Sibelius : Special Barlines, Multirests & Default Double Barlines

Q: I have a Sibelius file which is a series of different Effects for strings. I have separated each of these effects with a double barline. However, in any parts which are resting, the multirests are not showing up, and I would like them to. Can you help me solve the problem?

A: Common practice indicates that typically, wherever there is a double bar, it is indicating a new section, rehearsal mark, key change or some other significant event in the music. In your situation, it does make sense to use double bars as a “divider” between each effect; however, Sibelius is breaking these as if they were new sections.


In Sibelius, barlines other than the Default are called “Special” barlines. Any time you overlay a new barline over an existing one, it creates a new “Special” barline which will break multimeasure rests. Here is the list:

  1. Start Repeat
  2. End Repeat
  3. Double
  4. Dashed
  5. Final
  6. Invisible
  7. Normal
  8. Tick
  9. Short
  10. Between Staves

Where are they located?

  • SIBELIUS 6 : Create Menu > Barline
  • SIBELIUS 7 and later : Notations Tab > Barline button in the Common Group

Note in particular number 7 on the list which is “Normal”. It is possible to get into a situation where you actually convert the Default barline to a “Special” barline. It’s actually hard to spot, because there is no visual indication that anything is out of the ordinary.

If you overlay a normal barline on a Default “Normal” barline, it will still “look” like a Normal barline, but will, in fact, become a “Special” barline, which will break a multirest.

While other factors may be in play, a likely solution is to “clear” the “Special” barline information, which will return all of the “Normal” barlines to the proper default barline.

more >> “Sibelius : Special Barlines, Multirests & Default Double Barlines”

Dolet 6 Music XML Plugins for Finale & Sibelius are now Freeware

Yup, that’s right: Just in time for Christmas, MakeMusic is offering the Dolet 6 Music XML plugin for both Finale and Sibelius on their website as a free download. Here’s the link:

Cool, right? But wait, what is a Sibelius plugin doing on the Finale website?

In case you missed the official announcement, on November 2, 2011, MakeMusic entered into an agreement to acquire selected assets of Recordare® LLC, the Internet music publishing and software company.

Under the terms of the agreement, MakeMusic purchased the MusicXML™ open format and Dolet® software technology, including copyrights, source code, and trademarks. MakeMusic also announced that the founder of Recordare and inventor of MusicXML, Michael Good, would join MakeMusic as the Director of Digital Sheet Music.

In case you want to read the official MakeMusic press releases, here they are:

  1. November 28, 2011
  2. November 2, 2011


Additionally, the Recordare site has more information about the future of Music XML.

  1. Recordare FAQ
  2. More about the MakeMusic Acquisition

Both Finale 2012 and Sibelius 7 already have decent Music XML integration built in, allowing you to import and export Music XML files for collaboration with others, or, in the case of Finale, for back saving to a previous version of Finale.

The Dolet 6 plugins use the latest Music XML 3.0 technology, with support for additional musical symbols and lots of other goodies, so even Finale 2012 and Sibelius 7 users will benefit. And, if you are using and earlier version of your notation software, such as Finale 2010 or Sibelius 6, it’s a huge step up, essentially giving users a comprehensive file exchange feature.


Halving or doubling rhythmic values in Sibelius & Finale

Q: A student of mine has created a .MID file and imported it into Finale 2011. However,  all the note values are twice the length she desires. How can she make the notation appear correctly?

A: The musical terms for lengthening and shortening the durations of notes in a musical passage so that the length of the phrase is increased or decreased are “augmentation” and diminution”.

dim·i·nu·tion Noun /ˌdiməˈn(y)o͞oSHən/
The shortening of the time values of notes in a melodic part.

aug·men·ta·tion Noun /ˌôgmenˈtāSHən/
The lengthening of the time values of notes in a melodic part.

With that bit of technical jargon out of the way, let’s take a look at how to do this in Finale and Sibelius:

more >> “Halving or doubling rhythmic values in Sibelius & Finale”

Sibelius – How to type in Harp Pedal Markings As Text

Q: In Sibelius, I have notated the starting and ending notes of a gliss which is in C minor. I tried the Add Harp Pedal Diagrams plugin, but since I’m not displaying enough pitches at this point in the score to outline the C minor tonality, I can’t get it to work. I would just  like to manually type in a harp pedal marking for C minor as text into Sibelius. How can I do this?”

A: To indicate the pedal changes at the start of a piece or new section, there are two standard conventions:

more >> “Sibelius – How to type in Harp Pedal Markings As Text”