Sibelius question - complex time signatures

Discussion in 'Computer Corner' started by MoominDave, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Sibelius 2.1...

    I'm Sibeliusing a piece of mine that has sections which contain alternating bars of 7/8 and 5/8. Rather than have a separate signature on each bar, I want to follow the usual practice and just write

    7 5
    8 8

    at the beginning of the section. However, I can find no automatic way of doing this, and assume that I'll have to fake it. Now, I've done this before (by hiding bars and compressing them by dragging things), and have the file where I did this previously to hand, but cannot work out how to do it again! Copying the section over from the other file doesn't do the trick, and doing what I thought I did before [change time to 7/8 in one empty extra bar, change to 5/8 in the next, then hide the rests in the empty bar, and make the barline invisible] seems to be impossible to make work - specifically, when I make the barline invisible, it jumps back to where it started, and then becomes unselectable.

    Any ideas? I'm stumped by this one.
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I know how to do it quickly and easily in Finale; don't suppose that helps you very much ... ;)
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    This is from the Sibelius 5 guide ...

    Multiple time signatures
    Occasionally scores have two simultaneous time signatures with the same bar-length, such as 2/4 against 6/8. To input this sort of case:Create a 2/4 time signature and input the 2/4 music as normal. Input the 6/8 music as triplet eighths (quavers), but use the Create > Tuplet dialog at least for the first tuplet, switching on None and switching off Bracket, so it won’t show that they’re triplets. You can copy the first 6/8 bar as a quick way to get the triplet rhythm for subsequent bars. When all of the music has been inputted, delete the 2/4 time signature and drag the first note rightwards until there’s enough space for a replacement time signature. Type the 2/4 and 6/8 using text – start with nothing selected and use Create > Text > Other staff text > Time signatures (one staff only). Click where you want to put the time signature to type it in as text, with a Return (on the main keyboard) after the top number. In cases where two or more time signatures with different bar lengths are required, such as 4/4 and 5/4: Calculate the lowest common multiple between the two time signatures – in this case, 20/4 – and create that as the time signature. When all of the music has been inputted, delete the 20/4 time signature and drag the first note rightwards until there’s enough space for a replacement time signature. Type the 4/4 and 5/4 using text – to do this you’ll need to create a new text style (see above). Add the extra barlines using the vertical line from the Create > Line dialog. This method has the advantage of ensuring that systems end at coinciding barlines. If simultaneous time signatures always have barlines in different places, adopt the same procedure, but remove the barlines in one staff (see Hiding barlines on some staves only in b 2.3 Barlines), then use the vertical line from the Staff lines pane in the Create > Line dialog to draw in suitable barlines where you want them.

    Alternating time signatures
    To write music in e.g. alternating 2/4 and 3/4 time, signaled by a 2/4 3/4 composite time signature: Input a 2/4 time signature and copy it to alternate bars. Do the same for a 3/4 time signature in the remaining bars. Input the music. Then delete all the time signatures except the initial 2/4 (saying No when asked if you want to rewrite the music). Finally write a 3/4 time signature immediately after the initial 2/4 using text, as described in Multiple time signatures above.

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Tom (Brassneck) got in there before me! However, on Sibelius 2 there is no 'fake time sig' option; you have to create a new text style. The manual will tell you how to do this.
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    erm, my tip is from the manual :rolleyes:

    - I still haven't been able to discover how to insert repeated double bars to make it easier for kit players reading parts. Anyone have a quick fix?
  6. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Not a quick fix as such, but I write out the two bars, hide it, then inset the :%: symbol from the symbols menu to straddle two bars. You can then copy and paste this as much as you like.
  7. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Sorry, Tom! Didn't actually read it.

    In Sib2, though, I remember that there wasn't a fake time sig, but there is in Sib5, so it seems strange that they would tell you how to do it manually.
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I think I've tried that before and wasn't chuffed about having 'wide' bars printed out. I may have a look at that again later.

    (off-topic, but why were you the only bass trumpet player I saw playing the Janacek last weekend on the telly? And I cannot remember euphs being in the original score before!)
  9. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Stage band is 9 Trumpets in C, 2 Bass Trumpets in Bb (me and Simon Wills) and 2 Euphoniums (Andy Fwabert and Becky Smith). As far as I know, it's always been like that.

    Sorry, mods, back to Sib...
  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Ta! I've done it now.

    Create -> Text -> Special text -> Time signatures

    Type in

    and it inserts the signature on all staves - magic!

    Thanks everyone.
  11. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member


    Don't fancy playing it though, I can barely count to five when I'm playing!
  12. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    New collective noun:
    A Smugness of Finale Users....
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Tell us how it sounds on playback ... not that it really matters as it's your ideas that count.

    (... Duncan, my error ... euphs are in the socre!)
  14. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Probably less confusing than a big band piece I played once. Four-bar ostinato of two bars of 3/4, one bar of 5/8, then one of 3/4. Composer had written it in 23/8 'to make it easier'!
  15. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    No problems with the alternating signature sections in the playback.
    Actually, this piece does show a weird playback problem in a different place - it's all fine until an octave gliss up to a high concert D in the trombone soloist part a few minutes in; the playback doesn't quite make a full octave, and stays a small but excruciating amount flat throughout the rest of the piece.

    Duncan - it's okay - 7/8+5/8=12/8; just count it as 4!
  16. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    That's fine, but top D's!:eek:
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Oh, it's just a squeal upwards, really.

    I believe Denis Wick does a roaring trade putting top Ds on instruments though, if it's an issue... ;)
  18. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Sounds like what the late Don Ellis used to do ... must have went well with audiences as his time sigs. usually were in the titles.
  19. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    LOL :clap:
  20. BrotherBone

    BrotherBone Member

    Hi guys, I have a query along these lines, I urgently need to figure out how to write some music into sib that im transposing, its the third mvt of the hindemith trombone sonate, and its written on the copy as 2 over a dotted minim. so essentially its 6/4 any ideas what the standard notation I'd write in the transposed version would be? Obviously i'd like to try and stay as true as possible to the original copy. Thanks alot!

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