Change the startup sound in Sibelius


As much as you may like Sibelius (the composer), you may not be keen on hearing the same excerpt of one of his symphonies every time you launch Sibelius (the application).

If not, go to File > Preferences > Other and uncheck “Play music” under When Sibelius 7 Starts:

uncheck-play-music copy

But what if, instead of hearing the serene sounds of Jean Sibelius, you wanted to hear something a little more exciting — say, for instance, the theme to ABC/ESPN’s Monday Night Football?*

Are you ready for some music? Here’s how, on Mac. (The PC process should be similar, but perhaps users can chime in with the analogous instructions for PC.)

  • Be sure “Play music” is checked (not unchecked like above)
  • Quit Sibelius if it isn’t running
  • Right-click (or control-click) on the Sibelius application
  • On Mac, go to the folder Contents > Components > Resources
  • Locate the file Startup Sound.wav
  • Make a copy of it just in case (i.e., to your Desktop), then delete it
  • You will be prompted for your administrator password
  • Make a new wave file in your favorite audio editor, and name it Startup Sound.wav
  • Copy or move this new file into the same location from which you just deleted the previous file

Start Sibelius and have your own Monday Night Party every day:


Keep in mind that while harmless, this procedure is not officially supported, and you may lose your new startup sound if you install any updates to Sibelius.

*British readers will recognize this as a tune called “Heavy Action” composed by Johnny Pearson.


  1. Bernie Cossentino

    I tend to prefer the Fox NFL football theme. But either way, as a safety precaution, we may have to warn Sibelius users to wear a helmet in case the music inspires a “hard count” into the monitor :)

    1. Philip Rothman

      Well done, Bernie! I just can’t get past my impression that the opening of the Fox NFL theme sounds like the bridge to Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, though.

    2. Clarke Isackson

      Thanks so much for the instructions for shutting off the overused snippet of Sibelius when Sibelius starts. After years of silence I put the app on a new computer and realized I needed an immediate cure for hearing this trudging sludgy intrusion into my quiet 3am working environment.

      1. Philip Rothman

        Silence is golden!

  2. Justin Tokke

    Ah! Just what I always wanted! Now to change that sound to a Mahler Symphony…

  3. Neil Sands

    The equivalent file on my Windows 8 system is at C:\ProgramData\Avid\Sibelius 7\Resources\Startup Sound.wav. I’ve not tried it out but I’d imagine the process is the same.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Neil!

  4. Bernie Cossentino

    Neil’s advice for Windows 8 is the same for Windows 7. Beware that you may have to change your folder option settings to view your ProgramData folders (usually hidden by default). To do this, you’ll need to access the Control Panel\appearance and personalization\folder options.

    If you happen to have Sibelius 7 on Win XP, the startup sound file would be located in your Documents and Settings\All Users\Application data\Avid\Siblius 7\Resources.

    For those of us still working with Sibelius 6, it’s easier (look in your program folder under resources).

    In all cases, at least under Windows, the file must be in WAV format (I tried mp3 and m4a, they don’t work).

    1. Tommy

      Thanks so much for that tip, it also works on Windows 10.
      I actually changed it to exactly the same thing as before but played by a real orchestra…

  5. Ralph L. Bowers Jr.

    Nice !!!

    Can’t wait to personalize the startup sound.

    Question: How long does the startup wave file need to span? I’d like it to be shorter than what is currently played on opening Sibelius.

  6. Matti Ruippo

    Unfortunately I could not find the Startup Sound.wav from the location you mentioned. OSX 10.8.5, Sibelius 7.1.3
    Nor could the Find command find this file.

  7. Kevin

    Haha, I changed it to

    It sounds so bizarre to not have that orchestral melody playing.

  8. Christopher Thorstenson

    This is what I have playing when I start it up: Best way to wake up in the morning when going to write music!

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