If you use notation software to notate scores, consider using the re-input pitch option available in both Finale and Sibelius to save time. In my courses and workshops, I find that one of the most under used features of Sibelius and Finale is the re-pitch or re-input pitch option. This feature appeared on an early version of Sibelius and was then introduced later in Finale. It is a great time saver when notating parts especially when writing for band, jazz, string and choral scores where two or more instruments or voices have the same rhythm but different pitches.
Here is how re-pitch works. It allows you to change the pitches of a passage without changing the rhythmic values. For example, when notating a band score where there are similar first and second parts such as the clarinets and trumpets or when notating a string score with a similar passage in the first and second violin. I spend a lot of time getting the first part to be as complete as possible. I enter the notes and rhythms and the articulations, common expressions, markings and so forth. Then, when the first part or passage is complete, I copy it to the second part and then re-pitch it. When the first part is complete, I use the shortcut to copy it to the second part:
Finale shortcut copy steps:
1. Select the source material (what you want to copy) and then drag a box around the measures or use click and shift-click.
2. To copy:
Windows: Hold down Ctrl and click in the destination bar.
Mac: Hold down Option and click in the destination bar.
Sibelius shortcut copy steps:
1. Select the source measures clicking in the first bar and the holding down Shift and clicking in the last bar.
2. To copy:
Windows: Hold down Alt and click in the destination bar.
Mac: Hold down Option and click in the destination bar
After the music is copied to the 2nd part, next, re-pitch the part to the correct pitches since this is a harmony part. Using a MIDI keyboard or controller is the fastest option, but you can re-input pitches with the computer typewriter keyboard as well. The changes are made in step time so you can move as slow or fast as you like without needing to worry about a metronome click.
To Re-Pitch the new part after it has been copied
Finale Re-input steps:
1. Click he Re-input pitch icon in the Simple Note Entry palette
2. Hold down CTRL (Windows) or Option (Mac) and click the first note of the passage you want to re-input. .
3. Play the new pitches on the MIDI keyboard (or, type the letter names on the computer keyboard if you don’t own a MIDI keyboard). The pitches will change, but not the rhythmic values.
You can watch the tutorial video on this topic in Finale. In Finale, from the Help menu, select QuickStart Videos. Then click on “Getting Started,” and then “Entering Notes” and then “Re-inputing Pitches.”
Sibelius Re-input Steps:
1. Select the first note of the passage so the notehead is blue (highlighted).
2. Choose Note > Re-input Pitches or use the shortcut Shift+CTRL+I (Windows) or Shift+Command+I (Mac).
4. Play the new pitches on the MIDI keyboard (or type the letter names on the computer keyboard if that is your only option.
See the video, below, that demonstrates how to use the re-input pitches option in Sibelius from my Berklee Music online course, Music Notation Using Sibelius.
Another use of re-pitching parts
If you want to add the rhythm of a melodic part to the guitar or other rhythm section part:
1. Copy the melody from the original part
2. Re-pitch it so the notes are all on third line B
3. Change the part to rhythmic notation
Finale: Changing to rhythmic notation
- Select the Staff Tool
- from the Staff menu
- choose Apply Staff Styles
- then select Rhythmic notation
Sibelius: Changing to rhythmic notation
- Select the notes
- Choose Notations > Type > Beam with Stem.
Take some time to check the re-input pitch option. This can save you huge amounts of time when you are writing scores and parts.