Dorico Elements vs Sibelius First

I am new to this forum, and I have taken a quick look but can’t find a comparison to Sibelius.
My central question is - does Dorico Elements match the usability and features offered by Silbelius?

I compose piano music to grade 4/5, and I am looking for a good music notation software package. I have been using Sibelius First for 18 months, but they are very unresponsive to any support calls, and their offer of a free Sibelius First package turns out to be free for one month only - so I am not impressed.
I am looking for something that can provide easy note input, create midi file - export to pdf and mpeg, be able to add all the necessary usual accidentals, expression makes, dynamics etc, a few extra instruments - mainly violin, flute. I generally compose up to 6 short piano pieces of up to 80 or so bars each and create a music book, so I need the final product to look reasonably professional.
I hope that you can help

Thank you
Andrew Roberts
York, UK.

Andrew, I think you’ll find Dorico Elements very comparable to the old Sibelius First (which, in some of the most confusing renaming strategy ever conceived by marketers, is now called Sibelius, and what was called Sibelius is now called Sibelius Ultimate, and so on), and I definitely recommend you give it a try. Any problems you encounter with it, just let us know and we’ll be delighted to help.

1 Like

This could be a difficulty. Elements does not have Engrave mode, and does not allow custom page layouts. You would be limited to its default layout/output (which is quite nice, FWIW). Just a thought.

I assumed “Sibelius Ultimate” is marketing-speak for “There will never, ever, be any more new features in the app - that’s why we changed our business model from selling updates to selling subscriptions”.

(But then again, the latest version of Sibelius that I ever had was Sib 4!)

If they had named it “Sibelius Penultimate,” that would be a dead giveaway. :slight_smile:

1 Like

The limitations in “working with text” are especially frustrating. Maybe I’m missing something but:

  1. How can I create a simple score with a Dedication or Subtitle text at the beginning?

  2. Worksheet with a small text statement (several lines) at the beginning?

  3. How to avoid collisions between text objects? If I write a statement for an exercise it is always placed below (vertically) the Tempo text and there is no way to change the order.

  4. How can I hide warnings of Time and Key signatures change?

  5. How can I add more Titles in the same document to create a score as a list of examples? Can I define a change of Master page in any way?

Title 1 (centered text)
Musical example

Title 2 (centered text)
Musical example


I have tried to get documents similar to these:

but this is the most I have been able to achieve in Dorico Elements

Andrew, it sounds like you would benefit from the full version of Dorico. Easy paste-into-voice, pedalling and cross-staff make Dorico a great choice for piano writing. Dorico also allows elegant duet writing without kludges.

1 Like