Discover multiple ways to play back your score, such as using Spacebar to play and pause at the green Playback Line location, using "P" to play from a selection, and using Escape to stop playback. Also learn how to use the Replay feature, which is the closest you'll get to being able to loop playback in Sibelius.
- [Instructor] Sibelius has a variety of simple playback shortcuts and features beyond the spacebar that are worth getting to know. By default, Sibelius will display a solid green playback line in every score to show you where the current playback location is. If you don't see your green playback line on your screen, try pressing the spacebar for a moment to begin playback, and once you see the green playback line, press spacebar again to pause playback. Sibelius will pause playback, and should leave the green playback line in view on your screen.
You'll always see the green playback line during playback, but, if for some reason you're not seeing your green playback line when you pause your score, you may want to check to make sure it's enabled. Visit the view tab invisibles group, and make sure that the playback line is checked. And again, if you still don't see the playback line after checking that box, press spacebar, allow the file to play for a second, and then press spacebar again, and your score will pause at the playback line location, and the line will be in view. I'm going to go ahead and just zoom out a tiny bit here.
Now, as you can see, the green playback line extends from just above the top staff line of the first staff in the system, all the way through the score to below the bottom staff line of the last staff in the system. The playback line is the only line in Sibelius that will appear this way in your score. Now, notice that you cannot click and drag to adjust the position of the playback line. As tempting as it is, it's impossible to move that line with your mouse, it's just something you have to get used to. But, you can manually adjust the position of the playback line by using the bracket keys on your qwerty keyboard.
The left bracket will move it to the left, and the right bracket will move it to the right. Since the space bar begins playback from the green playback line location, when you get that line positioned, wherever you'd like to start playback from, you can press spacebar to start playback from there, and then press spacebar again to pause your score wherever you'd like to stop. In short, the space bar shortcut is linked to the green playback line. I sometimes tell my students to think about taking your spacebar key off of your computer keyboard and turning it 90 degrees so it's a vertical line matching the shape and length of the green playback line, and that's how you can remember that they're linked together.
Now, the reason for this distinction is because there are other ways that you can playback your score that aren't linked up to that playback line like your spacebar key is, and you may find that you like these other shortcuts so much better, you may never use the spacebar again. Another short cut for playing back your score, which you might find even more convenient, is the letter P. If you escape so that nothing's selected in your score, the letter P allows you to start playback from the beginning of the score, regardless of the playback line location.
You can then use space bar or escape to stop playback. Further, if you select a single object in your score, like a note head, for example, and then you press the letter P, playback will begin from the object's location, regardless of the playback line's location. Even further, if you make a bar selection, so click somewhere on the staff lines to select a bar, you'll get like a blue selection.
Now, if you use P for playback, you're actually going to solo that staff. And, always escape after everything that you do. You can also access the letter P for playback feature from within the play tab. If you go to the play tab, to the transport group, this little drop down menu under the word play, it is play from selection.
So, that's the same as pressing the letter P, although quite a long way of getting to it. And remember again, the escape key stops all action in Sibelius, including playback. So, there are many Sibelians who choose to use P to begin playback, and escape to stop playback, avoiding the spacebar and the playback line all together. Finally, a highly requested feature is Sibelius is that of loop playback. There actually is no true loop playback feature in Sibelius, but you can get close to looping your playback by using the replay feature.
For this, you'll want your playback line showing, so if you've hidden it in the view tab invisibles group, be sure to go back there are recheck it so you can see it on your screen. To manually loop playback with the replay feature, first start with a playback line visible at a very specific starting location, the place where you want the loop playback to begin. A quick way to do this is to make a selection, I'm going to go ahead and select, let's say, this chord right here, the beginning of bar two, and then press the letter Y.
The letter Y will move the playback line to your selection. Next, use the spacebar to begin playback, let it play for just a bit, maybe two bars, and then use the spacebar to pause playback at the location where you want Sibelius to stop and loop back. To begin playback back at the previous starting point, essentially looping you back to where you originally started, you'll need to use the shortcut option spacebar on Mac, or control spacebar on Windows.
This begins playback back at your previous playback line starting point. It will continue playing back until you ask it to pause, press spacebar again, and then I can replay again, option spacebar or control spacebar on Windows, and it takes me back to that original starting point again. And that's why this feature is called replay rather than loop. In this way, the replay feature works like a manual loop playback, although it takes a bit of practice to get it right.
You play, you pause, you replay, you pause, and you replay. But you can actually run the replay shortcut on the fly as well, without pausing playback in the middle. So, I'm going to go ahead and start at, let's say we want to start it at the beginning of bar three, I'm going to select that note right there, press Y to move the playback line to my selection. I'm going to press play with the spacebar, and when I get to the point where I'd like to loop back, rather than pausing playback first, I'm just going to use the shortcut option spacebar, here we go.
Option space, and it replays, option space, and it replays. And, spacebar to stop. So, while the shortcut is the most convenient way to replay, you can access replay from the play button's drop down menu in that play tab, so if we go up to the play tab, in the drop down menu there's replay, although I don't recommend that, I much prefer the shortcut to do that. Now, most Sibelians find that they prefer to work without the playback line in view, so I'll remind you one more time that if the playback line gets in your way, you can always go to the view tab invisibles group, and uncheck playback line.
It will still show up during playback, but it won't show up or get in your way when you're working within your score. But for now, it's up to you, you can hide the line, you can show the line, you can use spacebar to play, or you can use the letter P to play. For me, I'm going to hide that line from now on, and use P to play and escape to stop all actions, including playback.
- 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