Q: I have been trying to figure out how, or if it’s possible to add a staff (for an instrumental solo, etc.) later within a score, as opposed to having that staff appear at the beginning of a piece. I can’t find a thing regarding this issue in the Finale tutorials or other help options. If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it!
A: Good question. A common convention for score layout is to show all staves for all performers on the first score page. This establishes the instrumentation, and also provides a head’s up to the conductor about custom instrument ordering etc.
After the first page of music, in published music, a convention is to show only staves of the musicians who are actually playing, with tacet staves being hidden. It’s worth noting that for commercial scores such as film or video game recordings, pops concerts, etc, any resting staves continue to be shown. This helps the conductor stay oriented, as rehearsal time is typically very limited.
However, there are situations where there is no need to show every staff on the first page of score, and in fact, it would serve no purpose to show these staves until the performer is playing. For instance, the strings are notated on single staves at the top of the piece, but at some later point, break out into additional staves of divisi. Another example is where one player within the section is given a solo passage which is written into the regular ensemble part.
Finale allows you to control staff visibility globally or on a per system basis, so whether you are showing the first staff and then hiding resting staves or hiding an instrument until its entrance, the following technique will work.
Let’s take a look at how we might show a short solo string passage in an ensemble score.