updated 05:00 pm EDT, Tue July 5, 2005
Sibelius 4 released
Sibelius today launched , a major upgrade to its flagship notation software. The upgrade software offers dozens of improvements, no longer supports Mac OS 9, and offers many optimizations for Mac OS X, including drag-and-drop installation, full support for multi-user environments, MLTE and ATSUI for text editing and rendering, Quartz and OpenGL for anti-aliased screen display, and updated printing for faster and sharper output. The company also says that Sibelius 4 is the first notation program to enable you to write music to video, produce teaching materials in seconds, and instantly revise instrumental parts. It features over 1700 worksheets and curriculum resources, a new Dynamic Part feature to produce separate instrumental parts, new Auto Layout functions for easy printing, and more.
"We consulted our users very carefully in designing this upgrade. We collaborated with a wide range of experts from around the world to present a substantial body of educational content and have responded to the increasing popularity of film score and TV soundtrack composition with our new video feature. With Sibelius 4 we have returned to our themes of simplicity, elegance and efficiency to transform working with scores and parts," said CEO Jeremy Silver.
The Dynamic Parts feature can help users produce separate instrumental parts, such as for orchestral or band music. Whenever users make revisions to a full score, Sibelius 4 now instantly updates all of the relevant parts. The unique Worksheet Creator enables teachers and educators to create instant teaching materials by choosing from over 1700 ready-made worksheets, exercises, pieces, posters, reference material and other resources. Educators can then print the materials out, offer an online version for students to fill out, or publish them on the new web site SibeliusEducation.com, which allows students to view, play back and print from anywhere. The Worksheet Creator also provides a completed answer sheet to compare against.
The company says that Sibelius is "the first ever" notation program that supports video composition on the screen. Users can add any video file to a score, which is then displayed on the screen in a video window, and plays in sync with the music.
"In fact, whether you're writing music, playing back, fast-forwarding or rewinding, you can always see exactly what's happening in the video at any point in the score, and vice versa. You can also add 'hit points' to mark important visual events in the score, which make it easy to make the music fit the action."
Other features include the ability to copy and paste music straight from Sibelius 4 into other programs such as Microsoft Word, new music publishing features such as the inclusion of the Helsinki music font and Optical rules for positioning ties and beams, and 11 new plug-ins--including everything from harmonizing tunes to copying groups of slurs and articulations. The company also says version 4 comes with an expanded set of on-screen tutorials and reference guides.
Upgrades are $130 for education customers, $170 for professional customers, and $430 for a 5-user lab pack. Full licenses are $100 for students, $330 for the educational version, and $600 for the professional version.