Sibelius – How to type in Harp Pedal Markings As Text

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:

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Creating and using Text Wildcards in Sibelius

Sibelius has a very useful feature called Text Wildcards. Wildcards are a type of placeholder text that are sometimes referred to as Tokens or Text Inserts. 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.

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Creating and using Text Inserts in Finale

Finale has a very useful feature for automating the display of text called Text Inserts. These text inserts, which are a type of placeholder text sometimes referred to as Wildcards or Tokens, use the information from the fields in File > File Info to display text on the page.

One advantage of using a Text Insert is that you only need to type the actual text into the Finale file in one location – File > File Info. Anywhere the wildcard appears, the text is dynamically updated instantly.

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Notating Fingered Tremolos in Finale and Sibelius

Fingered tremolo resembles a trill, but often with a larger interval between the fingers. The notation shows the tremolo marking between two notes rather than intersecting stems, or directly under or over a whole note. The convention is to show the full value of each of the notes in the tremolo pair.

Fingered tremolo is very straightforward to create in both Finale and Sibelius:

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Finale & Sibelius – controlling text visibility between score & parts

In observing the steps people go through to change visibility of text between score and parts in both Finale and Sibelius, I thought a short tutorial post on the subject might be helpful.

In both Finale and Sibelius, headers and other types of text are normally shared between the score and the parts, visible in both. The default setting in both programs is to show the text entered in the score in both score and parts.

It is a simple key shortcut to Show or Hide individual occurrences of text  as you edit each part (the keystroke toggles visibility in both programs):

  • Finale : CNTRL-ALT-SHIFT-H / windows • CMND-OPT-SHIFT-H / mac
  • Sibelius : CNTRL-SHIFT-H / windows • CMND-SHIFT-H / mac

… However, this is a lot of extra steps, particularly in an orchestral score with a lot of parts. It is much easier to do this in a single step for cases where you want the visibility of all the parts set the same way, and the score set a different way:

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Create & position a larger time signature on the staff in Sibelius 6 & 7

Q: I’ve made my regular time signatures a bit larger than the default size, but I can’t seem to get them vertically aligned properly on the staff … How do I get them centered on the staff so that they stick out equally above and below the center staff line?

A: You need to make a quick adjustment in two places to do this.

  1. When you increase the font size, you must also slightly increase its Line Spacing.
  2. The larger the font increase, the more vertical offset you need to add to the overall time signature Default Position.

Here’s how:

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Locating and Editing the Triangle Symbol for MA7 chords in Finale

In Finale 2012 and several earlier versions, chord suffixes can be created by simply typing them in with the Chord tool.   If every chord suffix library for Finale was the same, you could simply type in a standard keystroke for each suffix.

However, depending on the library that is currently in use for the suffix, this isn’t always the case. For instance, consider the different ways arrangers indicate a major 7th chord: M7, MA7, MAJ7, etc. In Finale, the in order to type in a chord suffix directly, it has to exactly match one of the existing suffixes in the current library.

In addition, some symbols, like the Triangle ∆ (Delta symbol) sometimes used for MA or MA7 chords isn’t an obvious keystroke. Furthermore, some chord fonts, such as the JazzCord font, are designed to display each suffix and any of its alterations using a single font character (e.g. “∆7” isn’t two keystrokes in JazzCord, it is a single character).

To locate, display or edit these suffixes which can’t simply be typed in, and for which you don’t know the shortcut: enter the chord name without the suffix, (e.g. “C”) then right-click to select “Edit Chord Definition”. This will allow you to manually choose the chord suffix.

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