More Advanced Alternate Notation Techniques in Finale

Typically, a score and its parts show identical information. Sometimes, however,  it is necessary for the score and parts to show the same notation in different ways. A transposing part is a good example of this. Enharmonic pitches in the part is another.

Finale has a great Enharmonic feature which allows you to create an enharmonic unison for specific notes. The same pitches are enharmonically spelled differently in the part to allow the part to be read more easily.

In the Part, enter the Speedy Edit frame, select the pitch you want to change, and type 9 on the keypad to change the pitch to its enharmonic equivalent without changing it in the score.

Occasionally, it is necessary for significantly different notation to represent identical passages between the score and parts.

more >> “More Advanced Alternate Notation Techniques in Finale”

Creating an Advance Caret Keyboard Shortcut in Sibelius

My friend and colleague Bruce Munson of Bruce Munson Music Services and Consulting recently shared this tutorial with me for how to create your own keyboard shortcuts. His tutorial shows how to create an advance caret keyboard shortcut in Sibelius 6 or 7, which allows you to go from Edit back to Create.

You can use the same basic steps to create any custom keyboard shortcut for Sibelius.

more >> “Creating an Advance Caret Keyboard Shortcut in Sibelius”

Displaying Different Octaves In Score and Parts in Finale Part 1

Q: “I’m working on a Violin Concerto in Finale 2011. The violinist who is playing the concerto prefers to have all the high passages written out in pitch (rather than using ottava notation).  However, I would like to use ottava notation In the score. How to I show the notes at pitch in the part, and at 8vb with the ottava lines in the score?”

A: While this is a little different than creating a part for an octave transposing instrument, we’ll use similar techniques to create it. In FInale 2012 and earlier, we’ll create and use an octave transposing Staff Style for this, in combination with ottava lines which are visible in the score, and hidden in the part. Here’s how:

more >> “Displaying Different Octaves In Score and Parts in Finale Part 1”

Combining Two or More Instruments Into a Single Part in Sibelius

In Sibelius, some instruments, such as piano or harp, automatically appear as a grand staff part. However, many times, it is desirable to create a part which combines two or more staves from the score into a single part.

For instance, you might want to combine Violin 1 and Violin 2 onto the same part, or perhaps you have several percussion instruments that should appear in a percussion part score, or an SATB chorus that you’d like all on the same part. Here’s how: more >> “Combining Two or More Instruments Into a Single Part in Sibelius”

Real – Time Recording of Continuous Control Changes in Sibelius


I recently had this question posed to me by fellow note-slinger John Hinchey, “Is there a way to overdub continuous control changes in Sibelius? Say you’ve got a staff with notes in it; now you want to insert just control changes, but in real time, using your midi wheels, pedals, faders etc.”

If your playback doesn’t sound very natural, you can add control changes, but in real time, using your midi wheels, pedals, faders etc. For example, you could “perform” the pedalling of a piano part in Sibelius.


Let’s assume you already have notes in the staff, which you’ve either entered in Sibelius, or perhaps you’ve imported using MIDI,  Photoscore or MusicXML.  At this point, you are ready to overdub Controller Changes onto the staff.

Sibelius 7 : Select the Note Input Tab of the Ribbon, then click on the little box in the lower right corner of the Flexi-time section to open the Flexi-time options dialog.

Sibelius 6 : From the Notes menu, select Flexi-time Options to open the Flexi-time dialog.

Sibelius 6&7: In the Flexi-time panel of this dialog, first uncheck “Record Into Multiple Voices”, then select the “Voice 2” radio button. If you have notes already in Voice 2, you can select Voice 3 or 4. Under “Existing Music” select the Overdub radio button.

Now, go to the Notation panel of Flexi-time options, and under MIDI Messages, check “Keep Controller Changes”.

OK the dialog, and that’s all there is to it! Select the bar to start recording in. CTRL-SHIFT-F (CMND-SHIFT-F) starts Flexi-time rolling, so you can record only the controller changes (CC) on this pass.


This excellent YouTube video tutorial by David Healey of Total Composure from Northern England details how to record CC controller changes in Sibelius 7: