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Sibelius
Sibelius | First

GENERAL features

Ideal for...

Composing, arranging, and publishing scores and parts of any size and complexity; creating notation worksheets and exercises for education Composing simple/moderate music with up to 16 staves
Availability Perpetual license (educational discount available), monthly or annual subscription, upgrade, crossgrade, trade-up, 5-pack, site license, network license Perpetual license, monthly or annual subscription, upgrade
Number of computers you can install a single copy on 2, for use by same person (e.g., desktop + laptop) 2, for use by same person (e.g., desktop + laptop)
User guide PDF (included); printed book available as a separate purchase PDF (included)
Software updates and support Access all new Sibelius releases and support—unlimited online help and one phone support call per month—through the included Avid All Access plan Access all new Sibelius | First releases with limited installation support through the included Avid All Access plan
Sibelius
Sibelius | First

NOTATION

Accidentals Normal, double, quarter-tones, bracketed Normal and double only, bracketed
Metadata Full set Common ones only
Bar numbers Full range of formats Limited
Barline types Single, double, repeat, dotted, early music Single, double, repeat only
Bars, irregular +
No, except pick-up bars
Beams cross-staff in (keyboard music) +
Beam/rest groupings Customizable Fixed

Brackets and braces

Customizable Fixed
Change transposition of tranposing instruments +
Chord symbols appearance and MIDI/text input Fully customizable Limited preset options
Cue (small) notes +
Dotted notes: single, double, triple
+
+
Guitar chord diagrams +
Limited
Guitar scale diagrams +
Guitar tab Full Basic only
Instruments Full customizable range Common, jazz, and world instruments only, with fixed number of staves
Jazz articulations: scoops, falls, doits, and plops +
+
Lines, custom +

Note values: 512th note (7 beams) to "long" (double breve)

+
+
Noteheads, custom +
Ossia staves +
Page numbers Customizable Automatic
Special symbols +
Split multirests in parts +
Staves Unlimited number Up to 16 per system
Tuplets Any (such as 2, 7, 44:31, and nested tuplets) Duplets (2:3) to nontuplets (9:8)
Sibelius
Sibelius | First

Playback

Advanced notation interpretation +
Edit MIDI data +
Included sounds Full range of professional-quality orchestral, jazz, pop, marching band, and percussion sounds in Sibelius Sounds (36 GB library) High-quality Sibelius | First Sounds (10 GB library)
Espressivo 2.0 Customizable rhythmic feel Presets only
Live Tempo (conduct playback by tapping) Record, edit, clear, and play back Live Tempo Limited—playback only

Play back markings on specified repeats

+
Playback of hairpins, rits, and accels
Adjustable Fixed
Playback of fermatas Adjustable Fixed

Words that affect playback (e.g. legato)

Editable Fixed
Sibelius
Sibelius | First

Utilities

Annotate +

Arrange: automatic arranging and orchestration

+

Comments (sticky notes)

+
+
Compare different scores or versions +
Copy and paste to Word and other programs +
Low resolution (96 dpi) only
Display timecode Customizable format Single format
Edit Dynamic Parts Full Limited
Edit word menus +
Export a log of changes to a score +
Export lyrics as text file +
+
Filters for editing similar objects +
Quick filters only
Find +
Focus on staves +
Graphics export (for creating worksheets and other content)
+
Highlight music +
+
Ideas Hub Over 2,000 library ideas, with the ability to capture and edit your own ideas and add to the score/library 300 library ideas, with the ability to capture your own ideas (editing not supported)
Import MusicXML files +
+
Instrument changes +
Join scores together +
Keyboard shortcuts Customizable Fixed
Lyric verses allowed Unlimited 5
Lyrics from text file +
Note input options Full Limited
Panorama scroll view +
+
Paper and desk textures Over 60 40
Part extraction +
Paste As Cue +

Plug-ins

Over 140 included 38 included
Inspector window to edit individual objects Full
Rehearsal marks Fully customizable Default only
Repeat structures Fully customizable Customizable
Rulers +
Score Starter: (40 genre-specific templates) +
Slide notes and rests +
+
Special page breaks +
Timeline window +
Swap voices +
Versions +
Save, view, and print only
Video, including timecode and hit points
+
Add video, add/edit hit points
Viewing options for Magnetic Layout, page margins, note colors, full screen, and more +
Worksheet Creator +
Sibelius
Sibelius | First

Publishing

Advanced layout features +
Auto Layout options +
Edit fonts Full Limited
Edit staff types +
Edit text styles +
Engraving rules (edit hundreds of) +
Headers/footers +
+
House Style import/export +
Import only
Intelligent Rests +
+
Magnetic Layout Fully customizable Fixed
Manage Dynamic Parts +
Manuscript papers (preset score layouts) Includes many; can create your own Includes a few; can't create your own
Multiple staff size Fully customizable Fixed
Note spacing rules Customizable Fixed
Reset position/design of objects +
Limited
Set default object positions +
Staff spacing +
Manual adjustment only
Sibelius
Sibelius | First

Exporting and Sharing

Audio recording export WAV, AIFF, and MP3 WAV and AIFF only
Avid Scorch optimized export (app available on the iTunes App Store) +
+
Email score as .sib or .pdf +
+
Graphics file export Standard bitmap and vector formats (SVG, EPS, PNG, JPG, BMP, TIFF, GIF, and PDF) PDF export only
MIDI file export—Type 0 and Type 1 for any device +
+
MusicXML file export (compressed or uncompressed) +
+
Previous version export +
+
Publish directly to ScoreExchange.com +
+
Scorch (browser plug-in) web page export +
+
Share to YouTube, Facebook, SoundCloud +
+
Video file (export your score as) +
+

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS*

Sibelius
Sibelius | First

WINDOWS

OS 64-bit Windows 7 (SP1 or later), Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 64-bit Windows 7 (SP1 or later), Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
RAM 1+ GB of RAM; 4+ GB of RAM recommended for Sibelius Sounds** 1+ GB of RAM; 4+ GB of RAM recommended for Sibelius | First Sounds**
Hard disk space 1 GB hard disk space for Sibelius installation; 36 GB additional disk space required (SSD preferred) for the Sibelius Sounds library** (optional installation) 1 GB hard disk space for Sibelius | First installation; 10 GB additional disk space required for the Sibelius | First Sounds library** (optional installation)

DVD-ROM

Drive required only for Media Pack installation n/a
Other Internet connection required for software download and activation; ASIO-compatible soundcard required for Sibelius Sounds Internet connection required for software download and activation; ASIO-compatible soundcard required for Sibelius | First Sounds
Sibelius
Sibelius | First

MAC

OS Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11 Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11
RAM 1+ GB of RAM; 4+ GB of RAM recommended for Sibelius Sounds** 1+ GB of RAM; 4+ GB of RAM recommended for Sibelius | First Sounds**
Hard disk space 1 GB hard disk space for Sibelius installation; 36 GB additional disk space required (SSD preferred) for the Sibelius Sounds library** (optional installation) 1 GB hard disk space for Sibelius | First installation; 10 GB additional disk space required for the Sibelius | First Sounds library** (optional installation)

DVD-ROM

Drive required only for Media Pack installation) n/a
Other Internet connection required for software download and activation Internet connection required for software download and activation

* If you have an external hardware MIDI playback device, please check to ensure a compatible sound set is available—see the list of sound sets supplied with Sibelius.  

** Please note that if your computer doesn't meet the recommended requirements for Sibelius or Sibelius | First Sounds, you can still use the library, but may find that you can’t use as many sounds simultaneously and that sounds may take a long time to load.