an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

‘Save Sibelius’ goes live and combative

Musicians who use Sibelius software are getting mad at the owners Avid for shutting down the London headquarters and effectively stopping development.

They have opened a facebook site (above) and are trying to build pressure on Avid to sell the brand back to its founders and programmers – several of whom can be found writing on the new site. Here’s a screen grab.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. With his dream team gone, his London HQ gone, even if he is not pushed, there’s not the slightest doubt that Sibelius’s award winning Senior Product Manager Daniel Spreadbury ( can simply walk to another job where he is properly respected by his employers. He is worthy of so much better treatment than this.

    A resource like Sibelius isn’t just a gazillion lines of code that can be shunted offshore; it lives and breathes in the hearts and minds of its creators. The only way forward is for Avid to relinquish its boa constrictor hold and surrender Sibelius into the safe hands of a conscientious investor.

  2. It has been suggested in some quarters that with Version 7, Sibelius has reached maturity. However while Sibelius is unquestionably market leader today, this view does not take into account existing and future issues. The treatment of Tuplets for example (“cannot paste into a Tuplet”) needs to be addressed along with several bugs and ease-of-use feedback.

    It is also crucial that Sibelius code be kept compatible with the latest hardware and operating systems that are continually being upgraded, such as when Apple shifted to PPC then to Intel, and most recently the ‘i’ series of processors, and when Windows 7 64 bit OS was released.

    Moreover, future development can usefully include a full MIDI editor, and DAW audio recording, to say nothing of the myriad possibilities presented by Sound Modelling and Artifical Intellience.

    By duplicitously waiting until the release of Sibelius 7, Avid knew they could last several years until the next upgrade. They can now make far more money from sales by halting development of Sibelius, because it eliminates the overheads of staff and premises to maintain, develop and support it. Thus unless there is a takeover outwith Avid, eventually, Sibelius will be overtaken by hardware and operating system upgrades with which it will be no longer compatible and become roadkill alongside its forebears.

    The soothing, motoric mantra of CEO Gary Greenfield that Avid will “enhance, develop, and support this product,” is simply telling people what they want to hear. Remember “Peace.In.Our.Time”? Quickly followed by World War 2. Remember G. Bush’s “Read my lips, no new taxes”? The following year: America got New.Taxes. By their deeds shall ye know them. Shutting down the nerve centre of Sibelius and orphaning its development team doesn’t conflate with the easy words of Greenfield.

    There is a long history of this type of behaviour where corporations assassinate their own products for short term gain: MOTU Composers’ Mosaic, Opcode, Encore, Overture, Igor, and Cubase VST (OS9) being cases in point.

    This is why unrelenting pressure needs to be brought on Avid to sell Sibelius to more appropriate new owners, who are already coming forward with expressions of interest.

    Users’ emails, faxes, phone calls and letters, sent and resent are vital to make the financially troubled Avid eventually listen to their customers. Avid’s actions have incinerated good will with employees and customers alike. Sale is now the only way forward.

  3. Skripach says:

    The creators and founders of Sibelius, Ben and Jonathan Finn, have now posted a message to the Sibelius forum (so far not censored by Avid). Since viewing their message requires a Sibelius user ID, I’ll quote it (

    “We were very concerned to hear earlier this month that Avid is terminating the jobs of the Sibelius development team in London and handing the software over to other programmers, apparently to cut costs. As far as we know, Sibelius continues to be extremely successful, so this cost-cutting is a response to financial problems elsewhere in Avid, not with Sibelius itself.

    “Ever since then we have been quietly trying to do everything we can to change this situation, including twice offering to buy Sibelius back from Avid. However, Avid has declined. While they haven’t given a reason, we assume that Sibelius is a substantial source of profits to them, so they don’t want to sell it to anyone.

    “We naturally feel very sad about this treatment of our friends and colleagues who have been key to making Sibelius a success, and who have become the world experts in this specialized field. We are also very grateful to the many Sibelius users who have expressed their concern and support; though at this point, it seems unlikely that any protests will change Avid’s mind.

    “We hope Sibelius nonetheless continues to be the world’s most successful music notation software.

    Ben & Jonathan Finn
    Sibelius founders”

an ArtsJournal blog