Basic Skills for Sibelius 6


Where to Find This Software

The keyservered version of Sibelius is available on all public cluster Macintosh and Windows computers. It may also be installed on student, faculty,and staff computers.

Click to Install Sibelius 6 on your Windows Computer

Click to Install Sibelius 6 on your Macintosh Computer

Getting Started

You may need headphones. To listen to your work in Sibelius in one of the public computing locations on campus, you will need a set of headphones. Headphones can be borrowed from the Music Library and Knapp Media & Technology service desks. In some locations you may also use your own headphones.

  • In the Music Library Listening Lab: Plug the headphones into the extension cord coming from the back of the computer.

  • In the Knapp Media & Technology Center: Plug Knapp Center headphones into the black headphone box located at each station or personal headphones into the FRONT headphone jacks on the Macintosh towers. Please do not use personal headphones with the Knapp Windows PC computers.

If you are uncertain how to use your headphones in the Public Computing Clusters, Knapp Center or the Music Library, please ask at the service or student consultant's desk.To launch Sibelius in Windows XP or 2000:In the Public Clusters, Libraries and Classrooms

  • Choose Start > All Programs > Sibelius Software > Sibelius 6

On your own computer

If you have a Sibelius shortcut on your desktop, double-click on the shortcut.

  • Choose Start > All Programs > Sibelius Software > Sibelius 6

    or it it is available, double-click on the Sibelius icon on your desktop.

To launch Sibelius in Mac OS X:In the Public Clusters, Libraries and Classrooms

  • From the Go menu choose Applications > Sibelius 6 > Sibelius

On your own computer

  • From the Go menu choose Applications > Sibelius 6 > Sibelius

    or, it if is available, click on the Sibelius icon in the Dock.

Using the Quick Start Menu to open & create new files

When you launch Sibelius, the program will automatically display the Quick Start Menu. If you close this window, you can return to it at any time by choosing File > Quick Start.

Follow the instructions below for using this QuickStart menu to Open Exisiting Files using the three Open buttons or Create a New File using the New button.

Note: The Scan in printed music option is not available.

To open existing files

To open files that you have previously worked on in Sibelius:

  • Select your file from the pull-down menu to the right of the Open Recent File button

  • Click on Open Recent File.

To open non-MIDI music files for the first time:

  • Click on Open and a window will open up to allow you to choose your file.
  • Browse for your file using the Look in: pull-down menu, click on your file and then click on Open.

To convert a MIDI file to a Sibelius score:

  • Click on Open MIDI File and a window will open up to allow you to choose your file.
  • Browse for your file using the Look in: pull-down menu, click on your file and then click on Open.
  • A new window will appear with MIDI conversion options. Change the settings as desired.
  • When you are satisfied with these settings, click OK.

To create a new file

Click on New to create a new Sibelius file and a New Score window will appear with a series of options.In the Manuscript Paper window:

  • Choose from the list of pre-set instrumental combinations or create your own. You can also modify the pre-set combinations.
  • Click on Add Instruments... to open up another window with lists of instruments.
  • Highlight an instrument in the Instrument menu and click on Add to Score.

    Note: keyboard instruments, such as Piano, appear as two staves, labelled (a) and (b).

  • Highlight individual staves in the Staves in score menu to delete or rearrange order of staves.
  • Click on Up or Down to shift instruments up or down.
  • Click OK.
  • When you are satisfied with the combination and placement of instruments, click on Next.

In the House Style window:

  • Select a score display style and click on Next.

In the Time Signature and Tempo window:

  • Select a time signature, upbeat bar, tempo marking, and metronome marking.
  • If you wish to use a time signature not among the given ones, click on Other: and scroll up or down the menus to its right.
  • Click on Next.

In the Key Signature window:

  • Select a key signature.
  • Choose Major keys or Minor keys to change the list of available key signatures. The key signatures with sharps are displayed on the left, the ones with flats on the right.
  • Click on Next.

In the Score Info window:

  • Enter your title, composer, lyricist, copyright, and any other information. All of this is optional.
  • You may also select Create title page to generate a separate page at the beginning of the document with this information.
  • Click on Finish.

You can change any of the options you have just chosen by clicking on the pull-down menus at the top of the window while editing your score.

Writing and editing your score

After opening your file, or creating a new file, three windows will appear:

  • The background window contains your score. Enter and edit notes in the Score window.
  • The Navigator window provides a way to quickly jump from point to point within your score. Click on any position in the score to go there.
  • The Keypad window displays input options. Use this window to select the kind of notes you wish to enter.

To enter a note you can either use the Keypad window or if you are in the Music Library Listening Lab, the MIDI piano keyboard.

Using the Keypad window to add to your score

need headphones?

The most common notation options are provided under the Whole note tab, as shown on the left. Here, you can choose note duration, accidentals, ties, rests and accents.

To enter a note:

  1. Click the desired note duration
  2. Point your mouse at the place in the score at which you wish to input a note. A gray notehead will indicate the location of the note to be input.
  3. Click once to confirm input.
  4. If a note is outside the range of an instrument, it will appear with a red notehead.
  5. Press the escape key or press N for note entry (a toggle on-off key) to stop entering notes.

To enter a rest:

  1. Click the large rest button at the bottom left of the Whole note tab keypad,
  2. Choose the desired duration for the rest.

The other tabs on the Keypad window provide additional note durations, beaming options, tremolos, fermatas, articulation markings, and accidentals.

Sibelius can divide the notes in each staff into two to four separate musical lines, e.g., 2-4 voices. Click on the numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4 at the bottom of the Keypad window to choose which voice you would like for your input. Voices 2, 3, and 4 will appear in different colors for easier viewing.

Editing your score

need headphones?

To select a group of notes:

  • Hold down the SHIFT key while you click and drag your mouse over multiple notes.
  • You can copy or cut and paste a selected group of notes as you would text in a word-processing document.
  • You can also transpose selected notes: go to

To delete notes:

  • From the Notes pull-down menu at the top of the Score window, uncheck Input Notes.
  • Use your mouse (now an arrow) to select individual notes or groups of notes.
  • Hit the backspace key while a note is highlighted to delete it.

To add interpretive markings (slurs, accents, staccato marks, tenuto marks, and others):

  • From the Notes pull-down menu at the top of the Score window, uncheck Input Notes.
  • Use your mouse (now an arrow) to select individual notes or groups of notes.
  • Click on the slur, accent, or other marking in the Keypad window.

To remove interpretive markings (slurs, accents, staccato marks, tenuto marks, and others):

  • From the Notes pull-down menu at the top of the Score window, uncheck Input Notes.
  • Use your mouse (now an arrow) to select individual notes or groups of notes.
  • Hold down the SHIFT key, click on the notes you want the interpretive markings removed from, then click on the slur, accent, or other marking in the Keypad window.

To change the pitches of notes:

  • From the Notes pull-down menu at the top of the Score window, uncheck Input Notes.
  • Use your mouse (now an arrow) to select individual notes.
  • Use your mouse to drag individual notes to different pitches.

To Transpose notes:

  • From the Notes pull-down menu at the top of the Score window, uncheck Input Notes.
  • Use your mouse (now an arrow) to select individual notes or groups of notes.
  • From the Notes pull-down menu at the top of the page, and click on Transpose. A Transpose window will appear with options for transposition.
  • You can choose to transpose up or down any intervals by choosing from the two pull-down menus.
  • Click OK.

To change the duration of notes:

  • From the Notes pull-down menu at the top of the Score window, uncheck Input Notes.
  • Use your mouse (now an arrow) to select individual notes or groups of notes.
  • Highlight a note and click on the desired duration in the Keypad window to change the duration of a note.

To input and edit chords:

  • Stack notes up vertically.
  • Make changes to the entire chord by holding down the SHIFT key while clicking on the members of the chord. You can then delete, move or transpose the whole chord at once.

To add lyrics:

  • Choose Create > Text > Lyrics. A cursor will appear under the note you select.
  • Start typing your lyrics.
  • To skip to the next notehead, press the SPACEBAR.

To edit lyrics:

  • Click on the words you wish to edit.
  • Choose other text entry options by selecting Create > Text
  • For further options, choose Plug-Ins > Text

Save, Print, Playback and Quit

need headphones?

To save your score:

  • Choose File> Save.
  • In the window that appears, choose the desired location of your file by looking in the Save in: pull-down menu.
  • Enter the filename of your score in the File name: bar, then click Save.

To print your score:

  • Choose File> Print.
  • A window with printing options will appear. Choose the options you would like.
  • Click OK.

To hear your score:

  • Click on the location in the score from which you would like to begin playback.
  • Choose Play > Play or Pause.

    To adjust the computer's volume:

    Click on the speaker icon at the top right of your computer screen. Slide button on volume bar up or down.
    or
    In Sibelius, go to Options > Keyboard options > Set keyboard volume

To quit out of Sibelius:

Choose File > Exit or File > Quit