By Tristan Noon
I am a composer, orchestrator and music copyist from the South of England, just outside of London, and have worked on an array of high profile jobs including orchestration for Endeavour (ITV 1), string arrangements for the acclaimed Indietronica band ‘Hot Chip’ (Nike: Unlimited You event), and have written music which was used in the ‘Save The Day’ Campaign, directed by Joss Whedon (Toy Story, The Avengers).
Working in multiple positions across the music department has given me an invaluable edge which enables me to see what is efficient and what is not. I often tidy the parts when I am orchestrating music, which allows me to fully check through the parts and make sure that no dynamics or other markings have been missed.
Having been to many scoring sessions as a composer, orchestrator and copyist, I thought that it would be interesting to put together a series of templates that other musicians could benefit from. The idea being that instead of having to worry about setting up a template themselves requiring lots of different steps to make immediately usable, that I could provide them at a reasonable cost and in flexible formats, such as multiple different versions and with different instrumentation—but all stylistically the same.
I’ve worked on plenty of scores in the past where a template hasn’t been set up properly. It can waste hours of time if the procedure of making a template for the project isn’t carefully taken care of at the start of the job. Using wild cards mean that information such as the composer name, orchestrator name, cue name and number, ensure that when you first input the information in the file menu at the start of every cue, it updates on the first page, and subsequent pages at the top which makes it look professional. The best part about the templates are the way they look straight out of the box. You can change the amount of bars per page depending on the amount of notation on the page, but it is set as default as eight per page on the conductors score, and four bars in the parts.
Scoring Templates include:
- Fonts that are prettier on the eye, and exactly the same in each template, for a seamless design when using different sized ensembles.
- Big time signatures in the full score that are easily spotted by conductors when sight-reading (which is the majority of the time).
- Bigger time signatures for the player in the parts which means there is little to no chance of them missing changing time signatures in more complex cues.
- Incredible flexibility, spanning across most of the recent versions of Sibelius (6, 7 and 8).
- Staves which are aligned and perfectly spaced, leaving you to import midi or write directly into the template without worrying about formatting.
- Text wildcards which update across the whole score when changed in one place, for example, a title/sub title.
- Thicker stave sizes and final bar line for easier sight-reading.
- Bar numbers above every bar in the score and under every bar in the parts for easy referencing.
- A flexible starting point for further personal customization if you wish – the score and parts already look beautiful, but you may want to customize it to your specific needs.
All of the above are certain to lead to a better/quicker performance which always impresses the client. In an ever-evolving world in which composers and orchestrators are forced to work at lightning speed, it would be a mistake to miss out on these perfectly customized templates, aimed at anyone in the film, tv and games industry. It ensures that once the score has been finished by the orchestrator, the parts already look great before the copyist has even done any work to them. Time saving is ensured across the whole project and the chances of any mistakes are reduced.
I’ve spent many hours perfecting the font sizes, font types, stave sizes and other formatting for the templates. These kinds of changes, which seem small, can actually play a major part in a scoring session. If fonts are too small to read, players will not be able to read them quickly at sight and could potentially miss them. On the other hand, if they are too big, they will take up page space, and upset the formatting of the page. Ultimately, the key is to include the most amount of information on the page, but conveyed in the simplest and minimalistic manner. The templates require minimal effort from the user upon first opening the file. All you need to do is fill in the information such as the title, etc. from the file menu (not by double clicking the title, etc. on the first page or this will make the wildcards redundant). In the parts, you will also need to tell Sibelius how many parts need to be printed. I left this up to the user, because every session will be different.
I have created scoring templates for:
- Full Orchestra
- Full Orchestra (no percussion)
- Strings & Brass
- Strings & Piano
- Strings & Harp
- And a bundle that includes all seven templates
Take advantage of a 25% off sale when you spend £20 or more, until 23:59 GMT on Wednesday 20th December, 2017—just use the promo code “AVIDBLOGS“.
In addition to your Scoring Template Sibelius file, inside the download folder you’ll receive a short PDF document instruction manual to demonstrate how to get started with these templates. Don’t miss this great deal, and I hope you find the templates useful.