The end for Sibelius?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Gavin Somerset, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Gavin Somerset

    Gavin Somerset New Member

    It seems the American owners of Sibelius are to close down the British headquarters (Sibelius's only office), potentially ending the continuation of the product (certainly in the UK anyway!). Full story at
  2. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

  3. TrumpetTom

    TrumpetTom Member

    They can't end it! They havn't put all the time signature ratios into sibelius 7 that were in sibelius 6 or added irrational time signatures!!!!
  4. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    I suspect that this might have a detrimental effect on schools and students. Sibelius kind of became an industry standard.
  5. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    Worldwide, Schools and Colleges have widely adopted the intuitive MuseScore.

    If Sibelius does continue it will struggle to justify its price when compared to the equally capable free Open Source alternatives or the commercial Finale.

    Sibelius is not as industry standard as people in the Brass Band community are led to believe. Finale, actually claiming to be "the world standard"
    Many typesetters are utilised throughout industry.
    If a standard exists it is MusicXML ...incidentally, a format Sibelius has been very slow to adopt.
    Scores are interchangable between Scoring Typesetters via saving to the MusicXML format.
    Publishing companies can easily engrave music using a different typesetter to the one utilised to create the score as the major notation typesetters all save to the universal MusicXML
    Within Banding the wide adoption of Sibelius is more probably due to all the cracked copy's leaked.
    Although I understand Schools are offered free versions of Sibelius...Trouble is, that potentially ensures each generation enters a musical career dependant on a very expensive software application blinkered to the alternatives, some of which arguably offer a lot more for a lot less, in some cases..... 100% Free.
    Avid know this...and so will potential buyers of the Sibelius application.
    One option is to buy the Sibelius brand and release it free as a trojen UI containing advertising.
    all the above assuming Sibelius is actually ceasing development.
  6. RThomp7462

    RThomp7462 Member

    I agree with the above

    Wright and Round have been using Finale for around 20 years (in fact 1.1), and yes feel it is a much better program for general music typesetting than Sibelius.

    I also agree that Sibelius was rather slow in adopting the MusicXML format. We have a plug-in that saves a supplied Sibelius file to a standard MusicXML and then we import it into Finale and into our "house style".

    Our parent company, Interactive Sciences, are typesetters to the legal and academic publishing markets and XML is now a standard in these markets enabling multiple output for both electronic and paper products.

    The real shame is that Sibelius WAS a British product (that originally ran on the Acorn) and when sold by its original owners to its current owners it seemed to lack the determination and resources to make it a world leader such as Finale is.

  7. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I'm curious; does this work well, or do you have a great deal of editing to do? I've occasionally collaborated with people using Sib, but when they have sent me XML exports, and I have imported the XML into Finale, so much is lost in the transfer (not notes, but most other elements) that I find myself having to almost re-input the material from scratch. I'm curious to know if others have a different experience?
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    In the UK, perhaps; not globally ...

    The fact that many people in the UK believe it is testament more to Sib's marketing department.
  9. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    I had forgotten that! - I can remember playing around with a demo version on my Dad's old Archimedes computer (which is still residing in my loft!) when i was a kid.

    I agree with the general sentiment that Avid have shot them selves in the foot with the pricing of Sibelius. There are free music notation software packages which are almost as good, for the casual user.
  10. phildriscoll

    phildriscoll Moderator Staff Member

    I haven't used Sibelius in many years (back when it was launched I used it on my Acorn Risc PC) so I can't comment on the relative merits of Sibelius and its competitors. However what I can say is that even if another company buys the rights to the code and starts selling it, Sibelius users are still in a position that they can be held to ransom by a commercial entity completely outside their control. If Sibelius disappears, at first it might be just a little inconvenient (after all, you still have your copy of the software), but a few years down the line when your copy won't run on the latest version of your operating system, you may have effectively lost some or all of your data.

    In my opinion, the best way to protect yourself from this scenario, is to use software under a Free licence like the GPL. This confers upon the user the right to edit and distribute the software, and so it is not possible to be locked out by the publisher going out of business. Even if you can't program, other people in the user community can, or they can club together to pay a programmer so the software can live on. Under this arrangement, it is also possible (even desirable) for users to contribute to the software to improve it and tailor it to better suit their own purposes.

    MuseScore is released under the GPL. I have found it to be extremely capable, easy to use and versatile. For the brass band arrangements I've done, I haven't hit any issues where a lack of functionality has prevented me from doing something. Output quality is superb. The user interface isn't a million miles away from what I remember from using Sibelius in the early 1990s. It may well be that it's not as good as Sibelius or Finale in some respects, but it is certainly good enough, and on the licencing and user freedom front, it is streets ahead. If you find any shortcomings, you can fix them and contribute them back to the project for everyone's benefit.

    It is available for Windows, Apple and Linux and is free of charge. What's not to like? :)

    (I have no affiliation with MuseScore - I'm just a very satisfied user.)
  11. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Whereas I downloaded it (in the hope that I could produce music at home which could then be stored/adapted on the churches PC's) and rejected it in favour of my existing capella product. There are basic things it cant do (like leading in bars) which you have to use tricks to get around.

    For a free solution its quite usable (and has the benefit of being used anywhere); but I will stick with capella at home I think.
  12. RThomp7462

    RThomp7462 Member

    Music XML converter

    The latest Sibelius does have a facility to save in xml format . . . but it has not been sufficiently developed, if this is mark 1 they need to get to at least mark 8 for it to be usable. Dolet (now owned by Finale) have been providing an xml converter for Sibelius for several years, it cost around £90 but now Finale have acquired Dolet it has become a free download.
    We are currently running Finale 2012 and Sibelius 6 with the dolet plug in and find that we only have to tidy a few things up.
    Most brass band scores supplied to us are in Sibelius format so the dolet plug in is a life saver.
    I guess that Sibelius being a UK developed notation program most of if sales have been in the UK, but world-wide Finale has by far the largest market. Hope this helps.

  13. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    MuseScore does leading bars now.
    So... pickups are a breeze as a tickable option.
    Its also saves flawlessly to MusicXML so you can submit a MuseScore Score to Wright and Round, for example, for engraving by Finale
    Lots of features have been included since the version that did not offer pickup bars... and MuseScore is nearing its MKII release as well.

    I also have quite a lot of music trapped in the .Sib format which I may get round to converting ... but.. Im too busy writing new stuff on MuseScore to get round to it.

    Firefox / Open (Libre) Office / MuseScore ... all very capable and free equals to Internet Explorer / M$ Office / Sibelius.

    The only trouble most people may with the move from Sibelius to Finale / Capella / MuseScore etc etc would be converting .Sib files into adequate industry standard transferable filetypes. And that.. would be a flaw with Sibelius.
  14. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    with old .sib files. couldn't they be opened, then exported as a midi file from Sibelius, then imported into one of the other software packages as a midi file?

    Not sure if it works.......just a thought!
  15. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Using MIDI as a portable format would likely result in even more information being lost than via XML. Basic note-entry information would survive, but layout, positioning, dynamics, articulations, repeats, expressions, etc. would most likely be lost ...
  16. fsteers

    fsteers Member

    Actually, Sibelius is (or was) well down the path to becoming a standard, or at least an acceptable alternative to Finale, among music publishers here in North America.

    Most music publishing houses these days, including the "Big Three" (Hal Leonard, Schirmer, and Alfred) accept submission in either format (as well as Music XML), and all but one of 20 or so specialist publishers I've submitted compositions to for consideration over the past 18 months accept either (the one that didn't only accepts submission for review in PDF).

    What's really interesting (at least to me), though, is that number of publishers I spoke with at NAMM 2012 (the North American Music Merchants convention) that have started recommending Sibelius over Finale, including some who, as recently as NAMM 2010 were Finale-only.

    On the education front, most undergraduate and graduate music departments and faculties are program-agnostic. They expect incoming students to already know how to use a notation program, and don't care what program students use. The only thing they care about is that the assignments are complete on time.
  17. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    MusicXML is then 'The Standard' when submitting to publishers if any standard exist as integrated into both Finale and MuseScore.
  18. mclaugh

    mclaugh Member

    No, it isn't.The fact that publishers accept submissions in Music XML does not mean that they prefer it, that they encourage it, or that they use it as their standard file format, any more than willingness of businesses and corporations to integrate and support Mac computers into their IT makes Mac "The Standard" in the corporate world.

    Oh, by the way, no more than a handful of students, and none of the current faculty here at UT Tyler use MuseScore, so MuseScore either seriously misunderstands or seriously misrepresents the situation here if they think that the music department has adopted MuseScore as our standard.
  19. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    A little information from inside the industry. Avid have been getting very cosy with the makers of Finale recently. Coincidence? You decide.... ;)
  20. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    ??? - Unless Avid are also related in some way to LaunchEquity Partners LLC ...

    Endless further reading here, for those who are bored:

    For those who are even more bored, and have nothing better to do with their time, lots of reaction to the goings-on at Avid/Sibelius from the Finale User's Forum.

    Interesting to note that far from being "smug", as was suggested on another site, most Finale users seem to be of the opinion that it's generally a "bad thing" if anything adverse happens to Sibelius, on the grounds that MakeMusic having realistic competition is a "good thing" for Finale users ...