Beyond Defaults : Take Control of Note Spacing in Finale

Music spacing (historically referred to  as “punctuation”) is controlled by a mathematical ratio in Finale. At any point in time, this equation determines the horizontal placement of notes and related musical objects within each measure and across each system to create the appropriate balance of music notation density on each page.

Note spacing is more than simply assigning a specific width for each note duration; a number of variables interact to affect how the final music music notation output looks on the page. These variables include stems, flags, accidentals, articulations, ties, chord symbols, lyrics and much more.

Finale’s music spacing acts on three key areas to achieve consistent note spacing results: (a) mathematically perfect spacing between notes of different durations (b) additional event spacing or “padding” of specific objects to prevent collisions, and (c) lyric spacing, where music is theoretically spaced to fit the words instead of the words fitting the music.

If you examine music  note spacing (punctuation) from various published sources, you’ll see that while there are definitely variations between publishers, as a general rule, all music publishers follow similar practices.

Historically, plate engravers of music measured widths from the left side of the characters. For instance, the distance between two quarter notes is measured by the space from the left side of the first notehead (or rest) to the left side of the next notehead (or rest).

Finale provides professional looking note spacing results by default, so that even casual users can achieve properly balanced looking scores and parts. However, as you might expect, Finale offers a great deal more flexibility and control than these defaults. You might be surprised at how much power Finale has under the hood here.

Let’s take a closer look…

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Beyond Defaults : Create ½, whole-tone, flat, natural & sharp trill lines in Finale

There are a couple of common approaches for indicating trills with specific trill-to pitches in your music score. One way is to indicate the trill-to pitch as a stemless, cue sized note in a parenthesis.

trill-to-example

This is an extremely clear and elegant way to present the trill-to information. However, for “commercial” scores, this method is somewhat labor-intensive to create in the current software, and furthermore, isn’t completely bulletproof in terms of the trill-to pitch maintaining its horizontal positioning after music spacing .

Trills containing an intervalic jump larger than a whole step are commonly referred to as “fingered tremolo”, and displayed as pairs of notes with tremolo slashes.

Another method of displaying trills, which is very common in popular and commercial orchestral music as well as film and video game scores, largely because it is so efficient for entry, is to include a flat, natural or sharp symbol above, or just to the right of the “tr” symbol. For commercial scores, you also frequently see the trill-to note indicated as an intervalic distance, like a ½ step or a whole-tone (wt).

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How to Use the Playing Techniques Editor in Dorico Pro | Getting Started with Dorico 2

🎬  This article is a transcription of one of the excellent tutorial videos posted to the official Dorico YouTube channel.

The playing techniques editor in Dorico provides a huge range of options for explaining in a music score how to play an instrument. This tutorial coves the features of the playing techniques editor, including how to modify text, glyphs and how to add and depict your own, unique playing techniques.

Presented here in written form with the kind permission of its creator, Anthony Hughes, this tutorial is titled “Playing Techniques Editor in Dorico Pro 2″…


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Beyond Defaults : Create ½, whole-tone, flat, natural & sharp trill lines in Sibelius

There are a couple of common approaches for indicating trills with specific trill-to pitches in your music score. One way is to indicate the trill-to pitch as a stemless, cue sized note in a parenthesis.

trill-to-example

This is an extremely clear and elegant way to present the trill-to information. However, for “commercial” scores, this method is somewhat labor-intensive to create in the current software, and furthermore, isn’t completely bulletproof in terms of the trill-to pitch maintaining its horizontal positioning after music spacing .

Trills containing an intervalic jump larger than a whole step are commonly referred to as “fingered tremolo”, and displayed as pairs of notes with tremolo slashes.

Another method of displaying trills, which is very common in popular and commercial orchestral music as well as film and video game scores, largely because it is so efficient for entry, is to include a flat, natural or sharp symbol above, or just to the right of the “tr” symbol. For commercial scores, you also frequently see the trill-to note indicated as an intervalic distance, like a ½ step or a whole-tone (wt).

more >> “Beyond Defaults : Create ½, whole-tone, flat, natural & sharp trill lines in Sibelius”

How to Work With Large Time Signatures in Dorico Pro 2

🎬  This article is a transcription of one of the excellent tutorial videos posted to the official Dorico YouTube channel.

Dorico Pro 2 introduces support for two conventions for time signatures: the “commercial” larger time signatures used on scoring sessions, and the other for the concert hall. It’s straightforward to show a large time signature centered on every bracket, with three display choices: the traditional bold serif numerals, a narrower version of the traditional numerals, or tall thin sans serif numerals. You can also show time signatures above the staff, with complete control over size, position, and typeface.

Presented here in written form with the kind permission of its creator, Anthony Hughes, this tutorial is titled “How to Work With Large Time Signatures in Dorico Pro 2″…


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Finale version 26 review

MakeMusic’s Finale v26 update was released  today. Their social media teasers over the last few weeks have contained the perfect buzzword for a guy like me: “productivity”.

(If you are new to Finale and anxious to get started,  feel free to skip to the last paragraph of this review. Then, head over to MakeMusic to download the free 30 day trial and check it out for yourself.)

For the rest of us, I’ll cut to the chase: for me, by far the most compelling productivity feature in this upgrade is Finale’s reworked Articulation Tool, so let’s start there.

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