Dolet 8.2 MusicXML plug-in for Sibelius is released [updated]


Updated: On January 4, 2023, MakeMusic released Dolet 8.3. In addition to the items described below for Dolet 8.2, Dolet 8.3 adds support for new features available to plug-ins when used with Sibelius Ultimate 2022.12 and later:

  • Dotted and thick barlines are now exported.
  • The “Wings on repeat barlines” engraving rule is now used while exporting repeats.

MakeMusic has released Dolet 8.2 for Sibelius, the second maintenance update to Dolet 8, the free plug-in that writes MusicXML files that can then be read and used in more than 200 applications that support the interchange format.

What’s new in Dolet 8.2

Notably, this is the first version of the plug-in to be released under the MIT License, rather than the more restrictive license used in previous versions.

Dolet 8.2 brings the following features and fixes:

  • Figured bass is now exported, with the exceptions of figured bass that changes under a note and figured bass extensions.
  • Text tracking is now exported.
  • The percussion clef glyph is now exported.
  • The octave-down treble clef glyph is now exported if it differs from the commonly used treble clef with an 8 below.
  • Changes to octave-transposing clefs now take the instrument transposition into account when exported.
  • Exporting the end points of ties that start on tuplets has been improved.
  • Exporting the end points of cross-staff slurs and glissandos has been improved.
  • Exporting flat symbols in part names has been improved.
  • Exporting text that changes to a music text font midway through has been improved.
  • TAB clefs no longer export a line element.

If you haven’t yet upgraded to Dolet 8, it adds MusicXML 4.0 support, including MusicXML 3.1 features that were not available in Dolet 6 for Sibelius. Highlights include: concert scores now export transposition information, including alternate clefs for transposed parts; cross-staff notation is exported starting with Sibelius 2021.9; dynamic parts can be exported all at once using the new Export Parts to MusicXML menu item; page-aligned text is now exported, except for headers and footers.

See our news items announcing the release of Dolet 8 and Dolet 8.1 for more information about what was introduced in those versions.

Using Dolet

To save a Sibelius score as a MusicXML file, go to the Plug-ins button (on the Home tab) and find the MusicXML category. Then select the Export MusicXML item.

You can also access the plug-in directly from Command Search, but be certain you select the Dolet version (Plug-in) and not the built-in Sibelius command:

You will then see a standard save dialog box asking where to save the XML file. By default, this will be the same as your existing Sibelius file name, with “.musicxml” used instead of “.sib” for the file extension.

You may translate an entire folder of Sibelius files to MusicXML format. This batch routine will overwrite any MusicXML files with the same name that are currently in that folder. Use the “Translate Folder of Scores to MusicXML” menu item to save MusicXML files from your Sibelius files.

You may translate all the dynamic parts in a Sibelius file to MusicXML format. Use the “Export Parts to MusicXML” menu item to save MusicXML files for each dynamic part. This will export MusicXML part files into the same folder as the currently open score, including the part number and name in each file name. This will overwrite any MusicXML files with the same name that are currently in that folder.

Availability and compatibility

To get Dolet, download it for free from MakeMusic’s MusicXML web site, for either Mac or Windows, and follow the installation instructions. A MakeMusic account is required (free registration). It’s also available from the open source GitHub repository.

Dolet 8 for Sibelius only works with Sibelius Ultimate 2019.5 and later. To export MusicXML files from Sibelius 5.1 through Sibelius Ultimate 2019.4.1, you will need to use the Dolet 6 for Sibelius plug-in.

Of course, Sibelius has its own built-in MusicXML export feature, found in File > Export > MusicXML. You should try both methods and compare the results depending on how you intend to use the resulting file. In particular, Dolet 8 for Sibelius is limited to the musical information provided in ManuScript. On the other hand, Dolet 8 has a much richer set of features and up-to-date MusicXML 4.0 support, and is created directly by MakeMusic, which has been supporting MusicXML longer than any notation software company, dating back to Finale 2003, and was the first to implement MusicXML 4.0 support with Finale v27.

MusicXML’s development occurs under the auspices of the W3C Music Notation Community Group.

The future of Dolet

As just noted above, MakeMusic has been actively developing Dolet under the supervision of Michael Good, its vice president for MusicXML technologies. However, once Michael Good retires in January 2023, MakeMusic will not be maintaining or supporting the Dolet plug-in. MakeMusic expects to make the source code repository public soon for the convenience of open-source developers, who will be permitted to use it and develop it further, in accordance with the MIT License.

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


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