Adding ties to chords of different durations in Sibelius

Q: When I input a chord (say, C-E-G) and then hit enter to tie it to the next chord, it USUALLY works fine. The big exception is when I enter the C-E-G chord, then press the dot to add dotted rhythm, and THEN hit enter to add a tie. In that case it ONLY adds a tie to the bottom note of the chord. Is this a feature or a bug, or am I doing the workflow wrong?

A: It’s a great question. In this particular situation, you are getting caught by the Escape key feature in Sibelius which normally allows you to “walk back“ out of any type of edit.

Your workflow now is to first enter the chord,

then hit Escape to back out of the cursor mode, which allows you to add the duration dot after the fact.

But as you’ve discovered, the problem with this approach is that as soon as you add the duration dot, only the bottom note of the chord remains selected, which means that only the bottom note of the chord gets tied:

You could now COMMAND-CLICK (MacOS) or CONTROL-CLICK (Windows) the deselected notes in the chord and then add the tie, but that is at least two extra steps depending on how many notes are in the chord.

A more efficient workflow for creating the dotted chord value is to enter the exact duration you need right away during entry.

So, for example, if the chord rhythm you are after is an eighth rest followed by a dotted quarter which is tied over the beat, enter the dotted quarter rhythm right away.

Now, not only is the Entry cursor already set in place for the tied-to chord

but you can press Enter to tie all the notes in the chord at once.

I hope this little change in your workflow will lead to increased productivity.


for Brian Hawkins

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