Q: I’m formatting a Timpani part with key signatures hidden. The score contains a number of keys changes / signatures. The timpani part itself is fine with all accidentals in place.
However, I need cued notes from other parts to appear in the Timpani part. The source parts all show key signatures. I used the TG Tools Add Cue Notes… plugin to make the cues, but none of those accidentals appear in the timpani part. For example, the flute is in the key of G major, and has a passage with F-sharp in it. If I cue that passage in the timpani part, Finale doesn’t show the sharp to indicate F#.
I can’t believe this is an uncommon problem. How can I globally make these diatonic accidentals appear in a part without Key Signatures?
A: As you are already aware, historically, Classical scores displayed some instruments without Key Signatures. Timpani and French Horn are probably the most common of these “keyless” instruments, although you will find examples in the repertoire for Trumpet and even Clarinet.
For Timpani, since it is not a transposing instrument, one would think that all you’d need to do to hide the key signature is to uncheck Key Signatures in Items to Display of the Staff Attributes, and any diatonic accidentals would then automatically appear in the staff:
However, to see how this really works (and how it doesn’t), let’s (1) define a Key Signature, then (2) set our Timpani not to display the Key Signature as above:
(3) Now, enter some notes using your MIDI keyboard. If you enter a sequence of non-diatonic naturals, you get (redundant) naturals displaying on every note; if you enter notes that are diatonic to the hidden Key Signature, the accidentals aren’t displayed at all, neither of which is very useful:
So, as you can see, simply hiding the Key Signature isn’t really an ideal solution at all. If you’ve already entered music in the staff with “Items to Display>Key Signatures” unchecked, there is a partial solution for showing accidentals more correctly after the fact, which I will cover at the end of the blog post. But first…
Q. Do you know if there a solution to the omission of a Cut Time option in Finale’s Engraver Time font?
A. As you know, the Engraver Time font is a vertically “stretched” narrow font specifically designed to display large time signatures in scores:
However, inexplicably, Finale doesn’t provide the Cut Time symbol in the Engraver Time font; the character slots “c” and “Shift-C” in Engraver Time have been left blank. It’s unclear why a vertically stretched Cut Time symbol was not included with the Engraver Time font.
Finale’s Document Options > Time Signatures dialog can control positioning of the abbreviated Cut Time symbol vertically separate from the regular meters.
I have logged a feature request with MakeMusic to add the Cut Time and Common Time Symbols to the Engraver Time Font (if you would like to request this as well, refer to case #130919-000264)
In the meantime, if you also happen to own Sibelius 7, you can use the “Opus Big Time Std.” font from Sibelius which *does* have a version of Cut Time and Common Time symbols. Make sure the Cut Time option is checked in Document Options > Time Signatures.
(Hint: if you don’t own Sibelius 7, ask a friend who does to email you the Opus Big Time Std. font, or you can download the Sibelius 7 30-day free trial, which comes with all of the fonts.)
Once you install the Opus Big Time Std. font, depending on the font size you choose for your big time signatures, you will likely need to separately adjust the vertical positioning for the Abbreviated Cut Time symbol so that it appears properly related to the positioning of your regular time signatures:
for Susan Pascal
Frequently, in jazz charts, drum parts are written with rhythm cues included so the drummer can catch specific accents and phrases the band is playing. These cues might look something like this:
Finalescript™ can help speed up the process of creating these cues, automating the following steps required to create cue notes in drum parts:
- Move cue notes to Layer 4 in drum staff (Layer 1 is used for slashes)
- Transpose all pitches in selection to space above the staff
- Change to cue sized notes
- Change stem direction of cue notes to stems up
- Change tie direction of cue notes to “over”
- Move Rests up, parallel with notes in Layer 4
- Apply a custom slash notation style that allows the cue notes in Layer 4 to show
The script is designed to create rhythm cues using the Normal Notation Style.
Before starting to create rhythm cues, you will need to paste the Finalescript lines below into a new Finalescript. Copy and paste the script lines from “//start script” through the line that says “//end script”. In Finale, the script editor can be accessed from the plugins menu: Plugins>Finalescript>Finalescript Palette.
Here is the Finalescript:
“Smart”, or curly quotes are in common use in published works of all types, including books, music and even modern web sites. For music scores, these “smart quotes” give a more refined look than the “flat“ or “straight“ quotes do. The difference is subtle, but appreciable.
You can enter these “smart quotes” on the fly in Finale, using the standard keystrokes recognized in Word and many other applications. On Mac, these are Option-[ for the curly start quote and Option-Shift-[ for the curly closing quote.
Presumably, on Windows the corresponding keystrokes are ALT-[ for the curly start quote and ALT-Shift-[ for the curly closing quote.
Sometimes, however, it would be nice to be able to quickly convert all existing quotes and apostrophes in a Finale score in a single operation. And, as it happens…
One often overlooked but very important “under the hood” feature of Finale 2012 is its full support for the Unicode text standard.
What is Unicode? Unicode provides a unique number for every text character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language.
As of Finale 2012, it is possible on both Mac and Windows to show proper fraction characters as standalone text, or as part of technique instructions such as “1/2 section trem., 1/2 ord.” or “1/4 tone bend”. Here’s how:
As with any other text, you can copy the Unicode “½” or ”¼” fraction characters seen on this page to the OS Clipboard and paste them into Finale 2012 Expressions. You don’t even have to memorize the keystrokes!
For future use, you could create a New Document Without Libraries, then create and save your fraction characters as a small Text Expression library for later import.
Many times, I receive Finale score files where the “fractions” are written out as a string of regular numerical characters and slashes, e.g. “1/2 section trem., 1/2 ord.” or “1/4 tone bend”. In these cases, it’s most efficient to simply replace all of the ”one-slash-two” and “one-slash-four” text strings in one shot with the proper fraction characters.
This search and replace can be done globally in Finale 2012 with a simple Finalescript™ that references the proper Unicode characters.
Copy and paste following lines into a new Finalescript™ to convert these text strings to proper fraction symbols:
//start Finale script
process current doc
search "1/2" replace "½"
search "1/4" replace "¼"
search "3/4" replace "¾"
//end Finale script
The majority of modern fonts support these extended characters. If you find that the script does not work, it’s possible that the font you have chosen is too old to support the extended characters. Certainly the standard fonts that come with your OS, such as Times New Roman, Helvetica and so forth, will include the fraction characters.
The only thing you really need to watch for when running this script is Instrument Names. If the score uses slashes in Instrument names like “Trombone 1/2″, the instrument name will become “Trombone ½”. Typically, multiple instrument names should appear as “1 & 2″, “1, 2″ or “1-2″ so hopefully, this isn’t an issue.
If you are using Finale 2012, that’s it! That’s all there is to it!
Lead Line Chord Notation, also referred to as Topline Notation is a shorthand notation convention that is sometimes used for rock, jazz and pop guitar or keyboard charts.
Lead Line / Topline notation is a good way to get the chord voicings you are looking for as a composer or arranger, particularly if you don’t actually play guitar (or piano); it allows you to specify melodic motion of the chords without having to supply details of voicings you may or may not know are practical (or possible) on that instrument.
To create this type of notation, visually, the stems are extended past the noteheads to show that the chords are voiced below (or above) the written lead notes. Here is an example:
Let’s take a look at how to create this type of notation in Finale and Sibelius.