Works prepared in either Finale or Sibelius can be exported to MusicXML and imported into the alternative program with the appropriate Dolet(s). In one recent instance wherein a show was transferred from a London West End stage to a Broadway one, the music team in London passed on its Sibelius files to Recordare for custom conversion, via MusicXML, to Finale, which was required for the Broadway production. (This took a single day.)
The 2005 releases of MusicXML 1.1, Finale 2006, and Sibelius 4 have greatly improved the translation process for music preparation applications. MusicXML 1.1 allows much more formatting information to be transferred between applications. These versions of Finale and Sibelius read MusicXML 1.1 files on both Windows and Macintosh OS X without the need for any additional plug-ins.
Writing MusicXML 1.1 files from Finale and Sibelius currently requires Recordare’s Dolet 3 plug-ins. These plug-ins rely on the development kits provided by those programs. Currently, Finale’s kit gives complete (if incompletely documented) access to Finale’s static musical data, and some access to dynamic musical data such as stem direction. Sibelius’s kit provides limited access to static musical data and no access to dynamic musical data. Sibelius 4 added many features to its plug-in developer kit, allowing Dolet 3 for Sibelius to export articulations, codas, segnos, system breaks, and page breaks. Stem direction, transpositions, and beaming are among the features that still cannot be exported accurately from Sibelius. Even with these limitations, the more complete interchange provided by MusicXML, compared to Standard MIDI Files, provides a large time savings when music files need to be transferred from Sibelius to Finale.
Finale 2006 and Finale PrintMusic 2006 read MusicXML 1.1 files and write MusicXML 1.0 files directly from the file menu. Dolet 3 (for Finale plug-in) allows Finale to write MusicXML 1.1 files, and supports previous Finale versions back to 2000 on Windows and 2004 on Macintosh OS X. Finale 2003 to 2005 on Windows can also read and write earlier versions of MusicXML files without additional software. Sibelius 4 reads MusicXML 1.1 files directly from the file menu. Writing MusicXML files requires Recordare’s Dolet for Sibelius plug-in. Dolet 1 for Sibelius writes MusicXML 1.0 files starting with Sibelius 2.1. The Dolet 3 for Sibelius plug-in adds the ability to write MusicXML 1.1 files from Sibelius 4.