Sometimes you want to change the pitches in a score without doing a normal transposition. There are a number of Sibelius plugins that can change a pitch to any other pitch.
This shipping plugin (Note Input > Transformations
> More>Pitch Mapping) was one of the very early plugins in Sibelius.
The default dialog lets you map all the spellings of a given
pitch to a single spelling. In this example, C, B#, and Dbb will be respelled
as C (or any other name you choose from the list). This mapping will apply to
all selected notes with the same pitch name, in any octave.
For respelling, you can choose natural notes, single or
double sharps or flats, or leave some notes unchanged, so you can respell some
but not all the selected notes. The
plugin will ignore quartertones, and it cannot respell to quartertones. Even
now, in 2020, plugins are unable to create notes with quartertone accidentals.
New Pitch Higher… gives some options for determining
whether the replaced pitches will be higher or lower than the original pitch.
The details are explained in the dialog that comes up.
Not only can you respell notes this way, you can also change
a note to any other valid pitch. C can be mapped to G# or Fbb if you so desire.
As before, all notes with the same pitch name in any octave are mapped to the
same new note name, in an appropriate octave.
If you choose More Options…, you get a dialog that
lets you map each spelling or a given pitch separately, so you can spell C, B#,
and Dbb to different notes if you like.
The downloadable plugin Transform Scale is a “front end” for the Pitch Mapping plugin. It lets you transform the selected notes to a different scale or mode, and/or change the root of a scale. Changing the root without changing the scale type is the same as transposing.
There are 22 built-in scales, plus you can edit the existing
scales or add your own. Scales are all chromatic (12-tones) scales. You can
specify fewer than 12 notes, and the plugin will choose pitches for any you
leave out. Details are in the Add/Edit scales dialog.
The Percussion Pitch Map plugin
I wrote Percussion Pitch Map to help deal with pitch
and notehead mapping for percussion instruments, but it was pointed out to me
that you can use it to map any pitches, and, unlike the other plugins, it
allows you to choose the octave for both the source and destination notes.
To use it this way, you need to create your own pitch map,
which is a simple text file. You can create it in a text editor, and move it to
the appropriate folder location, or create and edit a pitch map in the plugin.
One detail to note: if you are using Percussion Pitch Map
strictly as a pitch map, the first line in your custom pitch map file should
// Strict pitch, C4
Thanks to Robert Puff, who came up with the concept of the Percussion Pitch Map plugin and wrote the built-in percussion pitch maps, and to James Batty, who came up with the idea of using it as an octave-changing pitch mapper (and pointed out a nasty bug, which has been fixed).
Keyboard shortcuts can greatly increase your productivity in Sibelius. Shortcuts allow you to quickly invoke Plugins or other functions with a single keystroke. Keyboard Shortcuts are totally customizable in Sibelius.
Keyboard Shortcuts are located in Sibelius Preferences. Choose Preferences… from the Sibelius menu
or navigate to the File Tab and choose Preferences in the left pane:
You can also open the Preferences dialog directly using the pre-defined keyboard shortcut CMND-Comma (Mac) or CNTRL-Comma (Windows).
My friend and colleague John Hinchey recently wrote a series of tutorial posts for Sibelius over on Avid blogs. The title of the series is “Three Things” — There are actually four different articles in which he covers plugins, drumset notation, names and multi-rests, which I wanted to share here.
There are about 650 published Sibelius plug-ins, of which 150 ship with Sibelius. A lot of people never use plug-ins. They can’t find them, or can’t install downloadable plug-ins, or can’t figure out which plug-in does what. This is unfortunate, because plug-ins could save them a lot of work.
A Working Set of Plug-ins
In Sibelius, plug-ins are organized by category and you run them by finding their names on a menu or by using a keyboard shortcut.
As an alternative, you can create a set of favorite plug-ins that you identify by name and find in the same place. I call this a working set. The plug-ins in the working set should be ones you use often and will be easily available when you need them.
A curated plug-in set is a working set of plug-ins chosen for certain groups of users. It can be based on instruments, such as harp or guitar, or it can be created for a specific project or a school class. A set consists of a zip file containing a text file of plug-in names that make up the set and a folder of downloaded plug-in files which will be installed on your machine.
The files needed to create a curated plugin set can be provided by a plug-in curator, who is an experienced Sibelius user who selects a set of plug-ins that would be useful. This could be a teacher, or a co-worker, or anyone else you trust who is comfortable choosing plug-ins.