[sib-access] Re: special effects in Sibelius

  • From: "Dan Rugman" <sib-access@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <sib-access@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 16:54:59 -0000


The term "special effects" is rather broad.  There are lots of things which
could be described thus, and the method of notating them varies from one to
the next.

In general terms, playing techniques which are notated as text (such as "sul
pont", "sul tasto", con sord" and "pizz") are written as technique text.

1. Select the note from which you want the new technique to apply.
2. Press Ctrl+T to create the technique text.
3. An edit box will open for you to enter the text that will appear above
the selected note.  Either type in the text or press Shift+F10 to bring up a
context menu containing common terms.
4. Press Escape to close the edit box and return to the score.
5. When you are returned to the score, the text item which you created will
be selected, so you'll need to press tab to get back to the note.

Harmonics are more complicated.  If you're happy to let the players work out
how to play them, you can get away with writing the notes which you want to
hear and then adding the word "harm" as technique text above the first note.
You then add the text "norm" above the first note in which normal playing is

The more proper way is to work out the actual harmonics yourself and then
use circles or diamond note heads to notate the harmonics.  Natural
harmonics are shown by writing the required pitch as a normal pitch and then
adding a circle above the note.  (The circle is the period key on the F11
keypad layout.)

Artificial harmonics are shown by writing the fully stopped note as a normal
note head and the lightly stopped position as a diamond note head attached
to the same stem.  This means that you will normally be writing a chord of a
fourth or fifth with the bottom note as a normal note and the upper note as
a diamond note.

The easiest way to do this is to write the fourths as though they are
standard double-stopped intervals and then select all of those chords as a
passage.  Next press Alt+Ctrl+1 to filter the top notes only and then press
Alt+Shift+2 to change those notes to diamonds.  

Other special effects can be found in the Lines and symbols dialogs.

Dan Rugman
visit the new on-line resource for visually impaired musicians and home of
Sibelius Access.

-----Original Message-----
From: sib-access-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:sib-access-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Vytautas Jr
Sent: 01 February 2009 00:41
To: sib-access@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [sib-access] special effects in Sibelius

Hi All,

Would you please either tell me how or locate me to a place in the manual
that tells how to insert special effects in Sibelius?  I mean stuff like
harmonics in string instruments for example, or Sordino on brass
instruments, or ponticello?  I'm doing this for some composition assignments
whose deadlines are looming, so I need to find out quickly.


Thanks in advance.





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