Sibelius 6 Quick Tip: fingering


In this tip I show you how to create fingering and the possibilities Sibelius has to reposition text and create fingering for brass and string instruments. Because I was working on a piano piece while making this video, I used fingering for piano scores as an example, but Sibelius can add brass and string fingering automatically with the plugin Text/add brass/string fingering:

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Because I am not a brass or string player, I cannot check if this is being done correctly but the option is there.

There is also a plugin called Reposition Text that you can find in plugins Text/reposition Text. This plugin can help you in avoiding notes to collide with other objects. During the years though I have developed my own workflow and use a combination of keyboard shortcuts which I created myself, mouse dragging and arrow keys to do my fingering position. In short, the engraving rules for keyboard fingering are (taken from the Sibelius reference book):

  • Fingerings for the right hand go above the staff and for the left hand below the staff, away from all the musical elements.
  • Fingerings are centred horizontally above or below the notes and if possible, outside the beam.
  • With chords, fingerings are stacked above or below the chord. Hit Return (on the main keyboard) to stack them after each number. Hitting space advances to the next note.
  • If a fingering changes on a held note, a hyphen or dash separates the two fingerings. The first fingering is centred on the note.
  • Tuplets should be moved to the other side of the notes if necessary, to avoid collisions with the fingerings.
  • When both hands play on one staff, the right hand fingering is notated above the staff, the left hand is below.
  • Keep fingering to a minimum and notate only what is necessary to establish the hand positions.
  • Successive fingerings don’t need to line up in a row – they should go up and down following the pitch of the notes, so that they are fairly near each note.

Check out the video below to see all this in action:

I hope you like this quick tip, please let me know if you have questions or ideas for other tips. To contact me or for  information about engraving scores, use the form below:

best regards,

André van Haren

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