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  Sibelius - which version is best  David Bruce at 16:39 on 06 July 2005

News today that Sibelius has launched Sibelius 4. I haven't checked it, but I found the upgrade from Sib2 to Sib3 somewhat disappointing. It's the first time I've found the menu layout less than intuitive.

Good to see musicxml support though.

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  stephankanyar at 16:29 on 10 October 2005

I use Sibelius for several years and it worked always fine for me. I will upgrade to version 4 (IŽm using 3 right now) as soon as they bring it out in germany.

Maybe it is a bit less intuitive than the first version, but it has become more and more professionel. Even most of the contemporary notations can be printed now.

The "Dynamic-Parts"-feature is also a big thing, if you have to work fast (and who need not today) and you have to do some changes. Every change you do in the score is automatically in the parts and vice versa. This will save really much time and maybe some mess in the score versions.

Best regards, Stephan Kanyar

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  James McFadyen at 20:12 on 24 November 2006

None! - use LilyPond -

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  David Bruce at 20:15 on 24 November 2006

James - that's interesting - so do you enter your music by creating the text-based lilypond code? That must take a while doesn't it? Or is there some other way I don't know about?

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  James McFadyen at 20:34 on 24 November 2006

My wife and I run our own Publishing House, Devilish Publishing

We have been using Sibelius, but have just switched to LilyPond this year.

Yes, it is all code by hand but it's all worth it. It's not composing software, so if you need to compose on the computer, LilyPond would just be silly, but if you're looking for the best quality engraving then LilyPond is the business, at a cost of learning a programming language and having a lot of spare time.

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  Naomi McFadyen at 14:14 on 27 November 2006

I must agree. I found Sib 2 much better than Sib 3... but hey ho. Sibelius admit to not being perfect so I guess they can be forgiven...!

As James has said though, as far as engraving goes, Lilypond cannot be beaten, and it is definatly worth all the effort of typing in a bit of code.

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  Viola at 22:00 on 11 February 2008

The comment "Lilypond is the business"...
I would like to correct you. I too run my own publishing firm, we are in early days yet and are nearly finished the first publication.
I use SCORE v4. It is the king. Almost EVERY well done score in the business will have been SCOREd. Simple as that.

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  James McFadyen at 16:49 on 13 February 2008

The main thing is you're not using Sibelius - how any publisher can say that it looks good!

As for LilyPond v SCORE, all I can say is that while SCORE is very good and used throughout the industry, LilyPond is my engraver of choice, there's a few wee niggles about SCORE which I cannot stand like why on earth do the flat signs look fat and vertically squashed?

But sure, SCORE is good enough and miles better than Sibelius or Finale which are truly awful IMHO.

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  sizzler52 at 20:34 on 14 February 2008

Does anyone have a url link for Score v4

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  Viola at 21:28 on 14 February 2008

OK. I can settle for the view on Sibelius.
HOWEVER. The beauty of SCORE is that one has absolute control over EVERY detail in every way. I use SCORE, and I engrave some VERY difficult and complicated music - so I do know. For example, you said that you can't stand the fat flat; I have no real opinion on the flat - it's fine. BUT the default natural that came needed the 'hole' opening up a tad, to make it - well, just look better. Which I easily corrected. SCORE comes with three or four other programs. PAGE, SCORELAS, JUST and DRAW. Every item is a vector graphic, which is stored in the LIBrary, and can be altered completely using DRAW. DRAW also is where one can create their own symbols and make obscure notational images. For example, the ridiculously impressive slurring of Ligeti Etudes 4 and 6 could not have been done any other way.

Someone asked for a link,

BUT I URGE YOU. Do NOT consider purchasing SCORE unless engraving is your full profession. It is a beast, and simply a waste of money for someone who wants to use it for the sake of NOT using Sibelius. LilyPond IS very, very good. Our friends at Devillish Publications has proved that with his impressive work done. Also, I'd like to point out that FINALE is a VERY fine program too...

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  Misuc at 17:12 on 17 February 2008

Many thanks for helpful information.

But is there anyone here as incompetent as I am? I have tried Finale and Sibelius, and found each of them useful in notating little things for my pupils from the keyboard. Not a lot faster or neater than writing them down with my nice old-fashioned flexible nib pen, but still useful. But go beyond that, and I lose the cursor or delete the wrong note or lose my place in the score etc. etc. - sheer frustration!

Anyway I want software which is an aide to composition, not an obstruction. If I know in advance just how long I want each note to last etc. why bother with a computer programme, just write it down! I do that. But so often one wants to experiment with different simultaneous tempos or time-signatures - to explore varied combinations of set intervals or motifs and so much more i.e. to be able to extend the reach of one's improvisation and real grasp of complex musical materials by exploration with possibilities for immediate feedback etc. etc.

I would like to ask i1] if anyone else has this 'problem'? 2] if any of the programmes mentioned allow for this sort of thing? 3] if anyone knows of any alternative programmes which do - or is this asking too much of IT at its present stage of development?

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  Team Gaughan at 09:23 on 18 February 2008

Without sounding like an old man (which I am not, yet). I still use Sibelius 1, which I find totally fine. It took me long enough to actually use the thing, but once Panupus stopped producing their wonderful manuscript paper I had to, (and it is wonderful when it comes to doing parts and making your scores easy to read- I had a look at a couple of hand written Birtwistle scores other day).

So what is the difference between Sibelius 1,2, 3 and 4? And no complex computer terms please!!! I am still lookng for the 'on' button!!!!

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  Viola at 09:32 on 18 February 2008

Right. It sounds to me like Sibelius and/or Finale is the right thing for you. LilyPond and SCORE are simply not compositional 'tools'. Both have next to nothing interms of playback, and you cannot produce a beautiful score in both these programs unless you know fully what you are entering BEFORE you do. (Bascially, you have to write the music before hand.) Sibelius and Finale have good playback and the interface allows you to change things (like tempos, or even whole passages of music) easily.
The "sheer frustration" will simply be that you need to get used to the ways of the software, all the different functions - and remembering them.
You said yourself "why bother with a computer programme [in this case it ought to be program] when you could just write it down!"

Well, exaclty! If you are writing music - software is not needed AT ALL. I haven't written a single piece at the computer for three years (I have been composing for that long). The software is what I use to publish and present beautiful scores. So I'm not sure what you're getting at.

From what you're saying, programs such as CUBASE, SAMPLITUDE, MAXMSP, ProTools, MELODINE are what you need. But they, like all programs, take a lot of learning how to use.

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  Team Gaughan at 09:37 on 18 February 2008

I tend to make a sketch, like a short score by hand, then produce it on sibelius. I like it for things like piano pieces, songs with voice, chamber pieces, i find it annoying for large orchestral pieces, when the score gets all tiny and you spend half the time fiddling about with the lay out. for example i like the combination of piano, harp, harpsichord, guitar and mandolin, so when i add that to the standard orchestral layout it tends to get upset with itself. i enjoy using it for smaller things, and especially if i have written something complex, it comes out looking wonderful. but i would rather have say 45 stave paper or bigger for a large orchetral piece. i tried for exmaple to write a piece for large-ish orchestra with soprano, plus a small group in its own tempo, still trying to figure out how to get it onto sibelius!!!!!

  Re: Sibelius - which version is best  Misuc at 10:42 on 18 February 2008

Yes. Sibelius is very convenient for taking the labour out of extracting parts etc. but for scores my musical handwriting is far clearer and more elegant than that of Harrison Birtwistle's former copyists - for me it's more fun to do and quicker. I entirely agree with the contributor who reminded us that we don't need a computer programme at all. I have been composing for many years without one.

You cannot set multiple tempos up on Sibelius or Finale. You have to input the note-duration together with the note - so there is very little room for experimentation with these systems. As you say, these are NOTATION programmes, and as such of very little interest to composers - who know how to write music (though they do help non-composers to cheat). [The fact that they are not creatively interesting does not mean, of course, that they are of no practical use!]

Now, how about software for composers?