Horizontal Split Points : Split a single measure across a system break in Finale

Q: I have a Finale file which has one long measure with about 20 notes in it, and it’s somewhat cramped.  Is there a way to “split” the bar into two systems without adding an extra bar, and without adding a bar line in the middle? Also, if this is in a score with integrated parts, can I do this without altering the score or other parts, etc.?”

A: Split measures are often found in published hymnals, with pickups into the start of a new verse or chorus appearing at the end of a previous system to keep the music symmetrical. Cadenzas are another example, where there may be a large number of notes within a single “bar”.

Finale’s “Allow Horizontal Split Points” feature is designed to split a single measure across a system break.

With the Measure Tool selected, double click on the measure you want to split. When the Measure Attributes dialog opens, check “Allow Horizontal Split Points”:

finale-allow-horizontal-split-points

OK the dialog. This adds a 3rd selection handle below the other two at the measure’s right bar line. Click the new handle, and you’ll see a strip running the length of the bar. Double click where you want the break to occur. You can actually split the bar into more than 2 segments if you want, and you can drag these split points anywhere along the horizontal placement strip:

fin-measure-split-handles

Now, update the layout, and this measure will appear split across two systems as you’ve defined it.

This technique works great for a hymnal piece, or any music where the score and part share the same layout. The same technique is a little tricky with an integrated score and parts, if you only want the split to appear on one particular part (for instance, a cadenza). It will work as long as you don’t update the layout anywhere except where you want the split. 

However, it is pretty easy to update the layout accidentally, so I would recommend completing the layouts for the score and all parts except for this one part containing the (e.g. cadenza) bar which requires the split. Extract this part *before* you do the split. By dealing with this split point in a separate file, for the one instrument only, you will maintain the integrity of the layout in your score and the other parts.

Now that you understand how to do this manually, try Finale’s Split Measures plugin which automates the beat where the split occurs, the bar line style, and can also move the second part of the split measure to the next system. Found in : Plugins > Measures > Split Measures.

~robert

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