Another Tip for Sibelius Users
So you’ve written a song. Having done that, you realise that the singers are unlikely to have perfect pitch or perfect rhythm, so it’s desirable to set the pitch and tempo for them by means of a lead-in. To deal with that you insert a few bars at the start of the song. Then you realise that the melody for the lead-in starts mid-way through a bar; you’ve got an anacrusis.
An anacrusis: a pick-up bar that contains less than a whole bar of music.
That’s fine, it’s perfectly musical, but it looks like this.
That isn’t wrong, it’s just that it doesn’t look neat having that first bar mainly filled with rests. The usual way of dealing with that is to have a pick-up bar containing fewer beats than the time signature.
But how do we do that in Sibelius, from the starting point above?
Select the first bar.
From the menu [Create] [Time Signature]
Select your time signature, then check the “Start with bar of length” box and select the length of your anacrusis. Note that you can put a dot after the note symbol to create – say – a lead-in of three quavers (eighth notes).
Now you want to delete the unwanted old first bar. However, first you need to move anything that’s in or attached to that bar. That usually means whichever you are using out of the title, subtitle, copyright line, composer, lyricist and tempo.
Similarly, move all the notes from the old first bar into the new first bar.
Having created the new first bar, with contents and links to titles, etc., it’s safe to remove the old one.
Select the old first bar (on all lines of the system) and
[Edit] [Delete Bars]
This leaves you with an unnecessary time signature at the start of the second bar.
Select the unwanted time signature. Delete. (The Delete key on your keyboard will have the desired effect!) A cautionary message – “Do you want to rewrite the following bars up to the next time signature (or the end of the score)?” – pops up. Whilst this may look alarming, in this case, because you are not changing the time signature, it will have no effect. (Clicking “No” may well be marginally quicker!)