This post explores a couple of ways to redistribute your music notation on the page for better balance and readability. Regardless of the notation program use, hopefully these tips will help you improve the presentation of your music, and help your musicians in the process.
Q: I’m doing a piano score on Sibelius and I accidentally hit some button that turned the score page “paper” into that ivory yellowish color. I just want it white again. I assume that I’m still on the orig. score page and this isn’t some alternate, “for printing only” version?
A: You can choose from a wide variety of graphics or colors for both your music and for your workspace background in Sibelius.
Q: I’m having some technical problems with a Sibelius score. I’m trying to reformat the score layout at the oboe section (pages 53-55). There is a weird thing where system brackets appear in middle of score instead of just at the left edge.
A: The brackets are caused by changing the amount of space before one or more bars. Sibelius calls this distance (normally zero) “Gap Before Bar” and it is useful to indent a the first system of a piece or movement or to create a space for a Coda in the middle of a system. Unfortunately, it is possible to add these gaps without realizing it.
In your example file, these Gaps Before Bar were a very, very small amount (.72 spaces), and if I had to guess, were very likely previously at system starts where they would be extremely hard to notice.
However, when you attempted to reformat the page layout, the “extra” brackets became visible since these bars were no longer at the starts of systems.
To correct this, select the individual bar following the mid-system bracket, then use the Inspector (Properties in Sibelius versions before v7) to reset the positioning for GAP BEFORE BAR to zero.
The bracket should disappear and now you can reformat the score without the mid-system brackets.
That’s all there is to it!
…a tutorial for creating custom instrument group names in Finale is here.
There are some situations where you might need to show an additional label for a group of instruments in a score; to distinguish between different ensembles of like instruments or on stage or antiphonal instruments, for example:
One can achieve this in Sibelius by manually adding and placing text on each page of the score. However, this approach gets pretty tedious for large scores. The following technique is another method to help you achieve this look quickly and consistently.
My friend and colleague John Hinchey recently wrote a series of tutorial posts for Sibelius over on Avid blogs. The title of the series is “Three Things” — There are actually four different articles in which he covers plugins, drumset notation, names and multi-rests, which I wanted to share here.