News roundup: Dorico, Sibelius, Windows 10, Symphony Pro, Newzik [updated]


Updated October 22 with information about Dorico and Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Updated October 24 with information about MuseScore and StaffPad.

Whether your weekend has already started or you’ve still got several more hours to wrap up on this mid-autumn Friday, take a moment to catch up on some little news items from the past couple of weeks in the world of music notation software and technology. Nothing scary here, but we can’t say the same for the Halloween costumes in our future!

Dorico crossgrade extended indefinitely

Dorico officially turned one year old yesterday. Its birthday may have passed without any fanfare, but the Steinberg team is eager to add more people to the party. To that end, Steinberg announced last month that the Dorico crossgrade offer, which had seen each of its expiration dates extended every time, is now extended “until further notice”.

As of October 1, the only products that qualify for the discounted pricing are the professional versions of Sibelius (perpetual licensees as well as subscribers for 12 months or more) and Finale. Notion is no longer a qualifying product.

Educational users with valid proof of eligibility are entitled to further discounts.

Crossgrade pricing may vary in your region of the world. In the US, the Dorico crossgrade price is $280, and $160 for educational users. Those prices are nearly exactly half of what they cost without the crossgrade ($560 and $330, respectively).

Sibelius 8.7.1 released

Earlier this week, Avid released Sibelius 8.7.1. The only new item in this update from 8.7.0 is a fix to “a rare problem where Sibelius couldn’t open Avid Activation Manager when clicking the Activate button. It could, in some even rarer cases prevent a user from saving their work,” according to senior product manager Sam Butler.

If you’re using 8.7.0 successfully, there is no reason to update to 8.7.1, but if you’ve had trouble activating or working with 8.7.0, you’ll want to head over to your Avid account page and download the update.

If you missed any of the recent Sibelius updates, read about the new Cloud Sharing feature in 8.7, and the introduction of magnetic glissandi lines in 8.6 (with subsequent updates in 8.6.1).

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

A few days ago, Microsoft began to roll out the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to PCs that support it. We can have fun with the term “mixed reality” but it’s a new feature in this latest iteration of the OS, which includes a number of other improvements.

For the most part, Sibelius, Finale, Dorico, MuseScore, and StaffPad are working well with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

MuseScore’s Thomas Bonte said:

MuseScore is ready for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Starting in April this year, we had been actively working with several members of the MuseScore community to make this possible.

MuseScore 2 is also available in the Windows Store which means that Windows 10 users will automatically get future MuseScore 2.x updates.

StaffPad’s David William Hearn said:

We updated StaffPad a while ago to be fully compatible with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. We had to make quite a few changes, but thankfully all done under the hood, under the radar and ahead of time to avoid any interruption for people.

In Dorico, when you try to open a Dorico project located in your OneDrive folder, Dorico will fail to open the project and show the message “Error opening file.” On Steinberg’s support site, it says:

There is currently no solution for this problem: a forthcoming update to Dorico will introduce a fix. In the meantime, you will need to copy any Dorico projects, MusicXML or MIDI files you wish to open in Dorico from your OneDrive folder to another folder on your computer, and open them from there. Alternatively, you can disable the Files On-Demand feature.

If you’re looking for the latest news about notation software compatibility with macOS High Sierra, see this post.

Newzik Bluetooth pedal giveaway; conductor display

The enterprising team at Newzik is holding a contest in which the winner will receive a free Bluetooth page turning pedal of their choice among the Airturn PED, IRig Blueturn or Pageflip Firefly. Entrants to the contest need to like, comment, and share the Newzik Facebook page. The contest closes on October 26, 2017.

Of more lasting interest is Newzik’s progress on a large-screen conductor display and stand — the equivalent of two A3-size pages side-by-side. A prototype of the display was used in an October 1 concert of the Orchestre Colonne with Laurent Petitgirard conducting and using the screen.

Newzik is aiming to release this product soon. At the NAMM 2017 show I tested their prototype of a conductor baton with a Bluetooth transmitter in the base of the baton to turn pages simultaneously which conducting. Perhaps it will go hand-in-hand (or shall we say “baton-in-hand”) with the new display!

Symphony Pro 5 released with handwriting support

The venerable iOS app Symphony Pro has been updated to version 5, with the main new feature being support for handwriting recognition (via an in-app purchase). The new version has features specific to the Apple Pencil, along with numerous other new features.

Handwriting recognition in Symphony Pro 5

We’ll have a full review of Symphony Pro 5 on this site later.


  1. Bill

    I don’t see Sibelius 8.7.1 listed in the Application Manager or mentioned on the forum

    1. Philip Rothman

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