Beta testers sought for Dolet 8, the MusicXML plug-in for Sibelius


MakeMusic is seeking beta testers to give the tires a good kick on its free Dolet plug-in for Sibelius. Although Sibelius has its own built-in MusicXML export function, Dolet exports MusicXML differently from the native Sibelius feature.

It has been more than five years since Dolet was updated — April 2016, to be exact — and, as MakeMusic’s Michael Good says, they “wanted to take advantage of the new features of both MusicXML 4.0 and Sibelius’s ManuScript programming language to get better MusicXML files out of Sibelius. This should make it easier for people to transfer their music from Sibelius into SmartMusic, Finale, and other music notation apps.”

Dolet has a long and rich history from its days as revolutionary proprietary software produced by Recordare, the company that Michael started. It was eventually acquired by MakeMusic and made free to use.

Listen to the podcast episode

If you’ve ever needed to open a music notation file in a different program, you’ve relied on MusicXML to do it. Michael Good invented this now-ubiquitous established format two decades ago. On the Scoring Notes podcast, David MacDonald and Philip Rothman talk with Michael and find out how it happened. Listen now:

Scoring Notes
Scoring Notes
Michael Good, the inventor of MusicXML


If you use Sibelius and rely on MusicXML to share your files with users of other software — or, if you use other software but need to open up Sibelius — you may be an ideal candidate for the Dolet beta testing program, which opens this week. No date is given for Dolet 8’s public release, but one presumes that the more and more qualified the beta testers are, the sooner we might see it out for all to use!

There are 50 new features and fixes available in this beta release. Here are just 10 of the highlights, according to Michael:

  1. Concert scores now export transposition information, including alternate clefs for transposed parts.
  2. Concert scores with octave-transposing parts such as guitar and piccolo now export correctly.
  3. Cross-staff notation is exported starting with Sibelius 2021.9.
  4. Dynamic parts can be exported all at once using the new Export Parts to MusicXML menu item.
  5. Page-aligned text is now exported except for headers and footers.
  6. Many more standard symbols are now exported.
  7. System directions export with the system attribute, providing better results when creating parts from an imported score.
  8. Text that mixes dynamics or musical symbols with words now export correctly.
  9. Metronome marks with numeric ranges now export correctly.
  10. Batch export no longer prompts for saving after each file.

So head over to MakeMusic’s site, read the details (it requires at least Sibelius Ultimate 2019.5 or later, for instance), and, if you’re interested, apply to the Dolet 8 beta testing program.

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