Mix and match music fonts

Tips

Sibelius includes four complete families of music fonts as standard, each of which has a slightly different look. Opus, the default music font family, has a modern look with elliptical noteheads and strong lines. Helsinki is more traditional in appearance, with rounder noteheads and finer lines. Inkpen2 and Reprise are handwritten in appearance, the former looking as if it is written by an ink pen with an an italic nib and the latter written with a regular nib.

Of course, there are dozens of other music fonts available, and if you want to experiment with them, the easiest way is simply to change the music font via House Style > Edit All Fonts. This performs automatic substitution of all of the symbols in your score, as appropriate.

But what if you want to mix and match symbols from different music fonts in the same score? Fortunately, Sibelius’s power and flexibility makes this easy. More after the jump.

Fortunately almost all of the symbols that Sibelius uses can be found in one place: House Style > Edit Symbols. This dialog uses the term “music font” to mean something different than simply a font installed on your computer: in Edit Symbols, a music font is actually a text style that is set up to use a music symbol font. So if you want to change the font used by a particular symbol in your score, you need to change its music font, by changing its text style.

So let’s say you wanted to use most symbols from Opus but you want to use just one symbol from Helsinki.

  1. Choose House Style > Edit Symbols.
  2. Click Music Fonts.
  3. Choose Common symbols from the list and click New.
  4. Answer Yes when asked if you want to create a new text style based on this one.
  5. Call your new text style e.g. Common symbols (Helsinki) and change the font to Helsinki, but don’t change anything else.
  6. Click OK, and Close.
  7. Now select the tr symbol on the Ornaments row and click Edit.
  8. In the Edit Symbol dialog that appears, change Music font from Common symbols to Common symbols (Helsinki) and click OK.

Because the tr symbol also appears in parentheses for the continuation symbol at the start of the second half of a trill line following a system or page break, you also need to edit the second symbol in the same row. Select it and click Edit. In the Extra symbols group box at the bottom right-hand corner, choose the ) symbol from the list, then click the right-pointing arrow to move the closing parenthesis to the right to avoid colliding with the tr symbol.

This should give you the general idea. Once you have set up your own custom music fonts for different symbols, you can transfer these settings between scores with ease by way of exporting a house style from this score (using House Style > Export House Style) and then importing it into another score (via House Style > Import House Style).

YThis should give you ou have to create new “music fonts” (really just text styles) using the Edit Symbols dialog. So let’s say you wanted to use most symbols from Opus but you want to use just one symbol from Helsinki.

1. Choose House Style > Edit Symbols.
2. Click ‘Music Fonts’.
3. Choose ‘Common symbols’ from the list and click ‘New’.
4. Answer ‘Yes’ when asked if you want to create a new text style based on this one.
5. Call your new text style e.g. ‘Common symbols (Helsinki)’ and change the font to Helsinki, but don’t change anything else.
6. Click OK, and Close.
7. Now select the ‘tr’ symbol on the ‘Ornaments’ row and click ‘Edit’.
8. In the Edit Symbol dialog that appears, change ‘Music font’ from ‘Common symbols’ to ‘Common symbols (Helsinki)’ and click OK.

Because the ‘tr’ symbol also appears in parentheses for the continuation symbol at the start of the second half of a trill line following a system or page break, you also need to edit the second symbol in the row. Select it and click ‘Edit’. In the ‘Extra symbols’ box at the bottom right-hand corner, choose the ‘)’ symbol from the list, then click the right-pointing arrow to move the closing parenthesis to the right to avoid colliding with the ‘tr’ symbol.

Comments

  1. PeterRoos, San Francisco

    Love the picture – very colorful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *