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.
Good music engravers are always on the lookout for inventive and elegant solutions to make their work easier. To me, one of the more interesting niche areas of typeset music notation are graphical fingering diagrams for musical instruments.
Fonts are the optimal solution for creating fingering diagrams in Finale or Sibelius. Since font characters are essentially vector graphics (as opposed to bitmapped graphics), they will look great when printed at any size, and remain clear and legible on screen.
There are several shareware and freeware fingering diagram fonts currently available for both woodwind and brass instruments from enterprising font designers. I covered a few of these in a previous post.
I recently had a discussion about measure number placement with a colleague. For film scores, game scores and other commercial recording sessions, bar numbers are most typically shown on every bar. Although my colleague is a Finale user, this discussion is relevant to both Finale or Sibelius users.
Logic’s Music XML feature only does export, not import, which makes sense – you’re likely not bringing music into Logic to clean up the notation. You can import .smf from Sibelius or Finale for file transfers if needed.
To access the Export feature, you need to have the Score Editor open and then go the main File Menu>Export>Score as MusicXML. This will be greyed out if a Score Editor window is not open.
The score display is what is exported – make sure you have the correct tracks and number of tracks displayed. With that in mind you could do a score set of e.g., just strings and export those.
Once exported you’ll find the file with a .xml ending. If you just click to open you’ll likely not get it opened in a notation program – you can import / open via Finale / Sibelius or select one of them to open the file.
Q: I am dealing with bar lines that go through multiple parts in a score. I would like to group the instrument choirs rather than having bar lines running down the entire score. Is there an easy fix for this in Sibelius and / or Finale?
A: Yes, absolutely.
In Sibelius, click at the bottom of the staff right at the point where the bar line joins the bottom staff line. A box will show up. Click and drag the box down and the staves will become joined or separated.
In Finale, in Staff Attributes there is an attribute called “Break Barlines between staves” which controls whether the bar lines join with the staff above that particular instrument.
That’s all there is to it.
In this tutorial I will show you the workflow I use to create a 4 hands piano score, and optionally, how to export a midi/audio reference.
Piano music for four hands has in general the lower part (Secondo) notated on the left hand pages, and the higher part (Primo) notated on the right hand pages. This way, the two players can easily read their own parts while following the other player’s part.
Notation template In this example I will create a basic template with 4 pages having 5 systems each, in which every system has 4 bars, what would be 20 bars on a page and a total of 80 bars on 4 pages. Later when you to enter the music, you can always add or delete bars on a page. The screenshots are all in Sibelius 6, but the principals are exactly the same for Sibelius 7.x
A wildcard is a special kind of text object that can insert text from somewhere else. For instance, Sibelius has a number of useful wildcards for various page text elements (title, subtitle, composer, copyright etc). When you change the information in Score Info, the text on the page will automatically update.
The syntax for text wildcards is a backslash, followed by a dollar sign, then the wildcard label and finally, a closing backslash. Case does not matter; they can be all upper case, all lower case, or mixed case.
Sibelius also has some formatting change wildcards, which work exclusively within the Score Info dialog. The syntax for these is simply the command encased in a pair of backslashes.
Text wildcards are designed to appear on the page; as stated above, formatting wildcards (such as for bold, italic, new line etc) can only be used in Score Info.
Here is a list of the available text wildcards for Sibelius:
\$PARTNAME\ evaluates to a list of the instruments in the part, each instrument separated by a carriage return.
\$HEADERPARTNAME\ evaluates to a list of the instruments in the part, separated by a comma and all on the same line.
\$USER\ – current logged in user
\$DATELONG\ – full date in locale-specific format, e.g. “March 4, 2005″
\$DATESHORT\ – short date in locale-specific format, e.g. “04/03/05″
\$FILEPATH\ – full path to the current file
\$FILENAME\ – filename of the current file
\$FILEDATE\ – full date that the current file was last saved
\$TIME\ – current time (insert this, then zoom in and out every second!)
\$PAGENUM\ – current page number
\$NumPages\ – total number of pages (as of Sib 7.13)
Here are the available formatting wildcards for Score Info:
\n\ New line
\B\ Bold on
\b\ Bold off
\I\ Italic on
\i\ Italic off
\U\ Underline on
\u\ Underline off
\fArial Black\ Font change to Arial Black (for example)
\f_\ Font change to text style’s default font
\s123\ Size change to 123 (units are 1/32nds of a space, not points)
- Creating and using Wildcards (Text Inserts) in Sibelius
- Page Numbering in Sibelius : Ranges : X of Y
More information about Wildcards is available in the Sibelius Reference, starting on page 260.