Hide Notes to Create Multi-rests in Voiced Linked Parts Using a Staff Style

In orchestral scores, it is common to combine two similar instruments onto a single staff:


Text indicators like “1”, or “2” are used to show when a specific player plays a particular portion of the line. Following a passage where one player rests while another plays, a directive like “a2” or “tutti” shows that both / all players play the same line in unison from that point. By default, these text indications appear in both the score and parts, making it easy to identify who plays where.

Note the hidden text expression “both”. This technique serves a useful purpose, which I’ll explain in a moment.

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Display Instrument Names Differently Between Score & Parts in Finale

There is a visual style preferred by many composers and orchestrators in which instrument group names are shown bracketing two or more staves, with numbers (1., 2. or I., II.) rather than individual instrument names showing for the specific instrument staves:


This is a nice presentation, which clearly shows how the orchestration is organized with a minimum of clutter. The method to create Multi-Stave Groups like the above in Finale, as well as a cool variation for group name display are covered in this post by my colleague Jon Senge.

However, while this works great for the score, it’s quite another thing if you are also creating the parts, because there are no longer unique identifiers for each instrument. When you get to the parts phase, you first have to figure out which staff goes with which instrument, and once you do, you have to manually type in each instrument name in the Linked Parts! Ideally, the instrument names should remain in the template for parts. So, how can we do this?

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Create Simple Vertical Group Names in Finale

Simple Vertical Group Names


I was recently asked to create a score layout that evoked some old Hollywood styles. One of the aspects discussed was a different way of formatting instrument families. Vertical instrument labels can be found on some old manuscript papers but are all but forgotten in today’s computer notation.

Creating vertical staff group labels are easy work in Finale. If you already have staff groups established, as in the excerpt below, it’s just a matter of reformatting the label itself. If you don’t, here’s a brief explanation.

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Sibelius : Notehead Types & Playback

Hi Robert,

I’m working on a composition of a 17 year old student for their final exams at the end of high school. He has written a drum part which requires samples as well as drum kit.

These samples are notated as diamond noteheads on his score:


However, when I export the midi file to to Logic, I lose all these diamond headed notes.

So, I created a second version of his score (Liam Comp 2.sib), where I managed to copy these diamond noteheads into a new staff. However, when I try to play these back – nothing (whether the new instrument is drum set or piano).

Are you able to see why these notes on the score do not appear to be registering as midi messages on playback and export?

Please help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope.

Thanks very much,

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Sibelius : Add Ancillary Staves to a Braced Grand Staff Instrument

Hello everybody, Michele Galvagno here with a rather interesting notational matter. I’m currently working on a piece by a living composer scored for 2 percussionists, with harp and piano.

The composer’s original manuscript is set as a system with four piano grand staves, the first two of which are labelled “Vibraphone & percussion” and “Marimba & percussion”:


Upon looking at the original manuscript more closely, I noticed that the composer had notated all the unpitched percussion onto extra 1-line staves positioned in the middle of each player’s respective braced grand staff:



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Sibelius Paste As Cue & Staff Visibility in the Score

I wanted to share this exchange I had today with a colleague on the Sibelius “Paste As Cue” feature as it affects staff visibility in the score. He writes:

“I am adding cues using Paste As Cue, but its messing up my Sibelius score. In other words, parts that were originally hidden in the score are now showing up again after the cue is created.

For instance, when I add cues to my my Bassoon 1 part, it shows up in the score–but only for a few pages. I am doing “show in parts” which sometimes helps but other times, it doesn’t. I am adding the cues from the score to the part.

Since these staves are hidden in Page View of the score, I need to create the cues from Panorama rather than on the score page…  ???”




It sounds like you you may have split out separate staves for parts only (e.g. separate Bassoon 1 and 2 part staves from a combined score staff containing diads). These “parts only” staves are not supposed to be visible in the score.

Since there is already music in the staves, and these were previously hidden, after you apply ALL of your cues, you will need to go in and triple click these problematic parts staves, right-click and invoke “Show In Parts” again.

The reason the staves become visible in the score for these staves is that Paste As Cue creates visible rests in destination staff (along with the cue notes which are visible only in the parts). If the staff is supposed to remain visible in the score, this isn’t an issue, but for “parts only” staves, if your score is “optimized” (e.g. “French Style” formatting), staves which are not supposed to have a visible counterpart in the score will become visible when you add cues via Paste As Cue.

For future reference, the proper workflow is to create all of the cues while in the score, then triple click the staves which are parts only staves and select Show In Parts and hide them in the score at that later stage.

If you create the cues after setting the staves to Show In Part, you make the cue sections visible in the score because of the visible rests.


Finale : Automated Bar Numbers & Instrument Family Group Brackets

Q: We just came across something that seems to be a major annoyance in Finale. We had never run into it before because we usually start from a Document Style with the Setup Wizard, rather than creating a template from an existing file.

It seems that when you add, delete, or change an instrument from the Score Manager, it resets staff attributes for a bunch of staves all at once. For example, our templates were set to only display measure numbers over the first Violins in the score, but on making any change it resets the attributes of the first staff in each instrument choir, so all of a sudden we have huge measure numbers all over the page, and redundant grand staff braces and / or brackets are created.

I wanted to ask you if you’d encountered this issue before, and if there’s a solution.

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