Why “Notes on Notes”?

If you read my blog it’s pretty clear what my notation software of choice is, Sibelius.  The big reason, it just works for me.  The way my mind views music notation and the thought process behind the creation of Sibelius are very much in sync.  The reason that Sibelius is so intuitive for me is […]


The time does fly by and we’re already 21 days into 2012.  I’ve been busy with a really great educational project with some really talented high school students at Harpeth Hall here in Nashville.  The 3 week music production winterim experience took 14 students through the process of writing, recording and marketing songs and a band. […]

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Avid recently released Sibelius 7 and as usual the folks who develop this award winning software have come up with some great new features. But what is really creating quite a buzz, especially from long time users of Sibelius is a new user interface called ‘The Ribbon.’ DON’T PANIC! If you came from the pencil […]


This post is part 2 in my series of posts translating Sibelius 6 for Finale users. Remember I’m using Finale 2010 as Finale version of reference for these posts. Since Finale bases many of the elements of notation on the Tool menu, that seems like a good place to start.   Let’s go through some […]


Many composers, arrangers, orchestrators and music prep professionals who are long time Finale users are finding that if pays to be fluent in Sibelius as well.  Both programs give you excellent professional output and both are being widely used. In my consulting work with clients and colleagues, I’ve developed a few tips and techniques that […]


When it comes to rehearsal marks my personal preference is using bar numbers. But many arrangers use rehearsal letters A, B,C etc and there is a really good case to made for letters rather than numbers in many situations. One example is, if you use rehearsal letters and revise a score by deleting for adding […]


Sibelius has many powerful filters in the Edit menu that are useful for all sorts of duties. The reason to filter a note, rest or other notational element falls into one of three categories 1-to modify, 2-to copy or 3-to delete.  Your first reaction may be to reach for a filter in the Edit menu […]


With this post I’ve cover the remaining drum set notation types sited in my first post in this series. 5. Combination notated and slashes As you can see from this example above, sometimes you have bars that are fully notated for part of the bar and then go to slashes for some reason, in this […]


Before I continue, a quick comment on the different styles of fully notated drum parts. There are 3 basic styles of notation for fully notated drum set parts that I’ve run across. They are shown at the top of this post. They are all perfectly valid and can be used to get the information to […]

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A blog about notes on paper to be read by musicians and how to get them there. (The notes, not the musicians) Welcome to my blog “Notes On Notes.” My high school band director, Tony Hyde, would often tell us, “The first 30 years are the hardest!” What he never really defined was whether he […]