Most browers should download Sibelius files just fine, including, at time of writing, Edge and Firefox.
However, Chrome seems to think they are dangerous, and prevents the download.
They are not dangerous!
But it is easy to get around this. Once you have attempted to download the file (or files), view your downloads page (ctrl+J,), and click 'keep dangerous file' to download it.
Advice accurate as of 21/7/21.
You need to download a version of the Sibelius software.
There are several versions available, but Sibelius First, the free version, will allow you to view and listen to all the Sibelius files available on our site.
Simply follow the instructions on the Sibelius website to download and install the software. They will probably ask you to create an 'Avid' account (Avid own Sibelius), but it is safe to do so.
When you have installed Sibelius, you can double-click on any downloaded Sib(elius) file to view it.
Alternatively, at the time of writing, iphones have a Sibelius app available, which will play Sibelius files.
I am Francis Roads, and a private individual. I use the name Roding Music for my activities in running West Gallery workshops and publishing West Gallery music. The name Roding comes from the river which flows through South Woodford, where I live. By chance it has a loose similarity with my own surname.
Roding Music publishes practical performing editions of West Gallery church music. They are not intended to be scholarly critical editions. Some are from printed sources, some from manuscripts, and many are a conflation of several sources. The emphasis in editing is on performability, rather than any attempt to produce an urtext or "authentic" version.
When there is a printed source, and where space permits, editorial notes are sometimes added. Where there is what appears to be a printing or copying error, these are corrected, and noted if space permits. Where the range of the music is rather high, transpositions are made. Some settings have had parts reallocated, for example to avoid divided tenors. In many cases adjustments to the text underlay are made, in order to avoid the verbal solecisms which attracted so much adverse comment during the West Gallery period.
The editor is delighted to answer any queries about sources or any other editing matter.
All Roding Music editions are covered by a Creative Commons licence. The decision to do so was taken on 3rd May 2012. It may take some time to alter the copyright notices on all the scores.
Private individuals and amateur choirs and ensembles are welcome to download and copy this music for their own use. If you wish to make a PayPal donation, that is at your discretion. Anyone who wishes to make commercial use of the scores is invited to get in touch.
Roding Music makes its scores freely available in order to promote West Gallery church music as widely as possible. Nobody is ever going to get rich by publishing this repertoire. If I wanted money, I could earn more per hour sweeping floors.
But if you value what you download, you may wish to make a Paypal donation. There are expenses, mostly for the maintainance and upgrading of hardware and software, and also for travel to libraries and elsewhere where West Gallery scores are available.
Sibelius recommends the use of clarinet tone for vocal files when publishing on the internet. The reason is that the quality of computers' sound cards varies, but clarinet sound is easy to generate and sounds good on most computers.
PDF files are included for those who are unable or unwilling to download and use the Sibelius files. They are identical in appearance, and can be downloaded and printed. But you can't listen to them.
The keyboard accompaniments which appear on all the files marked KS or Kpdf are straight transcriptions of the vocal or instrumental lines. Usually the right hand plays soprano and alto, and the left hand tenor and bass. Where this causes impossible stretches, notes are transferred to the other hand, or an octave alternative provided. In this case the original note appears in square brackets [ ]. This is contrary to editing practice elsewhere, where it is the editorial note which so appears. No attempt is made to add additional harmony where the texture thins to two voices or a single voice.
In the West Gallery period, most churches had no keyboard instrument. In such churches music was sung either unaccompanied or accompanied by one or more string or wind instruments. But where keyboard instruments were available, in church or elsewhere, they are known to have been used. In many printed sources there are figured basses, or additional small harmony notes in the later sources. For further remarks, see Interpreting West Gallery music.
Underlaying the text in the strophic settings can cause problems to those unused to West Gallery settings, especially where there are repeated or omitted lines, or sections of lines of text. Whenever some verses are not underlaid, Roding Music uses a system of circled numbers and other symbols to indicate how the underlay is to be carried out. This is more than was available to singers in the West Gallery period, who often had to work out the underlay with little to guide them.
But modern singers would usually prefer to have all the text underlaid. This has been done with many of the settings. However, underlaying many verses spreads out the stave lines. Where this will spread the vocal score over more than two pages, the resulting page turn can be more trouble than it is worth, especially for any instrumentalists. Therefore the keyboard versions of the editions usually have only one or two verses underlaid, while the vocal versions have as many as possible.
In the earlier part of the West Gallery period, most of the music was published and performed with the air or principle part in the tenor line, rather than the soprano. Later music was often published in the more familiar manner, though many choirs continued to sing in the tenor-led style.
This is the reason for the many tenor-led settings in Roding Music's list. At the time of writing (see the date of most recent update) all the tenor-led strophic settings have also been published in a soprano-led version. Occasionally the soprano-led version is closer to the original printed version, where the edition had been made from a tenor-led manuscript. Where the original versions were tenor-led, the adaptations do vary in their effectiveness. In some cases the music has been altered, especially where changing tenor and soprano spoils the effect of fuguing passages.
Where both versions are available, purists will prefer the tenor-led version. But many modern choirs will find the soprano-led version more practical, and it is the intention that Roding Music editions should be above all else practical.
In the future it is hoped to publish soprano-led versions of the through-composed settings, and suitably adapted keyboard versions. At present, all the keyboard editions are based on tenor-led versions, where they exist.
Many hymns of the West Gallery period have survived into modern use. However, they are almost always in short score, and often both text and music have been "improved".
Roding Music editions are all in open score, to aid instrumental accompaniment. In many cases a symphony or instrumental interlude between verses has been added. Usually the version published here is from the West Gallery period. Often an earlier version of the text has been restored, though it remains Roding Music's policy to modernise spelling.
Two is a rather small number of versions in which to find a West Gallery piece. Both compilers of printed collections and manuscript copyists frequently made alterations. These were often quite substantial, such as adding or omitting parts, or adding or omitting sections of music. West Gallery musicians find many of these revised versions of interest, and worthy of performance.
Where I have published a second version, it is because I came across it after finding the first, thought it worthy of publication, but saw no reason to delete the former version.
That depends on what you mean by mistakes. West Gallery composers, and not only the less educated ones, used unconventional progressions such as parallel fifths and unresolved discords with some freedom. It is a matter of debate to what extent these departures from classical practice were deliberate. It is not Roding Music's policy to "correct" such progressions unless they appear to be the result of miscopying or misprinting. Those who wish to alter them are free to do so.
However, your editor is a human being, and if you think that you have found an editing error (or indeed have any other comment on the editing) please don't hesitate to get in touch.
If you would like to email it, it may appear on future ones, and it will certainly get a reply.