I get asked surprisingly often how to create an instrumental part containing multiple staves. It’s not surprising that I get asked this — after all, it’s a common enough requirement, particularly so for percussionists — but rather that people haven’t figured it out for themselves, or been able to find the information in Sibelius’s documentation. (For the record, you can find all the information I’m about to give you under the subheading Adding or removing staves from parts in 7.1 Working with parts in Help > Documentation > Sibelius 6 Reference — page 555 in the latest edition at the time of writing.)
Let’s assume you have three percussion staves in your score: a cymbal, a snare drum, and a bass drum. You could have chosen to write for all three instruments on a single staff (if, say, you had decided from the very beginning that all three instruments would be played by a single player), but you prefer to see each percussion instrument on its own staff, and that’s fine. Sibelius makes it easy.
Now, with the first rehearsal approaching, you’ve discussed how the percussion instruments will be divided among the orchestra’s percussionists, and it turns out that all three of your chosen instruments will be played by a single (very busy) percussionist. Naturally you want to produce a single part that shows the music for all three instruments.
By default, Sibelius has created an individual part for each of the percussion staves in your score. To tell Sibelius to make a single part containing all three staves, first show the Parts window, by choosing it from the Window menu, or typing the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+R (Windows) or Opt–Command–R (Mac).
Next, click the New Part button on the toolbar at the bottom of the Parts window:
(It’s the highlighted button that looks like a blank sheet of paper.) The New Part dialog appears:
Select the three staves you want to add to the same part in the left-hand list, and click Add to Part, then click OK. Now you will see a new part listed in the Parts window:
and you can now edit and work with this part in the same way as all of the other parts in your score.
Easy when you know how! Do you have any favourite tricks when working with dynamic parts in Sibelius? If so, let me know.