Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sibelius: Keystrokes or Die

Sibelius is a really awesome program that makes transcribing and scoring way easier, faster, and mire efficient.


First, open Sibelius and choose between open recent, new, another, or another option that shows up.

Next, choose the style of staffed paper you would like to use. Options vary from choirs to full orchestras.

Then, choose the font of the score and the layout- portrait or landscape.

Anytime during these prints you can skip over them by clicking finish at the bottom of the window or continue to put in the information by clicking next.

You will also have a tempo options window where you can chose time signatures, key signatures, either you want a pick up and how much it's for, tempo markings and beats per minute...

Lastly, you can label and title and name the composer and such including the copyrights.

Now that you have gone through the beginning steps to creating a Sibelius score, you can start notating and transcribing.

There's the navigator that will focus on a certain part of the screen and you can click and drag to control this.

First, click the letter N on the keyboard to insert a note and the cursor will turn blue. Click the escape key to unhighlight the cursor and begin using the keystones to insert notes and such.

The point of Sibelius is yo make notation faster and easier. That's why these keystrokes are so valuable and worth learning.

The up and down arrow will control the placement of the notes on the staff. The right and left arrow will toggle between the notes themselves.

To clear a measure of notation, simply click the measure and once it's highlighted in a blue box, click delete and the contents will clear leaving an open measure. To delete the measure all together,  click the measure so that it is highlighted purple and then click delete.

You can also treat the amount of bars per system like a word processor program and highlight the last bar you want in the system so that it turns purple and click enter like making a new paragraph.

The best and most important keystroke is the letter R. It will repeat the last note entered and then you can edit it with the arrows and number pad.

The number pad controls many different palettes of duration options,tie options, rests, and more, but most of the time it's controlling the note durations. The palette on the window corresponds to the number pad.

Copy and paste is used like a word processor as well with  C to copy and  V to paste. Highlight the desired notes and click away.

 arrow up or down will transpose the selected notes up or down an octave.

 plus sign and minus sign control the view of the score.


L = brings up the lines option for a variety of different kinds of notations of lines.

P = play.

Q = change cords in the middle of a staff and add cords in wherever desired.

T = takes you back to the instrument screen where one can add or delete instruments to the score.

Z = symbols such as cota, al fine, etc.

Ctrl Click = drop down menu for create comes up and can do so many things from time markings, lyrics, bar lines, and much more!

Shift  B = creates bars in the middle of the score wherever wanted.

 B = add measures to the end if the score.

M = brings up the mixer, effects, levels, and awesome stuff.

 K = inputs chords and chord symbols.

 T = insert text when the bar is highlighted.

 L = when a note is highlighted, lyrics can be inserted under it. The space bar will jump to the next note. Double space bar will insert an underscore and the dash key will put in dashes.

 3 = insert triplets.


I am hoping to get really good at Sibelius and learn to use it for all my notating needs because it is a really great skill to have.

Right now I'm working on the song One Short Day from the musical Wicked in Sibelius...