This blog post is written by Tom Curran, composer, arranger, orchestrator, and musical director. In this post, Tom describes his new plug-in, Impose Sketch onto Template, a tool to transfer the structure of piano-vocal, MIDI exports, or other sketch scores onto full orchestral scores.
Updated December 21, 2016 for information about version 3.01.
The inspiration for writing this plug-in came out of a conversation with a colleague of mine. We were working on a theatre production and sharing our frustration about the time-consuming process of having to manually copy out the structure of a piano-vocal score into a template file before the contents can be pasted in. From my experience working in theatre, it’s very common for the initial piano vocal score files created by the composer or arranger to be separate from the template file used by the orchestrator from which parts are then generated by the copyist.
The only real way of getting the structural information from one score to another is to manually copy the attributes of every bar, including time signature changes, key signature changes, tempo text, system symbols and lines, changes to the bar numbering etc. Once this information is in the template file, only then can you copy the actual contents of each stave across. There just had to be an easier way of doing this seemingly simple task, so I decided to immerse myself in the ManuScript programming language and try to write a plug-in that could help.
The plug-in is called Impose Sketch onto Template, and it automates the process that I’ve described above. The primary use in mind was for theatre copying, but after sharing a first version of the plug-in with a small group of colleagues, it became clear that it would also be of use to those that need the structure of a MIDI import score on a clean template, or simply for any Sibelius user who wanted to extract the bar structure from one score into another file.
The current version of the plug-in (version 3.01) includes the option to actually import the sketch staves to the bottom of the template file, and also the option to add their contents too.
There is the option to transfer the title and subtitle of the sketch score to the template file so long as those fields are utilized in File > Info. This update also separates the metronome mark and metric modulation text styles from the standard tempo text so that they can be selected independently, and adds the option to select Timecode. Sketch score brackets, braces and barlines will now correctly transfer to the template file if the option to add the staves is enabled. It offers a filename for the Save dialog box, and users are able to specify a filename extension for the template file in order to distinguish it from its sketch counterpart.
More detailed information can be found in the plug-in description, including information about setting up the template file correctly.
I hope that it will be a useful addition to many Sibelius users, especially for those that regularly find themselves having to manually copy large bar structures from one file to another. In case it’s of any use, here is a video showing what the initial version of the plug-in did:
Impose Sketch onto Template may be downloaded directly through Sibelius 7 and higher at File > Plug-ins > Install Plug-ins > Other. Users may also install it manually in Sibelius 6 or higher by visiting the plug-in download page and following the usual manual installation procedure, or by using the Install New Plug-in plug-in.