Attaching Phrase Marks (Slurs) Properly to Voices in Sibelius

Q: In Sibelius, when I put slurs in on voice 1 on a divisi part (e.g. Clarinet 1 and 2), the slur appears like normal. However, if I grab a passage of voice 2 its a hassle – the slur doesn’t connect properly, and I have to drag it out… Am I missing something?

A: Sometimes, in order to get phrase marks to line up appropriately with notes in voice 2, you’ll need to convert the lower phrase destination note to voice 2 in the next bar, or wherever the phrase mark ends. Select the appropriate destination note and type Option 2 (Alt 2 on Windows):


Note that normally, the second bar could all be in voice 1, but here, moving the bottom note to voice 2 will allow the voice 2 slur to attach to the destination note.

You can create the slur by selecting the voice 2 note where the phrase starts. Now, press “s” on the keyboard to create the slur, and then the spacebar to advance note by note to the phrase end note in voice 2.

Alternatively, if you are sure you have the start and end notes in the correct voice, you can make a region selection using the shift key, then put the slur over everything regardless of voice (it will default to voice 1). Now, type Option 2 (Alt 2 on Windows) with the slur selected to transform this slur line to voice 2. It will now be attached to the notes properly, if the phrase duration you selected is accounted for in voice 2 accurately.

You should avoid manually dragging slurs into position except in very extreme cases where the voice matching technique above which allows the slurs to “snap-to” isn’t possible.

That’s all there is to it.


for Wayne H.

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