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The Sibelius Experiment

August 4, 2009 at 3:44 am UTC

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Last year I wrote this post encouraging composers to work without computer notation software and write using only good old-fashioned pencil and paper. It was meant as a friendly bit of advice for emerging composers, but oh my god did it stir up some controversy. It seems that composers have very strong opinions about this, and the vast majority prefer the software. I got a lot of emails…

Daniel Spreadbury at Sibelius wrote this very thoughtful essay in response to my post, and I was very taken with his genuine desire to make his software better. As he said:

How do we, as makers of notation software, respond to the problems that Eric and other composers find?

Very, very cool that he was listening and responding, and I was tremendously honored by the gesture. So I wrote to Sibelius and told them that if they were willing to give me copy of Sibelius 6 (the latest version) that I would use it to write a piece and then blog about my experiences. And just like that, bam! Look what showed up on my doorstep:
Sibelius on the piano

So I’m going to give it a whirl, and I will truly try to keep an open mind. I may be asking some of you for tech advice, but I’m hoping that it’s going to be as intuitive as everyone says it is. If you’re a Sibelius user, please write about your experiences in the comment section (good or bad).

Very excited to try something new.