View Full Version : Sibelius or Finale

Dec-31-2006, 04:33
Based upon another thread regarding Cubase or Sibelius, I am interested on the comparisons between Finale and Sibelius as a preference for Music Engraving, composing and the like ... I am contemplating upgrading from my current notation software, Noteworthy Composer.

Your comments are most welcome.

Dec-31-2006, 15:39
As undeniably powerful as Sibelius is, I find the program rather counter-intuitive.

Jan-02-2007, 10:52
However simple and easy Finale is, Sibelius offers a LOT more, no doubt.

Jan-04-2007, 14:01
I voted for Finale, as I find it the easiest to use.

Jan-31-2007, 19:23
I have worked with both and ultimately I found Sibelius the more intuitive and quick to learn. Note entry from the first moment is straight ahead. In fact I am looking for a used and discounted copy of Sibelius composing software. I am doing writing and arranging for Jazz groups and I can't afford the full version. Any ideas?
All the best

Feb-01-2007, 01:11
... I am looking for a used and discounted copy of Sibelius composing software.

Jonny ... I think Sibelius has a discount for music educators, teachers, and church musicians on their new editions. You might also check eBay ... last time I looked there were some prior versions at reasonable cost.

Currently, I use Noteworthy Composer - it was $39 (USD), but my needs are mainly organ, piano and choral ... not doing the technical jazz arranging that you are. When I can scrape the dough together, I'll upgrade to a better program.

Thomas Dressler
Feb-01-2007, 06:27
I vote for Sibelius. I used Noteworthy for awhile too, and a couple years ago used Christmas money to buy Sibelius after doing a lot of comparison shopping. There were still things I liked about Finale, but I liked the look of Sibelius' printed scores better, as well as some of its other functions. However, I liked the way Finale works with ties and slurs more. I guess it's a personal thing because they're both good. My suggestion is to download the sample programs from each company and work with them.

Feb-01-2007, 14:01
Sibelius gets my vote as well. I was fortunate to get a look at the full version a few months back whilst a friend of mine was composing a grade piece. Admittedly it probably isn't as easy to pick up and use as Finale, but I found it to be more powerful, more feature rich and all in all a better all round program.

As for a used or discount copy, my vote is with eBay as well. You have to be a little careful purchasing second-hand software as some licenses prohibit transfer. Either way, if you can get hold of a half price copy of Sibelius then I'd go for it - they don't come round too often.

Feb-02-2007, 23:18
I mainly use Finale for my work, but if the job calls for it I use Sibelius too.
I find that while Finale allows me more freedom in tweaking the score, then Sibelius, once you get the hang of it (comming from Finale, it's possible a little worse than starting from scratch) is a little more intuitive when it comes to entering notes, harpins, slurs ect. (again, it's a matter of taste/preference - But when tweaking them afterwards, which is more or less inevitable, Finale does a better job.

The interesting thing for me here, though, is how much, if anything, the purchase of Sibelius by Avid (the owner of Digidesign/ProTools) will do to the development of interoperability between the two programs. I for one, could really use a (midi)sequencer with a better way of handling note entries (via mouse or midi keyboard) - maybe there's something in the future here... who knows...

Jeffrey Hall
Feb-16-2007, 06:16
Well, this thread has succeeded in leaving me as unenlightened as before. :D

I use Finale and have not used Sibelius, mainly because Finale was what I decided to get several years ago, and I haven't had time or money to switch. I have heard folks who swear by both...including on this thread! In my experience, Finale will do absolutely any bizarre notation trick you need, even if you have to define it yourself or drill down 12 menus to get to it. A steep learning curve, but it does make nice scores.

Feb-16-2007, 09:38
May I join in please? I'm looking for music software to notate 4-part harmony songs and need to print final scores with lyrics and burn cd's both with and without voice synth. I'd also like the ability to compress and save the file to post onto a website for others to printout and to save the file as a .wav or .mp3

At the moment I'm using Noteworthy1 which doesn't have voice synth.

Price is a major factor and although I've looked at the Sibelius website there are so many versions available, I could do with recommendations so I can compare prices intelligently. If the software could be purchased in the name of a club (rather than individual) in order that whoever is designated to do this job is not in breach of copyright, it would be an additional advantage. The ultimate aim is to produce teach CD's for a 40-strong chorus but I'm not sure if that meets the requirements for educational discounts.

Any suggestions welcome.

Feb-23-2007, 17:29

If you are an educator or have another professional position related to music in some way, I believe Sibelius & Finale offer a reduction in cost. The information for that is available on each of their websites.


Simon Jansfort
Feb-23-2007, 18:51
Aren't we forgetting good old Musicator? Nohting beats it in my opinion.


Feb-23-2007, 19:31
Musicator is a great "tool", my first "real" music program, for sure... but for music engraving? Not if I'm publishing the music.

Andrew Roussak
Apr-20-2007, 13:20
Hey, Sibelius is far ahead - I love it! I use Sib. too!

Nov-18-2007, 20:38
Hi Friends !
Sibelius and Finale are good softwares, but too expensive. I think sibelius is even more expensive that your computer itself.
Why don't you try this : HARMONY-ASSISTANT
Near by 50 US $ I believe and near by 100 $ with the add-on ( a virtual singer that sings your lyrics, in french, english, italian, latin ... and a good sound bank called GoldBase two). And a very powerfull script language for those who like programming.
Here is the address (the site is in English): http://myriad-online.com/en/index.htm

The demo version has a very few limitations. Try it or visit my site if you want to know what is possible with this French sofware http://musicalis.monespace.net/

Nov-19-2007, 14:03
I used several programs, but decided on Finale. Once you get used to it, it's as easy as playing music (escpecially if you use a MIDI keyboard for note entry).

Nov-19-2007, 22:45
Krummhorn you've got me on this one. I have no idea what you are
asking about. I'm not familer of Sibelius or Finale myself. I hope I'm
not sounding sarcastic I just don't know.:cry:
judy tooley

Nov-20-2007, 01:14
Krummhorn you've got me on this one. I have no idea what you are asking about. I'm not familer of Sibelius or Finale myself. I hope I'm not sounding sarcastic I just don't know.:cry:
judy tooley

Hi Judy,

It's okay ... these software applications are used for scoring music electronically (onscreen) instead of doing it by hand with pencil and scored paper. I've been using Noteworthy Composer since early 2003 and find it fairly adequate but have been wanting to get a more advanced program since I can now devote much more time to composing and arranging.

Nov-20-2007, 15:37
Hi Krummhorn !
i have been a NWC user too. But it is a very small software if you compare with Harmony-Assistant.

Nov-20-2007, 17:24
Hi J-Paul,

Thanks for the Harmony Assistant link ... going to take a look into it as from what I can see from the demo version it does quite a bit more ... and the fact that I can import all my NWC files into this application is a great feature.

Do you have the Gold Sound Base for this too? Wondering if that might be a good thing to add for better sound reproductions.

Nov-21-2007, 01:30
I'm a long time Sibelius user.
I use it since version 2 (it's currently on version 5.1).

IMHO, Sibelius or Finale, it's a matter of taste.

Jan-14-2008, 22:56
I have been using cakewalk for a long time .Even though its mainly a sequencer you can still write and print music with it. It also has great soundfont banks. Once I have written music using cakewalk I then transfer the files to finale so I can then print parts and a score. I guess I should really use just finale to do all the playback and writing..printing but I do like cakewalk...Its very easy to use.

Jan-14-2008, 22:59
Seems to be that Sibelius is more used by those responding here than Finale. I own both, and have ordered a third party book on learning Sibelius, but as I've been using Finale since it's really early days I'm hesitant to swap PURELY because this old dog likes new tricks, but not pointless ones.

Feb-25-2008, 23:16
Seems to me that quite a number of respondents prefer Sibelius over Finale without really going into detail about what makes Sibelius' features superior. I have used Finale for a while and it does most common tasks easily - and there always seems to be a way out of problems as you go deeper into the program - I think I like that. Finale is a flexible music typesetting tool that will get your job done, especially if you have the patience to master its intricacies.

Possibly, Sibelius is better, but in order to invest in the program, I need to be convinced it has better features and is reliable.

Feb-25-2008, 23:20
I own both and use Finale because I frankly don't have the energy to devote to learning Sibelius. I say stick with one and make and learn as much as you can.

May-20-2011, 14:01
I've been using Sibelius ever since my friend introduced me to it some time ago. I'm still learnig, as there are loads of different shortcuts one needs to know in order to make the scoring as fast as possible. I haven't really used Finale, so can't say which one's better.

Jul-11-2011, 15:16
I use MuseScore: it's free and it's like finale!