New plug-in: Rhythm Paste


In Sibelius it is often very useful, as the Reference says, “to be able to change the pitches of a sequence of notes/chords without re-creating their rhythm.” To do this, there is a feature called Re-input Pitches where you copy existing music from a source to a target staff, and re-input the pitches without concerning yourself with entering rhythm durations.

However, what if you already had music in your target staff where the pitches were fine, but needed rhythm adjustment to homophonically match the source, like while arranging for a 5-piece sax section? Jazz musician Brian Owen needs this feature a lot, and he wrote a plug-in called Rhythm Paste to do the work.

According to Brian,

This plug-in allows you to copy a rhythm from one measure and paste into other measures without changing pitch. It is especially useful for changing rhythms in the lead voice and copying into the parts below. Also, you can fix quantization problems in one voice and simply copy them to the subsequent staves without worrying about pitch integrity. Articulations, slurs, and tuplets will be copied as well.

Brian has submitted the plug-in to Avid for inclusion on the official plug-in site, but it hasn’t appeared there yet. So, for the moment, to use this plug-in you’ll have to download it from Brian’s site. Install it manually in the usual way, then:

  • Copy one measure of music from the source to the clipboard with Edit > Copy or Ctrl-C or Cmd-C.
  • Select the target measure (multiple staves is okay)
  • Run the plugin

rhythm paste

Text objects, dynamics, etc. will be copied unless you use Home > Filters > Notes and Chords before copying the source to the clipboard. Perhaps a future update to the plug-in can include this as an option. As is, it’s still a terrific time-saver, especially for certain kinds of music. Thank you, Brian!


  1. Chris Welles

    Great plug-in! I’m arranging a capella jazz and it’s perfect for the vocal analog of Brian’s sax section.
    It does seem to mess up the pitches, however. I have to touch them up after running the plugin.

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