How to create tuplets in Sibelius (Part 5)

Here we are for the truly final episode in this series!

Plug-ins (Part 2)

Remove Notes from Tuplet

Another brilliant plug-in, this allows to remove notes from tuplets in a non-destructive way. If you have ever tried to change a tuplet from one ratio to another, you will have for sure noticed how the normal way to do so would have been to simply rewrite the tuplet. Well, not anymore, as you can select a note from a tuplet, run the plugin, and it will convert it to either another tuplet or to a regular group of notes.

Add Notes to Tuplet

This plug-in works in a very similar way, just adding instead of removing. The only issue I have with this plug-in is that it is not intuitive at all, as when you select a note and run the plug-in, it will create a tuplet spanning the whole bar and made up of the whole bar plus that note. So, if you have a 4/4 bar, select the first quarter note and run the plug-in, it will create a 5:4 tuplet. Useful sometimes, but I would have rather seen something like:

  1. Select a tuplet and a note
  2. Make a tuplet of that selection

For reference, neither this plug-in nor the previous one seem to be available anymore for download from Sibelius, probably because the developer has removed it from availability. I still have them because I must have installed them before their removal, and I always keep a backup of the Sibelius Library folder just in case something wrong would happen.

Change Tuplet Ratio

This is very useful for those times when you are copying from a manuscript, and it is not entirely clear whether you should use, say, 32nd notes or 64th notes in a tuplet. You write them as you believe it right and then decide you want to change it. Simply select the whole passage (not the first note only), or the tuplet number/ratio or the tuplet’s bracket and run this plug-in. This dialog will appear:

…and let you choose from the following options:

I recently found it most useful for the correction of a score that had already been typeset but was full of this kind of mistakes.

Copy / Paste Across Tuplets

This is made of two different plug-ins, “Copy Across Tuplets” and “Paste Across Tuplets”. If you have ever tried to copy some music that includes a tuplet or part of it and paste it to a similar passage that also has a tuplet, Sibelius will have thrown you an error saying that you cannot copy or paste music that contains portions of tuplets. With this plug-in, you can work around this in the following way:

  1. Passage-select the portion of the tuplet or the music containing the tuplet and run “Copy Across Tuplets”
  2. Select the passage where you want to paste it and run “Paste Across Tuplets”.

It requires a bit of trials and errors to get this to work properly, but subsequently, it is just brilliant.

Create Tuplet Different Units

Every so often, it is necessary to create a tuplet whose ratio does not have corresponding note values, such as “2 quarter notes in 3 eight notes”. That would be a 4:3 ratio, but we want it to show “2”, not “4”.

To do so, for example in a 6/8 bar, create the first quarter note, run the “Create Tuplet Different Units”, type 2 in the first field, select quarter notes/crotchets in the dropdown menu beside it, type 3 in the field below and select eight notes/quavers in the dropdown menu beside it. You can fiddle freely with the other option before clicking OK.

Lengthen Tuplet / Shorten Tuplet

“Lengthen Tuplet” gives mixed results to me: it is very useful when you have created a number of 16th-notes triplets, and you realise that you actually wanted 16th-notes sextuplets. With this plug-in, you can select two adjoining triplets, run it, and they will be joined. Then you can run “Change Tuplet Ratio” and solve your issues. Another use for this is to select free notes outside a tuplet and made them join it. This, though, will create a new tuplet of a total size equal to the original tuplet plus the original note value of the added note (if your head is turning, it is normal, as this does not make too much sense). There may be use cases for this, but I cannot think of one on top of my head.

This plug-in has a cousin, “Shorten Tuplet” that seems to work better, at least for what I think I could use it. From an existing tuplet, passage-select the notes you want to keep in the tuplet and run the plug-in.

Make into Tuplet

This could easily become your best-friend plug-in: select some consecutive notes and run it. Choose the ratio you want and hit OK. It is that easy! With this, you can then create any kind of tuplet from a selection!

There are also a few quite interesting options to allow the plug-in to create tuplets that spam more than a beat or that contain double-dotted rhythms in their ratios.

Split or Join Tuplets

This plug-in could be very useful if Sibelius didn’t severely limit its possibilities. Let’s say you have a 6:4 tuplet, and you want to split it so that you have 1 + 5 notes, well, you cannot. This plug-in is intended exclusively to split tuplets at beats or at their subdivisions and to join together existing tuplets, nothing else. This is great as it can save a lot of time when you want to separate a sextuplet into two triplets or the opposite (which was already possible with Lengthen/Shorten Tuplet).

I found a strange behaviour here, though, as if you have a 6:4 eights tuplet, split it into two 3:2 eights and then join them back, the plug-in gives you a 3:2 quarters instead of the sextuplet. Not too bad as we can call “Change Tuplet Ratio” afterwards, but it certainly isn’t ideal.

Bottom Line

And that’s it! You made it with me to the end of this series! Thank you so much for sticking along! I really appreciate it and, if you have any question or suggestions, please leave a comment below or contact me using the dedicated contact form.

If you are looking to greatly enhance your Sibelius experience, please take a moment to consider my viewset for Metagrid that I have published back in February. Metagrid is an app for iPad that allows you to control your Mac or PC from your iPad. My viewset is optimised for Mac because that is what I use; it may work on PC, but I have had no way to test it so far.

I hope you found this article helpful, if you did, please like it and share it with your friends and peers. Don’t forget to follow me on this blog and to let me know what you think.

If you are interested in my music engraving services and publications don’t forget to visit my Facebook page and the pages where I publish my scores (Gumroad, SheetMusicPlus, ScoreExchange and on Apple Books).

You can also support me by buying Paul Hudson’s Swift programming books from this Affiliate Link.

Thank you so much for reading!

Until the next one, this is Michele, the Music Designer.

Published by Michele Galvagno

Professional Musical Scores Designer and Engraver Graduated Classical Musician (cello) and Teacher Tech Enthusiast and Apprentice iOS / macOS Developer Grafico di Partiture Musicali Professionista Musicista classico diplomato (violoncello) ed insegnante Appassionato di tecnologia ed apprendista Sviluppatore iOS / macOS

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