Easy Automated Arpeggios in Sibelius 6 & 7

In Sibelius 5 and earlier, the way you would indicate an arpeggio or rolled chord was to Type “L” to open the Lines Dialog and select the appropriate wavy line. Once on the page, you dragged the arpeggio line into place. With no collision avoidance or precise placement built in, the results frequently looked like this:

If you’re still creating arpeggios this way in Sibelius 6 or 7, read on. 

Were you aware that arpeggio lines are now a “smart” feature of Sibelius? If you aren’t already using this feature, you should be. Not only will your charts look better, but using the feature will save you valuable time. This “smart” arpeggio feature is built into the fifth Keypad layout of Sibelius 6 and Sibelius 7:

To create an arpeggio, select a note or chord, then one of the three variants of the arpeggio line: a regular arpeggio line, an arpeggio line with an up-arrowhead at the top, and an arpeggio line with a downwards-pointing arrowhead at the bottom.

Sibelius automatically creates the arpeggio to the appropriate length, at a proper horizontal distance from the notes,  automatically avoiding collisions with notes, accidentals, key signatures, meter changes and barlines.  As if that weren’t enough, as you add or remove notes from the chord, or change their pitches, the length of the arpeggio line is updated automatically. Cool, right?

If you need the line to extend across a grand staff,  can drag either end of the line to change its length.  Tip – when extending the length of the arpeggio line by dragging across a grand staff, start the arpeggio in the staff with the the most accidentals – that way, the line will be properly placed to avoid any collisions across the grand staff.

 If you need further horizontal adjustment, you can move them left or right by pressing the left or right arrow keys while holding down SHIFT-ALT (Windows) or SHIFT-OPT (Mac). The new position will be factored into the Note Spacing.

To restore the default length or remove manual horizontal adjustments, choose Layout > Reset Position.

No more manually positioning every arpeggio line. Plus, of course, they play back.

That’s it! That’s all there is to it.



5 Replies to “Easy Automated Arpeggios in Sibelius 6 & 7”

  1. Thanks for that! Would you happen to know how I include arpeggios like those in the A major section of Mozart’s Turkish March (he writes out a flurry of chords with small semiquavers)

  2. Salve,
    non conosco ancora bene Sibelius 7.5: come posso effettuare in play un arpeggio che parte dalla mano sinistra (chiave di basso) e si estende alla mano destra (chiave di violino)? Il simbolo di arpeggio deve essere unico ovvero, partire dal basso allalto.

    1. Claudio,
      Grazie per la tua domanda. Se si utilizza la linea di arpeggio nella tastiera, è possibile fare clic sulla riga, selezionare la maniglia, e trascinare verso il basso da parte del personale chiave di violino per il personale chiave di basso. Se si desidera la riproduzione, aggiungere la riga arpeggio in chiave di basso, poi nasconderlo prima di trascinare ed estendendo la linea di chiave di violino giù.


  3. Salve,
    perché alcuni strumenti come il “Panpipes” non vengono influenzati dai segni di dinamica (mp, mf, ff, ecc.)?
    Naturalmente sto parlando dei sounds di Sibelius 7.5.
    Attendo sue.
    Cordiali saluti.

    1. Non ho usato il suono “panpipes”, ma è possibile che non sia sensibile al testo dinamico in Sibelius

      I have not used the “panpipes” sound, but it is possible that it is not responsive to dynamic text in Sibelius.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.