Paste to Chord Symbols

Version 1.2
Added 18 Oct 2012 (last updated 12 May 2018)

For use with Sibelius 6, Sibelius 7.1, Sibelius 7.5, Sibelius 8.x and Sibelius 18.x

This is designed for educational and general use.

This plugin copies an accompaniment pattern in accordance with given chord symbols.

To use it:

  • Add chord symbols to any instrument in a passage of music.
  • Write the accompaniment of the first bar or two, making sure that this matches the chord symbols you have written. (The bars following should be empty.)
  • Select the accompaniment bars and extend the selection to the point where you want the accompaniment pattern to end.
  • Run the plugin, click OK in the dialog and the accompaniment pattern will "fill out" the selection, following the given chord symbols.

Dialog Options

  • Chord Instruments/Bass Instruments - The plugin uses the initial clef to determine how an instrument is treated. You can override this here.
  • Staff Containing the Chord Symbols - The lowest stave which contains chord symbols is automatically selected. This can be changed here if you want you try out alternative harmonisations etc.
  • Put added bass notes into chord instruments - When this is selected the bass notes of chords such as C/D are included in chord (treble clef) instruments.
  • Omit root of the chord in chord instruments - This omits the root of a chord from a chord (treble clef) instrument when the chord has a certain number of notes. This option can be useful for improving the voice leading when the number of notes per chord varies (e.g. triads followed by 7ths or 9ths). Also, 9th chords and above often sound better when the root is confined to bass instruments.
  • Voice leading in chord instruments - This governs the extent to which parallel 5ths and octaves are avoided.
  • Max amount of drift - In some situations when "Best" voice leading is selected the register of the chords will move unacceptably. This setting determines the maximum amount allowed before a correction factor is applied.
  • Range of notes used - This prevents the plugin writing unplayable notes. (The setting refers to the original instrument so Ignore instrument range might be more appropriate if you have inserted an instrument change.)
  • Return to Panorama View (Sibelius 7 only) - Because of a bug in the Manuscript language the plugin has to switch to Normal View when run in Sibelius 7. If you are using Panorama View and want to the plugin to switch back then tick this box. (This setting has no effect when using Sibelius 6.)

For best results

  • Make sure that the voice leading is as good as possible in the initial accompaniment pattern. (Use only one chord if you wish.)
  • Make sure the chords have similar numbers of notes, (e.g. triads, 7ths, 9ths). This tends to be true for most styles of music. Check also that chords with the maximum number of notes are present in the initial accompaniment or else create an extra bar at the beginning of the selection to create a match between your accompaniment pattern and chord symbols. (The Omit root option can compensate for this.)
  • If the results are not satisfactory, press undo, change some of the option settings and try again.

Updated 12 May 2018. Coloured notes are supported in Sibelius 8.3 and higher; Slide Styles are supported from Sibelius 8.6 and higher;

This plugin can run very slowly when the mixer window is open. A suppressible warning dialog has been added to remind the user to close it.

Plug-in written by Kenneth Gaw.