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Product 704193

Sibelius 3.1 Notation Software   

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Sibelius 3 is the complete software for writing, playing, printing and publishing music notation. It's designed to make your life easier, save you ti...Click To Read More About This Product

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Sibelius 3 is the complete software for writing, playing, printing and publishing music notation. It's designed to make your life easier, save you time, produce beautiful results—and enable you to do things you might never have dreamed of, like publish your music worldwide, or create your own CDs.

And it's designed for every kind of musician, from students and teachers to professional composers.

When you first use Sibelius 3, you may find yourself thinking, "wouldn't it be great if it could do this . . . "—only to discover that it already can. That's because we understand what you need, and the annoying pointless things that you don't.

So whatever you write music for, you'll find Sibelius 3 as intuitive to use as a pen—yet so powerful that it does most things in the blink of an eye.

Starting a score

When you run Sibelius 3, it offers you a list of the most common tasks to choose from - create a new score, open a recent file, scan, etc. You can start a new score entirely from a single, easy-to-use dialog - select instruments, key & time signatures, title, composer, tempo, etc. You can also choose the text fonts and house style (e.g. handwritten), and even create a title page - all from the same dialog.


A new display setting in Sibelius 3 smoothes the edges of lines to make music even clearer on the screen


A new display setting in Sibelius 3 smoothes the edges of lines to make music even clearer on the screen.


When creating instruments, you can use different standard instrument orders depending on the type of music (e.g. band, orchestra, jazz). And you can also reorganize instruments into any order later.

There are over 60 new instruments - everything from anvils to Hawaiian steel guitar. Plus various new manuscript papers & extensively revised bands and orchestras, including a film orchestra designed by The Simpsons composer Alf Clausen.

Live Flexi-time

Flexi-time now records 2 voices on each staff at once, making it much quicker to write polyphonic music

Flexi-time now records the exact dynamic and timing of every note (rather like a sequencer) to capture every nuance of your performance. The music still appears as clean, quantized notation. You can then play your original performance with complete fidelity using Live Playback, or make fine adjustments to the timing and dynamic of every note.

Shadow notes

Inputting pitches with the mouse used to be a bit of a hit-and-miss affair, particularly if they were on leger lines. But Sibelius 3 shows you a ghostly 'shadow' note before you click, so you can see exactly where the note will go. What's more, you can now put notes anywhere in the bar just by pointing and clicking - you don't need to create rests at the start of the bar first.

The screen

Drag a rectangle with your mouse to zoom into that area. Or zoom in and out - and even navigate around the whole score - using your mouse's scroll wheel (on Windows). We've also improved how the screen moves when you're editing and paging through a score.

Plus there are new voice buttons on the keypad, so you can leave the properties window switched off most of the time.

School features

Students find Sibelius so much fun to use in the classroom that they sometimes play around with it instead of getting on with their work! So now you can switch off all of the advanced features with a couple of clicks, leaving only the main things students need for coursework.

You can also turn individual features on or off, and create your own sets of features for different classes - e.g. if you're teaching how to transpose by hand, you can stop students transposing it automatically!


Create audio CDs

The revolutionary save as audio track feature creates a high-quality sound recording of your score, ready to burn straight onto CD. So now you can produce high-quality CDs of your music to demo to performers and publishers, for people to rehearse to, and for friends to enjoy.

Save as audio track uses the exceptional sound from Kontakt Player Silver/Gold to create standard .WAV and .aiff files, which you can burn to CD using any CD writer. You can also turn them into MP3 files to post on the Internet or send by email.

(Due to the processing requirements of high-quality audio, you need a high-specification computer for best results from Save as Audio Track and Kontakt Player Silver/Gold.)

Sibelius 3 includes Kontakt Player Silver, which produces surprisingly realistic playback of your music using top-quality instrumental samples.

From Native Instruments, the world's leading software synthesis company, Kontakt Player Silver includes 19 unpitched sounds and 100 unpitched percussion sounds (marked * here) - covering a useful selection of brass, woodwind, strings, percussion, voices and a Bösendorfer piano. You can expand this to 64 or more pitched sounds and 110 unpitched percussion sounds, including a wide range of useful orchestral and band instruments, by buying Kontakt Player Gold (see box, right).

If you already have a good MIDI sound module or sampler, you can use it in conjunction with the Kontakt Player.

Sample library by Sonic Implants with instruments from Peter Seidlaczek (Best Service), Northstar, Zero-G, Tap Space and Dan Dean Productions.

Live Playback

New Properties options for playing notes, dynamics, etc. on
different repeats, and for editing playback of individual notes

If a score was created with Flexi-time or from a MIDI file, you can click the new Live Playback button to hear it with all the subtle nuances of the original performance. You can also fine-tune playback to perfection, like in a sequencer: view the dynamics as colored bars and reshape phrases with the mouse.

The new Transform Live Playback dialog also lets you adjust timings & dynamics en masse such as making notes more staccato/legato, scaling dynamics, and making rhythms 'tighter' or 'looser'.


Sibelius 3 supports every kind of repeat you can imagine - not just D.S., D.C., Coda, Segno and Fine, but complex repeat structures with up to 8 repetitions. You can even make Sibelius jump between arbitrary points in the score during playback, e.g. to skip guitar fill boxes or simulate aleatory performances.

You can make individual notes, dynamics etc. apply only to certain verses or repeats, so you could have the brass play only the second time round, or make verse 3 p and verse 4 f. What's more, timecode now shows separate timings for each repeat.

Further improvements

The mixer is now resizable so you can view any number of faders, and you can hide the data panel at the right-hand side.

Sibelius 3 automatically plays dynamics written between keyboard staves, metric modulations, and glissandi from tied notes and over barlines.

You can set a metronome mark just by clicking the mouse in the desired tempo. The keypad and properties window now disappears during playback, so you can see as much of the music as possible. Sibelius 3 also includes a sophisticated sound set editor.

Power tools

Auto page breaks

This remarkable feature puts page turns at convenient places for you in extracted parts. There are various useful options such as how many bars rest to allow for a turn - and if there isn't a convenient place, Sibelius can warn the player by writing 'V.S.' or drawing spectacles in the margin!


Sibelius 3 includes no fewer than 30 extra plug-ins, now in a new main menu, plus many improvements to existing ones. The new Scales & Arpeggios plug-in (below) will keep instrumental students busy for months!

Power tools

Auto page breaks

Auto page breaks are automatically updated, so Sibelius will instantly find new page turns whenever you change the music or layout.

Below: auto page break after multirest

Below: there is no convenient page turn, so Sibelius draws warning specs instead (this is optional)


Sibelius 3 includes no fewer than 30 extra plug-ins, now in a new main menu, plus many improvements to existing ones. The new Scales & Arpeggios plug-in (below) will keep instrumental students busy for months!

It creates a complete set of scales and arpeggios from a huge range of possibilities - you can specify any key or progression of keys (e.g. circle of fifths), double in octaves or thirds, use different clefs, write for single-staff or keyboard instruments, etc. As well as major and minor it includes diminished/dominant/ minor 7th arpeggios, modal scales (e.g. dorian), jazz scales (e.g. lydian flat 7), numerous exotic scales such as octatonic, Japanese pentatonic, and more.

Other new plug-ins include:

Lyrics: apply traditional lyrics beaming, add slurs to melismas, and ensure lyrics are aligned along every staff

Realize Figured Bass

Realize Chord Symbols - create accompaniments from lead sheets etc.

Add Drum Pattern: writes a drum kit for you in a wide range of styles and many more!


Scorch now has an optional 'split view' so you can see the next system before the page turns. This lets you use your screen as a music stand and play along. You can also view music a system at a time so it fits on the screen, while still printing complete pages.

Scorch includes most of the new Sibelius features such as live playback and colored objects. You can even make lead sheets and jazz scores play back with hidden accompaniments and realizations. Plus there's a new plug-in which turns a folder of scores into a complete indexed Scorch web site.


When you open a MIDI file, the music is now notated using 2 voices, just like Flexitime. The original velocities and timings are preserved, which you can play back and edit just as if you'd inputted using Flexi-time. Saving a MIDI file also saves these velocities and timings, and other new playback enhancements such as complex repeats all work equally well with MIDI files.

By popular request, Sibelius 3 can save in Sibelius 2 format, so you'll remain compatible with other users even if they don't upgrade.

Save as Graphics can now export TIFF files, and there are new options to specify dpi resolutions directly, adjust the staff size to improve the quality, and output in monochrome to reduce file size.

Sibelius 3 can save all the lyrics from your score into a single text file, and now also opens Finale 2004 ETF files.

We've replaced Transfer Saving with a new system which makes it easy to use your copy of Sibelius on 2 different computers without typing in long numbers.

Notation & engraving

Optical spacing

Interference caused by tuplets and cross-rhythms

Optical spacing positions the notes on the bottom stave perfectly

Assisted by several of the world's leading music engravers, we have devised an entirely new note spacing algorithm for Sibelius 3 - Optical spacing. It's designed to ensure that when notes are widely spread, their spacing is unaffected by obstacles such as accidentals; but when space is tight, notes, accidentals, leger lines, lyrics, etc. all pack together as close as possible without touching. Space is only added when required, and is removed again when no longer needed, e.g. if you delete an accidental.

This revolutionary algorithm also greatly enhances the spacing of tuplets and crossrhythms between staves, with further improvements to lyrics. Advanced users have precise control over all the intricacies, thanks to numerous adjustable options.

Optical Spacing: view movie (Flash, 230K)


Sibelius 3 has completely revised rules for beaming notes into groups, based on the time signature and context; it handles almost every situation perfectly for you. But should you want to adjust the beaming rules, a sophisticated new dialog lets you set beam groups and subgroups of any length (e.g. 4, 6), or choose to beam from, over and to rests. There are also new options for breaking beams around tuplets, and for using horizontal beams throughout particular staves (e.g. percussion or guitar tab).


You can now change the text font of all text styles at once, with the new Edit All Fonts dialog. There are new plug-ins to find and replace text, to reposition text (e.g. fingerings) away from notes, and to revise dynamics en masse.


You can now add your favorite guitar frames to libraries, for reuse in other scores. They also now automatically transpose, and a new menu option lets you step through alternative fingerings for any chord.

Tab input is now even easier: the arrow keys move up/down the strings and left/right through the bar, and you just type plain numbers to specify frets. When inputting from MIDI or copying from notation, you can specify your maximum stretch and preferred fingering range for tab, e.g. between the 3rd and 10th fret; you can also refinger existing tab using these settings. There are many new tab style options such as showing the tuning for each string at the start of the score. Sibelius now loads and saves the popular ASCII tab file format, making it easy to share music with other guitarists via the Internet.

Among other guitar enhancements, you can now scan in tab and guitar frames. String indicator lines are now included, as are 50 new fretted instruments and tunings - everything from 12 lute tunings to dulcimer and sitar. Sibelius 3 is also compatible with our new guitar software G7.


You can now change the color of almost anything in the score - notes, text, lines, symbols, etc. This is particularly useful for educational music, marking up sketches, and for making important markings (e.g. repeats and rehearsal marks) stand out. They print in color, too.

User Guide & help

The Sibelius 3 User Guide has been completely updated, and almost every page revised to make it an even easier read than ever. We've also made it optional for Sibelius 2 users, so if you don't want a new User Guide, you needn't pay for one - we'll send you a booklet about just the new features instead.

On-screen help is also completely revised. It's now searchable, and pops up in a moment.

Other improvements

Among many other enhancements, you can now drag the right-hand end of systems to indent them; create 'system' symbols which are extracted into all parts (e.g. for codas, segnos or pauses above barlines); and position system text with the arrow keys or using Align in a Row/Column.

More new features

There are so many new features in Sibelius 3 that we don't have space to explain them all in detail, but here are those we haven't mentioned already:

Look & feel:

New selection colors for system objects, objects in multiple voices (e.g. dynamics) and selected hidden or colored objects (so you can tell that e.g. a rest has been hidden even when selected)

Caret shows voice color when inputting notes

New textures: graph paper (for measuring in spaces), coffee-stained paper, tiger skin desk, Sibelius 3 ocean-blue desk.

Creating music:

18 new jazz Arrange styles, in the style of Count Basie, Sammy Nestico, Thad Jones, Billy Strayhorn, etc.

Repitching now accessed via a special shortcut so you can't start repitching by accident

Hit space to skip notes you don't want to repitch MIDI file importing splits music between staves better 'looseness' control for inputting strummed chords from MIDI guitar

Unplayable guitar tab notes shown as red question marks


Replace existing music or merge with it (overdub)

Improved splitting between staves

Set length thresholds at which staccato and tenuto are notated

Better clicks in compound time signatures


Hide MIDI data panel at right-hand side of mixer

Plays silent gap between pieces/songs/movements in same file

New playback dictionary entries for jazz tempo words etc.

Playback dictionary includes case sensitivity option, so you can make 'SWING', 'Swing' and 'swing' all equivalent

Playback of trills over barlines and tremolos improved

New Ped * line which plays back

Latency control for syncing playback between multiple devices

Velocity calibration curves for MIDI devices

System Real Time messages to control sample players such as Gigastudio

Uses device names from Audio MIDI Setup (Mac OS X)

Supports Core Audio soundfonts (Mac OS X)

Notation & engraving:

Automatic initial barline on lead sheets

'cross in circle' percussion notehead

New symbols for repeat 4 times, guitar shake, figured bass slashed 5/6/9, handbell techniques, Japanese-style coda & segno

Various improvements to existing symbol designs (e.g. larger rhythm dot) and to chord symbol font

Can hide redundant accidentals which arise with cross-staff beaming

Beams no longer go over barlines unless explicitly told to

Can independently flip either end of a slur across a page break

New text styles for title/composer on title page, percussion stickings, fake time signatures on a single staff, right-aligned repeat text (e.g. To Coda)
Adjustable leger line length

Page numbers aligned with staff margins (option)

Articulations centered on stems (option)

Set stem length & stem direction rules for each staff (useful for percussion, guitar tab, bagpipe, etc.)

'Keep bars together' layout option

Improved common guitar frames

Brackets & braces omitted on single-staff systems

Bar numbers adjusted for pick-up bars

Lyric options for East Asian languages (e.g. elision slurs underneath lyrics consisting of multiple characters)

All appropriate word menus now include smart quotes & accented characters

Roman numerals, jazz tempo marks, Ped symbol, double sharp/flat & repeat words in appropriate word menus

Low clarinets, low brass etc. automatically change from bass to treble clef when parts are extracted

Power tools:

View > Layout Marks (replacing Breaks and Locks) now also shows auto page breaks, dotted line where staves are hidden, section end barline, new 'keep bars together' option

Shortcuts categorized by menu & feature type to make them easier to create
Create & choose between multiple sets of shortcuts & menus

Transfer sets of shortcuts between computers as files

Import guitars from MIDI files as notation or tab

No need to update layout when opening Finale files

Imports Unicode text (e.g. Japanese) and new-style guitar tab from Finale 2003/2004 & Finale Guitar

PhotoScore Lite & Professional 3:

Improved editing interface

X flips stems

Draws small staves to scale

Adjustable full detail view window

Automatic page margins

Open multiple files at once

Groups staves with same name with brackets & barlines

Supports dual monitors (Windows)

Can reedit .opt files even if original scan missing

PhotoScore Professional 3 only:

Can transpose music itself

Automatic page text justification

Input/edit grace notes and cross noteheads (though not currently read)

Save repeats in MIDI files

Save as MusicXML and NIFF

Print from PhotoScore (with option to print rests/stems in tab or not)

Play with Espressivo, Swing and reverb from PhotoScore

Plug-ins: further new plug-ins -

Simplify Accidentals (respells to suit the key signature)

Add Accidentals to All Notes (for avant garde

Number Bars (e.g. repeated bars)

Print Multiple Copies (queues up multiple files to print, with different numbers of copies for each)

Remove Unison Notes (for cleaning up MIDI files and after using Arrange)

Combine Tied Notes and Rests (for cleaning up Flexi-time and MIDI files)

Convert Simple Time to Compound Time

Straighten Swung Eighths

Ornament Playback

Compare Staves

Add Verse Numbers

Add Schenkerian Scale Degrees

Calculate Statistics for Folder of Scores (compiles a report of the number of bars, staves and pages in multiple files - useful for copyists)

Add Harp Pedaling (devises harp pedal diagrams and warns when the music is unplayable)

Apply Shape Notes

Check Multiple Stops

Convert Folder of SCORE Files

Convert Folder of MIDI Files

ManuScript can now access notehead types, Live Playback data, object colors, version information, etc.

Bugs fixed

We've also fixed various of problems and issues reported by users with earlier versions of Sibelius.

Sibelius 1.x users

Sibelius 3 also incorporates the many improvements that were in Sibelius 2.

  • Create CDs & MP3s of your music
  • High-quality sounds built-in
  • Auto page breaks
  • Focus on staves
  • Live Flexi-time, editing and playback
  • School feature set
  • Optical note spacing

Make your musical life easier with Sibelius! Order today.


3.1 Notation Software

  • Computer requirements
  • Sibelius 3 and PhotoScore Lite/Professional 3
  • Windows: Windows 98/Me/NT4/2000/XP, Pentium or faster, 64Mb+ RAM (128Mb+ for Windows 2000/XP), 70Mb hard disk space. Scanning may need more RAM.
  • Mac: OS 9.1/9.2/10.1.5 or later, iMac/G3/G4/G5,128Mb+ RAM (OS 9) or 192Mb+ RAM (OS X), 70Mb hard disk space. Scanning requires TWAIN-compatible scanner and may need more RAM.
  • Sibelius 3 does not support Windows 95 or Mac OS 8.6/9.0. Mac OS 9.0 users can get a free upgrade to OS 9.1 from www.apple.com.
  • Kontakt Player Silver & Save as Audio Track
  • To use either of these, you will need: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP (not NT4) and preferably a sound card (not sound chip on motherboard); Mac OS 9.1/9.2/10.2 or later (not 10.1.5), 250Mb free hard disk space (in addition to Sibelius 3). Additionally:
  • Absolute minimum (scores that use 1 or 2 different sounds):
  • Windows: Pentium III or faster, 128Mb+ RAM (or 196Mb+ for Windows 2000/XP)
  • Mac: G3 500MHz or faster, 128Mb+ RAM (OS 9) or 256Mb+ RAM (OS X)
  • Recommended (scores that use several different sounds):
  • Windows: 700MHz processor or faster, 256Mb+ RAM
  • Mac: G4/G5, 256Mb RAM
  • If you want to use reverb in scores with several different sounds, you will need a faster processor.
  • Kontakt Player Gold (separate purchase)
  • Requires 750Mb hard disk space (in addition to Sibelius 3), Windows 98/Me/2000/XP (not NT4), Mac OS 9.1/9.2/10.2 or later (not 10.1.5). If you want to use reverb, you will need a considerably faster processor than the slowest stated below.
  • Scores that use up to about 8 different sounds:
  • Windows: 700MHz processor or faster, 256Mb+ RAM, preferably sound card (not sound chip on motherboard).
  • Mac: G4/G5, 256Mb+ RAM.
  • Scores that use up to about 20 different sounds:
  • Windows: Pentium 4 or Athlon XP, 256Mb+ RAM. Preferably Windows 2000/XP; 512Mb RAM or 7200rpm hard disk; sound card (not sound chip on motherboard), ASIO driver support recommended; separate graphics card. (Computers that do not meet all of these requirements may still be able to play 20 different sounds.)
  • Mac: G4 (preferably 1GHz+) / G5, 512Mb+ RAM. Preferably 768Mb RAM or 7200rpm hard disk. (Computers that do not meet all of these requirements may still be able to play 20 different sounds.)
  • Scores that use more than 20 different sounds may need a fast processor and more RAM.
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