Sibelius First Question

Discussion in 'Computer Corner' started by DocFox, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    I own Sibelius, and Finale. But I use Sibelius First most of the time. I have a question (I hope this is the right place to post such a question). How do you get a score to play in concert pitch? If you just put in instruments, like tenor horn, it automatically makes it in Eb. That is great if writing world parts or for a concert band. But for brass bands, you want everything in concert pitch.

    Anybody have any idea how to get Sibelius to make all the staves in concert pitch?


  2. Mello

    Mello Active Member

    I have sent you instructions on PM. Cheers .
  3. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    I think we need to exercise some caution before offering any online help (by pm or otherwise) as it is likely the op may have acquired a snide copy of the sibelius software. I only say this because the manuals and online support supplied with a legit copy would make such a basic question easily answered without recourse to outside help. Anyone who cannot use the official help via the search function is unlikely to be safe operating anything running on mains electricity.
  4. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Why? (not being provocative; genuinely puzzled)
  5. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    Seconded! Am confused too!
  6. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    If you write in Concert Pitch, I find ideas flow out easier. It helps me, as I am not used to all Treble Clef (except bass trombone -- why is that?) that brass band arrangements are published. World Parts would put the cornets in Bb, tenor in Eb, Flugel in Bb, Baritones in Treble Bb Euphs in Bass Clef concert, along with the bones. Eb Tuba in high bass clef, and BBb in low bass clef.

    Those used to world parts have no problem. Write in non-transposing and then publish transposed. But treble clef Euphs, Bones, and Tubas just are hard mentally for me. BBb tubas in TC in playback sounds at least an octave lower (usually two and sometimes three) in the playback.

    I have written several brass quartets, concert band and marching band pieces. One was recorded. Since my accident, I have not written much. Then a couple days ago I had an idea I wanted to work on.

    That was a diatribe. It kind of comes down to the question, do bands play Treble parts or World parts more often?
  7. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Have you read the manuals? My goodness, answers are hard to find. I have legit copies of Sibelius, First and Finale. The manuals lead you to menus, etc. Half the time the question you search on leads somewhere else. Plus, I have found experienced users a great source of info.

    Finally, all the major programs have built in copy protection. Usually you can try it for 30 days or can only save 2 pages of a score, etc. I loose lots of money on my radio station because I pay my royalities and operate legally. I could cut my costs in half (like lots do) running an illegal station. I believe Finale and Sibelius deserve their money. They have made incredible programs.
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    OK; think I understand.

    In Finale, you set up the full score with all transposed instruments, as they will appear in the final (published?) full score, and as they will appear in the parts. But then, if desired, in the Document Menu there is an option to "Display in concert pitch". Does Sibelius not work in a similar way?

    As regards the question as to the bass clef bass trombone, The answer is rooted in the historical background of the early brass bands. The reason that all the instruments were written for as transposing instruments was so that players could move between instruments as necessary (dictated by the availability of personnel) without having to re-learn different fingering systems. IOW for example, a cornet player could move to Eb bass, and once his embouchure had adjusted to the different mouthpiece, and his ears had adjusted to the change in pitch, a written 'C' scale was still read and played with the same fingering. This system could even be applied to treble clef transposing trombones by equating open to 1st position, 2nd valve to 2nd position, 1st valve to 3rd position, 1+2 to 4th and so on down the chromatic scale. The reason the bass trombone was excluded was because in the early days of the brass band movement the instrument was pitched in 'G', therefore there was no correlation between the slide positions and those of the Bb trombone or the other valve fingering system, so it was assumed that once a bass trombone player had learnt to read and play, there was no real prospect of him switching instruments without having to re-learn a different system, therefore it was left in bass clef concert pitch. If you go back far enough, you will even find brass band scores with tenor trombones written in concert pitch tenor clef, for the same reason, although of course it is less difficult to cross between concert tenor and Bb transposing treble, because of the notes being on the same position in the stave.

    Lecture over; sorry!
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  9. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Not a lecture, but a great explanation. I understand why the parts were in Treble Clef. Learn the fingerings for cornet and you could play many instruments, although with the bone it is a bit different. A Bb scale goes 1st, 6th, 4th, 3rd, 1st while the euph valves are open 1&3 (or 4th) 1&2, 1, open. Not hard to learn but they could have been written in concert bass clef. I see no advantage to treble clef.

    Oh well, thanks for the note. I have to get my mind out of world parts and into brass band parts. BTW, in the US, most brass bands buy music that has world parts.
  10. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Ah, but if you put yourself in the position of someone who has learnt only treble clef, it makes sense, because it's not a Bb scale it's still a 'C' scale. Because as a trumpet player I think of a descending chromatic scale from 'C' as a sequence of Open, 1st, 2nd, 1st+2nd, 2nd+3rd, 1st+3rd, 1+2+3, then that equates readily to a descending scale from written 'C' (concert Bb) going 1st position, 2nd position, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. For myself, although I've never played a trombone, in theory I could read a treble clef transposing trombone part and work out the correct slide positions much more easily than I could read a concert pitch bass clef part. Especially if I'd never read bass clef before in any case (not true in my case because I'm also a keyboard player, but suppose I weren't); not only would I have to learn to read the notes in the new clef, I'd then have to learn to associate closed position with being a Bb harmonic series, not a C series. Trust me, for a treble clef reader, it does make sense!
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  11. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Given the extent of "legacy" brass band repertoire, that must be pretty limiting ...
  12. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    If written in bass clef the first trombone part would be well above the stave virtually al the time and so much more difficult to use hence they used to use tenor clef. In my limited experience Brass Band Trombones tend to play higher up their pitch range than Wind Band Trombones. Bb Treble Clef makes, IMHO, much more sense for Brass Band Trombone players than Tenor Clef as it eases the move between the Trombone and the band's other (valved) instruments.

    'World parts' is not a term I've seen before and I take it to mean in concert (piano) pitch as opposed to band pitch. There are good reasons why we (UK Brass Bands) adopted the Bb (band) pitch and have retained it.

    A while ago I started a thread on why Brass Band Instruments (bass trom excepted) were pitched in Bb and Eb and it might be of interest: .

    I'm not sure why the Bass Trom was pitched in G, but would quite like to know.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
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  13. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Makes more sense chromatically. Although 1-2-3 = 7th Position is not real intuitive. I practice scales in TC, BC and in Bb and Concert. You do that and you can play in any clef and any key, even Eb. In my university trombone choir, I could play soprano (hard, it is so small), alto in Eb and even bass trombone if I had to. Scales, scales, allow you to play and think in keys.

    Thanks to everyone for the help!
  14. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Wikipedia has a great chart of brass band instruments and their keys. My problem with the scores is playback. I have purchased expensive sound packages so the playback can be recorded and give a good approximation of what the piece will sound like. THAT is what I am really having trouble getting my head around. Treble Clef Tuba SOUNDS down an octave or 3 from where it is written.
  15. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I'm failing to understand the problem; it does in real life as well, so if the instrument's transposition is set up correctly, it will sound correctly at concert pitch in playback. Finale makes this easy; doesn't Sibelius?
  16. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    OK, A picture might help


    Both of these are BBb tuba parts. The top is in TC and in Bb. The bottom (world piece) is in bass clef in concert pitch. If Sibelius plays the top one, it is two octaves too high. But notice, the fingerings would be the same.
  17. DocFox

    DocFox Retired


    Maybe this picture will help. Both are tuba parts. The top one in TC and in Bb. The bottom is a world part, in bass clef (concert) two octaves below. Sibelius will play the top part if written that way, but you want it to sound two octaves lower. Notice your point makes sense. The fingerings would be the same.
  18. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I don't see the picture on your first post; on your second post, neither makes sense. I can't comment on the way they are set up in the notation software, because I have no knowledge of Sibelius, however, in the first place if one is a BBb bass Treble clef part and one is supposed to be a concert pitch Tuba part, then there is no way they can both be in the same key. If the upper stave had a key signature of 3 sharps, then it would be the correct transposition for an Eb bass TC part, compared to the lower staff (concert pitch sounding), but as it stands, it makes no sense at all.

    Sorry I can't help more. I have to say, and I don't intend to be rude, the way it appears, your understanding of treble clef transposition for Bb and Eb tubas is fundamentally incorrect.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
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  19. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I notice in an earlier post you say you also have Finale software; which version?
  20. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    OK, let's simply stay in CONCERT PITCH


    The top part is tuba in treble clef. In world pieces, it is written TWO Octaves lower in Bass Clef. Take the treble part and play on a C cornet (to avoid transposing) and play the treble clef part on a BBb tuba (already in concert pitch). If you played the treble parts together, it would be in unison -- except the tuba would sound an two octaves lower.

    Now am I making any sense? I understand treble parts. I hope I am helping you understand the problems faced by world parts.

    Sorry about the graphic on the first post, took me a try to figure it out.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015

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