Scoring Express templates for Sibelius


Listen to the podcast episode

On the Scoring Notes podcast, David MacDonald and Philip Rothman talk about what the latest update to the Sibelius importing feature means for scoring and arranging workflows, and we unveil Scoring Express, a new product suite of templates and more. Listen now:

Scoring Notes
Scoring Notes
Importing into Sibelius 2020.12 and Scoring Express


In our review of the Sibelius 2020.12 update, I added a little teaser for those readers hardy enough to make it all the way to the end of the article. Those brave souls learned that we were close to revealing a new offering to help people improve the way they use scoring software. I don’t like keeping anyone in suspense for too long, so it’s time to announce Scoring Express, the latest offering from NYC Music Services and Notation Central, our marketplace for music notation technology.

Scoring Express is a collection of high-quality, professional templates for Sibelius — based on the same templates we use at NYC Music Services.

Each Scoring Express package is much more than just the templates. It contains manuscript papers, house styles, music and text fonts, and plug-ins — all installed in one go, so you can get started right away. Have a look at our little promo:

As I told my podcast co-host David MacDonald, the idea for Scoring Express sprung out of the work I was doing on my own, refining my templates to work with the very latest Sibelius version. If you’ve ever worked with templates in any software, whether it’s notation software such as Sibelius and Finale, digital audio workstations such as Logic, or even programs like Microsoft Word, you know it’s a good idea to keep them up-to-date to take advantage of the latest features and workflows that the software provides. When you’re dealing with any volume of material, you want your templates to be their best, so that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time.

In the course of this process, I started thinking that perhaps other people could benefit from these tools, too. No doubt you know that we’ve shared hundreds of tips here on Scoring Notes — the “how” to tweak settings and make your scores look as good as possible, and no doubt you know we’ve explored the “why” — the better your music looks, the better it is for everyone. What if we shared the “what” as well — the materials themselves?

With direct importation of Sibelius files into a template having finally made its way into Sibelius, it seemed like a good time to do just that.

So that’s what Scoring Express is. It’s an easy way to install a complete package so you don’t have to grab fonts from one place, Sibelius files from another, plug-ins from somewhere else, and figure out where the heck it goes in some library folder on your computer. We’ve done all that for you.

One install gets you at least nine different professional templates, as well as all the manuscript papers derived from them.

The Scoring Express Chamber and Jazz suites of Manuscript Papers

Once you open a template or manuscript paper, you can import an existing file into it, both to instantly beautify it and to arrange it further, like we showed how to do in our review of Sibelius 2020.12. Here, we’re using the Big band landscape (Norfolk Sans) template:

Plus, all the house styles are included too, so you can import them into an existing document, in case you prefer to import a house style into something you’ve already set up nicely with page format and document setup. We’ve also included a separate Parts house style for each package, so you can bring that style into your dynamic parts using Multiple Part Appearance.

We’ve really thought through the myriad engraving rules, text styles, and all the other settings to help make these scores look as good as possible. That’s not all — each file comes packed with lots of extra goodies, like lines and symbols that aren’t included with default Sibelius files and can otherwise be time-consuming to set up:

Each Scoring Express package comes with the complete set of the Norfolk and Pori fonts — no separate installation required — along with other beautiful music and text fonts like the Figurato figured bass font, the Gothic A1 text font (which pair nicely with the Norfolk Sans chord symbols), and Steinberg’s Academico and Petaluma Script text fonts. These fonts are what give these scores a distinctive look from the stock “Sibelius” appearance, and they wouldn’t have been possible without a lot of talented individuals who contributed to their appearance. The handiwork of Bernie Cossentino, Anthony Hughes, Jeff Kellem, Matthew Maslanka, Daniel Spreadbury, Robin Walker, and Bob Zawalich is represented here.

The Scoring Express Jazz package even includes a “New Real Book” style lead sheet that approaches the look of that venerable collection (Palatino is required for the text, which is already present on most computers):

Of course, no template will instantly turn anyone into a Paul Revere-award winning engraver — there’s no substitute for studying scores and getting as familiar with music notation and software best practices as possible. But I think Scoring Express will help shorten the path to achieving quality results more quickly.

To help even more, each suite is being offered at an introductory price of $47.99 through the end of this year, after which the price will be $59.99. We’ve started with the Chamber and Jazz suites for now, with more to come!


  1. Fraser sims

    Which versions of sibelius will scoring express work with. Im still havent moved to the subscription version and am on 7 (i think)

  2. Sims Fraser

    Sorry, just found the compatibility page.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Fraser. As you’ve noticed it’s only built for 2020.3 and later. Although it would be possible to export files to earlier versions so that they open in Sibelius 7 or 8, and a great many things would work just fine, we would not be able to offer support for older versions and also take advantage of the newer Sibelius features. If you or anyone else would like to purchase Scoring Express, and email us afterwards, I will be very happy to provide versions of the Scoring Express files that are compatible with the older version, with the understanding that they will not be supported and certain features may not be available (like the angled slash chord symbols).

  3. Inquiring mind

    Thinking of doing something similar for Finale or other software?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Stay tuned (and inquisitive!)

      1. Inquiring mind

        Well, thanks for the tip! (P.S. An “integrated score” style Finale template for Broadway use sure would be nice, pretty please with a cherry on top.)

  4. Tim W.

    Hi – this looks great. I see Chamber, Jazz suites available at the moment. What others are planned?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks! In due course we intend to roll out additional versions tailored to other genres.

  5. Tim W.

    Is there any overlap between the suites? I have no need of the Jazz fonts etc, but mostly engrave vocal/choral classical music. Should I wait?

    1. Philip Rothman

      If and when a Vocal/Choral suite is introduced, we will likely include the Piano/Vocal template, which is presently included in the Chamber package. I expect all other templates would be unique to a Vocal/Choral set. However, as the product is still so new, we have no definitive release schedule at this time.

  6. Alex

    Say, Philip, what do you usually use the “Tick” linestyle for, if I may ask?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Alex! Elaine Gould recommends it in certain instances. Personally I prefer the comma, but if the tick is preferred, we have it there as an option. I’ve set up the comma, tick, and caesura as lines in Scoring Express for more consistent positioning, per this post.Gould tick example

      1. Alex

        Now I feel stupid, though. Sorry, I just forgot that this isn’t supported directly in Sibelius.

  7. Alex

    Now I feel stupid, though. Sorry, I just forgot that this isn’t supported directly in Sibelius.

  8. Tim W

    Another query: do the templates use only US paper sizes, or are Rest of World sizes (eg A4, A3, B5 etc.) included?

    1. Philip Rothman

      They are set up for North American sizes but can easily be changed to ISO sizes. We decided this would be the easier approach, instead of having to maintain double of the amount of templates, house styles, and manuscript papers.

  9. Tyson Davis

    I’m loving scoring express so much! I just have this one problem that I can’t seem to change. There are some weird things going on with the stemlets where it doesn’t show 16th note beaming over a rest. Does that make sense?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Tyson, I’m really happy to hear it! I’ll send you a note and see if we can get it sorted.

  10. Dmitry Konovalov

    And I’m loving scoring express so much! Thanks Phillip !!!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Wonderful Dmitry! Thanks!

  11. Vincent Nguyen

    Great, how can I get all these Templates please?

    1. Philip Rothman

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