This is my first post in 10 months. I have had some personal and physical challenges, but I am back close to 100%. I plan to post a couple of times each month with information on notation software.

There is a lot to discuss in the world of notation software. Both Finale and Sibelius have new versions since my last post. This post will focus on the Sibelius 6 upgrade.

Sibelius 6 upgrade

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I have been using Sibelius 6 since it came out and I find it to be an excellent upgrade, well worth the price. I am often asked if it is worth the price to upgrade to a new Sibelius version. The answer is YES. BTW, you can download a fully functioning demo of Sibelius 6 from the website.

Magnetic Layout

The most significant new feature is the Magnetic Layout feature. Sibelius will automatically move objects to avoid collisions. And it does an excellent job of automatic page layout. I have been using the feature with my scores and worksheets and find it most helpful. I still do find myself using Engraving Rules to set the staff and system spacing, but overall this is a huge new feature.

New Kaypad: Jazz Articulations

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The other new feature I really find helpful is the new Keypad layout, Jazz Articulations, which includes repeat bars and other features. This works amazingly well. For example, if you place a repeat mark from the Keypad (not the symbols menu) it will automatically play back the previous bar (or bars if you are using the 2-bar repeat). This is a great feature for any part in a score, jazz or not. No more copying the notation to a voice and hiding.

Chord Symbols

The biggest change that I have found is in the chord symbols. At first, I was not impressed. I liked using the right-click to access the chord suffixes. This feature has been removed. However, after spending a few months entering chords, I am getting much more comfortable with the feature. Sibelius does an excellent job interpreting what you enter as a chord and there are many options that you can adjust in the Engraving Rules > Chords.

The chord symbols still do not playback (one of my requests) unless you run the Realize Plug-ins feature. Hopefully, this will appear in the next upgrade.

Other new Features

Comments – There is a comment feature that is most helpful for sharing comments. However, it can not be sared with pre-Sib. 6 users.

Live Tempo allows you to enter tempo changes and ritards by taping a computer key.

The tutorial videos no longer are part of the program. They are located at

The versions feature is helpful. I have not gotten into this feature other than revert back to previous versions.

Scanning – The free version of the scanning software that ships with Sibelius works much better. It recognizes triplets. I’ll discuss scanning in a future post.

Audio Score – Sibelius 6 ships with a free application called Audio Score. I will review this is a future post.

More information

Check out the Sibelius website for more information on Sibelius 6 check out at

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What new Sib. 6 features do you find most helpful?