MusicXML Dolet Plugin for Sibelius Beta Coming Soon

This press release just appeared on the website and I thought it worth sharing (source:

Over the past few months MakeMusic has been working to update their free Dolet® for Sibelius plug-in for exporting MusicXML files from Sibelius.

Original development was centered around being able to transfer Sibelius files into MakeMusic’s SmartMusic more easily, but it was soon apparent that this would be useful more generally.

It has been over five years since the plug-in has been updated. MakeMusic wanted to take advantage of the new features of both MusicXML 4.0 and Sibelius’s ManuScript programming language to get better MusicXML files out of Sibelius. This should make it easier for people to transfer their music from Sibelius into SmartMusic, Finale, and other music notation apps.

To apply for the beta test, please fill out the application form. This will let them know what type of test coverage they will be getting in terms of both Sibelius versions and applications that will be making use of the exported MusicXML files. If accepted, you will receive information about accessing the beta versions during the week of November 29.

The Dolet 8 for Sibelius plug-in requires Sibelius 2019.5 or later. Restricting to later versions of Sibelius makes it much easier to support the plug-in and make use of the latest ManuScript features.

There will be 50 new features and fixes available in the initial beta release. Here are 10 of the highlights:

  1. Concert scores now export transposition information, including alternate clefs for transposed parts.
  2. Concert scores with octave-transposing parts such as guitar and piccolo now export correctly.
  3. Cross-staff notation is exported starting with Sibelius 2021.9.
  4. Dynamic parts can be exported all at once using the new Export Parts to MusicXML menu item.
  5. Page-aligned text is now exported except for headers and footers.
  6. Many more standard symbols are now exported.
  7. System directions export with the system attribute, providing better results when creating parts from an imported score.
  8. Text that mixes dynamics or musical symbols with words now export correctly.
  9. Metronome marks with numeric ranges now export correctly.
  10. Batch export no longer prompts for saving after each file.

Please consider joining the beta program to let MakeMusic know how it works for you in order to make the plug-in as useful and widely available as possible.

Original press release from November 22nd can be found here.

Add a2, a3, a4 playback for NotePerformer in Sibelius

The Sibelius Sounds library which ships with Sibelius 7 and later does not have support for reduced player configurations such as a2, a3, a4 etc., but if you are a NotePerformer user, you are in luck.

NotePerformer 3 installs a plugin in Sibelius called “NotePerformer a2, a3 … MIDI message” which appears in the Plug-ins page of the home tab.

This plugin adds a MIDI controller message to a beat, or the start of a selected region for playback when using NotePerformer.

In other words, you can apply this plugin to add hidden MIDI controller info at the same location as the “a2” text, so that NotePerformer produces correct playback of a2 etc.

You can use the plugin to add this MIDI Controller data each time, or you can also add this controller info directly in your score either manually or automatically with NotePerformer.

more >> “Add a2, a3, a4 playback for NotePerformer in Sibelius”

Mapping Pitches in Sibelius

Sometimes you want to change the pitches in a score without doing a normal transposition. There are a number of Sibelius plugins that can change a pitch to any other pitch.

Pitch Mapping

This shipping plugin (Note Input > Transformations > More>Pitch Mapping) was one of the very early plugins in Sibelius.

The default dialog lets you map all the spellings of a given pitch to a single spelling. In this example, C, B#, and Dbb will be respelled as C (or any other name you choose from the list). This mapping will apply to all selected notes with the same pitch name, in any octave.

For respelling, you can choose natural notes, single or double sharps or flats, or leave some notes unchanged, so you can respell some but not all the selected notes.  The plugin will ignore quartertones, and it cannot respell to quartertones. Even now, in 2020, plugins are unable to create notes with quartertone accidentals.

New Pitch Higher… gives some options for determining whether the replaced pitches will be higher or lower than the original pitch. The details are explained in the dialog that comes up.

Not only can you respell notes this way, you can also change a note to any other valid pitch. C can be mapped to G# or Fbb if you so desire. As before, all notes with the same pitch name in any octave are mapped to the same new note name, in an appropriate octave.

If you choose More Options…, you get a dialog that lets you map each spelling or a given pitch separately, so you can spell C, B#, and Dbb to different notes if you like.

Transform Scale

The downloadable plugin Transform Scale is a “front end” for the Pitch Mapping plugin. It lets you transform the selected notes to a different scale or mode, and/or change the root of a scale. Changing the root without changing the scale type is the same as transposing.

There are 22 built-in scales, plus you can edit the existing scales or add your own. Scales are all chromatic (12-tones) scales. You can specify fewer than 12 notes, and the plugin will choose pitches for any you leave out. Details are in the Add/Edit scales dialog.

The Percussion Pitch Map plugin

I wrote Percussion Pitch Map to help deal with pitch and notehead mapping for percussion instruments, but it was pointed out to me that you can use it to map any pitches, and, unlike the other plugins, it allows you to choose the octave for both the source and destination notes.

To use it this way, you need to create your own pitch map, which is a simple text file. You can create it in a text editor, and move it to the appropriate folder location, or create and edit a pitch map in the plugin.

There is a lot of detail to deal with, so I suggest you look at this Of Note blog post, and read the PDF file that will be downloaded with the plugin, and which can also be found here.

One detail to note: if you are using Percussion Pitch Map strictly as a pitch map, the first line in your custom pitch map file should be:

// Strict pitch, C4

Thanks to Robert Puff, who came up with the concept of the Percussion Pitch Map plugin and wrote the built-in percussion pitch maps, and to James Batty, who came up with the idea of using it as an octave-changing pitch mapper (and pointed out a nasty bug, which has been fixed).

Map away!

Create your own keyboard shortcuts in Sibelius

Keyboard shortcuts can greatly increase your productivity in Sibelius. Shortcuts allow you to quickly invoke Plugins or other functions with a single keystroke. Keyboard Shortcuts are totally customizable in Sibelius.

Keyboard Shortcuts are located in Sibelius Preferences.  Choose Preferences… from the Sibelius menu

or navigate to the File Tab and choose Preferences in the left pane:

You can also open the Preferences dialog directly using the pre-defined keyboard shortcut CMND-Comma (Mac) or CNTRL-Comma (Windows).

more >> “Create your own keyboard shortcuts in Sibelius”

Curated Plug-in sets: Installing the first plug-in

A Curated Plug-in Set is a collection of Sibelius plug-ins that can be installed at one time and run from a single location. These sets are described in the Of Note post Working sets, My Plugins, and Curated plug-ins in Sibelius.

In order to install a curated plug-in set, you will first need to install the downloadable plug-in Install New Plugin, which will be used to install other plugins.

Here are step-by-step instructions for installing Install New Plugin. There are different instructions for Sibelius 6 and for Sibelius 7 or later.

more >> “Curated Plug-in sets: Installing the first plug-in”