There are times when you may want to create a partial bar in a score. This is the exception to using complete bars, but in special circumstances, it can be the best option. It is often seen in older publications to save entering first and second endings. If you want to use this in Sibelius, create irregular bars.

Below is a screenshot from Handel’s Bourée via the IMSLP site.

I indicated where the partial bars are located in the score.Bourrée.png

The Pick-up bar should be entered as such when you create the score via the “New Score” window. You can also add a pick-up bar after the score has been created. See my blog post on creating a pick-up bar.

In the above example, enter a partial bar in bar 8:

  1. Select bar 7. When you insert a bar in Sibelius, it is inserted after the bar that is selected or where you click the mouse.
  2. Choose Home > Add > Multiple or irregular bars.
  3. Select “Irregular bars”
  4. Enter the total value of the bar. In this case three beats or a dotted half note. You could also enter a half + quarter note.

Create bar 1.png  Create bar 2.png

To create the second partial bar:

  1. Select the partial bar you just created, bar 8.
  2. Choose Home > Add > Multiple or irregular bars.
  3. Select “Irregular bars”
  4. Enter the total value of the bar. In this case one beat or a quarter note.Create bar 1.png Create bar 4.png

The bar numbers are not correct, as the partial bars are consecutively numbered. So, you need to make a Bar Number change in the second partial bar. 

  1. Select the partial bar you just created with one beat, currently bar 9.
  2. Choose Text > Numbering > Bar Number Change.
  3. Enter the number 8 into the Bar Number Change window.

Create bar 5.png Create bar 6.png

Since there are two bars numbered 8, place parentheses around the second 8.

  1. Select the second bar number 8.
  2. Choose Notations > Symbols > Symbols Brackets > Parentheses (1 line, 2 characters).
  3. Click the mouse near in the second bar 8 you just entered.
  4. Choose Layout > Magnetic Layout > Object > Off. This will allow you to drag the parentheses around the second bar 8.

Create Bar 7.pngCreate Bar 8.png

  • Enter the Backwards repeat bar at the end of the first bar 8.

I inserted rests in the partial bars in order to highlight them. When you create partial bars, a whole rest is displayed.

Create Bar 9.png