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.
Q: How do I get the Clavichord Sound to play back in Sibelius 7.5? I switch from the Piano to Clavichord Instrument in the middle of my score, but the sound stays on Piano.
(The amplified version of the Clavichord is called the Clavinet or Electric Clavichord).
A: It would appear that Avid / Sibelius has never assigned the Clavichord instrument to playback, at least since Sibelius 6. The good news is that it’s easy to assign an appropriate sound to this instrument:
Q: In Sibelius, when I put slurs in on voice 1 on a divisi part (e.g. Clarinet 1 and 2), the slur appears like normal. However, if I grab a passage of voice 2 its a hassle – the slur doesn’t connect properly, and I have to drag it out… Am I missing something?
A: Sometimes, in order to get phrase marks to line up appropriately with notes in voice 2, you’ll need to convert the lower phrase destination note to voice 2 in the next bar, or wherever the phrase mark ends. Select the appropriate destination note and type Option 2 (Alt 2 on Windows):
Since early versions of Sibelius, there have been Default Symbols and Lines. In the case of both Symbols and Lines, some of these are hard wired to specific functions in the program, and in the case of Lines in particular, these attributes are inherited by any “New” version you might create of that Default line.
For instance, the Default 8va line has an effect on playback. If you make a copy of this line by selecting it and clicking the “New” button, the New copy will inherit the same playback attributes. In the same way, if you change the visible attributes of the default 8va line, say, to different preceding text or change the line thickness, it will still maintain those playback characteristics.
But the ability to edit the defaults directly has some ramifications.
At Winter NAMM 2015, MOTU demonstrated MusicXML export capabilities in their demo of the upcoming version 9 release of Digital Performer. DP is MOTU’s flagship DAW application for Mac and Windows, popular with many composers for film, television and other media.
DP9 will allow users to export a sequence’s MIDI data as an industry-standard MusicXML file, for import into music notation software such as Finale or Sibelius.
MusicXML export should provide a big workflow improvement for DP-based composers and orchestrators who currently must use Standard MIDI files to exchange data with their notation software of choice. This existing method often requires creating a duplicate copy of the sequence MIDI tracks and applying hard quantization before exporting, so that the notation application will interpret the exported MIDI data in a musically useful way.
DP9’s Music XML export appears to build upon the already solid Quickscribe notation features included in DP. The exported MusicXML file will included the non-destructive quantization applied by the Quickscribe transcription engine, as well as any dynamics or other markings added in the Quickscribe editor window.
DP9 is just the latest of several major DAWs to support MusicXML. Steinberg’s Cubase and Nuendo both feature import and export of MusicXML, while Apple LogicPro X, Cakewalk SONAR and MAGIX Sequoia offer export-only support for the standard. Users of Avid Pro Tools can open and save Sibelius files, but not MusicXML.
You can view MOTU’s DP9 preview presentation at Winter NAMM in the following video (notation-related content starts around 6:35):
MOTU Product Specialist Dave Roberts, seen in the video above, says “we are projecting late Spring for the DP9 release”. Check back here after DP9 ships for a thorough review of its MusicXML feature.
Brian Monroney is a guitarist, composer and arranger based in Seattle. He has recorded and/or toured with artists including Tom Jones, Gloria Estefan, Barry Manilow, Natalie Cole, and Nelson Rangell. Brian’s music has been heard on TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory, Ellen, TMZ and Modern Marvels.
Q: How can I get Sibelius to create 16th septuplets in a bar of 6/8 without the duration dots?
A: It’s a great question. By default, if you select a 16th note or rest on the downbeat in 6/8 time and create a default septuplet (CNTRL-7 Windows or CMND-7 Mac), you end up with an extra 8th rest:
This is because Sibelius is interpreting the default septuplet request as 7 sixteenths in the space of 4 sixteenths (2 eighths). However, for the above case, it should actually be 7 sixteenths in the space of 6 sixteenths.
Q: Is it possible to make title text appear more “expanded” (as I might do in a Word doc?) My client has a specific font request, but his letter spacing looks wider than the same font on my computer, which is more “tight”:
A: This difference is due to letter-spacing, referred to as “Tracking” in typography. Tracking refers to a consistent degree of increase (or sometimes decrease) of space between letters to affect density in a line or block of text.
A few days ago, I was asked to visit the students of Seattle’s Pacific NW Film Scoring Program to speak about my role as music copyist, orchestrator and music librarian for feature films and video games.
The students asked some great questions, so I thought I would post a few of them along with my answers here.