Buried near the bottom of on page 401 of the Sibelius Reference is the following item:
“You can add parentheses (round brackets) to any notehead (including grace notes) using the button on the second Keypad layout (shortcut F8). The parentheses will automatically adjust to enclose accidentals, etc.”
And that is all that is said on the matter. No notation example, no cheeky humor, no shouting from the rooftops.
You’re forgiven if you’ve skipped that short paragraph or if you’ve skated right over that button (officially Bracket notehead), located on the 1 key and nestled among other forgotten elements of music notation such as the 512th note and the triple dot:
When the need arises to parenthesize notes, I’ve seen users resort to unsatisfying methods such as manually placing text or symbols. What they — and you — may not know, is that placing notes in parentheses in Sibelius is easy and downright fun. (If only everything were so!)
Placing parentheses around a note is as simple as selecting it and pressing the 1 key on the second Keypad layout.
Ho-hum, you might say. OK, let’s add another note a third above our original one.
Sibelius automatically adjusts the parentheses. More interested now? Shall we continue?
Let’s remove the parentheses from every other note.
Or every third note.
How about we add a few accidentals…
…and then separate the voices.
In fact, all that’s needed to turn this multi-selection into a parenthetical panoply is one tap of the 1 key:
About the only thing you can’t do with these parentheses is move or adjust them. They don’t appear in any engraving setting that I’m aware of, so you if you don’t like what Sibelius does automatically, you’ll have to resort to another method. Sibelius is drawing these parentheses as a curve (like a tie or a slur) with pre-determined settings, as opposed to relying on a font.
Still, the results are generally excellent, so bracket away!