Have you noticed that a typical internet search doesn’t always produce relevant results for music notation? For instance, if you do a Yahoo, Bing or Google search for “articulation”, you’ll get dozens of results, with none of them related to Finale or Sibelius, and only a handful related to music . . .
‘NET SEARCH (see sidebar) is a useful resource that can help.
Q: We just came across something that seems to be a major annoyance in Finale. We had never run into it before because we usually start from a Document Style with the Setup Wizard, rather than creating a template from an existing file.
It seems that when you add, delete, or change an instrument from the Score Manager, it resets staff attributes for a bunch of staves all at once. For example, our templates were set to only display measure numbers over the first Violins in the score, but on making any change it resets the attributes of the first staff in each instrument choir, so all of a sudden we have huge measure numbers all over the page, and redundant grand staff braces and / or brackets are created.
I wanted to ask you if you’d encountered this issue before, and if there’s a solution.
Q: In this screenshot, you’ll notice that the G natural accidental in the third bar is colliding with the previous F sixteenth note between the two layers:
I have tried all sorts of ways to fix it, using the Document Options’ minimum spacing, space between, etc. I have tried Note/Beat/Time Sig. Spacing, all the JW note spacing alternatives and nothing fixes this issue automatically. Is it only fixable manually?
Good music engravers are always on the lookout for inventive and elegant solutions to make their work easier. To me, one of the more interesting niche areas of typeset music notation are graphical fingering diagrams for musical instruments.
Fonts are the optimal solution for creating fingering diagrams in Finale or Sibelius. Since font characters are essentially vector graphics (as opposed to bitmapped graphics), they will look great when printed at any size, and remain clear and legible on screen.
There are several shareware and freeware fingering diagram fonts currently available for both woodwind and brass instruments from enterprising font designers. I covered a few of these in a previous post.
I recently had a discussion about measure number placement with a colleague. For film scores, game scores and other commercial recording sessions, bar numbers are most typically shown on every bar. Although my colleague is a Finale user, this discussion is relevant to both Finale or Sibelius users.
Logic’s Music XML feature only does export, not import, which makes sense – you’re likely not bringing music into Logic to clean up the notation. You can import .smf from Sibelius or Finale for file transfers if needed.
To access the Export feature, you need to have the Score Editor open and then go the main File Menu>Export>Score as MusicXML. This will be greyed out if a Score Editor window is not open.
The score display is what is exported – make sure you have the correct tracks and number of tracks displayed. With that in mind you could do a score set of e.g., just strings and export those.
Once exported you’ll find the file with a .xml ending. If you just click to open you’ll likely not get it opened in a notation program – you can import / open via Finale / Sibelius or select one of them to open the file.
Q: I am dealing with bar lines that go through multiple parts in a score. I would like to group the instrument choirs rather than having bar lines running down the entire score. Is there an easy fix for this in Sibelius and / or Finale?
A: Yes, absolutely.
In Sibelius, click at the bottom of the staff right at the point where the bar line joins the bottom staff line. A box will show up. Click and drag the box down and the staves will become joined or separated.
In Finale, in Staff Attributes there is an attribute called “Break Barlines between staves” which controls whether the bar lines join with the staff above that particular instrument.
That’s all there is to it.