Paste Rhythm to Pitches

Version 3.2
Added 11 Aug 2014 (last updated 12 May 2018)

For use with Sibelius 6, Sibelius 7.1, Sibelius 7.5, Sibelius 8.x, Sibelius 18.x, Sibelius 19.x, Sibelius 20.x, Sibelius 21.x, Sibelius 22.x, Sibelius 23.x and Sibelius 24.x

Paste Rhythm to Pitches

Version 2.1

For Sibelius versions 6 to 8.

This plugin superimposes a rhythm of the notes on the clipboard on to a selected passage of music.

To use it:

  1. Select the rhythm to be pasted and copy it to the clipboard.
  2. Select the passage containing the pitches to paste the rhythm to.
  3. Run the plugin


Paste the rhythm from voice

If the clipboard contains more than one voice, hence more than one rhythm, then the rhythm to be pasted can be selected.

Rhythm (source)

These options allow the rhythm to be pasted to pitches of the rhythm voice only (leaving the pitches in the other voices unaffected), the pitches of all voices as separate voices or the pitches of all voices as the rhythm voice. I suggest trying these out since it is much easier to convey these visually than verbally.

Pitches (destination)

This governs which pitches are used when new rhythm does not exactly coincide with them. The best option will depend on the musical context.

Text and Dynamics (source)

Since lyrics, dynamics and some other objects are often linked with rhythm, there are options to paste these also. Note that if these options are ticked they will replace the corresponding objects in the selection of pitches.

If �Paste from the rhythm voice only� is selected then only text, dynamics etc present in the rhythm voice are pasted.


If the selected rhythm on the clipboard and selected pitches differ in length, the shorter of the two always applies.

If more than one staff is copied to the clipboard only the top staff is used. The top notes of the rhythm voice are used to determine the rhythm (where ties are involved etc), the type of notehead used and other note properties.

The plugin only works for selections of 126 crotchet beats or less. This is for technical reasons, i.e. it makes it much easier to write!

There is a bug in the manuscript language which means that the direction of note stems can be wrong when combining grace notes, tuplets and multiple voices.

Added in version 3.1

This fixes a bug where pasted notes could disappear if Paste Note Pattern was selected and the pattern contained one note.

Added in version 3

Paste Note Pattern

This option allows both the rhythm and the Note Pattern (up and down movement of the notes) to be pasted. It allows the plugin to be used as an arpeggiator by creating one bar of the broken chord/arpeggio pattern, copying it to the clipboard, selecting some bars containing block chords then running the plugin with the option selected.

Demonstration Videos

Four short videos demonstrating the basic use of this plugin and some of the options have been posted here.


The wording of some parts of the dialog has been changed to make it more user friendly.


A number of bug fixes have been added, in particular one that affected selections beginning with rests.

Added in version 2.1

Bug fix added to prevent the bar after the selection being affected when more than one stave is selected.

Added in version 2


When this option is checked the rhythm will repeated as many times as the selection will allow. (This can also be used for multiple copying of lyrics, dynamics, articulations and slurs on to passages which have the same rhythm as the clipboard.)


If �Use the pitches before the rhythm notes� is selected, this will use the pitches after the rhythm note when it is the specified number of beats from it. If �Use the pitches after the rhythm notes� is selected then it will use the pitches before the rhythm note for the specified number of beats. This is much easier to visualise than describe, so I suggest copying eight quavers (eighth notes) to the clipboard, and using the plugin to paste it over two minims (half notes) with different pitches. Trying out the options, with the offset switched off at first and then set to various numbers of quavers should clarify this function.

This option is particularly useful in for pasting Jazz/Pop type rhythms which often anticipate a beat by a quaver or semiquaver. Although large values are available the smaller ones are generally more useful.

Updated 12 May 2018 Version 3.2. Coloured notes are supported in Sibelius 8.3 and higher, Slide Styles are supported from Sibelius 8.6 and higher.

Plug-in written by Kenneth Gaw.