Summer reading list, Sibelius blog style


2015 is more than halfway over already. Can you believe it? What started out as a sleepy year turned into quite an active period in the world of music notation software and technology.

In case you missed all the news, just bring your favorite reading device to the beach, the porch or your backyard hammock to catch up on the most popular posts so far this year.


Sibelius 8 / The new Sibelius

annotationsSibelius 8 is here: The new Sibelius looks a lot like the old one. The “new” Sibelius is now available alongside new perpetual and subscription license plans. The version number is Sibelius 8.0, but how does it compare to major releases of years past, and should you upgrade?

Next Sibelius release to feature UI updates, new licensing options. A preview of the release from April, with some additional context on the license plans.

Sibelius 7.5 announced. This detailed review is actually from 2014 but it’s still one of the most often-read posts around here, explaining features in Sibelius 7.5 like the Timeline, playback improvements, sharing options and more. You’ll also want to know about the 7.5.1 update.

Music handwriting and recognition products

output_Guv6ojStaffPad is a music handwriting app that’s real — and it’s spectacular. 145 comments and not one about the Seinfeld reference! This review doesn’t yada-yada it; it covers in detail what was surely the most exciting new product in the field so far this year.

Touch Notation by Kawai: A promising music handwriting app for iOS. Shortly after StaffPad was announced for Windows-only devices, Kawai released a modestly priced and remarkably full-featured music handwriting and gesture-based app for iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone.

Neuratron releases PhotoScore 8, including NotateMe for desktops. See a pattern here? Music handwriting and recognition apps are having their moment. Alongside improvements to PhotoScore, NotateMe 3 came out with a desktop version for the first time.

Other product and technology news

musescore-wb@2xMuseScore 2.0 released. We interview MuseScore’s co-founder and CEO Thomas Bonte as the feature-packed MuseScore 2 becomes officially available. Also consider adding Mastering MuseScore, a helpful guide, to your summer reading list.

Duet turns your iPad into a second computer display. Use your iPad as a second display with Duet, an app designed by former Apple engineers.

Sam Butler and Joe Pearson on Sibelius Cloud Publishing. Avid’s key Sibelius point people speak about the upcoming Sibelius Cloud Publishing technology, its purpose, and future, with more information here.

Finale 2014.5 on the horizon. Included in a roundup of news is the nugget that the next update from MakeMusic to Finale will be a free update called Finale 2014.5 (more from the Finale blog).

NotePerformer 1.5. After a 1.4 update to the integrated Sibelius playback module left some users dissatisfied, NotePerformer 1.5 addressed user concerns with adjustments and enhancements.

Norfolk text font updated to support ligatures in dynamics. There’s an update to Norfolk, the Sibelius-compatible version of the Bravura font, which will now automatically support ligated dynamics.


Ben020-2An interview with Ben Finn, co-founder of Sibelius, Part 1 and Part 2. Sibelius co-founder Ben Finn speaks to us in Part 1 about the early days of Sibelius, evolving the software, and growing the company into the market leader. In Part 2, he talks about selling Sibelius to Avid, events after the sale, marketplace developments, and the state of the field today.

An interview with Daniel Spreadbury. Well-known to blog readers, this extensive interview with Daniel Spreadbury covers Steinberg’s scoring program, technology, music engraving, the state of the field, and more.

An interview with David William Hearn, creator of StaffPad. Learn more about the inspiration behind StaffPad, in this interview with its creator, David William Hearn.

Finale 2014d and beyond: a discussion with MakeMusic. Coming late last year, we had a breakfast discussion with top MakeMusic employees about the future of their products and of the field.

Tips and tutorials

gaw@2xThree new plug-ins from Kenneth Gaw will make your life easier. With three new Sibelius plug-ins and an updated fourth, developer Kenneth Gaw has once again found solutions to save you time, keystrokes and mouse-clicks so that you can produce better results more quickly.

What’s with those strange-looking accidentals? Here’s how to correct the occasional strange accidental symbol making mischief in your score.

Correct voice positioning problems with Narrow Two Voices plug-in. If you work with music that uses two voices and have been stymied by Sibelius’s stubborn positioning defaults, you need this longtime plug-in staple in your toolbox.

Scale Notehead Sizes. Bob Zawalich creates a new plug-in to easily resize noteheads in Sibelius — making quick work of what was previously a time-consuming task.

Route Sibelius or Finale MIDI to Logic via IAC bus. Did you know that, with just a little bit of effort, you can route your MIDI from Sibelius or Finale through Logic Pro? This tutorial will walk you through the steps.

Harp support in Sibelius. Bob Zawalich gives us a helpful roundup of the variety of tips and plug-ins to help the notation and playback of harp passages in Sibelius.

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