Avid has released Sibelius 2023.8 for desktop and mobile. This is primarily a maintenance update which adds an option for repeating the most recently executed command via the Redo function, improves the automatically generated chord symbol completion feature first introduced in Sibelius 2023.6, and resolves a number of outstanding items.
Sibelius 2023.8 adds an option to re-apply the most recently completed action, such as paste, applying a symbol from the gallery, transposition, and more. Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel have a similar feature — it only took a Sibelius update to make me aware of it!
Most likely you’re aware that Cmd+Y on Mac, or Ctrl+Y on Windows, triggers the Redo function — but until this update, only if that item was previously “undone” via Undo and you then decided to change your mind.
Now, in Sibelius 2023.8, if there are no more actions to redo, triggering Redo will repeat the most recently executed command. This is surprisingly helpful in a number of instances, particularly when there is no shortcut assigned to the command, or if it’s not easily memorized.
In today’s official post describing the feature, Avid’s Sam Butler and Joe Plazak offer a few examples, such as:
- Adding symbols will allow you to add the same symbol again, saving you the time of going back up to the gallery to find and recall the same symbol
- Adding an articulation from the Keypad works in the same way
- Transposition actions (such as Cmd+Up / Ctrl+Up to move by an octave) also apply
- A change made in the Inspector on desktop will apply the last value you chose (useful for changing X and Y properties to specific values)
- Setting options for key signatures and time signatures are retained
- Re-running a plug-in
- If you need to rapidly add bars to the end of your piece, or repeat a selection, or add special barlines, or alternate between two time signatures… etc.
On Sibelius for Mobile, you’ll notice that a Redo button as been added to the Keypad, for easy access; a three-finger swipe to the right also works.
Sibelius has always meticulously tracked everything you do, including the relatively banal actions of selecting and deselecting items. Helpfully, these sorts of things, along with such actions like dragging to move an object with the mouse, are ignored by the new enhanced redo command, even though they appear in the Undo queue. This is a wise choice so that the feature is actually usable.
Chord symbol auto-completion updates
First introduced in Sibelius 2023.6, the automatic chord symbol completion model based on built-in AI technology and trained on several data sets of classical music has been expanded to include scores created in-house, which Avid says “has improved the model with shorter form block chords and other simple vertical harmonic analysis.”
Sibelius 2023.8 now suggests results from the chord analyzer included with Sibelius, which also powers the shipping Add Chord Symbols plug-in (found at Text > Chord Symbols > Add From Notes).
This should result in increased accuracy and more chord types being recognized with automatic chord symbol completion in Sibelius 2023.8, compared to 2023.6, such as add9 and sus4 chords.
An issue has been fixed where the space bar would not control the navigation of chord symbols properly when the AI-Assisted Chord Symbols (Auto-Completion setting) were toggled on. The navigation will work as expected in Sibelius 2023.8.
Other improvements and fixes
There are a number of improvements and fixes in Sibelius 2023.8.
Notable among them is a fix for a long-standing issue that affected the printout of PDFs exported by Sibelius and printed using Adobe Acrobat, where noteheads and other items were missing. This issue first appeared in Sibelius 2019.12, and we had documented the issue as well as various workarounds and solutions on Scoring Notes.
It’s worth noting that, for PDFs exported from any version of Sibelius from 2019.12 through Sibelius 2023.6, you’ll either still need those solutions, or, if you have the Sibelius file, open it in Sibelius 2023.8 and re-export the PDF; in other words, simply installing Sibelius 2023.8 does not fix existing PDFs.
For other items as well as the official take on this release, consult the Avid post announcing this release.
Compatibility and availability
Mac users, take note: the minimum version of macOS Sibelius now supports is macOS 10.14 Mojave. Sibelius will no longer install on earlier versions of macOS.
Sibelius 2023.8 uses the same file format as Sibelius 2023.6 and Sibelius 2023.5.1, so you can share files among collaborators using either version. File saved directly in 2023.8 will not be able to be opened in an earlier version of Sibelius prior to 2023.5 without first exporting them in File > Export > Previous Version. If you’re collaborating with someone else that’s using a previous version, be sure to find out what version they’re using.
The Sibelius 2023.8 desktop update is free for all Sibelius users with active subscriptions and upgrade plans. The updated installers for desktop are available through users’ Avid accounts and through Avid Link.
The Sibelius 2023.8 iOS/iPadOS update is available in the usual way, and will be delivered automatically, or, if you’ve disabled automatic updates, you can manually update the app on your device. As previously mentioned in this article, the auto-completion feature only applies to the Ultimate and Artist tiers on the desktop, and is not available on Sibelius Mobile for iOS/iPad.
A reminder that if you’re an existing Sibelius customer with an active support plan or subscription, you get the mobile version at the same tier at no extra charge. If you have a subscription to Sibelius Artist (mid-tier) on your Mac or PC, that will carry over to Sibelius Artist for Mobile, and the same for Sibelius Ultimate — a Mac or PC subscription allows you full access to Sibelius Ultimate on iPhone and iPad.
For the latest information about compatibility for Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, and MuseScore, as well as links to the latest news and reviews about product releases, please see the Scoring Notes Product Guide.
Avid also has a “What’s New in Sibelius” page highlighting the features in recent Sibelius updates.