In an effort to speed up the process of note input, Jenny Amaya encourages you to detach from the mouse and to begin using alphanumeric note input. She first explains the connection between your onscreen Keypad panel and your computer's numeric keypad, and then she explains how to choose pitches, using the letters A–G on your QWERTY keyboard. She puts it all together, showing you the best way to begin inputting notes, step-by-step, using only your computer's keyboard.
- [Instructor] Using the mouse to input notes in Sibelius is probably the most obvious note input method, but it's also the slowest. A much more efficient way of inputting notes is by using your computer's QWERTY keyboard, and its numeric keypad, to enter notes alphanumerically. It takes a bit of practice, and requires a bit of muscle memory, but if you invest some time into learning note input methods that do not require the mouse, you'll enjoy the benefits later. To be successful with alphanumeric note input, you must first make a connection between Sibelius' onscreen keypad, and your computer's numeric keypad, because the Sibelius keypad has been mapped to your computer's numeric keypad.
The best way to become acquainted with the mapping of the numeric keypad is by escaping out of the score entirely, and then pressing the buttons on your computer's numeric keypad, and watching what they trigger on the onscreen keypad. You can start with numeric keypad numbers 4, 5, and 6, which trigger the quarter note, half note, and whole note values, and then you can branch out from there. 7, 8 and 9 will select the natural, sharp and flat signs. And notice how you'll have to toggle that last accidental off, or it will remain selected.
And 1, 2 and 3 will select the 32nd note, the 16th note, and the eighth note values. Your zero key on your numeric keypad is the rest button, and your Enter key is the tie. I would suggest pausing the video, and taking a moment to become comfortable working with the keys on your numeric keypad, before advancing into alphanumeric note input. When you're ready to begin inputting notes alphanumerically, you'll need to know one more thing: how to input pitches. Your numeric keypad will handle all of the durations, accidentals, ties and articulations.
And it's the letters A through G on your QWERTY keyboard that will map you to the musical pitches A through G. So to begin entering notes alphanumerically, go ahead and escape so that nothing is selected in your score. You're going to want to select the bar rest in the bar where you'd like to begin inputting notes. Now you can go ahead and use your mouse for this. I'm going to select this bar rest right here, in bar 23. Click right on top of the bar rest, don't select the whole bar. If you do that, go ahead and escape, and then select the bar rest, and then move your mouse off of the screen, you won't be needing it anymore.
You can also use tab, to tab into that upper left-hand corner of your screen, if you don't want to use your mouse. Next, using your computer's numeric keypad, choose a duration. I'm going to choose a quarter note, by tapping the number 4 on my numeric keypad. You're actually editing the selected bar rest, to turn it into a new duration. You can see my bar rest has now turned into two quarter rests and a half rest. Don't let that confuse you too much, just keep on going. You're going to choose a pitch next, using the letters A through G on your QWERTY keyboard.
You're essentially editing the selected rest now, and turning it into a pitch. For example, pressing the letter A (plays note) will change the selected quarter note rest into a quarter note A. It's just like hovering your mouse over that rest, landing on that A space, and pressing your mouse button and turning it into a pitch. And notice that you're now in note input mode. Your selected duration, the quarter note, will remain selected, so if you'd like to input another quarter note immediately after the A that you just inputted, all you have to do is type in a pitch.
For example, typing G (plays note) will input a quarter note G to the right of the A. Continue note input by selecting the duration in the keypad, if you want to change the duration, I'll go ahead and press the number 3 for an eighth note, and then type in a pitch letter A through G. There's F (plays note) E (plays note) D (plays note) C. (plays note) Quarter note with the number 4 in my numeric keypad, D (plays note) E (plays note) eighth note number 3, F (plays note) G. (plays note) Quarter note number 4, A. (plays note) As you input notes alphanumerically, you may discover that the pitch you inputted is correct, but the octave you want it in is not.
Sibelius will automatically input pitches in the nearest octave to the previously inputted note. So if I input a C (plays note) and then input a G (plays note) it will give me the G below the C, because the fourth below is closer than the fifth above. If you remember, you have the ability to edit a note that you just inputted, the note that resides just behind that input carat. And one of the ways you're able to edit a recently inputted note is by using your arrow keys to move it up and down, or Command or Control plus your arrow keys to move the note up or down by an octave, and that's exactly what you need to do when you're in alphanumeric note input.
If you're inputting a note, like moving from C to G, (plays notes) and if the second note lands in the wrong octave, immediately use the Command plus arrow up or down, (plays note) to move the note into the proper octave, and then carry on with your note input from there. (plays notes) When you're comfortable inputting several pitches alphanumerically with different durations and octaves, I would suggest moving on to inputting rests. To input a rest using alphanumeric note input, while still in note input mode, choose a duration in the keypad, and then press the zero key, which is your rest key.
I'm going to go ahead and input one more note here, a B. (plays note) And then I'm going to press the rest key, or the zero key on my numeric keypad, to input a quarter note rest. If I want to follow that by an eighth note rest, I can choose the number 3 in my numeric keypad for eighth note, and then press the rest key. And if I want to pitch after that, I can press the letter A, (plays note) and I get an A eighth note. So continue practicing this, go ahead and input a few notes (plays note) and a few rests. And once you're comfortable with notes and rests during alphanumeric note input, try inputting a tied note.
It isn't much different than when you use your mouse. First, input the note that you're going to tie over. I'm going to input a B. (plays note) Next, use the enter button on your numeric keypad to input the tie, then select a duration, and input a note of the same pitch to tie over to. (plays note) Very simple. I'm going to do this one more time for you, I'm going to input a C (plays note) press the enter key to tie that over, choose a quarter note in my keypad, and press C again.
(plays note) You can even tie over a bar line if you'd like to, I'm going to press enter again, and let's change it to an eighth note with a number 3, and press C. (plays note) Remember that when you input a tie, the note to the right side of the tie has to match the pitch of the note on the left side of the tie exactly. When you're comfortable with notes of various durations, rests and ties, you can move on to adding accidentals to your alphanumeric note input practice. Remember that when you think about altered notes in Sibelius, you want to think about the accidental first, and then the pitch, because you have to select the accidental along with the duration before you type in the pitch.
So to input an altered note in Sibelius using alphanumeric note input, go ahead and select a duration from the keypad. I'm going to leave my eighth note selected. Select an accidental from the numeric keypad. I'm going to choose a sharp, with the number 8. Then input the pitch letter A through G on your QWERTY keyboard. Let's go ahead and input a D sharp. So with the eighth note sharp selected, I'm going to press the letter D, (plays note) and I get a sharp D. I can continue on, here's C (plays note) B (plays note) A. (plays note) Let's say I want a G sharp, we call it a sharp G, because we're going to select the sharp, and then the letter G. (plays note) After you input the altered note, the accidental will toggle itself off in the keypad, and remember that that sustains through the bar.
So if I press quarter note, number 4, and just type the letter G, (plays note) that G right there that I inputted is a G sharp. And you also might prefer to add articulations during alphanumeric note input as well, although you can always make the decision to go back later and edit them in after note input. It's up to you. If you'd like to add articulations to notes during alphanumeric note input, simply select the duration of the note from the numeric keypad, then select the articulation that you'd like to attach to the note from the numeric keypad, and then input the pitch of the note.
Let's go ahead and give this a try. So if I want an accented C at the beginning of my next bar, I have a quarter note selected, I'm going to add the accent to that, on Mac, this is the equal key on my numeric keypad. So I have an accented quarter note, and just type the pitch C. (plays note) Remember that those articulations stay selected, so if I want a bunch of quarter notes accented in a row, I can just leave my keypad the way it is, and type pitches. B, (plays note) A, (plays note) G, (plays note) F. (plays note) When I'm ready to toggle that articulation off, I just tap the little key in my keypad again, toggle that articulation off, and now I can input another quarter note without the articulation.
And you may not have realized it yet, but you should already know how to add intervals and build chords during alphanumeric input as well. So we're going to go ahead and input any single note first. I have an F selected here, so we'll go ahead and use that. Then of course, you're going to use your QWERTY keyboard numbers 1 through 9 to add intervals above the selected note. So if I hit 4, (plays interval) I get the fourth above that F. I'm going to input the letter C (plays note) and move that up an octave with Command-arrow up, (plays note) and let's type the number 3 (plays interval) to get the interval above that.
So you can move along, I'm going to choose an eighth note value in my keypad, B (plays note) A (plays note) G (plays note) F. (plays note) Let's do a quarter note E, (plays note) and let's say I want to build a chord on that. I can do the number 3 (plays interval) and 4, (plays interval) and let's go to a half note, numeric keypad number 5, C. (plays note) Up an octave, Command-arrow up, (plays note) and we can build a chord on that. Let's do 4, (plays interval) and 3. (plays interval) And remember that you can build the chord below the note, if I do another C here, by using Shift, because Shift does the opposite.
So Shift-4 (plays lower interval) Shift-3. (plays lower interval) Now the final piece of the alphanumeric note input puzzle is figuring out how to exit and return back to note input. So if you escape out of note input mode, which is the correct way to exit from note input, go ahead and escape twice, then to return to note input mode, you'll need to have a starting point selected in a score. Usually this is a rest in a bar, which you can simply click on with your mouse, so if I wanted to start back down here after my last inputted notes, I can just simply select that half note rest right there.
If I don't want a half note, I can change the duration now, let's say I want a quarter note, then I can start inputting pitches. (Plays notes) So that's one way that you can get started again. You can also use Tab, to tab into the top of the score, if I press my Tab key, but that's always going to tab you into the upper left-hand corner of whatever's in view, so I would actually have to maneuver around a bit, to get back down here to the bottom of my score page. So it's okay if you want to use your mouse to give yourself a starting point.
Another little trick that I use a lot, I'm going to go ahead and move this page up for you, is that I re-input the pitch that I previously had finished with. So if I want to start input after this D that I just inputted, I can go ahead and reselect the D, (plays note) and just re-input the pitch letter for that note. So if I just tap the letter D on my QWERTY keyboard, (plays note) it re-inputs that note, and puts me right into note input from that point forward. Sometimes that makes a little more sense to get started. So then I can choose a value for the next note, like an eighth note, and then start typing my pitches in.
(Plays notes) So alphanumeric note input is a super fast and effective way to input notes. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never want to go back to using the mouse to input notes ever again.
- Installing and launching Sibelius
- Opening and closing a score
- Navigating through the score
- Using important single-key shortcuts
- Marking and coloring a score
- Playing and replaying a score
- Editing selections and deleting staves
- Creating a new score and inputting score objects
- Editing during and after note input
- Editing pitches and rhythms
- Working with text styles
- Finishing and printing a score