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Have you noticed that a typical internet search doesn’t always produce relevant results for music notation? For instance, if you do a Yahoo, Bing or Google search for  “articulation”, you’ll get dozens of results, with none of them related to Finale or Sibelius, and only a handful related to music . . .

‘NET SEARCH (see sidebar) is a useful resource that can help.

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Sibelius Quick Tip : Adjusting the Bottom Staff of Score or Part

Q: Sometimes in Sibelius the bottom staff on a part page is too low; where there are ledger lines, the dynamics or a low pitch go below the page margins. I have tried the obvious reset above and below and dragging and optimize. When I drag the bottom stave it won’t budge, it just affects the stave above it. What is the solution?

A: You can use Option-Shift-Up Arrow (presumably Alt-Shift-Up Arrow on PC) with the staff selected to move it up and then reset space above staff to reset the distances of the staves above.

You can also create a Special Page Break at the end of the previous page and create a new margin definition for the bottom margin for one page only. Select the last barline on previous page and type CMND-SHIFT-P (presumably CNTRL-SHIFT-P on PC):

sib-special-page-break

That’s all there is to it.

~robert

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MusicXML & SMuFL Development transferred to W3C

July 28, 2015 : In the spirit of maintaining open standards in music notation, MakeMusic and Steinberg have announced they are transferring development of the MusicXML format and SMuFL (Standard Music Font Layout) specification to a new Music Notation Community Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Michael Good of MakeMusic, Daniel Spreadbury of Steinberg and Joe Berkovitz of Hal Leonard / Noteflight will be co-chairs of this new group.

(Links to related articles on the web appear at the end of this post.)

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Sibelius : Add Ancillary Staves to a Braced Grand Staff Instrument

Hello everybody, Michele Galvagno here with a rather interesting notational matter. I’m currently working on a piece by a living composer scored for 2 percussionists, with harp and piano.

The composer’s original manuscript is set as a system with four piano grand staves, the first two of which are labelled “Vibraphone & percussion” and “Marimba & percussion”:

4_base

Upon looking at the original manuscript more closely, I noticed that the composer had notated all the unpitched percussion onto extra 1-line staves positioned in the middle of each player’s respective braced grand staff:

8_manoscrittop1

 

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Draw the Line : Slur length

A slur, sometimes called a phrase mark, is a curved line used in musical notation which indicates that the notes are to be played smoothly together. String players will typically play the notes in one stroke of the bow, wind players or singers will take the notes in one breath.

Slurs are also used in vocal music to indicate that one syllable is to be sung across several notes, called a “melisma“.

When writing music, it is important that the extent of a phrase be immediately clear to the musicians.

When a phrase ends with a tied note, it’s perhaps natural to want to attach the phrase mark to the start of the tied series, but, except in one specific case we will cover in a moment, this is actually incorrect.

One slur should completely cover the entire phrase, with the end of the slur attached to the final tied note in the series. The following is correct:

slur-attachment-correct

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Sibelius Paste As Cue & Staff Visibility in the Score

I wanted to share this exchange I had today with a colleague on the Sibelius “Paste As Cue” feature as it affects staff visibility in the score. He writes:

“I am adding cues using Paste As Cue, but its messing up my Sibelius score. In other words, parts that were originally hidden in the score are now showing up again after the cue is created.

For instance, when I add cues to my my Bassoon 1 part, it shows up in the score–but only for a few pages. I am doing “show in parts” which sometimes helps but other times, it doesn’t. I am adding the cues from the score to the part.

Since these staves are hidden in Page View of the score, I need to create the cues from Panorama rather than on the score page…  ???”

W

sib-paste-as-cue

 

It sounds like you you may have split out separate staves for parts only (e.g. separate Bassoon 1 and 2 part staves from a combined score staff containing diads). These “parts only” staves are not supposed to be visible in the score.

Since there is already music in the staves, and these were previously hidden, after you apply ALL of your cues, you will need to go in and triple click these problematic parts staves, right-click and invoke “Show In Parts” again.

The reason the staves become visible in the score for these staves is that Paste As Cue creates visible rests in destination staff (along with the cue notes which are visible only in the parts). If the staff is supposed to remain visible in the score, this isn’t an issue, but for “parts only” staves, if your score is “optimized” (e.g. “French Style” formatting), staves which are not supposed to have a visible counterpart in the score will become visible when you add cues via Paste As Cue.

For future reference, the proper workflow is to create all of the cues while in the score, then triple click the staves which are parts only staves and select Show In Parts and hide them in the score at that later stage.

If you create the cues after setting the staves to Show In Part, you make the cue sections visible in the score because of the visible rests.

~robert

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Finale Quick Tip : Smart Word Extensions @ Double Barlines

In vocal music, single syllables of text which span several different notes in succession are shown with horizontal lines, called Word Extensions, or Lyric Extensions. The technical name for these vocal phrases is “melisma” or the plural, “melismata”:

fin-lyric-extension-ex

Finale has a great productivity feature which automates the drawing of these lyric extensions called Smart Word Extensions.

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Sibelius score playback (notes switching off)

Seattle composer Bill Panks posted this question about missing notes during Sibelius score playback on the Seattle Composer’s Alliance Discussion email list, which I thought I would share here:


Hi All!

When playing back scores in Sibelius 7.5, I frequently have notes cut off suddenly throughout a score. This is especially a problem with larger scores (30+ instruments).

My guess has been that given the number of midi channels available, multiple instruments are placed on each channel, and instruments on the same channel occasionally play the same note – and the note-off signal from one instrument is cutting off both/all of those unison notes. (For example, a harp arpeggio might cut off a sustained choral note on the same channel).

My question is whether there is a quick work around for this, or do people generally custom-route their instruments to channels in a way that avoids conflicting notes (i.e., pair bass instruments with treble – but then might you encounter key-switch conflicts when you export to a DAW for mockup? – so perhaps pair instruments that share similar rhythms and would therefore have similar note-off times if they do happen to cross)? (To date, I’ve been using the channels that Sibelius automatically assigns to each instrument – maybe that’s my mistake).

Or, do others not experience this? Is there something else happening that’s causing the notes to cut off?

I appreciate any thoughts or feedback.

Thank you,
Bill Panks

Hi Bill,

Regardless of whether you are using the Sibelius 7 Sounds, Sibelius 7 sounds (light) or Sibelius 6 sounds, only one iteration of the Sibelius Player can be included as a sound set. This shouldn’t be a problem, though, since the Sibelius Player supports up to 128 channels. Check Preferences > Playback > Sibelius Player Options to make sure this hasn’t been inadvertently changed to a lower value:

sib-player-max-voices

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