New features

Get easier access to just the core Sibelius tools

If you’re new to music notation or a composing enthusiast who doesn’t need all of the advanced arranging, engraving, and customization features of Sibelius, Sibelius | First 8 is the perfect accompanist. And it’s now more affordable than ever. Subscribe on a low-cost monthly or annual basis. Purchase and own the software outright. Or upgrade from an older version. Plus, you’ll have access to all new Sibelius | First releases through the included upgrade plan. 

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Hear your score like never before

Just like big brother Sibelius, Sibelius | First now delivers more expressive playback with Espressivo 2. This revamped playback mode can interpret the nuances in your score better than ever before, so all of your instrumentation sounds more cohesive, fluid, and natural. It also enables you to add a more realistic rhythmic feel to any individual part in your score easily by simply selecting from a variety of presets.

Compose at warp speed

Sibelius | First includes many of the same enhancements and improvements found in the latest version of Sibelius. Slide notes and rests using keyboard shortcuts. Color individual notes and/or chords to highlight parts or make them easier to read or learn. Stay up to date with the new Application Manager. Create on the latest Mac and Windows OSs. And enjoy an even smoother composing experience with over 200 software improvements.

Work faster and with more detail 

See every detail of your score in stunning clarity. Sibelius | First 8 features an updated interface and adds new support for high-resolution Windows displays. Gain faster access to the features you need most with new and improved icons that appear in the ribbon and floating windows. And save time with new Magnetic Layout enhancements, which automatically reposition rests optimally in your score.

Write music with a pen on a Surface Pro 3

Sibelius | First has been optimized for the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet, enabling you to add and edit notes quickly with just a tap of the pen, as well as play music in real time using the software’s onscreen keyboard and fretboard. Use the Surface Pen’s buttons to select, erase, and edit your music—ideal when handwriting music with the included PhotoScore & NotateMe Lite. You can even drag the score around and resize objects while inputting notes.

Interact with scores using multi-touch gestures

If you’re working on a laptop with a trackpad or using a Surface Pro 3, you can quickly zoom in and out of your score by simply using a pinch-zoom gesture, making navigation and editing easier. You can even set predefined zoom levels to zoom in and out with a quick double-tap.

Compose music quickly and easily

Start composing right away

With the intuitive task-based interface leading you through the entire creative process from start to finish, you can jump in and start writing music immediately. Choose if you’d rather enter or play notes to add them to your score. Let the software take care of all note layout, orientation, and rest details for you. Hear how your compositions will sound in real life. And save time with automatic chord symbol recognition. 

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Input notes with speed and ease

Sibelius | First gives you the flexibility to input notes in a variety of ways. Use your mouse to click and add notes from the onscreen note keypad, the piano keyboard window, or fretboard window. Use your computer keyboard to input notes or even play it like a piano. Or play notes on your MIDI keyboard using Step Time or Flexitime. And there’s no fussing with the layout, as all correct rests and note appearances are handled automatically for you. 

Perfect scores in half the time

Spend more time writing music instead of fixing it. Magnetic Layout takes care of almost every detail of score layout—effortlessly. As you write, it automatically gives everything just the right amount of space and avoids collisions to produce beautiful results. This single feature can cut writing time in half. And Dynamic Parts automatically creates and updates separate instrumental parts when you change your score.

Get more ways to create

Sibelius | First comes with two companion applications that give you more ways to input notes for composition, editing, or rearranging. With AudioScore Lite, you can input notes by singing or playing a monophonic instrument through a microphone, or turn recorded CD tracks into notation. And with PhotoScore & NotateMe Lite, you can turn printed, PDF, and JPEG sheet music into editable scores—and even handwrite music.

Hear your scores in stunning detail

Want to hear what your score sounds like so far—or will sound like when performed in real life? Play back your composition in beautiful detail with the exclusive collection of high-quality sampled instrument sounds. You can also use your own VST and AU virtual instruments and effects, as well as such world-famous sound libraries as EastWest/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphonic Library, Synful Orchestra, and others.

Get inspired

Got writer’s block? No need to fret. Check out the Score Starter and Ideas library to kick-start your creativity. Get started fast with 40 genre-specific Score Starter templates. And gain further inspiration with the Ideas Hub, featuring 300 library ideas at your disposal to rev up your creative flow. You can even capture your own ideas for future use. 

Build up your score

With support for up to 16 staves, you can create rich compositions with a multitude of instrument parts. But it’s not just about notes. You can add chord symbols and guitar chord diagrams by simply playing a chord on a MIDI device or typing suffix elements, thanks to automatic chord symbol recognition. Turn guitar tab into notation and back again. And easily add lyrics, titles, text, and graphics to round out your score

Collaborate, share, and do more with your scores

Collaborate with others

Sibelius | First makes it easy to share and work on scores with other composers—whether they use Sibelius | First, Sibelius, Finale, Encore, Forte, or other music notation software. Simply use MusicXML to export or import scores from or to Sibelius | First. You can also communicate ideas, feedback, and comments to others by adding sticky notes directly onto your score.

Share your music with the world

What fun is it to write music if you can’t share it? Sibelius | First gives you tons of options. Export scores as an audio or video file and share it directly to YouTube, SoundCloud, or Facebook for everyone to hear. Publish scores online, including directly to ScoreExchange.com. And even print, email, or export scores as MIDI, MusicXML, or PDF files for further collaboration or performance.

Practice and perform with your iPad

Got an iPad? Transform it into an interactive music stand and score library for practice and performance. Simply download the Avid Scorch app for iPad from the iTunes App Store and then export your Sibelius | First score as an Avid Scorch file. With Avid Scorch on your iPad, you can view scores and adapt them to your instrument by transposing the music, changing instruments, or even converting to and from guitar tab.

Go further with the full version of Sibelius

When you're ready to take your composing capabilities to the next level, move up to Sibelius at a 50% discount. Sibelius offers more advanced tools, unlimited staves, and the ability to customize just about every piece of your score. Compose, arrange, engrave, and publish scores with the massive 36 GB sound library, comprehensive arrangement and typography tools, Timeline and Annotate features, part extraction capabilities, and so much more.

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