It was a feature of school music for many of us, and for some it’s an ongoing part of our professional lives. The flourishes of Sibelius symphonies which start our music-making sessions give us something to aim for. Thanks Sibelius.

Each startup snippet is taken from a different Sibelius symphony. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily match up the software edition with the symphony number, which makes the task of finding these snippets a little harder.

I’d love to start an experiment to see if we can find each startup theme all the way back to the first incarnation of Sibelius software back in 1993. I’ve found the first three, but the search continues…

Sibelius 7

The most recent iteration of the Sibelius software takes its start up music from Sibelius’ 7th (and final) symphony. This symphony is unusual because it consists of just one movement, rather than the usual four. Here it is, played by the Vienna Phil and conducted by Leonard Bernstein. You can find the familiar music around 06:17.



Sibelius 6

Sibelius 6 is still playing ball, taking its startup movement from the second movement of Sibelius’ symphony no. 6 in D minor. Sibelius described this symphony ‘cold spring water’ to compare it to what he called the ‘extravagant cocktails’ composed by his contemporaries such as Igor Stravinsky. Here is the movement played by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä. You’ll hear the familiar bars around 08:13.

Sibelius 5

After a bit of hunting the Sibelius 5 start up music shows up at the start of the 3rd symphony.

Sibelius’ symphony no.3 in C major is generally regarded as more classical than his previous works. The orchestration is lighter than before, with no tuba or harp, although it’s still heavily influenced by Finnish folk songs. Here it is; the clip used for the software is right at the the start of the third movement, played here by the Swedish Symphony Orchestra with Esa Pekka Salonen at the helm. Skip to 21:00 for a trip down memory lane!

What’s Next?

Now I need your help! I’m trying to trace the last few clips of music for the first four Sibelius editions. Sibelius 4 is as far back as I go, but if you were one of the early users then why not revisit these wonderful symphonies and help me complete my set?