Good music engravers are always on the lookout for inventive and elegant solutions to make their work easier. To me, one of the more interesting niche areas of typeset music notation are graphical fingering diagrams for musical instruments.
Fonts are the optimal solution for creating fingering diagrams in Finale or Sibelius. Since font characters are essentially vector graphics (as opposed to bitmapped graphics), they will look great when printed at any size, and remain clear and legible on screen.
There are several shareware and freeware fingering diagram fonts currently available for both woodwind and brass instruments from enterprising font designers. I covered a few of these in a previous post.
more >> “Legni Woodwind Fingering Font for Finale & Sibelius”
In previous posts, (1) (2), I’ve discussed Finale’s ability to create an opaque mask for text using its Enclosure Designer in order to bring text prominently to the foreground in front of a line such as a hairpin.
An imported graphic can also be used as a background mask. Note how the graphic completely masks the dotted line across its surface area in this example:
An imported TIFF graphic in Finale has an important additional ability: to display a mix of opacity and transparency. In this example, the same overlay graphic is transparent in its “white” area. Note how the solid line in the background now appears to be woven between the vertical lines of the graphic:
We can use this same ability to create a kind of “picket fence” graphic overlay for crescendo and diminuendo hairpin smart shapes that allows them to show through the graphic at regular intervals, like this:
more >> “Finale : Create Dashed & Dotted Cresc. / Dim. Hairpins Via Graphic Overlay”