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Sibelius 4

Sibelius 4

Whenever a new version of software comes out, the big question is whether it’s worth the cost of the upgrade. In the case of Sibelius 4, the latest music notation package from Ben and Jonathan Finn, the answer is clearly yes. If you teach music or compose and arrange for groups of musicians, Sibelius 4 will quickly pay for itself in saved time and labor.

The power and simplicity of the older version are still there: seamless input of notes with mouse, computer keys, a MIDI controller, or even a scanner; limitless selections of notation styles, dynamics and tempo markings; Web publication or crisply printed, professional looking scores and parts. Those core capabilities are even easier to use now with a new tool bar, improved playback controls, and more keyboard shortcuts. And Sibelius 4 gets novice users off to a good start with its set of 19 video tutorials, featuring Ben Finn’s Oxford-accented voiceover. They’ve even made the clear and witty manual user-friendlier by breaking it into two parts: a thin handbook you can actually hold in one hand, with “quick tour” and “how to” sections, and a separate, hefty, reference tome for the shelf.

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