Jenny Amaya provides you with step-by-step instructions for entering notes of various pitches and rhythms with your mouse. She defines "note input mode" and explains the concept of "rhythmic snap positions" within a bar. She shows you where to adjust the snap position setting in Preferences, and makes a suggestion for the best setting to choose.
- [Instructor] To begin note input, let's select the first bar and zoom in just a little bit. Select the first bar and use Command + plus on Mac or Control + plus on Windows and Escape to make sure nothing is selected in the score. If you need to, move the keypad panel out of your way as well. It's probably best if it's down here in the lower right hand corner of your screen. To begin, make sure your keypad is set to Voice 1, this blue button at the bottom left hand corner with the 1 in it. Click on a duration in the keypad to load it into your mouse. I'm going to choose a quarter note value.
Hover your mouse over the first empty bar in the score. You'll see a shadow note indicating where the note will be inputted on the staff. Pay attention to the vertical alignment of the shadow note for choosing the pitch of the note as well as the horizontal alignment of the shadow note for choosing the beat location within the bar. Position the mouse as far to the left in the first bar as you can so that your shadow note will be presented on beat one. When you're ready, click with your mouse to input a note on beat one of bar one.
Sibelius will immediately adjust the rests within the bar to fill the bar with the proper number of beats. Sibelius also places you immediately into Note Input mode. In this mode, the note that you inputted remains selected or colored blue and a solid blue line, the note input caret appears to the right of the note. The note input caret shows where the input position is. When you're using your mouse to input notes, you'll always input the next note on top of the rest that is to the right of the input caret.
So let's input a quarter note on beat two. Hover over the beat two quarter note rest that's to the right of the input caret, adjust your shadow note to whatever pitch you prefer and when you're ready, click in the quarter note. You should still have a quarter note value selected. The selected duration will not change unless you go to the keypad and change it so let's do that. Let's change the note value to an eighth note. Go to the keypad, select an eighth note. Your mouse is now loaded with an eighth note and you're ready to input an eighth note on the next beat in the bar.
Move back to the rest that's just to the right of the input caret and this is the half note rest on beat three. Hover your mouse over that rest and position your shadow note on the pitch of your choice. When you're ready, click in the eighth note. Continue to practice with this inputting different durations and replacing the rests in the bars with notes of your choice.
When you get to the beginning of a new bar, beware that you'll have to find where beat one is again by positioning your mouse as far to the left in the bar as you can. At the start of a bar, your shadow note often ends up on top or slightly to the right of your note input caret. It's just something to get used to. As long as your mouse is far to the left as it can be within the bar, hover over the pitch you'd like to input and click in a note on the first beat. You can then continue through bar two replacing the rest with notes.
Keep in mind in Sibelius you choose a duration and then you input a pitch. So I'm going to choose a duration and a pitch. Duration. Pitch. So go ahead and try filling out bar three with a few more notes of different durations. Don't forget that if you run into any trouble, you can always Escape and undo. So after you have a few bars of notes successfully inputted, click Escape twice, once to exit Note Input mode and a second time to clear the edit selection that remains.
And congratulations, you've inputted your first few bars of notes into Sibelius. Before we continue with more complex note input, let's take a moment to understand the shadow note positioning just a bit more. Go ahead and select a quarter note value again in the keypad. Hover over an empty bar beginning as far to the left as you can on beat one. As you move your shadow note from left to right within a bar, you'll notice that it will snap into a few positions in the bar. Actually, by default, if you're in four-four, it snaps to every quarter note position in the bar.
One. Two. Three. Four. This allows you to skip some of the positions in a bar to do things like inputting a quarter note on beat three without having to input anything on beats one and two. Go ahead and try this. Hover over beat one, snap to the right to beat two then to beat three and click in your note and you've inputted a note on beat three. Escape twice when you're done. So that's a very clear definition of what snap positions are.
They're places in a bar that note durations are allowed to snap into when you're using the mouse to input notes. You may feel a bit restricted with a quarter note snap position. For example, what if you wanted to input a note on the and of beat one? You actually wouldn't be able to unless you inputted an eighth note or an eighth rest to reveal that and of beat one position and then you'd be able to add a note on the and of one. So I would recommend changing your snap position setting to an eighth note to allow for more freedom of note input with a mouse.
But what if you want to be able to snap directly into that eighth note position on the and of one without inputting a note on beat one? We can actually change the value of our snap position in Sibelius's Preferences so let's take a look. Go to Preferences, Command or Control + comma and then go to the Note Input page. In the bottom right hand corner, you'll find Snap Positions. In this area where it says Rhythmic Positions to Snap to, you can see that it's set to a quarter note. Let's go ahead and change that to an eighth note value and click Okay.
Now, I'm going to put in a few system breaks here to make my bars just a little bit larger for you so you can see this better. Go ahead and grab a note, Escape first, grab a note value and hover over the bar again and this time you'll see as I move to the right that I can snap into all of the eighth note positions. There's beat one and two and three and four and. So now if I wanted to input a note directly on the and of one, I would just find that position and click it in.
Now, you may wonder, why not choose a 16th note? The answer's very simple. The 16th note value provides too many positions to snap to within a bar. It can actually cause you to lose track of where your mouse is positioned. In my opinion, the eighth note snap position is the best snap position that you can choose. With this knowledge, you should have a fair amount of success continuing to input notes of various values into your score and Sibelius is doing most of the work adjusting the rest for you. But what if you wanted to input your own rests? If you want to input a rest with your mouse, you'll need to use the Rest key, the wide button at the bottom of the keypad panel just above the Voice selectors.
It has a picture of a quarter note and an eighth note rest on it but it will represent any rest depending on the value that you choose first. To input a rest with your mouse, go ahead and Escape again so that nothing is selected in your score. Select a note value. I'm going to choose a quarter note again. Go ahead and input a note. I'm going to put a quarter note at the start of a bar. Next, choose a duration from the keypad for your rest. I'm going to choose an eighth note value and now, instead of going back and inputting a pitch on the staff, all you have to do to get your rest to show up on the page is click the Rest key in the keypad.
Sibelius will input the rest to the right of the input caret and the input caret will advance to the right of the rest in preparation for the next note or rest. You can now choose to input a pitch or another rest on the next beat. I'm going to input an eighth note right here on the and of two and then you can continue from here. If I want another eighth note rest, I have an eighth note value selected, I can just choose the Rest key and then I can put in another eighth note and let's say I want a quarter note rest.
Choose a quarter note, press the Rest key. So the groove you get into in Sibelius is duration then pitch or duration then Rest key. When you're done inputting notes and rests, to exit out of Note Input mode, press Escape. If you only press Escape once, the input caret will disappear but the last note or rest that you inputted will still be selected. You've actually transitioned from Note Input mode into Edit mode so you'll need to press Escape a second time to exit Edit mode so that nothing is selected in the score.
This is why it's a good practice to get into the habit of pressing Escape twice after everything you do in Sibelius. So now it's time to go forth and practice until you're comfortable inputting notes and rests with your mouse.
- 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