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Sibelius is the Best Sounding Music Writing App for iPad

I’ve never seen a mobile music notation app quite as amazing as Sibelius. My dad is a practicing pianist and I played piano daily as…

I’ve never seen a mobile music notation app quite as amazing as Sibelius. My dad is a practicing pianist and I played piano daily as well for a number of years before college and city living put a damper on keep a piano in the house. But as I’ve been getting back into it, I’ve been looking for various apps to help write or play. Sibelius is the former, and a well-known one at that.

Sibelius allows you to use iPad’s touch display as well as Apple Pencil to edit, write, or annotate your music. You start with a wide variety of different manuscript styles — or you can import your existing music from your Mac. Then you can edit or write, direct from your iPad.

The touch screen makes it very unique to edit with. When you place a note, you can slide it up and down to change it pitch or drag left and right to add a sharp or flat. If using Apple Pencil, you can tilt the pencil up and down or left and right to do the same.

Any in-music direction or other annotations are easy to place. The same window that can add a music note to the clarinet score, can add general text notes, tempo, harmony, and more. When adding, you can choose many different types of text with various boxes and styles to choose from.

It is easy to choose notes or place in the music where you are working. As you write, you can play back the music in the app with the advanced Espressivo notation interpretation to hear your work in incredible detail. There are several tweaks to apply such as the swing and rhythm that make it sound even more realistic and human.

Since I’m talking about it, it must be a fantastic iPadOS app as well as a great music writing app. And of course, it is. Your music files can be saved via iCloud — alongside many other popular services. This means you can edit on your iPad, move to your Mac where your update-files are ready and waiting for you to edit there as well. No longer do you need to manually manage files or copy to a flash drive.

Sure, there are some a few features still only found on the desktop version of Sibelius but that doesn’t make the iPad version any less impressive. How cool is it that you can write a piece of music wholly on iPad where you can save it to iCloud, then open in a sheet music app that will turn the page as you play, and if extra-motivated, you can connect an external keyboard like Roli to play and record the music to your iPad. It’s an entire mobile workflow that is possible now from creation to recording.

But enough about other people's apps.

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