The Sibelius 7 Sounds User Guide wasn’t included with my original installation of Sibelius 7.0, but I would have found it very useful. It provides a complete list of all of the instruments and sounds included with Sibelius 7 as well as details of how to trigger all of the different playing techniques contained in the library.
While the main Sibelius Reference Guide contains some of the same material contained in this resource, if you are trying to get the best results from the Sound Library, you’ll probably want to check this out first. The Sounds User Guide provides informative graphics and illustrations to help you understand Sibelius Sound Library parameters such as ranges and sound IDs:
To help you get started, Avid has also posted a companion example Sibelius 7 score that has every instrument in the Sibelius 7 Sounds library already configured. (The User Guide has instructions starting on page 11).
To download the Sibelius Sounds User Guide PDF above without opening it directly in your browser, right click the image link, then save it to your desktop or downloads folder.
The Sibelius 7 Sounds User Guide is written by Hugh Smith of The Write Score, providers of documentation and templates for a variety of sound libraries to help you get the most out of your notation software.
The sound library included with Sibelius 7 contains 550 separate instruments and playing techniques, and hundreds of unpitched percussion sounds.
Subtle differences in the timing, volume and duration of phrases are what gives music its “feel” – to inject more tension or weight; to make it more emotional and exciting. Veteran live performers and session musicians sometimes refer to playing “in the pocket”, which means playing every note in the exact sweet spot for each beat in every bar.
When a conductor coaxes a particularly emotional rubato from an orchestra, or a rhythm section lays down a massive groove, causing the listener’s body to move involuntarily, two things are certain. The performers have coalesced in a tangible way that is undefinable; and, whatever *it* is, everyone is doing it together.
Western music notation is a fixed set of rules devised for expressing something that, by nature, is not fixed. Our current notation system has been culled and pruned over the last several centuries from numerous musical symbols and instructions down to the current set.
Professional musicians not only understand the meaning of these, but are able to interpret them with appropriate variation and nuance based on context.
MakeMusic released the update to Finale 2012b today, which includes several new features:
- Range Checking. Finale now alerts you when notes are outside of an instrument’s range.
- Automatic Transposition while Copying. Music is now pasted into the most appropriate octave when copied between instruments of different registers. Also, music is transposed into the most appropriate register when changing instruments with the ScoreManager.
- Accessible Text Inserts. You no longer need to venture into a dialog box to edit text inserts. You can now edit them directly in the score like a regular text box. When you do so, the text insert’s definition is updated respectively.
- SVG Graphic Export. You can now export Scaled Vector Graphics from Finale.
- EPUB Export. You can now export EPUB files from Finale for viewing on mobile readers.
- New Finale Lyrics Font. This font improves lyric spacing, and is the new default for scores created with the Document Setup Wizard.
- Automatic Font Annotation. Finale can now automatically generate Font Annotation Files to accommodate files with 3rd-party music fonts.
- New Aria Player. Finale includes the latest Aria Player from Garritan.
There have been some interface changes since the release of Finale 2012:
- “Program Options” have been renamed “Preferences.” To access the Preferences, choose Finale 2012 > Preferences.
- The File menu has been reorganized. Several File menu commands have been moved into new Import and Export submenus, as well as new commands added to 2012b. See “File menu” in the User Manual for details.
- Undefined text inserts appear gray and do not print. Undefined text inserts, such as those that appear in the first page header after finishing the Setup Wizard, are now gray in color, indicating they will not print. You can update these inserts directly in the score using the Text tool. See “Text Inserts” in the User Manual for details.
- Staff Styles now (again) support staff transpositions. The ability to include staff transpositions in Staff Styles has been restored (allowing Staff Styles to be an alternative method for creating mid-score instrument changes). See “Staff Styles dialog box” in the User Manual for details.
Finale 2012b also includes a number of bug fixes, including:
- Audio - Audio files saved using Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL) no longer stutter.
- Fonts – (1) The missing Seville font has been added to MacSymbolfonts.txt. (2) Problems with results from Change Chord Suffix Fonts have been resolved. (3) The Font menu now reports all missing fonts correctly.
- Inserting - Inserting stacks no longer cause a crash when Automatic Update Layout is unchecked.
- Keyswitches – (1) Expressions with keyswitches are now correctly chased during playback when Chase from First Measure is selected in the Playback/Record Options dialog box. (2) JABB (Garritan Jazz and Big Band) trumpets and trombones now respect keyswitch commands for all muted sounds.
- Preferences- Folders - Finale no longer defaults to the MacOS folder if the specified folder is missing.
- Staves - Problems deleting multiple staves in Scroll View have been resolved.
If you have been thinking of purchasing the Finale 2012 update, now might be a good time.
Makemusic’s upgrade sale price of $99 has been extended through July 9th, 2012.
As a composer and teacher, I often have the chance to explore areas of music and musical notation with which I am unfamiliar. A few years ago one of my students expressed an interest in composing “outside” the traditional Western idea of the equal tempered 12-tone scale. We decided to start our exploration with the concept of quarter tones. As so often is the case, the resulting study benefitted me as much as my student. Along the way, I was delighted to find my notation software was up to the challenge of creating and playing our various compositional attempts.
A very brief history of quarter tone music
The simplest way to describe a quarter tone is a pitch falls halfway between what we think of as a half step (semitone) in the traditional western chromatic scale. A quarter tone scale contains twice as many notes (24) as its 12 note chromatic cousin. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the origins of quarter tone music:
Known as gadwal in Arabic, the quarter tone scale was developed in the Middle East in the eighteenth century and many of the first detailed writings in the nineteenth century Syria describe the scale as being of 24 equal tones. The invention of the scale is attributed to Mikhail Mishaqa whose work Essay on the Art of Music for the Emir Shihāb (al-Risāla al-shihābiyya fi ‘l-ṣinā ‘a al-mūsīqiyya) is devoted to the topic but also makes clear his teacher Sheikh Muhammad al-‘Attār’ (1764-1828) was one of many already familiar with the concept.
The quarter tone scale may be primarily considered a theoretical construct in Arabic music. The quarter tone gives musicians a “conceptual map” with which to discuss and compare intervals by number of quarter tones and this may be one of the reasons it accompanies a renewed interest in theory, with instruction in music theory being a mainstream requirement since that period.
For Logic users there may come the time that one needs to get a file over to Finale or Sibelius to finish a project. Logic has its own proprietary notation display formatting and doesn’t currently support Music XML. However, you can export a Standard MIDI File (SMF) and achieve good results. To maximize compatibility before exporting a SMF, you’ll need to do some adjustments, as described below.
The important proprietary formatting items are Display Quantize, Interpretation mode and to a lesser degree, Syncopation mode. These items affect Logic’s display only – playback remains unaffected. You may also need to deal with pedal markings (these do affect playback). Let’s look at what they do, and how to pass along this information in a SMF.
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: