I want to create images of bars of notated music for use in video. Is there a way to write the score on Sibelius and then export this to some Python library in order to better create the images for the video? I basically want images of each bar separately.

Perhaps Sibelius can export each bar as a separate PNG, but I haven't found a way to do this. My next idea was to use something like Lilypond which uses MusiXTeX to manipulate the images to how I need them.

But if this is the approach I need, how can I export my Sibelius score into MusiXTeX? It feels like exporting to MusicXML might work, but the internet doesn't say anything about converting MusicXML to MusiXTeX.

Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

2 Answers 2


LilyPond is a standalone program and does not use MusiXTeX. It did use TeX way back in the past, but it no longer does so. LilyPond is far more sophisticated and complete than MusiXTeX (disclaimer: I am a LilyPond developer).

The best way to import into LilyPond is to export into MusicXML, then convert the MusicXML file to LilyPond using either the musicxml2ly tool shipped with LilyPond, or the newer external tool xml2ly.

You will then want to look at LilyPond’s -dclip-systems option to get the images for individual measures.


I don't use Sibeluis and English is not my native language.

First method. How to produce lilypond document from xml.

  1. Download and install the Frescobaldi app.
  2. Edit-Preferences-Lilypond_preferences. Tick the box "Save documents if possible".
  3. File-Import/Export-Import_MisicXML
  4. Something like this will be produced:
\version "2.22.2"

\include "articulate.ly"
\header {
  encodingsoftware =  "..."
  encodingdate =  "2023-03-23"
PartPOneVoiceOne =  \relative cis' {...}
PartPOneVoiceTwo =  \relative d' {...}
\score {...}
\score {
  \unfoldRepeats \articulate {

    \new PianoStaff
      \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = "Piano"
      \set PianoStaff.shortInstrumentName = "Pno."

      \context Staff = "1" <<
        \context Voice = "PartPOneVoiceOne" {  \voiceOne \PartPOneVoiceOne }
      >> \context Staff = "2" <<
        \context Voice = "PartPOneVoiceTwo" {  \voiceOne \PartPOneVoiceTwo }
  \midi {\tempo 4 = 100 }
  1. Fix your score if it's broken. In one of my scores there was a midbar clef change and Frescobaldi was unable to import it correctly.
  2. Change the preamble into this:
\include "lilypond-book-preamble.ly"
\header {
  encodingsoftware =  "Sibelius your.version.IDK"
  encodingdate =  "DATE yyyy-mm-dd"
 oddFooterMarkup =##f
 oddHeaderMarkup = ##f

More about the "tagline".

  1. Get rid of "\articulate{" (if you have it), the corresponding end bracket "}" and "\midi{...}" in your "\score" parts.
  2. To produce multiple output files consult this reference
  3. This is the extent of my knowledge. I don't know how to break \PartPOneVoices into separate bars. If you want to try to autocrop .svg output files consult this link. I've tried it and failed. But .png and .pdf files get autocropped nicely.

Second method.

In MuseScore 3.6.2:

  1. I can insert "horizontal frames" inbetween bars. I don't know if there are such frames in Sibelius.
  2. Go to Format-Style-Header,_Footer and delete the page number, the copyright information etc. Just like in Sibelius : 1, 2.
  3. Hide key signatures and clefs which would appear after horisontal frames. As far as I know it is Shift+Ctrl+H in Sibelius.
  4. Perform "image capture" of each of the newly separated bars in "print mode" and save it into .svg. In Sibelius it would be Home-Clipboard-Select_Graphic. (See p. 100 of this reference book)
  5. Open the newly created .svg file in Inkscape and delete unwanted vector elements. (I've tried to do this in GIMP once. I failed.)

I don't know whether this workaround can be adopted in the Sibelius' case?

Third method. Find, download and install the EasyABC opensource editor and import xml to that program.

  • That's converting to MusicXML to LilyPond, not to ABC. LilyPond uses neither the MusiXTeX format, nor the ABC format.
    – jeanas
    Mar 23 at 15:04
  • @jeanas , you are right. Mea culpa. I have edited the answer and added "the third method".
    – NuncTorUs
    Mar 23 at 15:57

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