The new music

Those who have always had a secret desire to write anything from a symphony to a Top 40 hit are one step closer to their dream with new software released last week. Many people believe that they have a work of genius playing in their head, but lack the training and musical ability to get their masterpiece down on paper so it can actually be played.

Two British composers/computer programmers (who are also brothers) have solved the problem with a new piece of music notation software, aptly called “Sibelius”. The software gives even those of us with a tin ear the ability to notate, edit, play back and publish music of every kind. Just introduced to North America, Sibelius is already selling in 25 countries, to great acclaim from professional composers, music publishers, students, instructors and , most importantly, “moonlight musicians.”

The program starts with an exact electronic replica of manuscript paper. Music notes are written using a mouse or keyboard, or (this is the good part) “played” into the PC with a standard MIDI instrument. Completed music can be printed on common inkjet and laser printers. Sibelius allows you to publish your works directly onto the Web their site listed below, allowing anyone to see and play your music (whether they have Sibelius or not).