you're making really major changes to your score, such as altering the size or shape of your page. In fact, it takes just 1/10th of a second for Sibelius to change the layout of your entire score - regardless of its length! No more waiting around for your computer to do its job.

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Controlling layout yourself
Should you prefer, you can change the layout yourself you can specify page and system breaks, freeze the format of pages, alter note-spacings, and squeeze in or spread out whole passages of music. You're in complete control.

Part extraction
Sibelius extracts a part from a full score in just a few seconds. Almost no 'cleaning up' of parts is required, as Sibelius does everything for you - such as grouping bar rests together into multirests, splitting these at all necessary points (time signatures, rehearsal marks, key changes, etc.), transferring all relevant text and markings from the full score, and respacing all of the music.

For transposing instruments like clarinet or trumpet in Bb, Sibelius will transpose the notation automatically from sounding pitch in the full score to written pitch in the extracted part. Instruments can even change transposition mid-score (e.g. trumpets in Bb/D).


Sibelius comes free with PhotoScore Lite™ - the specially-developed plug-in program which scans and reads printed music into Sibelius.

Once the music is read, you can edit or transpose the score in Sibelius, play it back, extract parts and print — just as if you'd inputted it yourself. And because PhotoScore Lite takes just seconds to read a page, it's the lightning-fast way to make arrangements, transpositions and editions.

The full professional version PhotoScore™ (available separately) has numerous more advanced features, such as reading articulations, slurs, hairpins and even text.


sibeliusG.jpg (30686 bytes)Ever wished you could create your own features for your scorewriter? Now you can: using our built-in computer language called ManuScript, anyone can quickly learn how to write new 'plug-in' features for Sibelius.

Sibelius comes with numerous free plug-ins which we've already written for you, including:

The Filters menu lets you search passages of music for specific pitches, rhythms and articulations. For example, you can easily find all middle C quarter-notes (crotchets) in your score, then add, say, an accent to them with a single mouse-click.

Sibelius makes your scores look stunning. That's because Sibelius automatically applies hundreds of subtle music engraving rules to optimize every a of your score's appearance.

sibeliusH.gif (3480 bytes)Text and lyrics
Sibelius has built-in styles for different types of text - dynamics, titles, lyrics and so on - to give them a suitable font, size and position. You can edit these text styles to change text consistently throughout the score.

To input lyrics, just type - Sibelius positions the words under the notes for you, respaces the words as you type, and puts hyphens and lyric lines in the right places.

House Styles and engraving rules
Sibelius doesn't force your music into a single, uniform look. it you like, you can set 'House Style' options to emulate the high-quality appearance of famous publishers, or you can design and save your own House Style(s) to make your scores distinctive. A huge number of options is included, to control everything from bar numbers and instrument names to beam angle rules and articulation positioning.

No 'faking'
Sibelius automatically handles many tricky notations that other score-writers have to fake, such as: collisions between voices (layers), multi-arc slurs with any number of arcs, beams over rests and across barlines, cross-staff beams between three staves, text and wavy lines at any angle (e.g. gliss), and ossia bars.

Exporting graphics
You can take music from Sibelius into graphics and desktop publishing programs in a variety of standard file formats. This makes it easy to incorporate music into anything from posters, covers and exam papers, to theses, books and magazines.

Music fonts and symbols
Sibelius's standard music font Opus™ produces an exceptionally high-quality engraved appearance. Also included is Inkpen™, a font which simulates neatly handwritten music.

Sibelius includes hundreds of music symbols, including special noteheads, percussion markings, microtones, ornaments, figured bass and chord symbols.

But you're not just limited to our fonts. Sibelius is compatible with all the best- known music fonts, including Petrucci™, Susato™, Sonata™, Tamburo™ and Ghent™ You can even design your own symbols using any combination of characters from any mixture of fonts.


Many different forms of music notation have evolved over the past ten centuries With Sibelius, you can create scores in any of these styles.

Notating academic work
Sibelius lets teachers and students notate any academic work, such as exercises, aural tests, counterpoint and Schenkerian analysis. Sibelius will even check your work for mistakes such as notes too high or low, incorrect rhythms, or parallel fifths and octaves.

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Guitar tab and frames
Guitar tab with Sibelius couldn't be easier You can input tab just like other music (using MIDI, mouse or keystrokes), or you can instantly convert notation to tab, or tab to notation.

But it doesn't just stop at guitar; you can write tab for any fretted instrument (mandolin, banjo, lute, dobro...) in any tuning you like - or even create your own custom tunings.

To get a guitar frame, just name the chord you want, and pick the frame from the choice given. In fact, Sibelius calculates all possible positions for any standard chord. And like tab, Sibelius produces frames for any fretted instrument, in any tuning.

Modern notation
sibeliusJ.jpg (14266 bytes)Sibelius handles all standard avant-garde notations such as quarter-tones (automatically transposed), complex tuplets (with multiple nesting), special noteheads and percussion symbols.

Jazz, commercial and rock music
Chord symbols, drum set (kit), slashes and other popular notations are all included - plus the special lnkpen font to make your printouts look handwritten!

Early music
For early music, Sibelius easily notates ossias, figured bass, numerous ornaments, incipits, all C-clefs, and longs. It even writes and plays back lute tablature, and converts it to or from notation for you.

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