Sebastian SMuFL font - beta 1

I think my work on Florian’s Sebastian font has reached a sufficient level to be tested by anyone who wants to have a try.

I’ve tried to give a unique and consistent feel to all the ‘text’ characters: e.g. dynamics, numerals of all sorts: time sigs, ottava, fig bass, fingering, tuplets, etc. These might be characterised as slightly lighter, to improve clarity, but hopefully not as ‘bleached’ as some early computer fonts.

There are still some things missing and incomplete: Jazz ornaments (they’ll be pretending to use pen anyway :grin:); alternate noteheads, and who knows what will happen with different Engraving Options.

Of course, much of the distinction may be so subtle as to be pointless. A notehead is a notehead, by and large. (And if it was radically different, it would be awful.) But it’s nice to have options.

One of the great things about Dorico is that you can simply use a different font in the Font Styles menu for a group of features; or just substitute individual chars in the Music Symbols Editor.

Anyway, with 828 glyphs, I give you the first beta of Sebastian. Do let me know what’s good and what’s not, and what’s missing. (93.1 KB)







This looks gorgeous! Thanks to you, Ben, and Florian of course !

Sebastian seems the most readable of all of them - lovely.

Very nice! Could you at sometime provide a sample of a actual score or part page?

I still can’t get this font to work on my macOS Big Sur… anybody encountering the same problem on macOS?

Curious what the name “Sebastian” is named after. I almost thought the font would be JS Bach’s handwriting style. I love the musical calligraphy of the handwriting of that era.


JSB’s manuscripts are particularly beautiful and unmistakable for anyone else’s. There’s a particular vivacity and flow to his that really intrigues me. They are my favorite manuscripts (alongside medieval chant manuscripts)


Hi Ben,

Many thanks to you and Florian for this. I downloaded it and have been comparing it in several scores. My initial reaction is that it looks beautiful - the clarity is outstanding and overall there is a lightness of touch which is gorgeous (and definitely something I’d go for). Rather than try to find fault with it now, I’ll live with it for a while and if there are any things I’m unsure about, or missing characters, I’ll get back to you.


Beautiful and light, kudos!

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Here’s the Sarabande from the Bach Partita no. 2, using Sebastian:

I had engraved this using November 2 previously, but I think I vastly prefer Sebastian here. Really great work, Ben and Florian. Sebastian is going to get significant use from me.


Dan, what is the font you’re using for the title?

Beautiful job with the engraving - yes, Sebastian looks great.


Hi Ben,

I finally could install Sebastian.OTF font, the problem was that I already have on my fonts system a font called: Sebastian.ttf maybe an older/outdated version that clashes.

What a wonderful great work Ben, I love this font. Congratulation!

The sarabande looks great. I notice that some beams extend a little way past their stems, eg in bar 5. Is that ok (I don’t know what good practice is here- it just looks a little weird to me)?

Yes, that does look a little odd: though I’m not sure what in the font would cause that. I can’t replicate it here on a newer ‘build’ of the font.

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Thanks! Text font is Roman Ionic:

It could be a printing artefact

Thank you, everybody, for your kind words. I’m glad that you like font.

And I’m very grateful to Ben who put a stupendous amount of work into making the mess that I released years ago usable with Dorico!


@benwiggy hello,
The Sebastian font looks pretty nice, really! :slight_smile:
In my personal opinion, from the examples in the first post, just the key change (the appearance of naturals) could be improved, because there is not enough space between the accidentals on F and C look. For example in November and Cadence they look far better. Even the Bravura font could be improved a little bit here, too.
In the example provided by @dan_kreider - the flatted 16th beams looking odd and inconsistent.
Currently these are the things that need more attention, in my opinion.
Otherwise… Ben and Florian - Well done gentlemen! :slight_smile:

I’m waiting to see the next versions of the Sebastian font! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,

Yes, the optical effect of the natural’s shape makes the naturals look uneven, even when they are. All the fonts have the same problem, IMO: I don’t see some being better than others. The only fix is to increase the spacing between all naturals. I’m not sure there is anything that can be done in the font.

I’ve asked that Dorico try to ‘tuck’ naturals and flats under each other a little, so it may improve in a future version.

Beaming also is not the responsibility of the font.

Yes, probably on these two aspects you’ll need some assistance from Daniel Spreadbury in order to make them look better. :slight_smile:
Otherwise everything else looks pretty nice! :slight_smile: Great job! :slight_smile:

Best wishes,