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The Icon Bar: News and features: Finn brothers in Top 100 Arts List
 

Finn brothers in Top 100 Arts List

Posted by James Shaw on 18:58, 7/9/2005 | , , ,
 
Jonathan and Benjamin Finn, the creators of Sibelius, were ranked today by The Times as the thirty-ninth most influential figures in the arts world.
 
"While still Oxbridge undergraduates in the early Nineties, the Finn twins, Jonathan and Ben, devised the computer program that revolutionised the writing of music. Music-notation software had existed before, but the Finns' Sibelius program was roughly 100 times faster and quickly became the essential tool of every composer, music arranger, publisher and teacher."
 
Sibelius 7 was released in 1993 for Acorn machines. Its speed was, in part, thanks to a purpose-designed programming language for notation processing and the single-tasking, 4 colour screen mode in which it executed.
 
The release of Sibelius for Windows in 1998 signalled the end of the road for the RISC OS version; the company cited a lack of C++ tool support as the reason for the move.
 
Sibelius 4 for Windows and Mac was released in July 2005. Sibelius 7 and the cut-down versions, Sibelius 6 and Sibelius 7 Student, are still available from The Data Store.
 
  Finn brothers in Top 100 Arts List
  Richard Hallas (09:54 8/9/2005)
  Richard Hallas (09:55 8/9/2005)
    Hertzsprung (12:42 8/9/2005)
      rich (13:08 8/9/2005)
        monkeyson2 (13:41 8/9/2005)
          rich (14:55 8/9/2005)
            hEgelia (15:32 8/9/2005)
              hEgelia (15:49 8/9/2005)
                monkeyson2 (21:57 8/9/2005)
                  mavhc (12:36 10/9/2005)
                    hEgelia (21:41 10/9/2005)
                      rich (22:10 10/9/2005)
                        andypoole (10:48 11/9/2005)
                          rich (13:01 11/9/2005)
                            andypoole (19:29 11/9/2005)
                              petervdvos (07:21 12/9/2005)
                                hEgelia (10:55 12/9/2005)
                                  petervdvos (08:20 13/9/2005)
                                    Hertzsprung (15:08 13/9/2005)
                                      hEgelia (10:04 14/9/2005)
                                        fylfot (12:19 14/9/2005)
 
Richard Hallas Message #93860, posted by Richard Hallas at 09:54, 8/9/2005
Member
Posts: 12
It wasn't single-tasking, actually; it just took over the entire screen. You can still press Shift-F12 and get the icon bar to come to the front in the 4-colour editing mode (though this probably counts as a bug). I'm not certain about the very earest versions, but it's certainly true of the later releases of Sibelius 7.

And what's this 'purpose-designed programming language' business? Whilst the software may have such a thing internally, it's likely to be something that only the programmers would know about. As far as I'm aware, Sibelius 7 is fast because it was hand-written in ARM code.

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Richard Hallas Message #93861, posted by Richard Hallas at 09:55, 8/9/2005, in reply to message #93860
Member
Posts: 12
(That should have been "earliest", of course. I don't know what happened to the 'li'.)
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James Shaw Message #93862, posted by Hertzsprung at 12:42, 8/9/2005, in reply to message #93861
Hertzsprung
Ghost-like

Posts: 1746
Yes, the programming language was only used internally, but it did exist and was described in an issue of a magazine circulated amongst customers, IIRC.

You're correct about it not being single-tasking. I remember getting screenshots out of the demo by setting a timer in !Paint, then quickly opening the Sibelius window, before having the Save Dialog Box pop up :-P

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Richard Goodwin Message #93863, posted by rich at 13:08, 8/9/2005, in reply to message #93862
Rich
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Posts: 6765
"Single tasking" isn't an unreasonable description, even if it's not entirely accurate: from the average user's point of view, it took over the whole "computer" (screen).

You can jump in and out of PC games if you know the secret key combinations (or accidentally hit the Windows key), and even have MP3 players playing in the background providing your own soundtrack, but because of the way they take over the screen people think they're single tasking.

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Phil Mellor Message #93864, posted by monkeyson2 at 13:41, 8/9/2005, in reply to message #93863
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
The program isn't single tasking, but the user is.
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Richard Goodwin Message #93865, posted by rich at 14:55, 8/9/2005, in reply to message #93864
Rich
Webmaster
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Posts: 6765
LOL! ^ this :)

BTW: In your face Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sean Connery, Melvyn Bragg, Bono and all you other lot.

Except Dr. Dre, who owns a lot of guns.

And Nick Park, 'cos I like his stuff. And Ian Mckellen. Sam Mendes is pretty good too. Peter Hall... OK, you're in. But everyone else under #39, you got beat by a pair of geeks!

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hEgelia Message #93866, posted at 15:32, 8/9/2005, in reply to message #93865
Unregistered user Sibelius7 is a world-beating program for the RISC OS system. Lots of excuses were made to justify its abandonment of the platform, but the reason simply is because Acorn was nowhere near as a worthwhile and supported music platform as Windows and Mac OS are.

A professional review of Sibelius 3 (with a fair mention of RISC OS) can be read at http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul04/articles/sibelius3.htm

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hEgelia Message #93867, posted at 15:49, 8/9/2005, in reply to message #93866
Unregistered user I should add that Sibelius was most of the time the reason composers purchased a Risc PC in the first place. Professional audio and music dealers practically never sold a copy of Sibelius by itself - most of the time it was bundled with a Risc PC. I believe RISC OS itself meant little or nothing to most - the systems loaded Sibelius and perhaps a few side applications after booting up. Once Sibelius was ported to Windows and Mac OS, the Risc PC's were sold immediately, the ports were superior in almost every way...
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Phil Mellor Message #93868, posted by monkeyson2 at 21:57, 8/9/2005, in reply to message #93867
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
Do we have the concept of a killer app any more? In a lot of cases, surely it's only contracts or marketing that affect which platform an application gets released for, rather than any technological merit?
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Mark Scholes Message #93869, posted by mavhc at 12:36, 10/9/2005, in reply to message #93868
Member
Posts: 660
People buy Macs to use some software.

And Sibelius for RISC OS is way better than Sibelius for Windows/Mac

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hEgelia Message #93870, posted at 21:41, 10/9/2005, in reply to message #93869
Unregistered user "People buy Macs to use some software.

Exactly. I think that's the same reason people buy a computer anyway.

And Sibelius for RISC OS is way better than Sibelius for Windows/Mac."

Oh, really? 'Way better' you say. Which version? Tell me, why? Please don't come with the 'because RISC OS is better' argument - I'll laugh in your face. I'm curious as to your comprehension of electronic notation and scorewriting, your skills in these fields to be able to distinquish between the versions in a practical sense and your experience with these versions in a relevant environment to base your comparison on.

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Richard Goodwin Message #93871, posted by rich at 22:10, 10/9/2005, in reply to message #93870
Rich
Webmaster
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Posts: 6765
"People buy Macs to use some software.

Exactly. I think that's the same reason people buy a computer anyway.

I think you're being a bit facetious. What he means is that Macs come pre-loaded with some very good software, which is equal to or better than the PC equivalents - and which you'd usually have to buy seperately. So for straight-out-of-the-box ease of use, Macs arguably have an advantage software-wise over pretty much anything else out there.

And yes, RISC OS has software built in - but where RISC OS has a pixel editor, Macs have software to download and organise your digital photos. Not really a contest.

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Andrew Poole Message #93872, posted by andypoole at 10:48, 11/9/2005, in reply to message #93871

Posts: 5552
"And yes, RISC OS has software built in - but where RISC OS has a pixel editor, Macs have software to download and organise your digital photos. Not really a contest."

I dunno, you /could/ try and store your photos in a very large !Paint file ;)

Andy. *runs and hides*

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Richard Goodwin Message #93873, posted by rich at 13:01, 11/9/2005, in reply to message #93872
Rich
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Posts: 6765
Seeing as you're about the only person on the planet that can't use a Mac Mr. "had it for two weeks and had to send it back", you're better off hiding ;)
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Andrew Poole Message #93874, posted by andypoole at 19:29, 11/9/2005, in reply to message #93873

Posts: 5552
Actually, I could use the mac just fine, it's not my fault that the machine was crap :P
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Peter van der Vos Message #93875, posted by petervdvos at 07:21, 12/9/2005, in reply to message #93874
Member
Posts: 2
hEgelia wrote:
Tell me, why?
I use Sibelius on a regular base, like a friend of my. He has the RISC OS version (on a old A5000) and also a version for Windows. With all versions you can make great looking scores, but he couldn's find the copy/paste as you can use in RISC OS (clicking select/adjust). Also, using pulldown menu's takes more time. All in all, it's faster to use RISC OS then to use Windows (and I am not talking about virussus taking down your machine so you can not use it for a week until it is repaired).

Peter V

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hEgelia Message #93876, posted at 10:55, 12/9/2005, in reply to message #93875
Unregistered user
I use Sibelius on a regular base, like a friend of my. He has the RISC OS version (on a old A5000) and also a version for Windows. With all versions you can make great looking scores, but he couldn's find the copy/paste as you can use in RISC OS (clicking select/adjust). Also, using pulldown menu's takes more time. All in all, it's faster to use RISC OS then to use Windows (and I am not talking about virussus taking down your machine so you can not use it for a week until it is repaired).

Peter V

Thanks for taking the time to share your view, Peter. I'd say your case has everything to do with 'preference of OS'! And that's fine, you'd rather use RO's pop-up menu's instead of the traditional pull-downs as in Mac OS (X) and Windows. Remember, Windows also allows for pop-up menus (unfortunately not drag-able) by using the right mouse-button. I can't comment any more specific since you don't mention which versions of Sibelius you're comparing, though I'm almost sure you can perform a copy and paste with practically all Windows versions (via selecting menu options or keyboard short-cuts). I advise taking a look at the manual, which is a joy to read and very clear and concisely laid out. Regarding features, the new versions are well beyond those available on Sibelius 6 & 7 for RISC OS, which is only natural since they've had several years to catch up. Regarding speed, all Mac & Win versions run at least as fast as the RO versions, most of the time quite a bit faster, not only due to faster hardware, but also optimisations of the code as I understand it. On a clean Windows 2000 or XP system, it seems at least as stable as on RISC OS.

Regarding virii - most professional users are well aware of that and cover themselves appropriately. In most cases I've seen, machines running Sibelius for Windows are not connected to Internet and don't need to be. I presume any essential updates are first scanned before installing in the Sibelius machine(s).

Let me make one thing clear, though - I am NOT a Windows fanboy. In fact, Microsoft and Windows are my least preferred tools to work with to put it mildly. I merely acknowledge the state of things. Personally I like RISC OS itself very much, however for serious work I simply use the best tools available to me. Which, for music composition, arranging, etc. is Mac OS X, simply because it has the best combination of available software and OS features.

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Peter van der Vos Message #93877, posted by petervdvos at 08:20, 13/9/2005, in reply to message #93876
Member
Posts: 2
Hi hEgelia,

al kind of features are OS related, but in Sibelius7 I never use menu's, I use the function keys. That is much faster.

Copy/past in RISC OS is done with the mouse. In other versions, you have to use the keyboard.

Speed is not a problem. The machine I use it on has a ARM 700 but even on that machine it's fast enough.

I general the 'low level' work on a RISC OS machine is faster, but, I agree with you on that, the 'high level' stuff is more advanced on the newer version.

For my use, I don't need it. I only make a few bar's of music and save it as a draw file for use in impression. Here I add text and pictures (piano books for children).

I also have a Mac at home, but I don't think running Sibelius on it would speed up any work. Can you export the files in a vector format? What program can you use to edit that? What bonus would it have over Sibelius 7, Impression and Draw?

Peter

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James Shaw Message #93878, posted by Hertzsprung at 15:08, 13/9/2005, in reply to message #93877
Hertzsprung
Ghost-like

Posts: 1746
You can always output in vector format by using a Postscript or PDF print driver. Programs such as Illustrator can import such files and they can easily be embedded in other documents.

However, the cost of Adobe CS2 and Sibelius for mac might be a little higher than on RISC OS ;-)

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hEgelia Message #93879, posted at 10:04, 14/9/2005, in reply to message #93878
Unregistered user Hi Peter,

al kind of features are OS related, but in Sibelius7 I never use menu's, I use the function keys. That is much faster.

I understand. Most people I know prefer to use keyboard short-cuts, which indeed is faster, unfortunately one has to use some menu or dialog options sometimes for more uncommon tasks.

Copy/past in RISC OS is done with the mouse. In other versions, you have to use the keyboard.

Yes, very handy. I don't mind using the keyboard, but that is quite clever since the mouse is most used anyway.

Speed is not a problem. The machine I use it on has a ARM 700 but even on that machine it's fast enough.

Yes, Sibelius on RISC OS has always been extremely fast, which is even more amazing considering what it actually does. Before the advent of Sibelius on other machines, this was considered so advanced the program became a 'killer-app', which means a reason to buy both it and the computer it runs on. By the way, I also use an ARM7 Risc PC and even now, it is quite impressive what it still is capable of doing.

I general the 'low level' work on a RISC OS machine is faster, but, I agree with you on that, the 'high level' stuff is more advanced on the newer version.

Well, that certainly depends what you are doing and on what hardware! The newest version is Sibelius 4, which quite frankly, blows the RISC OS versions away in practically every regard simply because it is years ahead now, as such much more refined and runs on superior hardware.

For my use, I don't need it. I only make a few bar's of music and save it as a draw file for use in impression. Here I add text and pictures (piano books for children).

Indeed, Sibelius 6 or 7 would suffice perfectly well.

I also have a Mac at home, but I don't think running Sibelius on it would speed up any work. Can you export the files in a vector format? What program can you use to edit that? What bonus would it have over Sibelius 7, Impression and Draw?

Well, again, that depends on what you wish to accomplish and how well you're Mac is equipped. I don't believe upgrading to a newer version of Sibelius would offer you any real benefits over what you already have, from what you mentioned above.

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Ian Chamberlain Message #93880, posted by fylfot at 12:19, 14/9/2005, in reply to message #93879
Member
Posts: 14
hEgelia,

The newest version is Sibelius 4, which quite frankly, blows the RISC OS versions away in practically every regard simply because it is years ahead now, as such much more refined and runs on superior hardware.

You had a go at mavhc for saying that "Sibelius for RISC OS is way better than Sibelius for Windows/Mac" without explanation. Perhaps you'd like to explain your position rather than just stating it as fact.

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The Icon Bar: News and features: Finn brothers in Top 100 Arts List