Sibelius Drum Import Issues

• Aug 19, 2015 - 09:44

Hello Friends,

I've just encountered a problem while trying to import a musicxml file that I exported from Sibelius. It's a score with just a drum kit, yet Musescore plays it as a piano part (leading to some interesting sounds but not the interesting sounds I was looking for) .

I tried to resolve this problem by just copying the drums into a new drum score created in Musescore, but all I got then was a whole bunch of percussion sounds like whistles and cowbells, also not what I was looking for.

Is there any way to rectify this problem short of writing out the music again in Musescore?


Also make sure you have the most recent version of MuseScore (2.0.2). There were some issues with import of drums from Sibelius in certain cases that were fixed since the original 2.0 release.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't think the problem is the import or the file. The problem is the completely different way Sibelius and MuseScore deal with drum kits. Every other instrument doesn't have a problem. Oboe in Sibelius translates to oboe in MS. And so on. But a drum kit in MS is a problem for a Sibelius user. In Sibelius, when you add a drum kit to a score (let's say Rock Drum) a five line staff with rock drum sounds is pre-loaded. Lower space and line are different kick drums. Second space from the top and middle line are different snare sounds. Top space and lines are toms. You enter notes where you want particular sounds. The attached file is from Sibelius. The sounds are supposed to be, from bottom to top, kick,snare,tom. I think the OP wanted to know how to get MS to play the correct sounds.
But what's even worse for a Sibelius user, is trying to create a drumkit part in MS.

Attachment Size
drum test.mxl 2.26 KB

In reply to by bobjp

Bob, Thanks for your input. Yes importing the actual sound would be great, I kinda sget that's not always possible due to sound fonts etc. In terms of collaboration and sharing between platforms the file imported has recognised the placement of notes but not the instrument as a drum set, as a result it has it changed the sound. The frustrating part is not the sound or note placement it more that it is not allowing the change to a appropriate drum set of choice. Further more if attempts are made to alter the instrument it alters the format of appearance of the score entirely.

In reply to by bobjp

The issue with file drum test.xml is that it does not contain all required information. It contains only a single instrument called Drum Set, referring to a Sibelius-specific sound library. The information how a specific line on the staff translates into a specific drum sound is completely absent.

As MusicXML allows specifying all required information, the structural solution would be improved MusicXML export by Sibelius.

Currently MuseScore has no knowledge of the contents of the Sibelius sound libraries (meaning automatic conversion is not possible) and, due to lack of drum set information in the MusicXML file, it is imported as a standard staff, which makes fixing it in the GUI difficult or impossible.

In reply to by kngjason

@kngjason, thanks for attaching the file, that helps in finding the root cause.

Same remark as for the other two files in this thread: the file states only that the instrument used is Drum Set (4), without specifying what instruments are used and on what staff line they are written.

Based on several other responses in this thread, it seems there is a workaround to make this work correctly:
- import the file
- go to the mixer and enable the Drumset checkbox
- right-click on the staff and select Edit Drumset
- adapt drum set as required (and save for future reference)

In reply to by Leon Vinken

Leon, thanks for your efforts in responding, appreciated.

Had gone through some of this work arounds, however, 'adapt drum set as required' is getting me stumped! Have I missed a step?

In my first upload of the recorded screen shot showed me editing drum set via different methods. I used the edit stave, it then if you may of noticed it changed the format of presentation of the score. At this point I can edit the notes to a desired position and sound, however its on a individual note by not process. Which at that point its not a work around but a rewrite. Is this how you mean?

In reply to by Shoichi

Oh no, this is a wonderful tip! Thank you very much! I try this and the result: I can hear drum set sounds. But: The sounds are a collection of percussion instruments and not the sound (snare, bass drum and cymbal i expected. I thing, there is something wrong with correct transponation.

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