Is there a convenient shortcut to change a note's voice or stem direction?

For my counterpoint studies I write a lot of polyphonic keyboard music with (normally) two voices on at least one of the staves. But I also tend to change my mind often about which note (or notes) should go in which voice. The process of changing a note’s voice and/or stem direction is already fairly easy, involving just two clicks on the upper menu.

Being a lazy person, however, who loves to work as “efficiently” (read: effortlessly) as possible, I wonder if there is an even faster way to achieve my goal. Preferably a one- or two-key combination that flips a note’s stem and automatically places it in the correct voice (assuming, for the sake of simplicity, no more than two voices per staff). If such a key combination isn’t available yet, I herewith wish to make a feature request for such a thing.

In the preferences, you can set a keyboard shortcut for ‘Change voice to next voice in staff’. This lets you cycle a note through all voices until you reach the right one.

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You can set any key commands you like in the application Preferences.

I’ve set Alt 1 and Alt 2 to “Change Voice to UpStep 1” and Change Voice to DownStem 1" respectively, which is I understand similar to Sibelius’s commands.

The second one only works if there is an existing downstem voice, of course.

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Here’s the “Pianoleo trick” I still use all the time :
Select the notes
Invoke context menu (right-click or ctrl-click or whatever)
Press v,c (without the comma)
Use the up and down arrow to select to which voice you want to change voice. Very fast, always works.

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Is this a Mac only thing? It does not work on Windows.

Kinda. You can achieve the same thing with a few more keystrokes. Right click (or press and release Alt and then hit E), then use the Up arrow to get you to voices, Right arrow to get your across etc. etc.

This is almost exactly what I do (down to the choice of key command!), only I’ve found that setting Alt-1 to “Change Voice to Previous Voice On Staff” and Alt-2 to “Change Voice to Next Voice On Staff” work a bit better for me, since they cover the instances where I have more than one upstem or downstem voice.


Thanks all!

Can I dive into this thread with a related question? What I would love to be able to do is set up a macro on my StreamDeck that would filter for bottom notes in chords and then set them to Down Stem Voice 1.

Now, this works fine using the filter shortcut, then using the ‘Change Voice to DownStem 1’ shortcut when the DownStem 1 voice has already been created.

But, sometimes I want to do this on staves when there is not yet a DownStem 1 voice and I would wish for one to be created at that point. Is there any magic that I could use to set up the same macro button on the StreamDeck whether or not there is a DownStem 1 present?

I’m not sure there is a good way of doing this, really. Unless you can do something like read whether or not a particular submenu exists so that you could determine in advance whether or not you should choose ‘Down-stem Voice 1’ or ‘New Down-stem Voice’, and I’ve no idea whether that’s possible.

I thought I was familiar with the key commands section in Preferences, but I can’t find the command ‘change to Upstem Voice 1’ to assign a key command to. Where is it located?

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Many thanks, Ben. I must admit to looking for it under ‘voices’. This is a great help.