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The only differences from alphabetic input are:

• You don’t need to input accidentals, as Sibelius can of course tell when you’re playing a black note. Sibelius makes an intelligent
guess as to how you want black notes “spelled”—such as F# or Gb—on the basis of the key signature and the musical context. How-
ever, you can ask Sibelius to “respell” a note after creating it by choosing Note Input > Note Input > Respell or just by pressing the
shortcut Return (on the main keyboard).
• Similarly, Sibelius always knows which octave you want.
• You can input chords instantly just by playing them (you don’t have to input one note and then add further notes to it, as you would
with alphabetic input).

These differences make step-time input somewhat faster than alphabetic input.

Input the rest of the missing music onto the acoustic guitar staff from bar 69, using step-time input:

1 Select the bar rest in bar 69 in the acoustic guitar staff (so it turns dark blue).
2 Choose eighth notes from the Keypad.
3 Play in the notes, changing the note lengths from the Keypad as you go.

You can always go back with the arrow keys if you made a mistake, or want to change something. As with alphabetic input, to correct
a note or chord’s pitch you can just select it and re-play it on your MIDI keyboard—and there’s always Undo.

It is much faster to use your MIDI keyboard (or MIDI guitar) to create chords than by clicking notes with the mouse (and a bit faster
than typing using your computer keyboard). For more details,  3.1 Introduction to note input in the Reference Guide.

Use Option-click (Mac) or Alt-click (Windows) to copy music, and press R to repeat notes or bars.

Specifying Pitch Before Duration


If you have switched to Sibelius from another music notation program you may have realized that Sibelius’s default note input method
works the same way as what you may know as Simple Entry.

If you are familiar with another note input method in which you specify the duration of the note or chord after the pitch, rather than be-
fore—you can use that in Sibelius too.

To set Sibelius to specify pitch before duration:


1 Choose File > Preferences and switch to the Note Input page.
2 Choose Pitch before duration from the Note input preset menu at the top of the dialog.
3 Click OK.

From this point on the Keypad shows a different arrangement of buttons on the first layout, matching the note duration shortcuts used
in another notation program for the note durations, so that if you want to input a quarter note you press 5, rather than 4. Now, when you
select where you want to start inputting and press N, you can play notes or chords and the shadow note will show what is being played.
However Sibelius will only input the notes or chords when you type a duration from the Keypad at the same time as holding a note or
chord on your MIDI keyboard.

You can use the options on the Note Input page of the Preferences dialog in any combination, so you can experiment with the settings
to find the way to input notes that is most comfortable for you.

These tutorials assume you’ll be using Sibelius’s default note input method, so if you decide to use Pitch before duration to complete
them you’ll have to remember that the Keypad shortcuts you use will be different than those described.

For more information, see  3.12 Note input options in the Reference Guide.

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Alphabetic and Step-time Input