Realization Reversed : from Performance to the Page

Western music notation is a fixed set of rules devised for expressing something that, by nature, is not fixed. Our current notation system has been culled and pruned over the last several centuries from numerous musical symbols and instructions down to the current set.

Professional musicians not only understand the meaning of these, but are able to interpret them with appropriate variation and nuance based on context.

more >>

would you like to comment?

Finale : Feathered Beams in Cross-Staff Notation

Feathered Beams in Finale are straightforward to create in a single staff (see this tutorial).

However, creating feathered beams in a grand staff with cross-staff notation is a little more involved, so it seems like an excellent topic.

In this tutorial, we’ll examine several methods for creating cross-staff feathered beaming in Finale. Thanks to Peter Thomsen, Luke Dahn and Zuill for their contributions to this tutorial, and a shout out to Alexander Blank at Indiana University for bringing us all together on the OF NOTE blog!

more >>

(5) Comments

Archaic Techniques : Note Spacing : Centering Notes of Bar-Length Duration

“In traditional engraving, when a bar consists of a single note and there are no other durations in any part, the note is placed just to the left of the center of the bar. Such bars, by definition are usually fairly narrow. This spacing creates a better balance than a single note positioned at the beginning of the bar:

In widely spaced bars, the note can be placed closer to the barline so as not to appear isolated. When there are other durations in other parts, the single duration is placed at the beginning of the bar as normal.” 

from : Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation
by Elaine Gould (pg 41)

  more >>

would you like to comment?

Page Numbering in Finale & Sibelius : Ranges : X of Y

This tutorial was updated 9/26/12.

Question: A client wants the page numbering to read, page 2 of 7, page 3 of 7, etc., for pdf downloads of some piano pieces (regular numbering for print versions). These would be in the upper outside corners where standard page numbers would appear. If you can tell me whether this can be done and how, I would greatly appreciate it.

Depending on whether you are using Finale or Sibelius, you’ll be using text “Inserts” or “Wildcards: to facilitate this. Here’s how:

more >>

(4) Comments

Finale Special Tools : Double / Split Stem Tool

Frequently, in orchestral scores, 2 woodwind or brass parts are shared on the same staff. The staff may contain a mixture of divisi and unison notes.

Normally, if the two parts are homophonic, the line shares a stem as well as slurs and articulations. When the line goes to unison for any length of time, a common practice is to indicate “a2″ at the start point of this unison. At that point, a single notehead and stem is written, and this carries until the next divisi section:

more >>

would you like to comment?

Clean up MIDI Import for Drums and Percussion in Sibelius

Have you ever wondered why sometimes when importing a MIDI file containing drums or percussion, the resulting notation looks like garbage in Sibelius, while other times, the drum tracks import correctly, requiring only minor cleanup? Part of the answer can be found in the original General MIDI specification, which Sibelius uses to determine which tracks contain drums and percussion in MIDI files…

more >>

(3) Comments

Bar Number Flexibility for Score & Parts in Finale & Sibelius

In both Finale and Sibelius, one simple and common way to separately control bar number size, location and frequency is to save off a separate copy of the final score as a Parts Score. However, while this is one way to achieve precise control, for bar numbers, at least, this isn’t really necessary, since both programs offer plenty of flexibility for displaying different bar number settings between the score and integrated parts.

Typically, bar numbers appear somewhat larger in the score than in the parts, and sometimes, bar numbers are bold or italic in one view, but not in another. As an example, for an orchestral pops chart or a film score soundtrack where a tabloid score and 9×12 parts are specified, bar numbers frequently appear nearly twice as large in the score as they do in the parts, and bar numbering may appear on every bar of both the score and parts, or on every bar in the score only, with the parts showing bar numbers at the start of every system.

Once you know where everything is, it’s quite straightforward in both Finale and Sibelius to create a separate score and parts “House Style” for bar numbers:

more >>

(7) Comments