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

Hide Cautionary Key & Time Signatures in Finale

Q: I’m creating very simple exercise sheets in Finale; scales and so forth. But I don’t know how to end one scale and go to the next key as a new song, meaning, brand new time signature and key signature. I can add the new key signature. But this leaves a key signature change reminder at the end of previous line that I would like to erase.

I would also like to add a time signature at the start of each exercise. But I can’t add it unless it’s a different time signature. None of the Finale Worksheet templates have exactly what I need. I would like to use the regular piano template and manipulate it. Is that possible?

A: In Finale, it is very simple and fast to format exercise sheets, etudes and multiple movements of the same piece correctly. Let’s take a look…

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Sibelius : Vertical Alignment of Tempo Indications With Rehearsal Marks

Q: In Sibelius, is it possible to have boxed Rehearsal marks which are automatically vertically aligned with coincident changes of tempo? For example, I have entered the boxed rehearsal letter “A” followed by a tempo marking; “a tempo”. By default, Sibelius aligns the tempo text with the bottom of the enclosure, but I want the tempo text to be centered with the whole height of the boxed rehearsal mark.

A: You’ve touched on two interesting topics related to vertical text alignment here. The first relates to general settings and positioning, and the second, as it concerns Sibelius, relates to collision avoidance. Let’s take a look…

more >> “Sibelius : Vertical Alignment of Tempo Indications With Rehearsal Marks”