Voice 1 accentuates the melody that's woven through the 8th-note pattern. I want the notes on the top staff the 'blend' together. I remember this being possible in older Sibelius versions, but I cannot seem to figure it out now. The only possible 'solution' so far is to manually change the X-coordinates of every note, which is way too tedious a process for the length of the piece. Any ideas how to do this?

a few bars, with two offset voices in the top staff

  • By "blend together" do you mean you want the note heads to align vertically (when possible)? Jun 20, 2022 at 12:58
  • @ElementsinSpace indeed. Or actually horizontally? Not sure how to describe it otherwise. I want the dotted quarter notes in voice 1 to share the note head of the first 8th note in every triplet in voice 2. They're on the same beat.
    – Grabbels
    Jun 20, 2022 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


This is reasonably easy to do, but does take a couple of stages. They are quick though, especially if using keyboard shortcuts.

Assuming you have used voices 1 and 2 in the top stave, follow the steps below.

  1. Select the passage you want to edit.
  2. Select all voice 2 notes (on Mac this is Shift-Opt-Cmd-2)
  3. Change these to voice 3 (on Mac this is Opt-3)
  4. Select all voice 1 notes (on Mac this is Shift-Opt-Cmd-1)
  5. Invert the stems so they point upwards (on Mac this is X)

This takes you from this...

enter image description here

...to this...

enter image description here

...in just a few seconds!

To give a bit more info about why and how this works: with Sibelius voices 1 and 3 can share note-heads with different values, but they default to having stems pointing in the same direction. As your voice 1 notes are all above the middle of the stave, you can get these notes pointing up simply by pressing X and the will all flip.

It's also worth noting that Sibelius defaults to the correct notation by default, where dotted and non-dotted notes don't share a note-head. However, although this is correct in theory, it is often not done in practice (classical guitar music springs to mind).

  • 1
    Correct notation is a flexible term. Not merging dotted and non dotted notes is sensible is many polyphonic cases, in cases such as this one (where a melody is accompanied by an uniform arpeggio or some other uniform figure (such as is typical in guitar literature) it is expected and correct to do so.
    – Lazy
    Jun 20, 2022 at 20:26
  • Also it concerns me that Sibelius (a piece of 600$ software (or now 200$ per year software)) does not properly support so many features that would be considered rather common in classical engraving. I guess this shows that Sibelius rather targets film score composers and not engravers/editors/publishers.
    – Lazy
    Jun 21, 2022 at 9:36

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