L.V. Symbols in Sibelius (Laissez vibrer) – Several Solutions

Laissez vibrer [Fr.] allow to sound, do not damp.


from Ned Rorem’s Flute Trio

Laissez vibrer, or L.V. indications such as the one pictured above, are common notation practice. Instead of writing out a series of notes or chords together for what might be a long duration, the player is simply instructed, via a tie and the abbreviated ‘l.v.’ text, to let the note(s) ring out for as long as they would sound.

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How to create an AMBITUS in Sibelius 7 (part 1)

An Ambitus (sometimes anglicized to ambit) is mostly found in vocal and some instrumental scores from the Medieval/Renaissance period and it is a notational representation placed just before the clef in the modern multiple-staves system, indicating the note range for a given voice or the pitch range that a musical instrument is capable of playing (See score extract below).

Ambitus 01-1

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Alternate Key Signatures for Transposing Instruments

One thing we take for granted with music notation programs is that, for transposing instruments in a transposing score, the software automatically displays the correct key signature and transposes by the appropriate interval.

Most of the time, we don’t have to think about it. Both Sibelius and Finale will even, by default, “wrap” the key signature of the transposing instrument to prevent unnecessarily complex or remote key changes, ensuring that, for instance, an Alto Sax playing in the concert key of B major will display the key signature of A flat instead of a very unusual G sharp.

Occasionally, though, we need to display an enharmonic key signature other than the one the program chooses. Consider a B flat Clarinet playing in the concert key of E major. Both Sibelius and Finale will show the transposed key as F sharp (6 sharps), but we may want the key instead to be G flat (6 flats). Here’s how to do it:

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Entry Workflow for Piano Music in Sibelius 7


Having a consistent workflow routine when engraving a piano score can increase efficiency and accuracy. This guide provides the series of steps I follow to stay on track.

Sibelius has a very good piano template which will produce a nice looking piano score. Of course, you can always adjust the layout, and change various house style elements, but for now, let’s start with provided New Score Manuscript Paper (template).

Start by setting the score up with the proper title, composer, meter and key.

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Installing and using plug-ins in Sibelius 7

My colleague Philip Rothman of NYC Music Service posted this excellent Youtube video tutorial I want to share with you. In the tutorial, Philip walks through how to install and manage Sibelius 7 plug-ins from within the program.


He also covers these six very useful and free-for-download plug-ins:

  1. Edit Part Instrument Names
  2. Exchange Staff Contents
  3. Fill Selection With Slash Notes
  4. Harp Gliss
  5. Add LV Symbols to Notes (requires Sibelius 7)
  6. Open Selected Parts (requires Sibelius 7)

With the exception of Add LV Symbols to Notes and Open Selected Parts, the plugins covered in the video tutorial can also be used with Sibelius 6, by downloading from the direct links above. Sibelius 7 users can download the plugins directly from within Sibelius, as outlined by Philip in his Youtube tutorial.

Philip currently owns and authors the Sibeliusblog website, which is a great resource for Sibelius tips and tutorials.