Compare

Sibelius | First
Sibelius

General features

Ideal for...

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 Perpetual license, monthly or annual subscription, upgrade Perpetual license (educational discount available), monthly or annual subscription, upgrade, crossgrade, trade-up, 5-pack, site license, network license
Number of computers you can install a single copy on 2, for use by same person (e.g., desktop + laptop) 2, for use by same person (e.g., desktop + laptop)
User guide PDF (included) PDF (included); printed book available as a separate purchase
Software updates and support Access all new Sibelius | First releases with limited installation support through the included Avid All Access plan Access all new Sibelius releases and support—unlimited online help and one phone support call per month—through the included Avid All Access plan
Sibelius | First
Sibelius

Notation

Accidentals Normal and double only, bracketed Normal, double, quarter-tones, bracketed
Metadata Common ones only Full set
Bar numbers Limited Full range of formats
Barline types Single, double, repeat only Single, double, repeat, dotted, early music
Bars, irregular No, except pick-up bars +
Beams cross-staff in (keyboard music) +
Beam/rest groupings Fixed Customizable

Brackets and braces

Fixed Customizable
Change transposition of tranposing instruments +
Chord symbols appearance and MIDI/text input Limited preset options Fully customizable
Cue (small) notes +
Dotted notes: single, double, triple
+
+
Guitar chord diagrams Limited +
Guitar scale diagrams +
Guitar tab Basic only Full
Instruments 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)

+
+
Noteheads, custom +
Ossia staves +
Page numbers Automatic Customizable
Special symbols +
Split multirests in parts +
Staves Up to 16 per system Unlimited number
Tuplets Duplets (2:3) to nontuplets (9:8) Any (such as 2, 7, 44:31, and nested tuplets)
Sibelius | First
Sibelius

Playback

Advanced notation interpretation +
Edit MIDI data +
Included sounds High-quality Sibelius | First Sounds (10 GB library) Full range of professional-quality orchestral, jazz, pop, marching band, and percussion sounds in Sibelius Sounds (36 GB library)
Espressivo 2.0 Presets only Customizable rhythmic feel
Live Tempo (conduct playback by tapping) Limited—playback only Record, edit, clear, and play back Live Tempo

Play back markings on specified repeats

+
Playback of hairpins, rits, and accels
Fixed Adjustable
Playback of fermatas Fixed Adjustable

Words that affect playback (e.g. legato)

Fixed Editable
Sibelius | First
Sibelius

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) 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 Customizable
Lyric verses allowed 5 Unlimited
Lyrics from text file +
Note input options Limited Full
Panorama scroll view +
+
Paper and desk textures 40 Over 60
Part extraction +
Paste As Cue +

Plug-ins

38 included Over 140 included
Inspector window to edit individual objects Full
Rehearsal marks Default only Fully customizable
Repeat structures Customizable Fully customizable
Rulers +
Score Starter: (40 genre-specific templates) +
Slide notes and rests +
+
Special page breaks +
Timeline window +
Swap voices +
Versions 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

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 Fully customizable
Manage Dynamic Parts +
Manuscript papers (preset score layouts) Includes a few; can't create your own Includes many; can create your own
Multiple staff size Fixed Fully customizable
Note spacing rules Fixed Customizable
Reset position/design of objects Limited +
Set default object positions +
Staff spacing Manual adjustment only +
Sibelius | First
Sibelius

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 +
+
Video file (export your score as) +
+

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS*

Sibelius | First
Sibelius

Windows

OS 64-bit Windows 7 (SP1 or later), Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 64-bit Windows 7 (SP1 or later), Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
RAM 1+ GB of RAM; 4+ GB of RAM recommended for Sibelius | First Sounds** 1+ GB of RAM; 4+ GB of RAM recommended for Sibelius Sounds**
Hard disk space 1 GB hard disk space for Sibelius | First installation; 10 GB additional disk space required for the Sibelius | First Sounds library** (optional installation) 1 GB hard disk space for Sibelius installation; 36 GB additional disk space required (SSD preferred) for the Sibelius Sounds library** (optional installation)

DVD-ROM

n/a Drive required only for Media Pack installation
Other Internet connection required for software download and activation; ASIO-compatible soundcard required for Sibelius | First Sounds Internet connection required for software download and activation; ASIO-compatible soundcard required for Sibelius Sounds
Sibelius | First
Sibelius

MAC

OS Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11 Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11
RAM 1+ GB of RAM; 4+ GB of RAM recommended for Sibelius | First Sounds** 1+ GB of RAM; 4+ GB of RAM recommended for Sibelius Sounds**
Hard disk space 1 GB hard disk space for Sibelius | First installation; 10 GB additional disk space required for the Sibelius | First Sounds library** (optional installation) 1 GB hard disk space for Sibelius installation; 36 GB additional disk space required (SSD preferred) for the Sibelius Sounds library** (optional installation)

DVD-ROM

n/a Drive required only for Media Pack installation)
Other Internet connection required for software download and activation Internet connection required for software download and activation

* 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.

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