Ideas Building Blocks : Use Sibelius to Create a Database of Thematic Material

I recently had an interesting dialog with a fellow Sibelius user about using the Ideas feature as a productivity tool for managing music for a large project. He writes:

“I´m a film composer who is just starting a TV-series where I need to be very organised with my material. On the face of it, the Ideas feature in Sibelius 7.5 looks as though it might be helpful in that regard. My hope is that I might be able to organise all my themes, moods, rhythmic and harmonic material in a comprehensive database within Ideas for easy access across all the different scenes.

However, Ideas doesn´t seem to sort alphabetically when listing the entries in the Ideas window. It seems it wants to list the latest edited version on top. As I use codes for my material (for example; Th_Selma_strings (means; Selma´s Theme with strings..) it would be great if I could navigate alphabetically.

Do you have any experience with using Ideas in this way?”

All best,
Henrik
www.henrikskram.com


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Sibelius Quick Tip : Adjusting the Bottom Staff of Score or Part

Q: Sometimes in Sibelius the bottom staff on a part page is too low; where there are ledger lines, the dynamics or a low pitch go below the page margins. I have tried the obvious reset above and below and dragging and optimize. When I drag the bottom stave it won’t budge, it just affects the stave above it. What is the solution?

A: You can use Option-Shift-Up Arrow (presumably Alt-Shift-Up Arrow on PC) with the staff selected to move it up and then reset space above staff to reset the distances of the staves above.

You can also create a Special Page Break at the end of the previous page and create a new margin definition for the bottom margin for one page only. Select the last barline on previous page and type CMND-SHIFT-P (presumably CNTRL-SHIFT-P on PC):

sib-special-page-break

That’s all there is to it.

~robert

Sibelius : Add Ancillary Staves to a Braced Grand Staff Instrument

Hello everybody, Michele Galvagno here with a rather interesting notational matter. I’m currently working on a piece by a living composer scored for 2 percussionists, with harp and piano.

The composer’s original manuscript is set as a system with four piano grand staves, the first two of which are labelled “Vibraphone & percussion” and “Marimba & percussion”:

4_base

Upon looking at the original manuscript more closely, I noticed that the composer had notated all the unpitched percussion onto extra 1-line staves positioned in the middle of each player’s respective braced grand staff:

8_manoscrittop1

 

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Draw the Line : Slur length

A slur, sometimes called a phrase mark, is a curved line used in musical notation which indicates that the notes are to be played smoothly together. String players will typically play the notes in one stroke of the bow, wind players or singers will take the notes in one breath.

Slurs are also used in vocal music to indicate that one syllable is to be sung across several notes, called a “melisma“.

When writing music, it is important that the extent of a phrase be immediately clear to the musicians.

When a phrase ends with a tied note, it’s perhaps natural to want to attach the phrase mark to the start of the tied series, but, except in one specific case we will cover in a moment, this is actually incorrect.

One slur should completely cover the entire phrase, with the end of the slur attached to the final tied note in the series. The following is correct:

slur-attachment-correct

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Sibelius Paste As Cue & Staff Visibility in the Score

I wanted to share this exchange I had today with a colleague on the Sibelius “Paste As Cue” feature as it affects staff visibility in the score. He writes:

“I am adding cues using Paste As Cue, but its messing up my Sibelius score. In other words, parts that were originally hidden in the score are now showing up again after the cue is created.

For instance, when I add cues to my my Bassoon 1 part, it shows up in the score–but only for a few pages. I am doing “show in parts” which sometimes helps but other times, it doesn’t. I am adding the cues from the score to the part.

Since these staves are hidden in Page View of the score, I need to create the cues from Panorama rather than on the score page…  ???”

W

sib-paste-as-cue

 

It sounds like you you may have split out separate staves for parts only (e.g. separate Bassoon 1 and 2 part staves from a combined score staff containing diads). These “parts only” staves are not supposed to be visible in the score.

Since there is already music in the staves, and these were previously hidden, after you apply ALL of your cues, you will need to go in and triple click these problematic parts staves, right-click and invoke “Show In Parts” again.

The reason the staves become visible in the score for these staves is that Paste As Cue creates visible rests in destination staff (along with the cue notes which are visible only in the parts). If the staff is supposed to remain visible in the score, this isn’t an issue, but for “parts only” staves, if your score is “optimized” (e.g. “French Style” formatting), staves which are not supposed to have a visible counterpart in the score will become visible when you add cues via Paste As Cue.

For future reference, the proper workflow is to create all of the cues while in the score, then triple click the staves which are parts only staves and select Show In Parts and hide them in the score at that later stage.

If you create the cues after setting the staves to Show In Part, you make the cue sections visible in the score because of the visible rests.

~robert

Finale Quick Tip : Smart Word Extensions @ Double Barlines

In vocal music, single syllables of text which span several different notes in succession are shown with horizontal lines, called Word Extensions, or Lyric Extensions. The technical name for these vocal phrases is “melisma” or the plural, “melismata”:

fin-lyric-extension-ex

Finale has a great productivity feature which automates the drawing of these lyric extensions called Smart Word Extensions.

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Sibelius Tip: Reason #4 Multi Measure Rests Break Incorrectly in Parts

Q: I know you’ve seen this one before! Multi Rests are breaking incorrectly in the parts. Normally, the solution to this problem is to delete the bar line to restore proper multi rest break points, but it is not working in this case…

Measure 4 will not join the multi rests in the parts. Attached is the SIB file. Thanks for your time!

A: In this case, the rests in the parts break incorrectly at bar 4 because you (perhaps inadvertently) manually changed the bar number for that bar. It’s a hard one to spot in this case because bar 4 is still bar 4.

Note that in a standard case, where the starting bar number of a section was changed to be different than sequential, this break in multirests is desirable; allowing you to clearly identify a cut or insert. Normally, a double or thick bar line might also be used to accentuate this transition, which coincidentally, also breaks the multirest.

Note that when I do a system selection, Sibelius highlights the bars that have been manually changed in purple, allowing me to see the point where the manual bar number was added:

sib-bar-num-breaks-multirests

 

In the score, select the offending bar number, then press delete to clear the manual renumbering. That will clear the manual bar number and allow the multirests to display correctly.

That’s all there is to it.

see also: Controlling Layout with Auto & Manual Breaks in Sibelius

~robert

for Bobby Brader