Tip: Adding bars at the start of the score


When you add a bar at the start of a score, there are a number of things to be aware of. For example, if you want to create a pick-up (upbeat or anacrusis) bar at the start of the score, you may end up with an extra time signature at the start of the old bar 1, which you need to delete (and make sure you click No when asked if you want the music to be rewritten up to the next time signature).

But the most significant issues relate to how the various bits of text that attach to the first bar of the score — notably in the Title, Composer, Lyricist, Header (after first page), and Instrument name at top left text styles — will remain attached to the original bar 1, which is no longer the first bar, and which can then cause problems, in particular if you are planning to make instrumental parts from your score. Hit the jump to find out the quickest way to get that text back where it’s supposed to be.

System text causes multirests in instrumental parts to split, which is very useful: it means that parts with rests will nevertheless see all the important musical signposts as they go past, including rehearsal marks, changes of tempo, and so on. There is an exception: certain text, when attached to the very first bar of the score, will not cause multirests to break, and this is how things like titles, headers, etc. are supposed to be attached. (A further subtlety is that as of Sibelius 5, page-attached system text styles like Header (after first page) will not cause multirests to break: instead, Sibelius prefers to draw the multirest, but you’ll find that the header doesn’t appear at all in that part!)

So how do you avoid this quagmire of complexity? Simple: when you add an extra bar at the start of your score, make sure that all the text is correctly attached to the first bar. You can do this the slow way, or the quick way.

The slow way is to Ctrl+click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac) all of the text at the top of the first page: make sure you switch on View > Hidden Objects so you don’t forget to select the hidden text at the top-left hand corner (which normally says “Full Score”) and the hidden text in the centre-top of the page (which also normally says “Full Score”). Then do Ctrl+X or CommandX to cut the text to the clipboard, select the first bar in the score, and finally do Ctrl+V or CommandV to paste the text back in. This ensures that all of the text is now attached to bar 1.

The quick way, on the other hand, is to download and install the Move System Objects For Delete Bar plug-in. (If you need help with downloading and installing plug-ins, you’ll find it here.) This rather excellent plug-in, by the even more excellent Bob Zawalich, handles all of the above steps for you. Easy!

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