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How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanly?

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How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanly?

Postby patmaddox » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:50 am

Sibelius 7.1.3 – OS X 10.12.6

The first measure in this screenshot is a set of four notes, all assigned to voice 1. The second measure is those same four notes, assigned top-to-bottom voices 1-4.

For reasons that I don't understand, Sibelius has chosen to vertically align them all the same, so that I can no longer read the D and C.

Is there a setting to make Sibelius display the multiple voices the same as it displays the single voice? "Optimize layout" doesn't change anything.

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 11.47.05 PM.png
voices
Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 11.47.05 PM.png (26.39 KiB) Viewed 206 times
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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanly?

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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanl

Postby MikeLyons » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:29 am

Put the two middle notes both in voice 2.

Is there some reason why you need to have voices 123&4 assigned in this way? Sibelius' voices are paored in terms of their stem direction defaults 1&3, 2&4. A simple chord like this doesn't need to be in all four voices.
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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanl

Postby patmaddox » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:03 pm

I'm writing four voices at a time, I'm only showing a single measure here to demonstrate the problem, but I'm writing four voices linearly.

I suppose I can write my four voices separately, and then change them all to voice 1 so it displays properly. I just don't see why Sibelius wants to display the notes in this unhelpful manner in the first place. I figured there's some way to tell it "make it display the same as if they were all in one voice."

If there were a way to add a note to an existing voice using my MIDI keyboard then I would happily do that. afaik the only way to add a note to an existing voice is to use the computer keyboard interval method.
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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanl

Postby MikeLyons » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:42 pm

In my (admittedly limited) experience, it is usual to put the sop and alto on one staff and the tenor and bass on a separate staff with bass clef.
It's unusual to write all foour parts on the same staff.
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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanl

Postby patmaddox » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:18 am

MikeLyons wrote:It's unusual to write all foour parts on the same staff.


:) perhaps

I'm not asking if it's usual or unusual. I'm asking if I can get Sibelius to legibly display four voices on a single staff.
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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanl

Postby MikeLyons » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:38 am

The reason I say tjhat is because you are in danger of making a rod for your own back!

Is this an instrumental piece or for actual voices? The reason I ask is that this will affect the way you approach the task. If this is a piece of complex polyphony where the four lines need to be kept clear and separate, then there is a plugin I can recommend called "Narrow two voices". This will allow you to change the way two voices interact in the staff.

If it's just a one-off chord, then you might want to consider just keeping all the notes in one or two voices (1&2 or 3&4).
Sib 6.2, 7.5 and 8.5, Windows 10, 8MB RAM, 7TB 7200RPM Storage, Note Performer 2, EWQLSO, EWQLSC, Harmony Assistant and some others.
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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanl

Postby bobp » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:34 am

I think Mike is correct. Without knowing just what you are trying to do, it just seems like what you what is confusing and unnecessary.
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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanl

Postby patmaddox » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:29 am

I'm trying to write four independent voices on a single staff, and have them displayed legibly.
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Re: How can I get Sibelius to display multiple voices cleanl

Postby MikeLyons » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:34 am

OK.

Unless the parts are all playing semibreves throughout, you need to be aware of the way Sibelius will treat stemmed notes. Voices 1 and 3 will tend to be 'stems up' and voices 2 and 4 will tend to be 'stems down'. This can make the music less readable unless you intend to colour the notes. I would offer a suggestion: keep the top two lines in voice 1 and the lower pair in voice 2 unless their rhythms are significantly different to each other.

If there's a lot of crossing of parts going on, as in complex polyphony, then you will need to take extra care with your voicing or it will look a mess.
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