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Sibelius | First
Sibelius
Sibelius | Ultimate

GENERAL features

Ideal for...

Composing simple scores with up to 4 instrument parts (staves) Composing simple/moderate music with up to 16 staves Composing, arranging, and publishing scores and parts of any size and complexity; creating notation worksheets and exercises for education
Availability Available for free for anyone to download and use Subscribe monthly or annually, or purchase and own a perpetual license Subscribe monthly or annually, purchase and own a perpetual license (educational discount available), trade-up from other notation software, or get network licensing
Number of computers you can install a single copy on N/A 2, for use by same person (e.g., desktop + laptop) 2, for use by same person (e.g., desktop + laptop)
Software updates and support Download the latest update as it becomes available Access all new releases and Standard support through a subscription or renewable 1-Year Software Updates + Support Plan (included with new perpetual licenses) Access all new releases and Standard support through a subscription or renewable 1-Year Software Updates + Support Plan (included with new perpetual licenses)
Sibelius | First
Sibelius
Sibelius | Ultimate

NOTATION

Accidentals Normal and double only Normal and double only, bracketed Normal, double, quarter-tones, bracketed
Metadata Common ones only Common ones only Full set
Bar numbers Limited Limited Full range of formats
Barline types Single, double, repeat only Single, double, repeat only Single, double, repeat, dotted, early music
Bars, irregular No No, except pick-up bars +
Beams cross-staff in (keyboard music) +
Beam/rest groupings Fixed Fixed Customizable
Brackets and braces Fixed Fixed Customizable
Change transposition of tranposing instruments +
Chord symbols appearance and MIDI/text input Limited preset options Limited preset options Fully customizable
Cue (small) notes +
Dotted notes: single, double, triple
Single dotted +
+
Guitar chord diagrams Limited Limited +
Guitar scale diagrams +
Guitar tab Basic only Basic only Full
Instruments Common only Common, jazz, and world instruments only, with fixed number of staves Full customizable range
Jazz articulations: scoops, falls, doits, and plops +
+
Lines, custom +
Note values: 512th note (7 beams) to "long" (double breve) 32nd note to breve +
+
Noteheads, custom +
Ossia staves +
Page numbers Automatic Automatic Customizable
Special symbols +
Split multirests in parts +
Staves Up to 4 Up to 16 per system Unlimited number
Stemlets (half-stems) and "feathered" beams +
Tuplets Duplets (2:3) to sextuplets (6:4) Duplets (2:3) to nontuplets (9:8) Any (such as 2, 7, 44:31, and nested tuplets)
Sibelius | First
Sibelius
Sibelius | Ultimate

Playback

Advanced notation interpretation +
Edit MIDI data +
Included sampled sounds N/A High-quality Sibelius Sounds (10 GB library) Full range of professional-quality orchestral, jazz, pop, marching band, and percussion sounds in Sibelius | Ultimate Sounds (36 GB library)
Espressivo 2.0 Presets only Customizable rhythmic feel
Live Tempo (conduct playback by tapping) Limited—playback only Limited—playback only Record, edit, clear, and play back Live Tempo
Playback markings on specified repeats +
Playback of hairpins, rits, and accels
Fixed Fixed Adjustable
Playback of fermatas Fixed Fixed Adjustable
Words that affect playback (e.g. legato) Fixed Fixed Editable
Sibelius | First
Sibelius
Sibelius | Ultimate

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 Single format Customizable format
Edit Dynamic Parts Limited Full
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 300 library ideas, with the ability to capture your own ideas (editing not supported) 300 library ideas, with the ability to capture your own ideas (editing not supported) Over 2,000 library ideas, with the ability to capture and edit your own ideas and add to the score/library
Import MusicXML files +
+
+
Instrument changes +
Join scores together +
Keyboard shortcuts Fixed Fixed Customizable
Lyric verses allowed 2 5 Unlimited
Lyrics from text file +
Note input options Fixed Limited Full
Panorama scroll view +
+
+
Paper and desk textures 40 40 Over 60
Part extraction +
Paste As Cue +
Plug-ins None 38 included Over 140 included
Inspector window to edit individual objects Full
Rehearsal marks Default only Fully customizable
Repeat structures Fixed Customizable Fully customizable
Rulers +
Score Starter: (40 genre-specific templates) +
+
Slide notes and rests +
+
Special page breaks +
Timeline window +
Swap voices +
Versions Latest (head) version only 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 | First
Sibelius
Sibelius | Ultimate

Publishing

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

Exporting and Sharing

Audio recording export WAV, AIFF, and MP3 WAV, AIFF, and MP3
Avid Scorch optimized export (app available on the iTunes App Store) +
+
Email score as .sib or .pdf +
+
Graphics file export PDF export only Standard bitmap and vector formats (SVG, EPS, PNG, JPG, BMP, TIFF, GIF, and PDF)
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 +
+
Sibelius | Cloud Sharing 10 scores 20 scores Unlimited (up to 1 GB storage)
Video file (export your score as) +
+
Sibelius | First
Sibelius
Sibelius | Ultimate

System requirements*

Minimum requirements Avid-qualified Mac or Windows-based computer (get the details) Avid-qualified Mac or Windows-based computer (get the details); the 10 GB Sibelius Sounds library is an optional installation Avid-qualified Mac or Windows-based computer (get the details); the 36 GB Sibelius | Ultimate Sounds library is an optional installation
Other Internet connection required for software download and activation Internet connection required for software download and activation; ASIO-compatible soundcard required for Sibelius Sounds (Windows requirement only) Internet connection required for software download and activation; ASIO-compatible soundcard required for Sibelius | Ultimate Sounds (Windows requirement only)

* 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 | Ultimate.

** Please note that if your computer doesn't meet the recommended requirements for Sibelius | Ultimate or Sibelius 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.