Beyond Defaults : Add ½, flat, natural & sharp trill lines in Finale

There are a couple of common approaches to indicating non-diatonic trills in music. One way is to indicate the trill-to pitch as a stemless, cue sized note in a parenthesis:

fin-tril-ex1

The other, which is very common in popular and commercial orchestral music as well as film and video game scores because it is very efficient for entry, is to include a flat, natural or sharp symbol above, or just to the right of the “tr” symbol.

Finale 2012 and earlier already have a set of these trills in Smart Shapes. To get to them, you can Option / Alt. click on the Custom line tool, to select the trill flat, trill natural or trill sharp line:

fin-default-trills

However, my personal preference is for the accidentals to appear slightly to the right of these defaults, and in addition, I wanted to a version of these trills with the accidentals in parenthesis:

fin-parenthetic-trills

Finally, for certain projects, I wanted a “tr½“:

fin-halfstep-trill

Note  that even though Finale 2012 supports Unicode text in many areas, inside dialogs such as the Smart Line Editor, Unicode is still not supported. So, the ½ character in the trill is not a single character, it has to be “faked” using vertical and horizontal offsets of three separate text characters.

I’d like to share these trill lines with you. You can download the Finale 2011 file here.

Choose File > Save Library… with this file open and Smart Lines selected, and save the library file with a descriptive name you’ll remember. Then chose File > Load Library… with your Finale template or score open.

If you just want one of the trill lines, here is another way to get the lines into your own Finale template using filtered copy and paste:

  1. Open the Trill Lines Source document.
  2. Select the Mass Edit tool. Choose Edit > Edit Filter.
  3. Uncheck everything except for Smart Shapes (Assigned to Measures). OK.
  4. Select the measure containing the Trill line you want. Copy it to the clipboard (CTRL-C / WIndows or CMND-C / Mac), and then paste it into your own Template document.

That’s it! I hope these are useful additions for you. Please share the trills with other Finale users if you find them useful. Thank you.

~robert

Creating custom trill flat, trill natural and trill sharp lines in Sibelius 6 & 7

UPDATED DECEMBER 5, 2012

There are a couple of common approaches to indicating non-diatonic trills in music. One clear way is to indicate the trill-to pitch as a stemless, cue sized note in a parenthesis. However, while extremely clear, this method is somewhat labor intensive.

There are also a couple of shorthand methods used in symphonic pops as well as film and game scores to show trill destination or tonality. The first is to display a “½” character for half steps, and either “w” or “wt” for whole steps just to the right o the “tr” symbol.

The other, very common in symphonic pops and commercial orchestral music as well as film and video game scores because it is very efficient for entry, is to include a flat, natural or sharp symbol just to the right of the “tr” symbol.

Sibelius 7 and Sibelius 6 don’t have these combined symbols by default, so one common approach is to input the regular trill line that comes with SIbelius, and then add a flat, natural or sharp symbol from the symbols dialog. The problem with this approach is that the symbol tends to drift away from the trill line when the music is respaced, or you view it in a transposed part.

Fortunately, it’s very straightforward to build each of these as a fixed, combined symbol and use each of these new trill characters to create new trill lines.

If you are in a hurry, there is an even easier way. Simply open the Sibelius 6 file I’ve linked to here, select one of the trill lines (making sure that only the trill line is selected), copy it to the clipboard (CTRL-C / WIndows or CMND-C / Mac), and then paste it into your own Template document.

  • For correct playback in Sibelius 7, select the line after you’ve placed it in the score, go to the Home Tab and select the Inspector. Go to the Playback Section of the Inspector.
  • For correct playback in Sibelius 6, select the line after you’ve placed it in the score, open the Properties Panel and choose the Playback dropdown.
  • For both Sibelius 6 and Sibelius 7, uncheck diatonic trill, and make sure the interval is set to one half step.
If you are curious about how to create these lines yourself, here are the steps:

more >> “Creating custom trill flat, trill natural and trill sharp lines in Sibelius 6 & 7”

Locating and Editing the Triangle Symbol for MA7 chords in Finale

In Finale 2012 and several earlier versions, chord suffixes can be created by simply typing them in with the Chord tool.   If every chord suffix library for Finale was the same, you could simply type in a standard keystroke for each suffix.

However, depending on the library that is currently in use for the suffix, this isn’t always the case. For instance, consider the different ways arrangers indicate a major 7th chord: M7, MA7, MAJ7, etc. In Finale, the in order to type in a chord suffix directly, it has to exactly match one of the existing suffixes in the current library.

In addition, some symbols, like the Triangle ∆ (Delta symbol) sometimes used for MA or MA7 chords isn’t an obvious keystroke. Furthermore, some chord fonts, such as the JazzCord font, are designed to display each suffix and any of its alterations using a single font character (e.g. “∆7” isn’t two keystrokes in JazzCord, it is a single character).

To locate, display or edit these suffixes which can’t simply be typed in, and for which you don’t know the shortcut: enter the chord name without the suffix, (e.g. “C”) then right-click to select “Edit Chord Definition”. This will allow you to manually choose the chord suffix.

more >> “Locating and Editing the Triangle Symbol for MA7 chords in Finale”

Accessing The Print Button in the Sibelius 7 Print Dialog

Q: The Sibelius 7 print dialog box apparently does not recognize Return as equivalent to clicking on the Print icon. It would be nice if it did.

A: As you may have discovered, Sibelius 7 has redesigned the Print Dialog of Sibelius 7, essentially completely replacing the OS interface for printing. As a result, things look and behave differently than you may be used to.

more >> “Accessing The Print Button in the Sibelius 7 Print Dialog”

Expanded Graphics Import and Export in Sibelius 7

Sibelius 6 can import graphics files in TIFF format. To import,  choose Create>Graphics and select a TIFF file. Once the graphic is on the page, the size can be scaled by dragging the corner of the graphic and resizing.  Sibelius 6 supports black and white, grayscale, or full color graphics, which are imported as a type of system object.

(On Mac, the built-in Preview application can convert graphics to TIFF: open the graphic you want to convert, choose File > Save As, and choose TIFF from the Format drop-down. On Windows, there are several freeware graphics applications you can use to convert a graphic into TIFF format, for example IrfanView.)

In Sibelius 7, a number of standard image formats are now natively supported – BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, and SVG e.g. Scalable Vector Graphics –  high-quality vector graphics that look perfect when scaled to any size. Additionally, you no longer have to import from a menu, you can simply drag and drop the graphics directly onto the  page in Sibelius.

more >> “Expanded Graphics Import and Export in Sibelius 7”

Jazz Charts with 4 Bars Per System in Sibelius

Q: I’m writing a lead sheet, and I want to show 4 measures per system. This is really common in jazz charts such as the RealBook – the bars are symmetrical. Many  jazz players are familiar with this type of look and layout, but Sibelius automatically spaces the music very differently than this. How does one lay out the music like this in Sibelius 6 or 7?

In Sibelius 7, go to the Layout Tab, and select Auto Breaks from the Breaks Group. Check “Use auto system breaks” and select the radio button for Every X bars (Type in “4” or change the number of bars per system if you want more.)

In Sibelius 6, choose “Auto Breaks” from the Layout Menu. Check “Use auto system breaks” and select the radio button for Every X bars (Type in “4” or change the number of bars per system if you want more.)

Now, respace the music as normal (select the music and type CMND-SHIFT-N (CNTRL-SHIFT-N), and Sibelius will apply its spacing rules across the four evenly spaced bars per system, without changing the number of measures per system.

Note that you can “mix and match” note spacing system to system. Suppose you have 4 systems that you want 4 measures per system, but then you need a different number of measures per line, for multirests, or whatever reason. Set up the document for four bars per system, then lock the layout to that point. (select the bars and type CMND-SHIFT-L / CNTRL-SHIFT-L)

Now, you can go back into the Auto Breaks dialog and change the settings. Starting at the point where the music is unlocked, your new system breaks rule will apply, until you lock this group of measures. You can do this as many times as you need to within the same chart.

Easy!