How to import Sibelius scores to capella

  • Jan 1, 2017

Your colleage works with the notation software Sibelius. You want to use his scores with capella.

This is how to do it:

Your colleage creates with the software Sibelius V7.1 or higher... XML Datei and a PDF document for control of the score display.

To do so he uses the following commands:

  • Sibelius / File / XML Export / uncompressed
  • Sibelius / File / PDF Export

You can now import the created .xml file to capella.

Command: capella / File / MusicXML import...

At first sight the capella score looks exactly like the one created with Sibelius. This score must now be closely examined.

Taking over of instrument name / sound

Instrument names of the single voices as well as sound settings / transpositions for playback are not taken over during import.

How to correct it in the SystemTemplate:

  • capella / View / SystemTemplate
  • Select voice
  • Edit names, sound and transposition

Check synchrony

Now check the score with regard to synchrony of measures. When the score contains upbeats (maybe also with grace notes), then capella might have inserted (invisible) filling rests. Sometimes Sibelius or capella set "fixed barlines". First of all these disparities have to be cleared. You have reached your goal when all barlines are green (set automatically) and synchronous in all voices (vertically one below the other). Now your capella score should be very close to the initial Sibelius score during playback.


  • Edit beams. This is important for the "readability" of notes.
  • Edit slurs. This is necessary to achieve the desired phrasing. Quick option: Carry out the command Format / Transposition..., this way all slurs are optimized (interval to be selected = perfect Prime :)).
  • Edit text objects. Score labels, headings etc. may have to be adjusted a little.

From now on playback (including phrasing and rhythmics) should correspond to the original. Differences in sound result from the different sound synthesis techniques applied in the software (for example capella Vienna orchestra or Midi-Mapper).

As last step compare your score to the original Sibelius PDF document. Are you content? Then save the result in your personal score archive.

We thank Roman Vogler, Switzerland, for this instruction!