This weekend, I found an interesting article about music notation software. I haven’t heard much about this since summer of 2012, when Avid announced the dissolution of the Sibelius team. Since I had just bought my first copy Sibelius in the previous semester, I was frustrated by the news.
Finally, almost a year and a half later, we have heard more about the outcome of Avid’s decision. Twelve of the original Sibelius developers who were let go from Avid last year have teamed up again at Steinberg Media Technologies in order to develop a new notation program from scratch. Instead of keeping the new product under wraps until its eventual release, the Steinberg team is keeping a blog about its progress with the software.
The eventual nature of the software and release date of the new program is still unclear, but it is sure to be a competitor with Sibelius and Finale, the two major music notation companies, in the near future. The Steinberg team does seem confident that the system will be significantly different than those of Sibelius and Finale. However, to the disappointment of many in the music business, it does not appear so far that the notation software will have any compatibility with other types of composition software like Logic or ProTools. Though Sibelius and Finale focus on correct engraving, they are not known for good playback, and an alliance between sound editing software and notation software could make life easier for many musicians. For now, though, the Steinberg team is planning only to create a direct competitor with Sibelius and Finale.
I think that more competition in the music notation software market can only be a good thing for musicians, and I am excited to see what kind of program the Steinberg team produces. Meanwhile, Finale has announced the future release of Finale 2014, and Avid plans to put out its Sibelius 7.5 update soon.