Music notation software and macOS High Sierra [updated]


Today Apple is releasing macOS High Sierra (10.13), the newest iteration of its Mac operating system. High Sierra’s most significant change is its use of a new file system, Apple File System (APFS), for computers with all-flash storage. High Sierra brings a number of other new features, too, but on this blog we’ll focus on its compatibility with desktop music notation software: Sibelius, Finale, Dorico, MuseScore, and Notion.

If you’re using any of these products with High Sierra, please share your experience in the comments section.

Updated September 25 at 12:47 pm with additional information about Finale.
Updated October 1 with a link to the Avid Knowledge Base article.
Updated October 20 with additional information about Classic SmartMusic.
Updated November 9 with additional information about Finale.
Updated November 16 with additional information about Sibelius.
Updated February 12, 2018 with additional information about Dorico.

We’ll continue to update this post as warranted.


Avid’s Sam Butler said (November 16):

Sibelius and Sibelius First 8.7.2 is now supported on macOS High Sierra. Although I’m sure earlier versions of Sibelius 8 will likely work, we haven’t tested anything other than the latest versions.

Note on compatibility: Sibelius will only run when the hard drive is formatted in non-case-sensitive formatting. This is the default, so in general everyone will be safe. If you have purposely reformatted your hard drive to be case sensitive, which you need to have tried quite hard to do, then Sibelius’ playback and other features won’t work well at all.

Additional information may be found in this Avid Knowledge Base article.


On November 9, 2017, MakeMusic released Finale 25.5, with improved support for High Sierra.

More information is found in this MakeMusic Knowledge Base article.

An update to Classic SmartMusic (as of October 20) is available to provide compatibility with the new Apple File System. MakeMusic says “Note that this update offers no features beyond addressing issues for some High Sierra users. If you’re using an earlier MacOS (or are not experiencing problems with classic SmartMusic) we suggest not installing this update.” [Knowledge Base article]


Dorico is listed as “Compatible” with High Sierra in this Steinberg help document, as of February 7, 2018.

Steinberg’s Daniel Spreadbury said (September 25):

For High Sierra we’re not aware of any issues at the moment, but I would still urge caution before taking the plunge, particularly with regard to how older applications (not Dorico or its component bits and bobs, I might add) might fare if you convert your drive’s filesystem to APFS.


MuseScore’s Thomas Bonte said (September 25):

We have currently no knowledge of compatibility issues between MuseScore 2.1 and macOS High Sierra. We reached out to several users these past weeks who have been using MuseScore 2.1 on macOS 10.13, and they reported that for them everything is working as expected.

We’d love to get more feedback, though, before we can safely advise all the MuseScore users on Mac to upgrade to 10.13. So if any MuseScore 2.1 users are successfully running 2.1 on the latest macOS, please let me know via our forums, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, or via e-mail.


In a Knowledge Base article, PreSonus said that their testing with pre-release and beta versions of High Sierra (10.13) has shown that Notion is working correctly, but advised caution:

If you want to run 10.13 High Sierra, we strongly suggest that you create a separate partition on your hard drive and install OS X 10.13 there in a multi-boot configuration so that you can test all of your software installations separately. When we deem it safe to upgrade to High Sierra, we will notify all registered users and update this article here.


  1. Derek Jones

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Derek. I’ve updated the post to include this information.

  2. André

    I use Dorico and Sibelius 8 with High Sierra since a month or so, started with the publich beta. I didn’t experience any problems.

  3. Hans Nel

    As a Windows 10 “Insider” I have had some issues with the Soundcard Drivers. Especially the inboard 5.1 sound drivers for the Windows Creators Fall upgrade. Switching from the 5.1 system to my external Focus rite SC makes my PC crash. Don’t know if creators fall edition is quite ready. More bugs needs to be fixed.

  4. Eric Crouch

    I’ve used Sibelius 8.6.1 with High Sierra since it was release and I’ve not noticed any problems. The same with sibelius 8.7 which i’ve just installed. In particular Sibelius 7 Sounds seem to work ok.

    1. Lawrence Killian

      Me too, no problems at all

      1. Michael Kummer

        Same thing here. Seems, the Avid people are not willing to lean to far out of the window. :-)

  5. Waldbaer

    Has anybody tested Sibelius 7.5 on High Sierra? I know, it’s old, but I moved to other notation software for new projects and don’t want to update to 8, so I like to know if I can still open/edit old Sibelius 7 projects on the current OS (I’m not on it either, so I can’t test it myself). I’ll appreciate any help!

  6. Danielle

    I’m running High Sierra too and just installed Sibelius 8.7.2. No joy in even getting it to open. Looks like I’m going to uninstall and put Sib 8.0 back on until I hear that it’s “safe” to try again.

  7. Kristy

    I’ve had nothing but trouble with Sibelius and the new macOS High Sierra.

    1. Danielle Burns

      It turned out that I had to do a full uninstall, following the directions from the AVID help desk. Once I got rid of hidden plist files and reinstalled I’ve had no problems. Here’s what I did (copy and pasted straight from the email from helpdesk)

      “Please try doing a clean install of Sibelius by referring to the link below:\

      Here is the download link for Sibelius 8.7.2:

      Sibelius 8.7.2

      Hope this helps.

  8. Apple Application Support

    Apple has been continuously made changes to the new Apple is releasing macOS High Sierra (10.13), the newest iteration of its Mac operating system.

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