Discover how to input, manage, and remove system breaks and page breaks in Sibelius, to affect the overall layout of your score. Learn how to adjust the number of bars per system and the number of systems per page. This video adds another shortcut to the "Command (Control) Does More" theme.
- [Instructor] In this video, we're going to work with the QWERTY keyboard's Return key on Mac, or Enter key on Windows, to create what we call system breaks and page breaks. The best way to see these features in action is by opening up a simple score that has only a few staves per system and more than one system per page. From within our example file, let's go to the File tab, and click on New. You can also use Command + N on Mac, or Control + N on Windows. Once the Quick Start appears, it should default you to the New Score tab, which it has.
I want you to scroll down to the Chamber Groups section. I'm going to scroll down here, and there's my Chamber Groups section. We're going to click on the Brass Trio manuscript paper. Here it is here, and you can go ahead and just double-click on this, and Sibelius will launch it into its own score window for us. Now, I'm going to use this Maximize button over here so that this score fills the screen. Now, I'm going to go ahead and zoom out a little bit, Command + Minus, or Control + Minus, and scroll up, so we can see the whole score a little bit better here.
Let's get in there; there we go. You can clearly see that this score contains three staves per system. Each of the instruments counts as one staff, so we have a trumpet, a trombone, and a tuba. We have three systems on page one. A system is the collective group of all of the instruments in your score connected together by a single bar line on the left hand side. Now, we're going to use the Return or Enter key to change the layout of this score. We'll start by adding a system break.
A system break in Sibelius can limit the number of bars within one system. In our score, looks like we have eight bars in the first system. Let's say that we only want six. We're going to count here, one, two, three, four, five, and six. We're going to maneuver to the right hand bar line on the sixth bar and select the bar line. I'm going to click right here on this bar line. You can see that it's turned purple. After selecting the bar line, just like creating a line break in Microsoft Word, which I know you're familiar with, I want you to press just the Return or Enter button on your QWERTY keyboard.
The effect is that your selected bar line becomes the last bar line in the system and any bars to the right of it will auto-flow to subsequent systems. We now have six bars in our first system, so we've used a system break to limit the number of bars in the first system. Let's try it again. Select any of the bar lines in the middle of the second system. I'm going to use the third bar line, right here, press the Return or Enter key on your QWERTY keyboard. Now, I have three bars in the second system, effectively limiting the number of bars in that system with my system break.
Now, just because you've been introduced to this exciting layout feature doesn't mean you should use it all of the time. The best way to work in Sibelius is actually to allow Sibelius to auto-flow the bars for you as you input notes and objects into them. You can later go back and make a few system break adjustments wherever you feel they're necessary. However, if you're copying music into Sibelius, which is a great exercise for honing your skills, then you'll actually want your onscreen manuscript paper to match the layout of the music that you're copying from.
When copying music, I would actually recommend putting in system breaks in advance to set up your onscreen manuscript paper to match the layout of your printed source material. There's a bit more to this as well. System breaks work great for determining the number of bars in each system, but what if you wanted to limit a certain number of systems on a page? In other words, what if you want to do a bit more than just a system break? Of course, we can employ our theme, Command or Control does more. Let's select another bar line I'm going to actually do this right here in the middle of the second system.
I'm going to select the second bar bar line. This time, hold down the Command key on Mac or the Control key if you're on Windows, and then press the Enter or Return key. Now, this time we've gotten a bit more than a system break. You've actually gotten a page break. All of the bars and systems to the right of the selected bar line have auto-flow to the next page. If you've made a mistake with any of your system or page breaks, you can easily remove them by re-inputting them in a location where they already exist. It's like toggling them on and off.
Let's toggle off the page break we just inputted. The bar line is still selected, that contains my page break, and I'm just going to use Command + Return, or Control + Enter, to re-input that page break, which actually toggles it off. You can do the same with system breaks. Select a bar line that contains a system break, press the Return or Enter key, and it toggles off, and all of the bars will auto-flow back over from the right to the left. You can even toggle it right back on by running the shortcut again.
If you have a bar line selected, press Return or Enter over and over again, and you'll toggle those system breaks on and off. You can show and hide system and page break marks by checking and un-checking layout marks located in the View tab Invisibles group. If we go up to the View tab, click on that, there's this Invisibles group here in the middle, and you can see here that Layout Marks is checked. If I un-check that, you'll notice that my system break marks go away. If I re-check it, I have a system break mark right here on my score page.
Let's go ahead and put another one in, so we can see more than one. Here we go. If I un-check Layout Marks, they go away. Sometimes, knowing where your system and page breaks are can be very helpful. For example, if I toggle the markers off, and then I input another system break right in the middle of my second system, you'll see that I have three bars in my second system, and then four bars in my third system. Sibelius probably would not lay out the score this way on its own, so I know that something's going on.
How you can figure out what's going on is by showing those layout marks, and then I can see, aha, that there is another layout mark down here at the end of my third system. That's why it's limited me to only four bars in my third system. We can also delete system and page breaks by selecting the layout marks themselves and deleting them, so if they're in view, you can just simply click on one of those layout marks, and press Delete, and they go away. Let's close this file. You don't have to save.
Go ahead and hit the red X on windows or this red circle here on Mac. We'll go back to our example file. I'm going to zoom out, Command or Control + Minus. I'm actually going to zoom out quite a ways here, so we can see these layout marks. You can see that this file actually has several page breaks, as well as some additional, more advanced layout features, such as these arrows right here. I'm going to zoom in on that just a little bit. There's some arrows right there connecting those two bars together. There are many more layout features like these that can be found in the Layout tab.
If we go to the Layout tab, there's a Breaks group and a Format group, but system breaks and page breaks should do plenty for you as you get started using Sibelius.
- 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