Music that supplies only the pitches while directing the players to improvise the rhythms freely is a common (partly) aleatoric device which gives the composer a desired degree of control over the tonality, while retaining temporal freedom.
The notation is typically indicated by surrounding a series of specific pitches with a square or rectangular box, along with a box extender line to indicate that the pitches are to be improvised on for a specific number of beats or a given number of seconds. The exact duration of the “box” can also be indicated as a text duration (e.g. 00:06″ etc).
In “Creating Aleatoric / Temporal Boxed Notation in Finale, Part 1” we looked at how to create these semi-aleatoric directives.
Sometimes, the reverse is desired: the rhythm is notated, but the specific pitches are left up to the player. A common convention for this is to show stems of different lengths (without noteheads) to show the relative pitch relationships:
This is quite simple to do in Finale:
more >> “Aleatoric Elements : From Boxed to Out of the Box Notation In Finale”
Q: I would like to use Finale to notate the contemporary avant-garde works I am composing. In a score with a number of instruments, How do I encapsulate a series within boxes or repeat bars for only one instrument, while the others keep playing and counting normally, without the repeat sign?
A: Finale is very flexible in this regard. Start by entering the notes for the series you would like boxed. They can be quarter notes, or duplets or tuplets of any value. The note values you choose will determine the initial series width within a bar of score, and the relative width within the part:
If you are using tuplets, it is common practice to hide their numbers. Select the tuplet tool. Click the first note of the tuplet, and then double-click the little selection box that appears in the center of the tuplet. When the dialog opens, change the appearance popup menu to “none”, and do this optionally for the shape setting as well, then ok the dialog:
If you have multiple boxed notations on different instruments down the score which use tuplets, use the Mass Edit tool to select all the affected staves in your selected region, then go to Utilities > Change > Tuplets . . . where you can hide the tuplet numbers globally for the selected area in one pass.
As of this writing, there are several systems for notating boxed notation. To keep it simple, I will walk through one of the more common conventions . . .
more >> “Creating Aleatoric Temporal Boxed Notation in Finale”
A useful, but often overlooked feature of Sibelius are Word Menus. Word Menus are built-in lists of useful words: terms, musical symbol text etc, available via contextual menu or keyboard shortcuts when you are entering various types of text.
more >> “Sibelius Word Menus”
Etude numbers in published works commonly appear at the left edge of the first staff of each etude:
Since these occur in the same place as Instrument Names might in a score, (and since serendipitously, instrument names aren’t typically displayed at the left edge of systems in an Etude book), we can use the Instrument Name Text Style in Sibelius combined with Instrument Changes to create a series of Etude numbers. Here’s how:
more >> “Sibelius – Create Etude Numbers Using Instrument Changes”
Tip: When entering dynamics with hairpins in Finale, enter the dynamics first, then the hairpins. The reason for this is that the text dynamics locations will help you determine the proper start and end point of the hairpins:
more >> “Finale Collision Avoidance, Part 3 : Dynamics”
Q: How do you avoid collisions in Finale, i.e: dynamics, hairpins, accents, chord symbols, etc.? I end up manually moving a lot of stuff, and then I have to manually adjust each part as well.
A: I typically start with the smallest elements and work my way out to the big ones. It’s important to make as many placement adjustments as you can in the score, because in doing so, you are also updating their relative positions in the parts (location changes to articulations, text or shapes made in the parts are *not* reflected in the score). I covered collision avoidance of staff text, dynamics and lines in my post from 10/31/11, so let’s talk about articulations . . .
more >> “Finale Collision Avoidance Part 2 : Articulations”
Q: Sibelius gliss lines always start playing from the beginning of the note they are attached to. Using the desired (and typical jazz) notation style, how do I get a gliss to start at the end of a note (without resorting to tied subdivisions)?
A: In the example below, Sibelius’ gliss playback starts right on beat one of bar 2, at the start of the half note, and extends across the full two beats. In order to get the desired gliss playback, which is both later and faster (at least in the jazz interpretation of it), the half note needs to be divided into a dotted quarter tied to an eighth, with the gliss attached to the eighth note per the notation in Ex. 2:
more >> “Starting Glissando Playback Later in Sibelius”