I attach a picture where I have a time signature of 2/4. As you see in the first notes there are the equivalent of 1/4 group of notes then a bar line and then the normal bars with 2/4 begin. Why are the equivalent of 1/4 notes at first besides the 2/4 text and they are not marked? What is the name of this? For me should be marked first 1/4 with text and then the next bar 2/4. Then what is this?

In Sibelius how do you enter this? Because if I enter 2/4 it will want to enter the equivalent of 2 quarter notes, not 1/4 if it is note described previously.

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1 Answer 1


We call this an anacrusis; less formally, we just call it a "pick up." In short, a pick-up measure is one that takes place at the beginning of a work/section and is not the full value of the normal measure. We tend to treat them as "measure 0" and begin counting with measure 1 on the next downbeat.

I haven't used Sibelius in a while, but somewhere in your score set up there should be a spot where you determine whether or not there's a pick-up measure and what the duration will be. You'll just want to disable that option when you create your score.

  • Thank you with anacrusis/pick up I could find in Sibelius. Thank you so much for the help.
    – coerrace
    Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 23:17
  • An addition to the answer. When there is a "pick up" bar like this, in this case half a bar, then you will usually see that the very last bar is also a half bar. Thus the start and the end of the piece complete each other which means you can repeate the piece without breaking the time signature. If there are any repetition signs in the middle of the piece you will see that the repetition sign is in the middle of a bar. If the "pick up" is less than half a bar then the very last bar will be bigger than half a bar, and any repetition signs will appear accordingly. Commented May 1, 2019 at 12:52

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