Beyond Defaults : Create ½, whole-tone, flat, natural & sharp trill lines in Sibelius

There are a couple of common approaches for indicating trills with specific trill-to pitches in your music score. One way is to indicate the trill-to pitch as a stemless, cue sized note in a parenthesis.

trill-to-example

This is an extremely clear and elegant way to present the trill-to information. However, for “commercial” scores, this method is somewhat labor-intensive to create in the current software, and furthermore, isn’t completely bulletproof in terms of the trill-to pitch maintaining its horizontal positioning after music spacing .

Trills containing an intervalic jump larger than a whole step are commonly referred to as “fingered tremolo”, and displayed as pairs of notes with tremolo slashes.

Another method of displaying trills, which is very common in popular and commercial orchestral music as well as film and video game scores, largely because it is so efficient for entry, is to include a flat, natural or sharp symbol above, or just to the right of the “tr” symbol. For commercial scores, you also frequently see the trill-to note indicated as an intervalic distance, like a ½ step or a whole-tone (wt).

more >> “Beyond Defaults : Create ½, whole-tone, flat, natural & sharp trill lines in Sibelius”

Sibelius Quick Tip: Create a Bar Rest for a specific Voice

Q: How can I enter a bar rest for a specific voice in Sibelius?

For instance, when I write music in two voices, in the event that the first voice pauses, bar rests are automatically notated above the second voice, should it continue:

Conversely, this is not the case.

A: Locate the bar rest on the second Keypad layout, which can be used during note input to enter whole rests in a specific voice…

… or to turn existing notes or rests into a bar rest.

A German version of this quick tip („Ganztaktpausen erstellen in Sibelius”) is available here.


Karin Vadon is a classically trained musician, singer-songwriter and music copyist from Vienna, Austria who authors a german-language music notation blog for Sibelius and Dorico users.

Deconstructing the Rhythm Dot – The Mathematics of Dotted Notes

Updated on  August 9, 2018 to add an addendum on tupletting pairs of tied notes.

I recently needed to figure out ways to represent dotted notes so they would appear without a dot, and in the process, I found a number of ways to break down dotted notes into smaller notes. You may never need to do what I had to do, but someday one of these techniques may turn out to be useful.

more >> “Deconstructing the Rhythm Dot – The Mathematics of Dotted Notes”

Quick Tip: Inserting blank pages in Sibelius

Empty”placeholder” pages are sometimes useful to define the start of a new event, scene or movement in a score, or to facilitate good page turns.

To insert one or more blank pages, select the barline which precedes where you would like one or more blank pages to be inserted.

Now, choose the “Special Page Break” option from the Breaks group on the Layout tab:

(Prior to Sibelius 7 use Layout > Break > Special Page Breaks…)

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut CMND-SHIFT-RETURN (Mac) or CNTRL-SHIFT-RETURN (Windows).

This opens up to the Special Page Break dialog, where you can specify how many pages you wish to insert.

Special Page Breaks apply specifically to the current part (or score) view. If you have blank pages that you would like to appear globally in the score and parts, create the break in the score, and check “Keep Other Special Page Breaks” in Multi Part Appearance.

Note: Special Page Breaks are only available in the Full version of Sibelius (now called Sibelius Ultimate).

A German version of this post („Leere Seiten einfügen in Sibelius”) is available here.


Karin Vadon is a classically trained musician, singer-songwriter and music copyist from Vienna, Austria who authors a german-language music notation blog for Sibelius and Dorico users.

Positioning of page numbers, headers and footers in Sibelius

Q: In my Sibelius score, the page numbers always alternate between top right and top left corner. And I can only choose between “inside edge“ and “outside edge“ for a footer, which has the similar effect of alternating positions. How can I change this so that page numbers are always aligned top right to the page and footers are always in the bottom right corner?

A: From the Text tab, Click the “Edit Text Styles“ arrow-button in the Styles group. When the dialog opens, choose Page Numbers and click Edit…

Now the System Text Style dialog opens, where you can set the page numbers to align “Right“ in the Horizontal Position tab.

You can reposition a “Footer (outside edge)” in the same way.

A German version of this post („Position von Seitenzahlen und Kopf- und Fußzeilen in Sibelius”) is available here.


Karin Vadon is a classically trained musician, singer-songwriter and music copyist from Vienna, Austria who authors a german-language music notation blog for Sibelius and Dorico users.