Norfolk text font updated to support ligatures in dynamics


Some Friday font fun: The Norfolk Text Std font, part of the Sibelius-compatible family of Bravura-derived Norfolk fonts, has been updated so that ligated dynamics automatically appear.

The newer, ligated version of the Norfolk Text dynamics is on the second staff
The newer, ligated version of the Norfolk Text dynamics is on the second staff

The change is most noticeable on dynamics such as “mp” and “ppp”, but subtle changes are visible on other dynamics as well. In the above example, the old version is on the first staff, and the newest version is on the second staff.

We’re accustomed to seeing ligatures in ordinary text, as shown in the lyrics in the example above. Sibelius supports automatic ligatures, including those in music text, as long as the ligatures are defined in the font.

The generous Sibelius expert Robin Walker identified the need for this in Norfolk Text and has spent a good deal of time over the last couple of weeks making sure that the font works well in Sibelius 6 and higher. Full credit for this update goes to him. Thanks, Robin!

We expect that when Steinberg’s scoring program is released, dynamics will appear this way by default, as they already do in programs that use the original SMuFL version of Bravura, like StaffPad and MuseScore 2.

In Finale‘s Maestro font, which shares a common ancestor with Bravura, the precomposed glyphs for dynamics such as “mp” use a ligated form as well.

We are optimistic that pre-sets for the Norfolk fonts (though not the fonts themselves) will be included in a future Sibelius update, which means that users will simply be able to select Norfolk from the list of music fonts in Text > Format > Edit All Fonts and not need to spend time first setting it up in File > Preferences > Music Fonts. Until then, though, it is necessary to do so, so be sure to carefully read the documentation included with the font suite to get going with it in Sibelius.

Various other small fixes are included in this update, so head on over to the NYC Music Services page to download the entire set for free, if you haven’t already. If you’ve downloaded the Norfolk fonts previously by registering your e-mail address, you have already been notified of the update with a link sent to you via e-mail.



  1. arthur eastwood

    How could this happen? The first and second trombone parts in a full score (big band) became altered in pitch and rhythmic notation in a few measures at random. I had saved the original version and gone away for an hour. Upon return, the parts were altered. can anyone explain why this would happen? Very frustrating. Art

    1. Philip Rothman

      Are you saying this happened when you installed the Norfolk font? Or is this more of a general Sibelius question? If so, please try visiting the forum for help.

  2. Joseph

    os: Windows 7
    os_add: Service Pack 1
    software: Sibelius 6.2
    question: After loading the Norfolk font, per the instructions, importing the house style into an existing score, and doing the Text ▶ Styles ▶ Edit Text Styles and edit the Special symbols II, all of my dotted notes display with an “8” instead of a “.” when I print to a PDF. I have checked embed all fonts in the PDF printer. Any thoughts?

  3. John

    Perhaps it’s me, but I can’t see any difference between the dynamics on the first staff and those on the second.

    1. Philip Rothman

      John, notice how on the first staff, the “mp” is two separate characters, while on the second staff, it’s one conjoined, or ligated character. With the new Norfolk update, Sibelius will automatically combine it when you type “mp”. The ligatures on “mf” and “ppp” are not as noticeable, but still present.

      1. John

        Thanks, Philip. I see what you mean, now I look REALLY close!

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