What is MusicXML? MusicXML is an interchange file format for music notation applications. It provides a better way to transfer notation between different programs than other formats such as MIDI files.
Q: Which program is faster / simpler for jazz lead sheets – Finale or Sibelius? Also, which program is better at complex chord extensions and chord placement?
A: In order to really determine which program is “faster”, I think it is necessary to look at four main areas of interaction: Document Setup, Note Entry, Page Layout and Editing.
My friend and colleague Bruce Munson of Bruce Munson Music Services and Consulting recently shared this tutorial with me for how to create your own keyboard shortcuts. His tutorial shows how to create an advance caret keyboard shortcut in Sibelius 6 or 7, which allows you to go from Edit back to Create.
You can use the same basic steps to create any custom keyboard shortcut for Sibelius.
Q: “I’m working on a Violin Concerto in Finale 2011. The violinist who is playing the concerto prefers to have all the high passages written out in pitch (rather than using ottava notation). However, I would like to use ottava notation In the score. How to I show the notes at pitch in the part, and at 8vb with the ottava lines in the score?”
A: While this is a little different than creating a part for an octave transposing instrument, we’ll use similar techniques to create it. In FInale 2012 and earlier, we’ll create and use an octave transposing Staff Style for this, in combination with ottava lines which are visible in the score, and hidden in the part. Here’s how:
In Sibelius, some instruments, such as piano or harp, automatically appear as a grand staff part. However, many times, it is desirable to create a part which combines two or more staves from the score into a single part.
For instance, you might want to combine Violin 1 and Violin 2 onto the same part, or perhaps you have several percussion instruments that should appear in a percussion part score, or an SATB chorus that you’d like all on the same part. Here’s how: more >> “Combining Two or More Instruments Into a Single Part in Sibelius”
UPDATED FEBRUARY 2, 2012
I recently had this question posed to me by fellow note-slinger John Hinchey, “Is there a way to overdub continuous control changes in Sibelius? Say you’ve got a staff with notes in it; now you want to insert just control changes, but in real time, using your midi wheels, pedals, faders etc.”
If your playback doesn’t sound very natural, you can add control changes, but in real time, using your midi wheels, pedals, faders etc. For example, you could “perform” the pedalling of a piano part in Sibelius.
OVERDUBBING CONTROLLER CHANGES IN SIBELIUS 6 or 7
Let’s assume you already have notes in the staff, which you’ve either entered in Sibelius, or perhaps you’ve imported using MIDI, Photoscore or MusicXML. At this point, you are ready to overdub Controller Changes onto the staff.
Sibelius 7 : Select the Note Input Tab of the Ribbon, then click on the little box in the lower right corner of the Flexi-time section to open the Flexi-time options dialog.
Sibelius 6 : From the Notes menu, select Flexi-time Options to open the Flexi-time dialog.
Sibelius 6&7: In the Flexi-time panel of this dialog, first uncheck “Record Into Multiple Voices”, then select the “Voice 2” radio button. If you have notes already in Voice 2, you can select Voice 3 or 4. Under “Existing Music” select the Overdub radio button.
Now, go to the Notation panel of Flexi-time options, and under MIDI Messages, check “Keep Controller Changes”.
OK the dialog, and that’s all there is to it! Select the bar to start recording in. CTRL-SHIFT-F (CMND-SHIFT-F) starts Flexi-time rolling, so you can record only the controller changes (CC) on this pass.
This excellent YouTube video tutorial by David Healey of Total Composure from Northern England details how to record CC controller changes in Sibelius 7:
“I would like to add a gap between bars for a Coda in my score and parts in Sibelius, but the gap is only showing up in the parts. How can I make the split system show up in the parts as well?”
In Sibelius 6, you must manually split the multirest in the same bar as the Split System in order for a Coda (e.g. System split) gap to show up in all the parts.
In Sibelius 7, the Split Multirest is automatically added when you select Split System, so normally, these will show up automatically in the parts this way.
However, note that in either Sibelius 6 or Sibelius 7, you also need to have “Keep gaps before codas (that have split multirests)” checked in the Layout Tab of the Multiple Part Appearance dialog for this to work properly.
In Sibelius 7, go to the Parts tab, Part Appearance and select the Layout tab. Check “Keep gaps before codas (that have split multirests)”
In Sibelius 6, select the Multi Part Appearance button in the Parts Window, and select the Layout tab. Check “Keep gaps before codas (that have split multirests)”