Text Instructions Don't Respond

Article applies to:
  • Sibelius 5, 6, 7


Sibelius does not respond to text instructions entered in the score, or responds late.


When using text instructions there are two things to consider:

(1) Text instructions may be case-sensitive

(2) Text instructions persist until explicitly disabled

(3) Certain words entered in the score may have an unintended effect on playback

The first is self-explanatory, just check that you are entering the instruction correctly as indicated in the Playback Dictionary.

The second is the most common culprit for text instructions that seem not to respond. Unlike articulation markings, lines, or some symbols, text instructions in the score remain in effect until an appropriate instruction is received to disable them.

For example, writing "pizz." will result in a pizzicato sound until an "arco" instruction is found. When using text instructions it is necessary to always reset the sound where the designated effect is intended to end.

This can be with a standard printed instruction (such as "arco", from the example above) or by using a hidden non-printing instruction for playback purposes alone, such as "~normal". The tilde "~" hides the instruction in the score.

Lastly, some instructions written for players may be interpreted during playback in an unexpected way. For example, a text instruction such as "Tacet" may silence a part during playback. If there are any instructions like this in the score that are causing undesirable playback, select the text in the score and use the "Play On Pass" options in the Properties window (Sibelius 5 and 6) or Inspector (Sibelius 7) to disable playback of the offending instruction.

Last Modified: April 9, 2012