Both Sibelius and Finale have the option to add a pick-up bar to the beginning of a score when you are using the “New Score” option in Sibelius or  the “Setup Wizard” in Finale.

This blog addresses how to add a pick-up bar after the score has been created or if you want to add a pick-up bar in the score.

Sibelius: Add Pick-up Bar

There are two options for adding a pick-up bar to a score after the score has been created.

  • Install and run the plug-in “Add Pickup Bar”.
  • Manually add the pick-up bar.

To install the plug-in “Add Pickup Bar”, in Sibelius 7 and later:

  1. Choose File > Plug-ins > Install Plug-ins
  2. Choose “All Plug-ins” > “Composing Tools” > “Add Pickup Bar” Sibelius install plug-ins.png
  3. Click Install.
  4. To run the “Add Pickup Bar” plug-in choose:
    Note Input > Plug-ins > Composing Tools > Add Pickup Bar.
  5. Set the desired length of the pick-up bar and other settings.
  6. Click OK to add the pick-up bar. Any system text such as Title and Composer text will be automatically copied to the new pick-up bar.
  7. Copy the notation from the original bar one and then delete it if necessary.

The steps to manually add a pick-up bar in Sibelius without using the plug-in. 

  1. Press the ESC key so nothing is selected.
  2. Press the letter T to open the Time Signature window.
  3. At the bottom of the Time Signature window, click “More Options” Sibelius Time Signature more options.png
  4. Choose the Time Signature and check the box next to “Start with bar length of”  and enter the total length of the pick-up bar. Sibelius time signature.png
  5. Click the mouse to the left of bar 1 to add the new pick-up bar.
  6. Since the Title, Composer, and other system text is linked to the first bar of the piece, you may want to move it to the newly added pick-up bar.
    -Select the first full bar of the piece.
  7. Choose Home > Select > Select System Passage.
    This will select the entries in bar one and any system text.
  8. Choose Home > Filters > System Text
  9. Copy the selected system text in the original bar one.
  10. Select the pick-up bar you just added and paste the copied system text into it.
  11. Delete the original bar one from the score.

Finale: Add Pick-up Bar

Go to:

Finale Pick-up measure.png

Go to the link to view the rest of the steps to create a pickup measure within a piece in Finale.