Join Jenny Amaya for an in-depth discussion in this video Transposing notes, part of Sibelius 7 Essential Training.
This lesson is on the transpose feature in Sibelius. Transposing is the process of changing a selected passage of music into a different key by changing all of the selected pitches by exactly the same interval, at the same time. The best way to do this in Sibelius is by using Sibelius' Transpose feature, which is found up in the Note Input tab, in the Note Input group. Here it is right here: Transpose. You can also get to it by using Shift+T. Before we do that, let's go ahead and escape.
It's best to make a specific selection to tell Sibelius exactly what notes, or what passage of notes, you would like to transpose, and there are two ways to make a selection, and how you make that selection will directly affect the options that Sibelius makes available to you in the Transpose dialog box. First, if you want the ability to transpose not only the notes, but also the key signature of a passage, then you would need to make a system selection; one of those Control+Click or Command+Click type of selections that turns the bar into a purple color. Or if all you want to do is make a simple transposition of notes, then you will need to make a simple bar selection, and that will transpose the notes in the selection, but not the key signature of the passage.
So let's start with a simple passage of notes that need to be transposed, and I have highlighted some of those notes here in the second system. So I am going to select these bars here that I have highlighted, click, and then hold down Shift, and click again. Let me zoom in on that a little bit; Control+Plus. And I indicated that These Notes Were Inputted a Major 3rd Too High. It's an honest mistake that anyone can make while copying printed music into Sibelius. So in this situation, we need to transpose the notes, but not the key signature, which is why we've made this simple bar selection.
To transpose the notes, let's use Shift+ T to open the Transpose dialog. And you have two options at the top of the Transpose dialog: you can Transpose by key or you can Transpose by interval. For this example, we know that we need to lower those notes by a major 3rd, so we are going to choose the Transpose by interval, and we are going to choose Down, by a Major 3rd. Go ahead and click OK, and Sibelius does the work for us. Next, let's change the entire key of this entire movement, transposing both the notes, and the key signature.
So let's go ahead and Escape, and I am going to zoom out using Control+Minus or Command+Minus. Before we transpose, as a side note, this piece has a B flat major key signature, but it actually appears that it might be in the key of F. So let's first adjust the key signature to match the notes on the page. And I am doing this to show you that changing the key signature does not transpose the piece; it just changes the key signature. So we are going to Escape a few times, use the letter K for key signature, choose F Major, and then just click F Major in at the beginning of the piece.
None of the notes have changed, but the key signature did. So the first step toward transposing a piece of music with its key signature is making the proper type of selection. If it were just a passage in the middle of this piece, you would hold down Control or Command, and make a system-based selection like that. In this case, I'm going to transpose the entire piece, so we are just going to use the editing feature called Select All, or Control+A, or Command+A. So now we can change the key of this entire piece, and transpose its notes at the same time.
We have got the right type of selection, so we will use Shift+T to go to the Transpose dialog box, and this time we are going to be transposing by key, so let's go ahead and click that. And you will notice down at the bottom that we do have some other options available to us now. We need to decide what key we want to transpose the passage into, and in what direction. So we will take this piece down to E flat major. I'm going to choose Down, and choose E flat. And you want to always make sure that Transpose key signatures is selected at the bottom.
That way, Sibelius will put that key signature in there for you. So go ahead and click OK, and there you have it. Sibelius has transposed the piece down into E flat major, and all of the notes have moved with it. You can Escape to see that a little bit better. And one last note here: just for good practice, after transposing, you may want to go back, and double check your enharmonic spellings, and ranges of your notes. So now you have learned how to do some basic note and key transpositions in Sibelius. I encourage you to spend some time transposing everything you can, in any which way you can, so that you can become very comfortable with the transposition feature.
Prerequisite: A basic understanding of music notation and theory will yield the best results from this course.
- Working with Magnetic Layout
- Setting essential preferences
- Controlling basic score playback
- Ensuring good score readability and organization
- Adding time signatures and key signatures
- Entering notes, rests, accidentals, and chords
- Inputting notation with a MIDI keyboard
- Creating and extending slurs and phrase marks
- Engraving and formatting
- Saving time with quick key shortcuts
- Printing and exporting a completed project
- Sharing scores via the Scorch plug-in