Sibelius Software is a software business and a part of Avid Technology that develops and sells music notation and music education software.
The company was named after the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, and was founded in April 1993 by twins Ben and Jonathan Finn to sell the Sibelius notation program. In addition to its head office in Cambridge and subsequently London, Sibelius Software opened offices in the US, Australia and Japan, with distributors and dealers in many other countries worldwide.
In July 2012, Avid announced plans to divest its consumer businesses, closed the Sibelius London office, and laid off the original development team, despite extensive protests on Facebook and elsewhere. Avid said it is still committed to Sibelius, and after recruiting some new programmers later released a minor version update Sibelius 7.5.
The company has won numerous awards, including the Queen's Award for Innovation in 2005.
The company's best-known product, Sibelius, was first released (under the name Sibelius 7) for Acorn computers in 1993. Sibelius Software also sold Acorn computers, printers, MIDI equipment, word processing & graphics software, etc. because at that time many of its customers did not already have a computer; but the company stopped selling these products (and developing Acorn software) when it released Sibelius for Windows in September 1998. This was followed by a Mac version in March 1999. From the Windows release, the unusual suffix '7' was dropped from the Sibelius product name, and the version number restarted at 1.0.
Thereafter, the company has released new major Sibelius versions for Windows and Mac approximately every 2 years, with minor updates in between, the latest major version being Sibelius 7 in 2011. It has also produced versions of Sibelius in many languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian.
The Sibelius program enables the use to create, print and play back sheet music, and publish it via the Internet or iPad.
The company has also released various other music programs, including special versions of Sibelius (e.g. for students and commercial electronic publishers), add-ons for Sibelius such as extra sound libraries, and a range of software for teaching music called Sibelius Educational Suite. Some of this software was developed by other companies, and then distributed or acquired by Sibelius Software.
List of software
- Sibelius, currently at version 7
- Sibelius First
- Sibelius Internet Edition (for online music publishing)
- Scorch (a web browser plug-in and iPad app for viewing, playing, printing and transposing Sibelius scores)
- Sibelius Sounds (range of sound libraries for Sibelius)
- PhotoScore Lite, Professional & Ultimate (for scanning printed scores into Sibelius)
- AudioScore Lite & Professional (for playing/singing audio into Sibelius)
- G7, guitar-focused songwriting software (no longer available)
- Educational Suite
- Sibelius Student
- Groovy Music
- Sibelius Instruments
- Sibelius Compass
- Sibelius Starclass
- Sibelius Notes
- Acorn software (no longer available)
- Sibelius 7 (for professionals & universities)
- Sibelius 7 Student (for advanced secondary school students)
- Sibelius 6 (for secondary schools & amateurs)
- Junior Sibelius (for primary schools)
- Optical Manuscript (for scanning printed scores into Sibelius 7)
(This excludes releases of software version upgrades.)
- 1986: Founders Jonathan & Ben Finn start designing Sibelius 7 program for Acorn computers
- 1993: Sibelius Software founded to sell Sibelius 7 and related computer hardware/software in the UK. Early customers include Europe’s largest publisher Music Sales, choral composer John Rutter, and the Royal Academy of Music. Sibelius 6 (educational version) launched
- 1994: Distribution in Europe, Australia & New Zealand commences. Sibelius 7 Student (educational version) launched
- 1995: German versions of Sibelius launched
- 1996: US office opened in California. Junior Sibelius (primary school program) launched
- 1998: Sibelius for Windows launched worldwide. Company ceases selling hardware to concentrate on core software business
- 1999: Sibelius for Mac, PhotoScore and Scorch launched. Sibelius forms US subsidiary, creating the Sibelius Group, which now has 25 employees. Quester VCT invests
- 2000: Sibelius Internet Edition launched, and is adopted for Internet publishing by leading European publishers Music Sales and Boosey & Hawkes. SibeliusMusic.com and Sibelius Notes (initially called Teaching Tools) launched
- 2001: World’s largest sheet music publisher Hal Leonard also adopts Sibelius Internet Edition. Sibelius Group reaches 50 employees
- 2002: Sibelius is first major music program for Mac OS X. Company acquires music software company MIDIworks
- 2003: Revenues beat competitor MakeMusic Inc by 20%, confirming Sibelius as world market leader. Starclass, Instruments, G7 and G7music.net launched. Sibelius Group commences distributing Musition and Auralia. Sibelius in Japanese launched, distributed by Yamaha
- 2004: Compass, Kontakt Gold, Sibelius Student Edition, Sibelius in French & Spanish launched. Company acquires SequenceXtra. Sibelius software used in more than 50% of UK secondary schools
- 2005: Australian subsidiary formed after acquiring Australian distributor. Company reaches 75 employees. Wins prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation. Releases Rock & Pop Collection of sounds. Commences distributing O-Generator
- 2006: Groovy Music and Coloured Keyboard launched. Sibelius Software is bought by Avid Technology
- 2007: Japanese office opened
- 2012: Avid closes Sibelius's London office and lays off original development team
- "News from Classical Music Magazine". Rhinegold.co.uk. 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "Avid Divests Consumer Businesses and Streamlines Operations". Business Wire. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "Of Note: Finale and Sibelius tips and tutorials by musician, arranger and music notation expert Robert Puff". Rpmseattle.com. 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "Save Sibelius". Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Sibelius is in crisis!". Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Avid’s Commitment to Sibelius - Inside Out". Community.avid.com. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2012-07-23.