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Rejoice! A new Sibelius is born

You remember the fuss when US owners Avid shut down the London development office of Sibelius, the music notation software.

And the relief among musicians when the entire Sibelius team decamped to arch-rivals Steinberg, owned by Yamaha.


Well today the team announced that it is working on a notation software to beat all predecessors, a Supersibelius in the making:

We have a vision for a flexible, powerful music notation application that is equal to the task of notating today’s most challenging art music and capable of producing graphical results of the highest quality, while providing an environment for composing and arranging that is as close as possible to the simplicity of writing music with pencil and paper, or improvising at your instrument.

The notice appeared on a new blog by team leader Daniel Spreadbury. Read him here. The team has been under legal constraints until now and talk of an improved Sibelius could only be speculative. From tonight, it’s a work in progress.

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  1. Hopefully it won’t cost the exhorbitant amount that Sibelius 7 does……

    • mm pretty sure it’s gonna cost more.

    • Michael Haslam says:

      You know what they say: There’s good, quick, and cheap. You can have any two of the three.

      I really don’t resent paying the list price for Sibelius; it does most music notation things extremely well and pretty quickly. There is no comparison between Sibelius and writing out scores and parts by hand, either in consistency, accuracy, legibility or speed. And I suspect the time taken to produce decent results using other commercially available apps would make the price of Sibelius worth paying. It currently is the BMW of music notation software and surprisingly, BMWs cost significantly more than Fiat 500s.

      • Naughty Nigel says:

        Please don’t degrade Sibelius by comparing it with an overrated, and overpriced German car manufacturer. The problem with music notation software is that it is a specialist product for a niche market, and unlike BMW cars, cannot be mass produced at lowest possible price for the mass market.

        Yamaha clearly has a much wider interest in music making than Avid, and whilst it would be unrealistic to expect the new software to be ‘cheap’, one would hope that Yamaha / Steinberg would take a wider view of the market, and perhaps price the product at a more affordable level.

        Interestingly, many large software vendors (Microsoft, Adobe) are now moving away from selling software, and are encouraging customers to rent instead. Perhaps this is a lead that Steinberg might follow; both to increase its customer base, and to help prevent piracy.


        • My 2000 BMW with 166k miles looks and drives like new still. Had to trade the ’08 Pathfinder, because it was falling apart. It showed the wear too (180k miles). No comparison. BMW makes cars to last.

  2. And I thought your were referring to a new grandchild of our Secretary of Health and Human Services.

  3. Miles Golding says:

    Very happy with Capella. Great customer service in the UK from Software Partners Ltd. It was under £100 for years. Now £132.50

  4. John Hames says:

    I have used Sibelius forever, though always uneasy about the pricing: I could never decide whether the extortionate price was justified by how good the program is, and it is, and the expertise that went into its creation, or whether it was simply greed. But they must have calculated it pretty accurately, because I kept buiying the bloody thing! However, if you make something that’s near-enough perfect, it does rather reduce your future market. It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to do much that Sibelius 6 can’t do, unless the plan is to make a program that more seamlessly sits with all sorts of platforms and social media, if one really feels the need for such, and even that would really only require an add-on to what’s already there. So while I deplored the takeover by Avid, which always looked like being disastrous, a Sibelius rebirth may not be easy either.

  5. Gareth Curtis says:

    I’ve also used Capella for a good few years. With a bit of ingenuity and occasional cheating, I’ve found that it will do most things I’ve ever needed, including stuff which looks passably like Petrucci prints.

  6. Guys, don’t miss the point. Cubase, from Steinberg, is having a Score editor embedded for years… It is difficult to use and I resort to Finale for score editing although I love Cubase for everything else. Cubase is extremely powerfull in creating orchestral sequences especially with the new expression extensions. Combine it with a Score editor at the same rank than Sibelius and you’ll simply have the best of the best platform for making orchestral scores independently of doing it with an advanced sampler (Halion or Kontakt) or with a real Orchestra…
    The other point of interest is Yamaha with their keyboards directly downloading music on-line. Having a great and open platform to do so would be a big advantage compared with other manufactures…

  7. Hi Norman,

    I’m afraid I have to disagree that this is a reason to rejoice:

    I’d welcome your thoughts on what I’ve written.


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