Jenny Amaya explains the functions of the following single-key shortcuts: Spacebar, Delete (Backspace), Up/Down Arrow, and Return (Enter). She explains how Sibelius thinks about deleting notes and rests, and expands on the "Command (Control) Does More" theme by showing how to use a shortcut to move notes up and down by one octave, instead of just moving them by a single diatonic step.
- [Narrator] There are a few single key shortcuts in Sibelius that everyone should know. You've already learned the importance of using the escape key to stop all action and cancel or deselect everything in the score. Following are a few additional single key shortcuts that you'll find helpful as you begin using Sibelius. To begin, the spacebar will play and pause your score from the green playback line location.
Many more playback features will be discussed later in this course, but at least for now, you can play your score if you'd like to. Another important shortcut is the delete key on Mac or the backspace key on Windows, located in the upper right hand corner of your qwerty keyboard. This key can actually be used for a variety of functions depending on the type of selection that you make before using it. There are three main tasks that you can accomplish with the qwerty keyboard's delete or backspace key. First, if you press escape a few times, and then click in an empty area of a bar where the staff lines are, somewhere in this area here, you'll be able to select a bar.
With the bar selected, the delete or backspace key will clear the contents of the bar, providing you with a beautifully, correctly centered bar rest. Anytime you need a bar rest in Sibelius, this is the best and easiest way to get one. Click inside a bar where the staff lines are, and press delete or backspace. And then you can press escape. Second, with a single note head selected, the delete or backspace key will change the selected note into a rest. I'm going to go ahead and use command + to zoom in a little bit here for you.
And I'm going to select a single note head. If I use the delete or backspace key, I'll turn that note into a rest. Now, continuing from there, with the rest selected, delete or backspace will actually hide the rest. It'll appear sort of in a grayscale color for you. Even further, if I have a hidden rest selected, delete or backspace will cause a warning dialogue to appear on the screen. Now, it's important to be mindful of this warning dialogue, especially if you're new to Sibelius.
You might get to this dialogue box after using delete or backspace one too many times to edit a note or a rest. Or, more often than not, by thinking you can delete a note or rest entirely from its position within a bar to allow other notes to slide over into its place. It does seem logical, but Sibelius does not think that way. In Sibelius, notes and rests are actually place holders. So, what actually happens when you delete a hidden rest in Sibelius, is exactly what the dialogue says. You end up leaving an empty gap in the bar, taking up the same amount of space as the rest.
So, if you get to this warning dialogue, and you click yes, then your bar will appear to have a strange empty space in it. Just like mine does right now. Your bar will also appear to have an incorrect number of beats and this is usually undesirable. So, a better decision to make when you see that warning dialogue, unless you have a very good reason for leaving an empty space in the bar, would be to click no and then you can use undo until you get back to a place in your score where you can assess the outcome that you want and figure out a better plan to achieve it.
But don't worry, even if you're like me and you've pressed yes, and you have a gap in your bar that you don't want, you can undo, command or control z, and get your note or rest back. So, be careful using delete or backspace when you have notes and rests selected. Next, the up and down arrow keys are also important and simple shortcuts for you as they move objects up and down within the score. For example, with this note head selected, the up and down arrow keys will move the note up and down diatonically on the staff.
Now, diatonically means that you're within the key signature, so, if I select an altered note and start to move it with my arrow keys, you'll notice that that accidental will go away. You can always undo to get that accidental back. Or you'll eventually be able to edit the accidental back in. Now a question I often get at this point is, how do I move my notes up and down by an octave? And I'm glad you've asked, because remember command or control does more.
So, with a note head selected, holding command and using the arrow up, gives you the octave above that and command, or control on Windows, with the arrow down gives you the octave below. And you can do this with one note selected or even a whole bar of notes selected. Moves them all at once. And the arrow keys aren't limited to note heads. I'm going to go ahead and hit escape, you can select anything in the score, even text, and move that up and down with your arrow keys as well.
And check this out, if I use command arrow up and down, I'll be able to move that object a little bit further. Now, I'm going to finish off our important single key shortcuts video by discussing the return key on Mac or the enter key on Windows. And, again, I'm referring to the large key on the right side of your qwerty keyboard. This shortcut key actually has a few important functions, but we're just going to focus on one very simple, but exciting, feature for right now. With a note, or even a group of notes selected, the return or enter key on the qwerty keyboard will respell the selected pitch or pitches enharmonically.
So, I'm going to go ahead and select this note again. I'll move my mouse out of the way, so you can see this. And, if I press the return key on Mac, or the enter key on Windows, I'm going to respell that note enharmonically. So, we've moved from a C to a B Sharp. And this toggles back and forth, I can just keep tapping that key to get from C to B Sharp. And, again, you can do this with more than one note selected, I can select a whole bar of notes, and hit return or enter and change all of those notes enharmonically at once.
And escape. Okay, since we discussed several single key shortcuts, in this video, let's recap what we've covered. Spacebar can be used for playing and pausing your score. Hit spacebar to play and hit spacebar to pause. The backspace or delete key can be used for turning selected notes into rests, select a note, turn it into a rest. And if a bar is selected, the backspace or delete key will give you a centered bar rest.
The up and down arrow keys will move notes and objects up and down on your score page. And adding command to that, moves them in larger increments, like by an octave. And finally, with a note selected, the enter or return key will toggle the note between it's enharmonic spelling. This is a lot of important information. So, absorb it carefully and do your best to employ these shortcuts as often as possible.
- 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