Sibelius 6 adds several innovative and useful features to its already solid foundation in this latest version.  The most intriguing features for music educators being the magnetic layouts as well as commenting, version control, and lab classroom controls.  Is the upgrade to this professional level music writing software program worth the cost?  The following review makes note of the newest features found in Sibelius 6.

  • Magnetic Layout - dynamic markings, accents, and even lyrics move automatically to avoid collisions.  Manually moving one marking to a specific place causes other markings to adjust themselves accordingly.  Can also be manually controlled if the automatic system does not produce acceptable results.
  • Version Tracking - Changes to scores are saved as separate versions, allowing the user to go back in time to a specific version if something goes wrong.
  • Commenting - Like little post-it notes, users (or teachers) can leave comments tacked on to specific parts of the music to draw attention or to ask for revisions.
  • Classroom Controls - Sibelius 6 is fully lab capable, allowing a set of computers with the software installed on them to be controlled by one teacher computer.
  • Live Tempo - Rather than sticking with a perfect computer generated tempo, tapping a control button or foot pedal will allow the user to control the playback tempo in real time.
  • ReWire - Integrates with other software tools such as ProTools, Garage Band, and Logic to allow compositions to be synced up with audio files created elsewhere.

A free Sibelius download of this most recent version is available through the Sibelius web site.  Please note that this downloadble demo version does not allow the user to save files.


  • Guest - Chad Criswell

    Sibelius software continues to be one of the best looking and easiest to use music notation software programs on the market. Sibelius 6 has not changed much in that regard, it is still a very stable, easy to use way to create great looking compositions, but the new features added in this version make it very attractive as an upgrade. Perhaps even more so that the previous upgrade from version 4 to 5, the new features in Sibelius 6 are significant enough (when coupled with the improvements in the previous version) to warrant investing in upgrading the software.<br /><br />For the music educator, the benefits associated with the new version tracking, commenting, and classroom controls cannot be understated. Being able to tack comments into the score for students to read and revise is a godsend when compared with having to write corrections out in an email or on a piece of paper. Being able to control Sibelius 6 in a computer lab is also a significant change, and the new network enabled licensing feature allow licensed installations of the software to be moved quickly and easily from machine to machine.<br /><br />Other features are also quite impressive, and interestingly parallel improvements made by Sibelius' competitor, Finale 2010. Both products released to the public within weeks of each other, so there can be no claims of one playing catch up with the other. The addition of easy chord symbols is an improvement over previous versions, but this reviewer actually prefers the Finale 2010 implementation better. Sibelius' improved and now integrated virtual instruments are also similar to the improvements made by Finale, but out of the box Sibelius 6 seemed a bit easier to configure.<br /><br />Sibelius 6 also includes the addition of automatic cautionary accidentals, removing the need to manually enter them. The use of ReWire technology now allows Sibelius to communicate and work with other ReWire enabled software programs to import and use audio tracks from programs such as Garage Band and Logic.<br /><br />Overall this Sibelius software upgrade is worth the money, especially if coming from an earlier version such as Sibelius 3 or 4.

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