Sibelius 2 full review

Anyone serious about music notation will be aware of Sibelius – one of the leading music-scoring packages for personal computers. Sibelius just got a whole lot better with the recent upgrade to version 2. It’s now carbonized for Mac OS X. The keyboard commands have been greatly extended – so users can now create text, time signatures, and so on, as notes are input; Sibelius will automatically position them. The innovative Flexi-Time recording feature lets users employ a MIDI keyboard to play music into Sibelius, automatically changing the tempo of the guide click-track to reflect the musician’s. Flexi-Time now enables input into any voice, and lets users specify their own split-points. Sibelius has impressive MIDI playback options. These include Espressivo, which provides various levels of expression; and Rubato, which can subtly alter the tempo, just as a human performer would. The new automatic Arrange feature furnishes users with the ability to copy a page of music, either choosing particular instruments, or having Sibelius create the parts automatically. A particularly clement feature is the ability to pick a musical style, and let the program choose appropriate instruments, transposing the parts accordingly. Styles include Band; Choir; Impressionist Orchestra with Harp; Woodwind and Strings; Jazz Quintet; and Film Orchestration. Sibelius can be set-up to pick the favoured string or flute sound from popular synthesizers – as chosen by the Sibelius programmers. For each different device, Sibelius ‘knows’ which program and bank number is the best, and even the best sound for a particular playing-technique, such as mute trumpet or pizzicato viola. That isn’t to say that Sibelius has no room for improvement, however. For example, there are commands to Go To a bar or a page – but it would make sense to be able to jump directly to rehearsal marks. Sibelius lets users publish scores on their own Web sites, or on www.sibeliusmusic.com – which sells music on the composer’s behalf. Sibelius pays composers 50 per cent of the sales; the best-selling scores could make several hundred pounds each quarter for the composer.
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