Using Sibelius Effectively: A Guide to Sibelius Ultimate condenses years of experience and expertise using Sibelius into a thoughtful, practical 70-page explainer. Written in an easy-to-follow, engaging style, its focus is on helping you produce quality music notation from the program.
The three-part approach is presented as follows: Preparation, Making Notes (and more), and Useful Extras. The guide walks you through what do to before you even open Sibelius through the steps of putting items on the page, editing objects, laying out your music, and making parts.
Using Sibelius Effectively makes Sibelius accessible to the user who wants professional, practical guidance on making music that looks great, offering opinions and insider tips on the best approaches. The clarifying approach is laser-focused on music notation tips and tricks, and doesn’t digress into playback, video, or other Sibelius features that aren’t directly related to producing notated output. Author Luciano Williamson’s refreshingly honest take on Sibelius both unlocks its secrets but also doesn’t shy away from pointing out its flaws — and, in the latter instance, how to navigate around them.
This guide is the rare item that will appeal to both beginners and power users alike. Whether you find yourself learning something new, nodding along in agreement, or slapping your forehead and wishing you had imparted its wisdom years ago, Using Sibelius Effectively will up your Sibelius game.
Part 1: Preparation
- Before you open Sibelius
- Score setup
- Things to change immediately
Part 2: Making Notes (and more)
- Putting things on the page
- Editing and creating objects
Part 3: Useful Extras
- Miscellaneous useful advice
- Recommended reading
- Appendix: Keyboard shortcuts
This guide was originally written for the composition students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales. It began life as a lecture plan covering common tasks in Sibelius, but quickly grew into a document longer than every essay I ever wrote while studying at the college, combined.
This guide is not intended to replace a book on music notation (there are many fine examples of these), nor is it a thorough guide on every single feature in Sibelius (the Sibelius Reference Guide included with the software already exists!); rather, this guide will walk you through the basic steps of creating a new score in Sibelius the “right” (i.e. most efficient) way. While I have my own (strong) opinions on many notation conventions, in this guide I am only interested in describing how to achieve the results you want in the most efficient and future-proof manner.
This guide is not aimed at, nor tested on, the “budget” Sibelius versions (Sibelius First, and Sibelius), as in my opinion these lack too many necessary features to be suitable for high-quality engraving.
— Luciano Williamson