At the Sibelius blog Philip Rothman has a post on the new version of Sibelius, 7.5, covering a lot of the new features. Are any of them ground-breaking? No. The Timeline, which looks like it was derived from a sequencer, will be a helpful addition for some but I don’t know how much I might use it. At least it shows there is still some interest at AVID in keeping development of Sibelius alive. We’ve received sort of mixed messages from AVID about that over the last 18 months.
The Timeline is configurable, so it won’t take up a lot of real estate on your laptop screen. There are improvements to playback, including a bunch of new “rhythmic feels,” like Bebop, Ballad Swing, etc. For some of us who write jazz arrangements these could be very helpful. I wish you could switch from one feel to another in the same score, for tunes like “Green Dolphin Street.” Sib 7.5 will even allow things like “playing ahead of the beat,” which could be pretty cool if it really works in a realistic fashion. There is also “Espressivo 2,” which is supposed to be a more sophisticated algorithm for shaping musical phrases. It will also make appoggiaturas controllable, so they can be adjusted for different performance practices.
It also has some new sharing and social media functions, including publishing directly to Score Exchange. (BTW, I’m starting to put some music on Score Exchange now, so I hope to have a report soon on how it might be working out for normal people.) I’m not sure why I would want to publish a video of my score directly to Facebook, but OK…thanks for that. There is a Draw on all staves enhancement that sounds like not a big deal but should be a time-saver on scores with a lot of instruments. Tuplets have been improved, also.
It’s not an absolute required upgrade, but useful, and it is supposed to cost $ 49. It should be out at the end of February. We’ll see. There were some problems with the current version playing nice with Mac OS X Mavericks, so hopefully those issues will be fixed as well.