In this video, Jenny Amaya walks you through the proper ways to input and extend slurs in Sibelius, including how to return to edit the length of a slur after it has been inputted, by selecting specific handles. She also introduces a new theme, X Flips Objects, which allows you to flip the direction of slurs from above to below a set of notes, and vice versa, if you wish.
- [Instructor] Learning how to input a slur properly in Cybelius will give you foundational skills that you'll be able to apply to other lines and objects. It's important that you input and extend a slur the correct way, so that it maintains the proper curvature and position on the staff, particularly when any reformatting of the score takes place. In Cybelius, slurs and phrase markings are the same objects, and you'll input them both the same way, using the same shortcut. Ties look and function differently from slurs and phrase markings, and they're inputted from the keypad.
Be sure not to confuse ties with slurs. To input a slur, do the following: Select the note where you want the slur to begin. Let's say I'm going to slur all of the notes in this bar together. So I'm going to select that C right there where the slur's going to begin. Next, simply type the letter S for slur. Cybelius will input a slur across those two notes. Now notice the appearance of the slur immediately after you input it. The slur will be colored blue, it will be selected, and there will be a blue handle on the right end of the slur.
Let me zoom in so you can see this just a little better. This right here is the blue handle. With the handle on the right end of the slur automatically selected for you, you'll be able to use Spacebar to extend the slur to the right, note-by-note. Here we go. Spacebar. Spacebar. Spacebar. Now we already know that Shift does the opposite. So if I advance this slur a little too far, then Shift + Spacebar will retract it, note-by-note.
When you're finished inputting and extending a slur, press Escape. And it really is that easy. Let's do another one. Let's say we want the first three notes in this bar to be slurred. Select the first note, press S, Spacebar, Spacebar, and Escape. Cybellius inputs slurs correctly above or below a set of notes depending on the stem direction of the notes in the musical passage. If you want to change the direction of a slur after you input it, you can.
With the slur selected, I'm just going to go ahead and select it like this, you can press X to flip the direction of the slur. You can do this at any time, as long as the slur is selected. If I press X again, it'll flip the slur to the top. Zooming out a little for you, you can even do this during slur input. If I select this note and press S, I can immediately press X to flip the slur. And this brings up yet another theme in Cybelius: the letter X will flip objects.
For example, with a notehead selected, X will change the stem's direction of the note. And if you're at all curious where this feature resides in the ribbon, you'll find it in the Home tab, Edit group, Flip. There it is, X flips objects. Okay, back to slurs. Let's go ahead and escape out, so that nothing is selected in our score. If you need to go back and edit the length of an existing slur, you'll need to keep a few things in mind.
First, you never ever want to click and drag a slur with your mouse. Clicking and dragging them like this, not a good idea. Dragging slurs around can cause them to connect improperly to notes, and to appear incorrectly-shaped. I'm going to undo, just to make sure that I don't make any unnecessary changes to that slur. Your next inclination might be to click on the slur to select it, like this, and then press Spacebar to extend it forward, just like you did when you inputted it.
And that's a great guess, but unfortunately it will not work. What happens when you press Spacebar with a slur selected that way, is that Cybelius starts playback from your green playback line location. So the trick to going back later to edit the length of a slur with the spacebar, is by using the correct type of selection. I'm going to use Command + Home to get back to my slur, and the Page Up key here, there we go. So when you escape out of the score, and then click on slur to select it, it looks something like this.
Let's zoom in again. Notice the little boxes that are showing up attached to the slur. Remember, we call these "handles." When you click on a slur to select it, the handles along the curve of the slur become selected, or colored blue. Notice how the handles on the ends of this slur, here and over here, are not selected, they're in gray. Contrast that to what you see when you input a slur. Go over here, press S, and notice how it's this end handle that is selected.
And believe it or not, that is the difference between Spacebar advancing your slur forward, or playing back your score. So to advance the slur forward, your right end handle must be selected. Go ahead and escape. Point and click on the right end of a slur that you need to advance, and you'll end up selecting that right end handle, and then use Spacebar to advance it, and Shift + Space to retract it. And actually you can use the same theory to select the left end of a slur as well, and use Spacebar to advance it.
So if I select the left end of this slur, grabbing that handle right there, Spacebar moves it to the right, Shift + Space moves it to the left. Now if you're not good at aiming for the handles on the slurs, you can actually make all handles visible in Cybelius by going to the View tab, the Invisibles group, and checking "Handles." they'll show up in gray scale, so then you can select them pretty easily. There's only one more appropriate way to input a slur in Cybelius.
You can make a range selection of notes and then press the letter S, and Cybelius will add a slur across all of the notes in your selection. I'm going to zoom out a little here. Let's find a place where we can add another slur. Let's use this bar down here. So I'm going to do a range selection of those four notes, and just simply press S. And Escape. Now what you never want to do, and it's unfortunately very appealing, is you never want to grab the slur out of the Lines menu with your mouse from the ribbon.
So if I go to the Notations tab, we look here at this Lines group, you can see there's a slur sitting right there. What happens when you grab that slur, if I've escaped so nothing is selected, and I grab that slur, and I go to put it into the score, you'll notice that it'll turn red. Obviously this slur is very confused, and you don't want confused slurs, so don't do that. Go ahead and delete that, and remember to just use S for slur. You'll also never want to drag a slur with your mouse.
Again, they're not connecting accurately to the notes if you're dragging them around, and it can be dangerous and unappealing, especially when you start trying to achieve a better layout for your score, and when you start reformatting. So when inputting slurs, always use S to input them, and when advancing or retracting them, always select their endpoints and use the spacebar.
- 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