The Sibelius music notation software has a long and venerable history and is considered to be one of the premiere music notation software programs now on the market. The newest version, Sibelius 6, brings many new features to the table that for many users will make the upgrade worth the cost.
What exactly are these new features of Sibelius 6? Most of the changes center around usability in an educational environment, but all of the changes are still worthwhile to almost any user.
Changes in Sibelius 6
One of the more helpful (and occasionally annoying) things added to Sibelius 6 is the magnetic layout option. When used, this option automatically adjusts dynamics and other staff markings such as rehearsal marks so that they will not collide with each other. Think of it as automatically padding each marking with a few pixels of extra space.
When manually moving a marking the others magically move out the way to avoid colliding with it. Of course, when used with older scores that have extensive manual adjustments this can get a little confusing at first, but the entire magnetic layout option is turned off with a simple click.
For teachers and those that do extensive rewrites of their music the new version tracking feature is also well worth the upgrade. Instead of overwriting files each time a change is made a user can choose to save a version of the file, allowing them to easily go back in time to an earlier rewrite if they decide that they are not happy with the way the composition is going.
For teachers this makes a great teaching tool for composition classes, but perhaps the most anticipated addition for educational purposes is the commenting feature. Much like little virtual post-it notes, a user can add comments to any part of the musical score in Sibelius 6, allowing specific problem sections or errors to be pointed out easily rather than having to reference measure numbers or other parts of the music.
Other notable improvements to the Sibelius 6 music notation software program include things like improved chord symbols and support for ReWire, a way to connect and integrate Sibelius 6 with other well known music writing programs like Garage Band and Logic.