It initially felt strange to consider reducing my sights on my composition; focus on each instrument in turn and really see what was going on with technique and range.
But actually, this makes perfect sense. I DO need to narrow my view and take each stave at a time.
I have just found some very useful instruction on how to select my individual staves. John Hinchey.com outlines information about plug-ins that can be run to enable you to look at specific staves and/or families of instruments.
There are 3 plug-ins that I can choose to install:
1) The first plug-in relates to showing each ‘family’, whether that be woodwind, brass, strings, singers, etc.
2) The next plug-in focuses on families. A window opens after installation allowing you to select as many families to view at any one time.
3) The third plug-in gives you Focus Sets. These allow for multiple staves and/or families to be grouped together, with an opportunity to create up to 10 different sets.
With this in mind, I went into my score in Sibelius (wow, does it look basic and sparse in comparison with Elgar’s Symphony in A-Flat Major) and selected the flute stave. I ensure the entire part was highlighted from first to last bar and then in Layout, I chose ‘Focus on Stave’; boom – it gave me the flute part on it’s own. SO much easier to read than seeing it with the other instruments.
Once I have completed my instrumentation notes, I will go through each part to look at the registers used, and the general notation to see what is going on.
Hinchey, J. (2012). Sibelius Tutorial: Working with Large Scores: Part 1 Focus Family Plug-ins – notes on notes. Available: http://johnhinchey.com/2012/09/13/sibelius-tutorial-working-with-large-scores-part-1-focus-family-plug-ins/. Last accessed 25 April 2016.