More on condensing in Sibelius

Following on from my last blog post in which I laid out a method for ‘condensing’ scores in Sibelius (combining numbered instrumental parts onto one stave while retaining separate dynamic parts), I went ahead and made a video outlining another method for achieving this which doesn’t involve needing to make a separate copy of the score file to create the conductor version. Instead, the method in the video relies on Sibelius’ ‘Show in Parts’ and ‘Hide Empty Staves’ features to achieve the same effect, all in one score file:

Having proudly published this video for the world, I was promptly informed that, of course, there already exist two plugins that can handle the process I meticulously outlined, in a fraction of a second: ‘Explode staff to parts’ (which takes an already-combined staff with two instruments sharing, separates them out to separate staves to create the dynamic parts, then hides those staves from the conductor score in order to retain the original condensed staff for the conductor view); and ‘Reduce staves to full score’ (which does the opposite: taking two or more staves and reducing them to one stave for the conductor view; the original separate staves are then hidden from the score but retain their own dynamic parts).

I don’t know why I didn’t think to dig for a plugin before; or indeed why I didn’t think to make my own plugin using Bob Zawalich’s fantastic Execute Commands plugin. I do however feel justified in leaving my video as it is, because the plugins in question of course executes on the staff(s) in question for the whole score; my method allows for a hybrid approach – allowing for condensing where desirable in the score, but separation of parts where necessary. Use the plugins if your parts are fairly straightforward and are unlikely to ever need to have separate staves in the score.

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