Q: I’m writing a lead sheet, and I want to show 4 measures per system. This is really common in jazz charts such as the RealBook – the bars are symmetrical. Many jazz players are familiar with this type of look and layout, but Sibelius automatically spaces the music very differently than this. How does one lay out the music like this in Sibelius 6 or 7?
In Sibelius 7, go to the Layout Tab, and select Auto Breaks from the Breaks Group. Check “Use auto system breaks” and select the radio button for Every X bars (Type in “4” or change the number of bars per system if you want more.)
In Sibelius 6, choose “Auto Breaks” from the Layout Menu. Check “Use auto system breaks” and select the radio button for Every X bars (Type in “4” or change the number of bars per system if you want more.)
Now, respace the music as normal (select the music and type CMND-SHIFT-N (CNTRL-SHIFT-N), and Sibelius will apply its spacing rules across the four evenly spaced bars per system, without changing the number of measures per system.
Note that you can “mix and match” note spacing system to system. Suppose you have 4 systems that you want 4 measures per system, but then you need a different number of measures per line, for multirests, or whatever reason. Set up the document for four bars per system, then lock the layout to that point. (select the bars and type CMND-SHIFT-L / CNTRL-SHIFT-L)
Now, you can go back into the Auto Breaks dialog and change the settings. Starting at the point where the music is unlocked, your new system breaks rule will apply, until you lock this group of measures. You can do this as many times as you need to within the same chart.