Q: I’ve got a chart with just the parts and I’m re-constructing a score. I want to enter the notes as they are without going through transposing. Is there a way to just enter the notes onto a transposed score? It seems like there must be an easy way to do this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks . . .
A: I’ll walk through the steps for creating a score from an existing set of printed parts in both Finale and Sibelius. You can create a new score from existing transposed parts in either program, but as you’ll see, one notation program has a clear advantage in this particular area.
If you are like me, you may have trouble remembering some of the keystrokes required to enter certain chord symbols into Finale, especially when you start getting into some of the alterations.
For either the Handwritten or Engraved Styles, many chord suffixes are simple to enter, because you can just type in the suffix as you would any string of text, and as you do so, Finale creates the proper chord suffix. For instance, in the Handwritten Style, you can type in “Cmaj7” or “C7(b9)” and you’ll get nice looking chord symbols with the proper vertical alignment both suffixes:
A few years ago, I created two special “Scratchpad” files, one for Finale (.mus) and one for Sibelius (.sib). It was a handy way to quickly copy and paste common notation building blocks which can take time to create, like drum set patterns, from one score into another.
The Ideas Library of Sibelius 7 offers a much better way to collect and organize these building blocks – and it’s integrated right into Sibelius. To start with, you have access to a large number of built-in musical motifs you can use to create new music (Preferences>Ideas>Show Built-in-ideas), and you can add and edit your own.
In this YouTube video from back in 2008, Daniel Spreadbury gives an excellent demonstration of the original “Ideas Hub”, as it was called when it was first introduced in Sibelius 5:
However, to this day, I’m surprised at how many Sibelius users think of the Ideas feature as nothing more than a “Musical Clip Art” feature – fun to play with, but not a tool for serious professional use. You might be surprised to learn that the Sibelius Ideas feature is a powerful scratchpad that has the power to transform the way you work. Let’s take a closer look:
Q: “In Finale, I have notated the starting and ending notes of a gliss which is in C minor. The full version of TGTOOLS has the Harp Pedaling… plugin, but since I’m not displaying enough pitches at this point in the score to outline the C minor tonality, I can’t get the plugin to work. Can I manually type in the harp pedal marking for C minor as text into Finale?”
A: Yes. To indicate the pedal changes at the start of a piece or new section, there are two standard conventions:
Q: “In Sibelius, I have notated the starting and ending notes of a gliss which is in C minor. I tried the Add Harp Pedal Diagrams plugin, but since I’m not displaying enough pitches at this point in the score to outline the C minor tonality, I can’t get it to work. I would just like to manually type in a harp pedal marking for C minor as text into Sibelius. How can I do this?”
A: To indicate the pedal changes at the start of a piece or new section, there are two standard conventions:
Sibelius has a very useful feature called Text Wildcards. These wildcards use the information from the fields in File>(Score)Info to display text on the page.
One advantage of using Text Wildcards is that you only need to type the actual text into the Sibelius file in one location – File>(Score)Info. Anywhere the wildcard appears, the text is dynamically updated instantly.