Finale : Cross Staff Notation with More Than Two Staves

Q: I want to have notes move across 3 manuals (3 staves) using cross staves, with a sequence of individual notes going from bottom to top and back. Easy to do in pencil, but is there a way to do this in Finale?

A: Absolutely. Finale is extremely flexible in this regard, using the Note Mover Tool. From the Note Mover menu, choose Cross Staff.

With source notes in the middle staff, you can select the notes you want to move to any adjacent staff either above or below and drag them into position:

Depending on the direction, interval etc, use the Special Tools Reverse Stem Tool to fine tune on which side of the noteheads the stem appears for each.

Perhaps not as well-known is Note Mover’s powerful ability to create cross-staff notation using any number of staves, even across a full score:

Nothing to it!

Does Sibelius support cross-staff notation?

Yes, but only to adjacent staves of the same instrument. For instruments with three staves, do your note entry in the middle staff, then use the above technique of having the middle staff function as a “pivot” outwards for cross-staff notation covering all three staves.

Sibelius only supports cross-staff notation within the same instrument, but you can use the “Extra Staff Above / Below” feature to create a multi-staff instrument of up to three staves (when notes are entered into the middle staff) to which you can apply cross-staff notation.


for Judith Shatin

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