Q: I’m trying to figure out a better mousetrap for dealing with Grand Pauses (GP) in Sibelius. When I use tempo text to create a grand pause in the score, it doesn’t center over bar rests in the score or the parts, so it requires a whole lot of tweaking in both places. I’m hoping there is a smarter, less laborious way to deal with this?
A: Good question. There is actually more than one approach we can take to address this question, in the absence of a true Sibelius feature to center text within a bar. In this tutorial, let’s take a look at the Symbols method:
Music that supplies only the pitches while directing the players to improvise the rhythms freely is a common (partly) aleatoric device which gives the composer a desired degree of control over the tonality, while retaining temporal freedom.
The notation is typically indicated by surrounding a series of specific pitches with a square or rectangular box, along with a box extender line to indicate that the pitches are to be improvised on for a specific number of beats or a given number of seconds. The exact duration of the “box” can also be indicated as a text duration (e.g. 00:06″ etc).
In ”Creating Aleatoric / Temporal Boxed Notation in Finale, Part 1” we looked at how to create these semi-aleatoric directives.
Sometimes, the reverse is desired: the rhythm is notated, but the specific pitches are left up to the player. A common convention for this is to show stems of different lengths (without noteheads) to show the relative pitch relationships:
This is quite simple to do in Finale:
Etude numbers in published works commonly appear at the left edge of the first staff of each etude:
Since these occur in the same place as Instrument Names might in a score, (and since serendipitously, instrument names aren’t typically displayed at the left edge of systems in an Etude book), we can use the Instrument Name Text Style in Sibelius combined with Instrument Changes to create a series of Etude numbers. Here’s how:
Q: How do you avoid collisions in Finale, i.e: dynamics, hairpins, accents, chord symbols, etc.? I end up manually moving a lot of stuff, and then I have to manually adjust each part as well.
A: I typically start with the smallest elements and work my way out to the big ones. It’s important to make as many placement adjustments as you can in the score, because in doing so, you are also updating their relative positions in the parts (location changes to articulations, text or shapes made in the parts are *not* reflected in the score). I covered collision avoidance of staff text, dynamics and lines in my post from 10/31/11, so let’s talk about articulations . . .
Q: Sibelius gliss lines always start playing from the beginning of the note they are attached to. Using the desired (and typical jazz) notation style, how do I get a gliss to start at the end of a note (without resorting to tied subdivisions)?
A: In the example below, Sibelius’ gliss playback starts right on beat one of bar 2, at the start of the half note, and extends across the full two beats. In order to get the desired gliss playback, which is both later and faster (at least in the jazz interpretation of it), the half note needs to be divided into a dotted quarter tied to an eighth, with the gliss attached to the eighth note per the notation in Ex. 2:
Q: How do I get glisses in Sibelius 7 to automatically respond correctly by instrument type? Even though the Inspector is set to the default ‘auto’, for wind instruments, it still plays a mod wheel-type slide instead of a chromatic run, which must be set manually.
A: Strangely, a number of the woodwind instrument definitions in Sibelius 7 have their default glissando type set to “Continuous” while others are set to “Chromatic”. This is not unique to Sibelius 7 – these instruments are defined this way in Sibelius 6 as well. The Instrument Families that are affected are Clarinets, Saxophones and Recorders.