This video provides an overview of the 11 ribbon tabs and their general organization. Get introduced to the groups and dialog launcher buttons within each ribbon tab, and some of the more important features in each tab, including plugins, the Transposing Score button, note colors, and more.
- [Instructor] Previously introduced in this course, the ribbon is the wide band of command buttons found at the top of the score window, organized into 11 tabs that provide access to all of Sibelius' features. The ribbon tabs are laid out in a special order for optimum work flow. From left to right the features contained in the ribbon are placed in the order in which you are most likely to use them as you work on your score from start to finish. For example, in our Home tab, you can see that it contains many features for building your score, such as adding instruments and bars, which is why it's one of the first tabs presented to you.
The contents of each ribbon tab are organized into groups, separated by thin gray lines. Groups contain related sets of commands. Group names are listed in gray at the bottom of each group. Some of the groups in the ribbon also have dialog launcher buttons. These are tiny arrow buttons in the lower right hand corner of the group. These buttons will open advanced dialog windows that expand the capabilities of the group. If you've opened one, you can hit Escape to close it. A bit of a warning for you about the ribbon.
The contents of the ribbon will look different at various screen resolutions and window sizes. The contents will group together and become more condensed as the size of the window or the screen resolution diminishes. Watch what happens to my Edit group, in the Home tab, when I make this window smaller. So the group condenses and then I end up with a menu that shows all of its features. I'm going to go ahead and use the green Maximize button to get my score back to its full size.
So if at any time during this course your ribbon looks slightly different from mine, it's likely due to the size of your score window or screen resolution. But don't worry, you can still access all of the same features. Now let's take a deeper look at each of the ribbon tabs. The ribbon's purple File tab is different from all of the other tabs. If you click on the File tab, you'll be removed from your score page and taken to an area in Sibelius that is known as Backstage. The File tab expands into a traditional list of file menu options for saving, opening, closing, printing, sharing and exporting your score.
A link to Sibelius preferences is of course also located in the File tab. Another little warning for you, be sure not to click the Quit or Exit option at the bottom of the File tab's menu when you're ready to return to your score page. Doing so will cause the application to quit. To exit out of the File tab, you can click on any other ribbon tab, or press Escape. As you've already seen, the Home tab contains score setup and basic editing commands. It also contains all selection options from the most basic to advanced.
The Home tab is also the home of the Transposing Score button. This is located right here in the Instruments group. With this button selected, or colored gold, you're viewing a Transposing score, the musical notes and key signatures as the performers would read them. With this button deselected, or colored gray, you're viewing a Concert pitch score, otherwise known as C score, or sounding pitch. In addition to pressing the button in the ribbon, you can toggle Transposing score on and off using the shortcut cmd shift t on Mac, or ctrl shift t on Windows.
The Status bar at the bottom of the screen will also let you know if you're in Concert Pitch or Transposing Score. Be mindful of this view of your score because what you see is what will print. Before moving to the next tab, I'd like to make a quick note about Plug Ins. Most of the ribbon tabs will have a Plug Ins group that contains Plug Ins related to that tab's contents. Plug Ins are written by third parties to expand and enhance the functionality of a program. Hundreds of Plug Ins are available for Sibelius and all of them may not be installed on your system.
It's very easy to download and install them. Just visit the File tab and go down to Plug Ins. If you click on that you'll see an option to Install Plug Ins, and you can go through the process of installing them from here. I'm going to Escape out, there we go. The next tab is the Note Input tab. It contains features for all methods of note input, mouse input, flexi-time input, and re-inputting pitches. Other features in this tab include multiple voices, intervals, Sibelius' Arrange feature, and transformations for creative composing and arranging.
In short, the Note Input tab hosts any feature that could possibly be responsible for putting notes on the page in Sibelius. Next to the Note Input tab is the Notations tab. It contains all of the basic markings you would expect to find in a score, including key signatures, time signatures, lines, symbols, and graphics. The Notations tab also includes more advanced features, such as note head varieties, beaming options, and staff brackets and braces. The Text tab of course contains everything having to do with text, from the simplest staff text styles, to rehearsal marks and bar numbers.
The Play tab hosts all of the features you'll need in order to create a meaningful playback of your score. Playback features and commands will be discussed in a separate chapter in this course. The Layout tab contains important options for helping you fit your music on the page. Some of these features are simple, such as the basic document setup features like choosing a page size and orientation. And some features are quite advanced like choosing the exact spacing between staves and systems. We'll discuss one of the larger features found within the Layout tab, Magnetic Layout, in its own separate video.
The features in the Appearance tab allow you to take the overall look of your score to the next level. This is perhaps the most advanced of all of the ribbon tabs, so we won't be spending much time with it in this beginning level course. The Parts tab contains a small collection of features for setting up, laying out and printing all of the parts in your score. This tab does not contain a list of your parts, or access to any of the individual parts in your score. Remember, in order to view the individual parts in your score, you have to use the Open New Tab button.
The Review tab contains some fun features like sticky notes and a highlighter, which can be used to review or comment on areas of your score. We'll discuss a few of these features in an upcoming separate video, so stay tuned. However, you do not need to be concerned in this course with the Versions group or the Compare group in this tab, as they're both related to the Versions feature which we've turned off in Preferences. And finally we get to the View tab, which contains a wide variety of features that will help you work more efficiently within the application.
Even though it's the last tab in the ribbon, you'll visit and revisit the View tab quite often as you work in Sibelius, regardless of where you are in the score creation process. Many of the options in this tab are already familiar to you and those that are new will be pretty simple to understand. First the Document View group, this contains the same page display buttons that are available at the bottom right hand corner of your main score window, these have already been discussed in our page display video. The Zoom group was discussed in its entirety in our zooming video.
We have visited the Invisibles group a few times already to toggle view options on and off, such as our bar numbers and our layout marks. You can experiment with the additional invisibles as well. You may enjoy viewing page margins for example. The Magnetic Layout group contains check boxes for viewing magnetic layout options. Again, you'll have a better understanding of these features after watching the Magnetic Layout video. If you're a fan of viewing rulers, Sibelius has three types available which you can toggle on and off from the Rulers group.
I'll let you experiment with those on your own. The Note Colors group contains one drop down menu with three options. By default, Sibelius shows notes out of range and it shows them in a red color. So, if I go down here into my trumpet part, I'm going to zoom in so you can see this a little better, and Escape. If I grab a trumpet note and I drag it way up above the staff. (trumpet) You'll see that it turns red. Actually there are two shades of red.
This is the brightest red, meaning this note is completely out of range for the instrument. If I lower the note a bit, I'm going to select it and use my arrow key. (trumpet) You'll see that it becomes more of a dark colored red. This indicates a note that is within a professional range for the instrument. You can also choose Voice Colors for note colors, should you have multiple voices in your score and want to view them by voice color, you could. Now if you don't know what multiple voices are yet, that's OK.
When you're first getting started in Sibelius it's a good thing if all of your notes are blue, indicating that you're working in the main voice, which is Voice One. Now if all of these note color features annoy you, as they regularly do me, you can go to the Note Colors group and you can choose None. This turns all note colors off. The Panels group is where we can toggle on and off some of Sibelius' floating windows, like the keypad that you see on the screen in the lower right hand corner. I can check it here to turn it off and go back and turn it back on.
And finally the Window group in the View tab provides you with options for organizing multiple top level Sibelius score windows on the screen. If you had two scores open, you could tile them vertically or horizontally on the screen if you'd like. It also contains the button for full screen mode, which effectively hides your score's title bar. So that's an overview of all of the tabs in the ribbon. I've also skimmed the surface of some of the larger features found within the tabs, which will presented in a bit more detail in their own separate videos in this chapter.
- 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