Articulations Don't Switch Correctly

Article applies to:
  • Sibelius 5, 6, 7


Some or all articulations and techniques do not switch correctly when marked in the score.


Articulation and technique switching problems are usually related to one, or a combination, of three things:

(1) Manual patch or device assignments have been made in the Sibelius Mixer

(2) A manual sound set that is not configured correctly (when applicable)

(3) Using incorrect staffs in the score

The first can be resolved by opening the Sibelius Mixer and setting all patch and device assignments to the "(auto)" option. While it seems the most straightforward way of assigning sounds, using the Mixer can cause problems with allocation and articulation switching and is best avoided in all but a handful of specific situations, and, even then, only as a last resort.

If your sound set requires a manual sound set definition (i.e., it is not an autoloading sound set), from "Playback Devices > Manual Sound Set" make sure that all patches you wish to use are assigned to a channel in the appropriate device.

If an instrument's articulations are contained in separate patches (rather than being available by keyswitch or controller switch) all of those articulations that are to be used must be defined in the manual sound set as well.

In addition, make sure that in the plugin you have loaded and assigned sounds to the same channels as you defined in the manual sound set.

Finally, make sure that the staff used in the score is the correct staff for the instrument patch you are using. For example, if you have assigned a solo violin in your manual sound set but use a Violin I or Violin II instrument staff in the score playback will not respond as expected because Sibelius is expecting an ensemble sound ID rather than a solo sound ID.

To ensure you are using the correct instrument staff for a given patch, you should always use the custom instrument staffs available from the libraries instrument family in the Add/Create Instruments dialog.

If these staffs are not available, see your sound set's user manual for instructions to import the House Style in your version of Sibelius.

Last Modified: April 9, 2012