Articulation Alternatives for Staggered Bowing in Finale and Sibelius

Bowings are a type of symbol used in music notation to indicate the use of the bow in string parts, which indicate the manner in which a note should be played. Finale and Sibelius share a standard way to create these; they treat bowings as articulations, which are automatically positioned in proximity to the notehead.

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Notation Workflow : Tips For Moving Logic Files into Sibelius or Finale

For Logic users there may come the time that one needs to get a file over to Finale or Sibelius to finish a project. Logic has its own proprietary notation display formatting and doesn’t currently support Music XML. However, you can export a Standard MIDI File (SMF) and achieve good results. To maximize compatibility before exporting a SMF, you’ll need to do some adjustments, as described below.

The important proprietary formatting items are Display Quantize, Interpretation mode and to a lesser degree, Syncopation mode. These items affect Logic’s display only – playback remains unaffected. You may also need to deal with pedal markings (these do affect playback). Let’s look at what they do, and how to pass along this information in a SMF.

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Create a Divisi or Chorded Instrument from Two Separate Staves

In my postKeep it Together in Finale or Sibelius : Score & Parts in the same file“, we looked at methods of exploding chorded or divisi parts in the score into individual lines that, would be hidden in the page view of the score, while still available as single line parts.

Often, just the opposite workflow is required: the score already contains individual instrument staves that need to be combined for the score. That is, rather than allocating the contents of a divisi or chorded staff into individual instrument staves,  the requirement is to merge data from two or more independent staves into a single combined staff.

Let’s break it down.

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Keep it Together in Finale or Sibelius : Score & Parts in the same file

In the early days of Finale and Sibelius, individual parts were generated from a master score via a painful and aptly named process referred to as “Extraction”. The programs would dutifully export twenty or thirty cryptically named parts files onto your Desktop which would then need to be cleaned up and individually prepared for printing. Any subsequent changes to the score *also* required edits to one or more (or all) respective parts.

Today, parts are integrated within the score and the content is intelligently married. Sibelius calls its parts integration feature “Dynamic Parts“, while Finale labels their feature “Linked Parts“. In general, having scores and parts linked in one master file has proven to be a godsend, but there are some caveats.

Woodwind and brass instruments aren’t polyphonic.  With some notable quality control exceptions in currently published music, common practice is to have one instrument per staff in the parts. Ideally, woodwind and brass players should not be required to locate their lines from within a divisi part.

At the same time, the better organized an orchestral score is, the more readable it becomes. Generally scores with fewer systems are easier to read. Quite often, the requirement is for pairs of instruments appearing on a single staff wherever possible: Clarinet 1 and 2 on a single staff, Horn 1 and 3 on a single staff and so on. For this tutorial, we’ll start with divisi or chorded staves in the score, and create individual parts from these.

Let’s take a look at how each program currently integrates score and parts, and some ways we can make Finale and Sibelius best work to our advantage despite any limitations.

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Change Stubborn Text in Finale Quickly, Easily & Globally with Finale Script

In “Finale Text Sized, Placed & Styled – Document Options & the Category Designer, we looked at how we can set up a Finale document’s overall font choices using the Document Options > Fonts and the Category Designer.

Changes to the Category Designer and Set Default Music Font affect your score in real time; however, some of the text objects in Document Options > Fonts can only be set prior to starting work on your score; problematic if your score is already completed, or you need to update your House Style after the fact.

So, since some of the Document Settings don’t update in real time in Finale, how do we change the font settings for text types such as Lyrics*, Measure Numbers*, Staff Names* and Text Blocks* which we have already entered?

This is where writing a few short lines of Finale Script can help you. Wait! You don’t have to be a computer programmer. It’s really simple, I promise. And it will save you hours of work over time with minimal effort up front.

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Center Grand Pause (G.P. & other text) in Sibelius – Lines Method

Sometimes, such as when displaying “G.P.” text in an empty bar of score, it is desirable to be able to center the text between the barlines. While Sibelius doesn’t explicitly offer a “center text between barlines” feature when inputting  text, the ability to center any string of text attached to a Line makes this “centered in bar” justification possible.

In “Centering Grand Pause (G.P.) text in Sibelius – Symbols Method“, we covered a method of centering Grand Pause (G.P.) text using Symbols.

Sibelius has a “Centered Text” feature built into its Edit Lines dialog. You can immediately see this in action:

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One Step Text Multi-Copy Shortcuts in Finale 2014-2011

The following Text Expression multi-copy shortcuts for Finale 2014 back to Finale 2011 do not work with System / Score text Categories (e.g. Tempo Marks, Tempo Alterations and Rehearsal Marks), however, they can be used with Dynamics, Expressive Text and Technique Text.

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