Tom Rudolph

Sib11

Score Order in Finale and Sibelius

Tom Rudolph

When you are creating a score in Finale, Sibelius or any other notation program, using the proper score order is recommended.  There are several ways to make changes to the score order in Finale and Sibelius and these will be address in this post.

New Score from Template

When you are starting a score, both Finale and Sibelius have templates. Finale calls them Ensembles and Sibelius Manuscript Paper. This is the easiest way to review score order as these templates have been created by musicians with knowledge of the common score order for scores. Here are the steps:

Finale

  1. Choose File > New > Document with Setup Wizard or from the Launch Window click “Setup Wizard.
  2. Select an Ensemble from the left column.
  3. You can also choose from one of the score order options via the menu below the instruments in the score list.
  4. You can edit the staves in the score by selecting them and adding or removing them from the Select Instrument(s) window.
  5. You can adjust the order of instruments by selecting the instrument and clicking the arrows to the right of the instrument list.
  6. And, if you do make adjustments, you get the option to save the ensemble as a custom one and it will be added to the Ensemble list for later use.

  

Sibelius

  1. Choose File > New
  2. Click on the “New Score” tab
  3. Choose one of the Manuscript Paper options. You can enter a word in the search box.
  4. Make adjustments to the score in the “Change Instruments” window: add or delete instruments from the list or move the order by selecting the instrument and under “Move” choose up or down.
  5. You can save the custom score as Manuscript paper and it will be added to the list for future use.  To add it to the list of Manuscript Paper, choose File > Export > Manuscript paper.
    SIBELIUS 6
    : You will get a warning, “This will add this score to the list of Manuscript Papers that appear when you start a score.” Click Yes.
    SIBELIUS 7
    : Enter the title of the Manuscript paper. Remember that it will show up in alphabetical order so name it accordingly. Select the category and then click the Export button at the bottom of the page.

Score Order Overview

Small Combo and Rhythm Section

When writing for a jazz or rock combo with rhythm section:

  • Instruments or voice
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Bass
  • Drums

If there are multiple guitars or keyboard instruments, put them in alphabetical order within the above overall order.

Jazz Ensemble

  • Vocals
  • Saxophones: Alto, Tenor, Bari
  • Trumpets 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Trombones 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Bass
  • Drums

Concert Band

Highest pitched instruments at the top. Order of families:

  • Woodwinds
  • Brass
  • Percussion

Orchestra

Highest pitched instruments at the top. Order of families:

  • Woodwinds
  • Brass
  • Percussion
  • Strings

Chorus

Voices at the top from highest to lowest:

  • Soprano
  • Alto
  • Tenor
  • Bass
  • Piano

Tom Rudolph
Tom Rudolph

Thomas Rudolph, Ed. D. is an adjunct instructor for Berklee Online. He has authored two online courses for Berklee Online and facilitates several other courses.

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