Sibelius Staff Sizing

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Steve, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Does anyone have any experience of the most suitable staff sizing / formatting for brass band scores in Sibelius?

    I am rather 'anti portrait' as I hate turning the page every 8 bars when conducting so tend to favour landscape scores, but the only way to get all the detail in is to use tiny (3.5) size staves.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Irrespective of which notation software package you use, I think readability is more important than how frequent the page turns are. I always go for "portrait" format. I have no idea how you can do this with Sibelius, but with Finale you can always use tighter spacing settings to increase the number of bars per page.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  3. ISBBBb2

    ISBBBb2 Member

    There should be a setting on the printer which allows you to print on both sides of the paper, thus eliminating the tedious task of turning pages and saving the environment in the process!! :)
  4. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    A lot depends on the resolution of your printer. If you're using an inkjet, the chances are you will struggle for resolution at 3.5pt stave sizes. A laser is likely to be better - but 3.5pt is still pretty small.

    Basically you have two options.
    1) Switch to portrait.
    2) Use larger paper.

    Since not many printers will take paper over A4 size, printing on Foolscap or bigger may be difficult. I'd say a4 portrait is probably the easiest solution that doesn't involve spending large amounts of money on new printer tech.
  5. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Looks like its going to be portrait then....!!! Grr!

    Very frustrating when it means that a 5 minute, 6/8 piece at 140bpm and 6 bars per page means there will be about 30 page turns at intervals of 10 seconds!
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I don't know what kind of spacing algorithm you're using, or if your bars include lots of semis/demis (at 140bpm?), but I just dug out an old score which was a 6/8 piece with predominantly quaver movement, and I have 11 bars per page on average ...
  7. Mr Ratty

    Mr Ratty Member

    What I tend to do is set my paper size to A3 when creating the score, use the default staff sizing that Sibelius gives you. Then when printing, set the paper size to A4 in the print settings and print the score at 75%. I can usualy get 10 bars to the page on portrait (with the odd page being a bit less for bars with lots of notes in). This is in Sibelius 5 (may not be the same with others like).

  8. Al

    Al Member

    Use an iPad.
  9. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    I wouldn't say 3.5mm staves are all that small on a score. I've just had a look at my copy of 'St. Magnus', laid out in landscape with staves about 3.5mm - certainly less than 4mm. For me it's perfectly legible. Going back to the OP, it's always worth checking the exact layout and just how big the staves can be made. I've also just had a look at the score to 'The Year of the Dragon' - also landscape, but the staff size is just over 4mm. I find that the page margins Sib sets up can often be reduced so that more of the page is printed on, which can make a significant difference.

    I agree with though is that quality of printer makes a difference, and legibility is vital.
  10. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Depending on your version of Sibelius, you might be able to use optimise staff spacing (version 6 and up) to help reduce the gaps between syaves, thereby allowing bigger staves. Obviously, if you don't have access to an A3 laser printer, you are going to have to make a trade off between size and legibility. I would tend to agree with others above about legibility. I find the size of the parts for our current test piece to be positively offensive as they are so tiny. SP&S, please don't print parts out at such a small staff size. It's discriminatory and probably age-ist, too!
  11. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I much prefer landscape scores; I suspect it's purely psychological but I feel able to follow a musical line more easily on the wider format.

    If you print to PDF (use a free writer like CutePDF or PrimoPDF) the margins are less of an issue and you can set slightly larger staff sizes.
  12. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    CutePDF is excellent. I can recommend it.
  13. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Agreed. I use it for sending draft scores for people who don't have sibelius to look over, and for stuff like that, it's ideal.

    Just remember to uninstall the 'Ask' toolbar that it generally comes bundled with afterwards! I don't know if they've stopped doing it, but when I was adding it to some of our PCs here, getting the one was invariably on condition of installing the other. You could uninstall the toolbar separately and keep cutePDF fairly simply - it was just annoying you had to install something you didn't want in order to get it.

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