Sibelius 8.3 Now Available—What’s New

It’s been just more than a month since our last release, and hot on its heels is another release of Sibelius that’s small, but packs a punch. It reintroduces a nice feature, to colour notes independently in a chord, but also extends this to our ManuScript API scripting language for automating the colouring of notes and other objects. In addition to this, there are over 60 other smaller fixes and tweaks to help you get even more out of Sibelius.

If you own Sibelius 8, the upgrade will be waiting for you in your My Avid account, or in the Avid Application Manager installed on your computer. If you haven’t upgraded to Sibelius 8 yet, you can do so from our webstore or from all good retailers. When you upgrade, you not only get Sibelius 8.3, but it also entitles you to a full year of software upgrades.

In summary, here are the improvements in Sibelius 8.3:


Colorful notes

We’ve added the ability to colour notes independently in a chord. In earlier versions of Sibelius, the color applied to any note would affect the whole chord, but with Sibelius 8.3, the notes can be coloured independently. This feature is useful not only for educators to help students learn music in more vibrant and engaging ways, but it’s just as useful in contemporary scores or even for simply marking up a score for editing.

We’ve updated the ManuScript Plug-in language in Sibelius (the built-in scripting language for automating tasks in Sibelius) to take advantage of the new coloring features. As part of this, the Color Pitches and BoomWhacker plug-ins that ship with Sibelius have been updated to use these new methods as well.

These changes have been added without any change to the file format version, so you can can open files saved in Sibelius 8.3, in 8.2 and 8.1. However, when opening scores in 8.2 and earlier, the colors you have applied to notes will be stripped out as those older versions won’t know how to handle the new coloring attributes.

Improvements to Note sliding

In Sibelius 8.2, we introduced an innovative feature to allow you to move notes left and right in the score with two simple keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+Alt+Left and Right, and Cmd+Alt+Left and Right). This handy little feature speeds up editing and note entry and saves valuable time where preparing a score. With Sibelius 8.3, rests that are created and left behind by moving notes, are now cleaned up nicely, so you aren’t left with a trail of rests.

Miscellaneous improvements

  • To track down the problems some users have reported with scrolling and zooming on Macs when using a Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad or a trackpad on a MacBook or MacBookPro, we’ve given the feature an overhaul to resolve these issues. As a result, you should find scrolling and zooming on Mac smoother and generally more responsive. Gestures with three-fingers are now better supported, allowing you to switch windows more easily, for example.
  • A problem where Sibelius 8.2.0 could crash on quit after first launch on a clean system has been fixed
  • Start and end repeat barlines would sometimes appear too thick when written together. These are now lined up correctly as before.
  • Some users reported a problem where note input would stop working when switching scores. This has been fixed.
  • The Sibelius License Server is now supported on Mac OS 10.11 El Capitan
  • When using Reset Design in the score, it no longer affects accidentals in the part. This is a change in behavior from Sibelius 8.2 where resetting the design on a note or larger selection would reset the accidental in the parts too.


What’s Next from Sibelius

The Sibelius development team are already working hard on 8.4, as well as improvements to Sibelius Cloud Publishing, our solution for publishers to sell sheet music online, and our iOS app Avid Scorch, which allows users to take their scores on the go.

More news on these, and more, in due course.

Sibelius 8.3 Now Available

The latest version of the world’s best-selling music notation software is here! Sibelius® 8.3 delivers over 60 improvements, enabling you to compose music more easily and creatively than ever.