Finale Quick Tip : Smart Word Extensions @ Double Barlines

In vocal music, single syllables of text which span several different notes in succession are shown with horizontal lines, called Word Extensions, or Lyric Extensions. The technical name for these vocal phrases is “melisma” or the plural, “melismata”:

fin-lyric-extension-ex

Finale has a great productivity feature which automates the drawing of these lyric extensions called Smart Word Extensions.

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Finale : Using Linked Parts, Finalescript & House Styles for Commercial Parts

Back in 2011, I posted Making Efficient Use of Linked Parts In Finale which outlined a few of the advantages of using Linked Parts in Finale vs. the “old school” method of individual part extraction, or pasting parts into a separate template file.

Recently, a conversation with an industry colleague made me realize that even 6 years after the introduction of Linked Parts in Finale, some of the very best veteran professional music copyists working in LA and elsewhere still are not taking advantage of Finale’s Managed Parts feature.

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Creating lyric elision slurs more easily in Finale 2012 and earlier

e·li·sion

Elision is defined as the omission of a vowel, consonant, or syllable while pronouncing or writing something, sometimes as a natural shortening, as in “he’s,” sometimes for literary or poetic effect, as in “’tis”.

In vocal music, elision slurs are the curvy ligatures used to connect two lyric syllables under one note. This type of markup is quite common in vocal music in a language other than English:

fin-elision-slur

In Finale, the process to show two elided syllables on the same note should be very straightforward. One could ideally type a specific keystroke to produce the elision (it’s a underscore in Sibelius) and you could type these in on the fly.

In Finale, you use a single keystroke to create the elision character; SHIFT-I. But even in Finale 2012, the process described in the User Manual requires several steps:

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