SIP Newsletter #29

Brussels, August 10, 2007


- Freeware Service Pack 008
- SipSib supports Sibelius 5
- The Score 160 character restriction
- SipInput
- SipSkore

Dear Score user,

The recent availability of Sibelius 5 has forced me to make a major upgrade of the Sibelius-to-Score converter: SipSib. While earlier updates had marginal differences, this Sibelius 5 would not produce convertible EPS as the way in which it generates symbols and text was completely revised. The new version which supports Sibelius 5 is now available and described below.
Minor changes were made to other utilities and they are documented here as well.

Freeware Service Pack 008
All users: Install FreewareServicePack 008 which includes a new version checker. After installation (download, unzip, copy the modules to your SIP folder) hit the 'Version' menu on the main panel to check if you are up-to-date with everything.
This distribution also has a new SIP Control Center and SipSkore build 012.

The changes to Sibelius 5 are quite drastic, maybe not so to the user but the more so to how it generates EPS. The current version of SipSib ( will not convert EPS files made with this new version of Sibelius.
The downloadable manual (Sibelius EPS to Score converter) Version 4.00 has been updated to reflect the current version.
After a 2-day study on the differences it looked like the upgrade would take about a month which turned out to be a good guess. Major differences encountered are the handling of text items and the way music symbols are specified in the EPS. I also found that for some common symbols such as the augmentation dot which earlier used to be a plain text dot, a different dot symbol from a music font is now employed.
Another discovery is that there is a Sibelius font named OpusSpecialExtra.
With the help of two experienced Sibelius users supplying testing material, the product could be quality controlled and is now ready for distribution.

The first SipSib version number which supports Sibelius 5 will be This version of SipSib supports all versions of Sibelius since 1.4, however, users who need to convert Sibelius 5 produced EPS will need an additional module named SIPSIB50.EXE

The upgrade effort to be put in justifies a price increase of SipSib. For licensed users, the upgrade to SipSib which supports Sibelius 5 EPS will cost 25 US$ or 18 euro. New users can order SipSib for 225$ (US) or 180 euro.

Delivery plan for upgrades:
SipSib will be downloadable for all SipSib users. The upgrade module for Sibelius 5 will only be distributed as an email attachment after payment. To receive the complete SipSib with the upgrade module on a CD there is an additional handling cost of 15 US$ outside Europe and, 10 euro within Europe. For new users the delivery CD contains the new module. New users cannot order without the Sibelius 5 upgrade.

If you do not upgrade to Sibelius 5, you do not need to acquire this additional SipSib module. You can still download SipSib but the program will know if you upgraded or not. When the program was not upgraded and is presented with Sibelius 5 generated input, it will not abort but typical Sibelius 5 situations cannot be handled.

SipSib stability and feature improvements
Apart from the Sibelius 5 related changes to SipSib, three dozen other issues were taken care of. Some additional feature were requested by users and the list follows. More than 2000 lines of code were added to the program...
1. Australian date format - the asset protection mechanism requires the regional date format to be recognized. In Australia, Windows offers a format d-MM-yyyy which is now no longer rejected.
2. The inverted question mark was not properly translated in Lyrics. This is fixed.
3. The little tie as it occurs in lyrics was not always properly translated. This is fixed.
4. The F-clef with an 8 on top does not exist in Score. If the Sibelius input has one, a separate '8' is generated above it.
5. Bowing articulation was sometimes assigned to the wrong staff. This was improved.
6. Conversion and placement of the (tr) symbol has been improved.
7. Recognition of key signatures was improved.
8. The n with tilde would come across as * in the font summary and generated MUS file. This is fixed.
9. Elision generation was improved. Sometimes close elisions would overlap.
10. Placement of the turn over notes was improved. The turn with a vertical line is now supported as well (two items).
11. Conversion of Segno and Coda symbols has been added.
12. The double flat in parentheses now gives a proper warning message.
13. The slash at the left end of a beam was not properly converted. It is now.
14. The augmentation dot on a whole rest is now properly handled.
15. Recognition of the double augmentation dot after a 16th rest is now correct.
16. Parentheses around a Bezierstroke (that is EPS lingo for a tie/slur) now translate.
17. Though the multi-arc cannot be converted, its presence in the source is now signaled.
18. The 'a grave' in all texts is now supported.
19. The extra long ledger line on double whole notes is now properly converted.
20. Rehearsals are now recognized (letters and numbers in boxes or circles). There is a NEW option!
21. The refrain identifiers '1.' and '2.' are now recognized when they are at the level of lyrics.
22. There is a NEW option called 'Assume TAB staff size'.
23. A message now informs the user that he set the initial meter signature value.
24. On and off, Sibelius generates blank text items. These are ignored.
25. All figured bass symbols are now supoorted.
26. In figured bass, the accidentals would become Code1Par11's. This is fixed.
27. Endings '1.' and '2.' were always recognized properly. Two more were added: '1.2.' and '3.'. Since the '1.2.' is not a Score possibility, three items are the conversion result: the '1.' ending, the '2' in the same font, and a small circle as the period.
28. The repeat bar Code14Par5=3 now places the dots correctly on a 6-line staff.
29. Compound meters were not always properly recognized. This has been improved.
30. Closed and open slash-notes are now supported.
31. The half-note can now have a tail.
32. A problem was solved on the director's triangle symbol.
33. Harp pedals are now supported. NEW!
34. Extremely short vertical lines (a Sibelius error on unstemmed notes) are signaled.
35. Staff line recognition was improved (sometimes Sibelius generates a single staff in two parts) and those lines would be interpreted as staff lines as well as long horizintal lines.
36. Texts too long for Score are now properly trucated and signaled. Read more in this Newsletter.

The Score 160 character restriction
Code16 items seem to have the limitation of 160 characters. However, it is not as simple as that. The restriction is actually in the EPS coding that Score sends to the printer or to a file. When Score reaches its limits on EPS text strings it diagnoses this in a not so obvious way: "Error writing to file or device". It would be so nice to have some kind of explanation. If Score does not, I will - after investigating this for half a day (my loss) so you will not (your gain).
The restriction is not in the Code16 item but in the EPS it generates from that. Therefore Score cannot tell you when you create the Code16 item.
When you use accented characters or other special characters like !3, then the generated EPS replaces these not by characters that count as 1 but by octal values. An octal value takes up 4 characters in EPS so when your text consists of nothing but special characters, the limit is 40 characters, not 160. The printer will hang and when you send the EPS to a file, the EPS file is broken off in the middle of the text string and as it is incomplete it becomes unusable.
Actually, the issue is a bit more complicated than this: When the text item has a parenthesis, this counts as two characters in EPS, and the combination ?[ counts as one character. To add more complexity, the following characters do not generate text EPS but graphics (lines and dots):
- note symbols such as brackets and braces, the vertical line and the ?d dot
- ?0, ?8 and ?9.
When there is a long Code16 item and there are such graphics in there, the EPS makes multiple text items, for instance the Code16 string '_00abc?8def' will make the EPS string 'abc' and the string 'def' and a separate graphic item for the ?8 symbol. It can therefore happen that a string which exceeds the 160 limit will still work as Score cuts it up in smaller portions when there are graphics in there.
The following characters are not provided in the Score manual (p158) and you may pencil them in:
- ?m - masculine o
- ?f - feminine a
- <<y - u grave
- <<Y - U grave
- %%y - y with dots (Dutch)
- %%Y - Y with dots (Dutch)
and those that generate graphics:
- ?0 (question mark, zero) small high circle
- ?8 triangle
- ?9 circle with slash (not the letter o with slash)

How SipSib converts long texts
Long texts in Sibelius, especially those that contains accented characters, may be too long for Score. To avoid the not so obvious Score way of telling you during the print (or Scorlas), SipSib computes the actual length Score EPS text will be. If that is beyond, it will truncate the item until it will fit while telling the user about this restriction. There are two ways you can remedy this: (1) if you have the Sibelius program and source you can cut up the long text before exporting to EPS, or (2) you can adapt the truncated Code16 item by hand in Score.

An error was discovered in the interface between the Windows portion and the DOS portion of this program.
Most users would not be affected by the slight problem.
Users who want the new version can ask to have it sent for free as an email attachment. SipInput will not be made downloadable.

This freeware module is called from the main SIP panel menu 'Score' and is handy to go to Score without leaving SIP. It has a feature that makes EPS files with SCORLAS (3 or 4) automatically without any typing. That feature is named 'keyboard simulation'. It was found that on fast computers this does not work properly. There is a timing problem in the presentation of keys to the DOS program and no solution can as yet be given. You will see soon enough that you have this problem as SCORLAS goes into a loop. If so exit with Ctrl+C. Retry without the 'keyboard simulation' option set. A note was added to this effect.
The new module SipSkore has version It is included in FreewareServicePack 008.

Long live SCORE!

Jan de Kloe