Notation in Sibelius for The Composer’s Guide to Writing Well for The Modern Harp

Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis contacted me while she was writing The Composer’s Guide to Writing Well for The Modern Harp because she wanted to provide tools for composers to produce the special harp notation she used in Chapter 21, Special Effects.

I created a set of 5 scores, in Sibelius 7 format, to demonstrate the notation used in the sections of that chapter. The scores describe how various notation elements can be created, and allow you to copy elements from one of these scores and paste them into your own scores. Here is a  sample page from one of those scores (please click on the image to enlarge it):

Many of the objects used, such as composite symbols and lines, are customized. If you paste one of these custom objects into your score, the special definitions of those objects will be transferred to your score as well, even if you later delete those objects.

To use these scores you must install the free font Norfolk Harp Std, which I had commissioned as part of my book  Notating Music for Harp in Sibelius. You can read about the font, and download a copy here. You may find the Support Scores available on that page to be useful as well.

Creating Pedal Harp Notational Elements is a short PDF document describing how the scores were created, and my goals for creating scores that would allow notational elements to be pasted into scores.

One basic design mechanism is that each element is contained within the second bar in a system, and the instructions are contained in the first bar of the system. This lets you click on the second bar to select all the components of the notational element, so you can copy them immediately.

If you copy the passage (blue box) selection, and then paste it into a bar containing music, it will overwrite all the music. If you want to retain the original music, it is best to paste into a completely empty bar, and then copy the elements to the final destination. You may need to change voices to avoid overwriting. Some experimentation is likely to be required.

I hope you will find these to be useful. Thanks to Yolanda Kondonassis and Carl Fischer Music, LLC, for their permission to use examples from The Composer’s Guide to Writing Well for The Modern Harp on this website.