Displaying Different Octaves In Score and Parts in Finale Part 1

Q: “I’m working on a Violin Concerto in Finale 2011. The violinist who is playing the concerto prefers to have all the high passages written out in pitch (rather than using ottava notation).  However, I would like to use ottava notation In the score. How to I show the notes at pitch in the part, and at 8vb with the ottava lines in the score?”

A: While this is a little different than creating a part for an octave transposing instrument, we’ll use similar techniques to create it. In FInale 2012 and earlier, we’ll create and use an octave transposing Staff Style for this, in combination with ottava lines which are visible in the score, and hidden in the part. Here’s how:

Start by transposing all of the passages of the solo Violin part you want written at different octaves in the score and part to the lower octave in the score, adding the 8va lines corresponding with each of these regions as you go.

Is your Solo Violin Part already created? If so, as you apply each of the 8va lines, right click on them, and choose “Unlink in All Parts” from the Contextual Menu. If you haven’t already created your parts, this option will be grayed out, but you can come back to this step once you create the part:


Note that you can Unlink an object from the score from either the Score or Part views, which also allows you to do this step from the parts view.

The next step is to create a Staff Style which will display the notes in the actual octave in the part. Select the Staff Tool, then choose “Define Staff Styles” from the Staff Menu, or right-click to choose Define Staff Styles from the Contextual Menu. When the Staff Styles dialog comes up:

  1. Click “New” to create a new Staff Style.
  2. Name this Staff Style “8va in Part”.
  3. Check the Transposition box, and then press the “Select…” button next to it.


In the Staff Transposition dialog choose the Chromatic radio button, and set it for up an octave. OK the sub-dialog, and then the main Staff Attributes dialog:


The next step is to apply the changes to the part itself. So, at this point, you should have the Violin part created, and all of the regions where the score and part will appear in different octaves with the ottava lines already in your score, and with these lines unlinked from the part as outlined above.

If your score is Transposing, go into the Violin part, Choose the Staff Tool and then select the region to be changed. Now, in the Contextual Menu, choose “Apply Staff Style To Current Score or Part”, and select your new “8va in Parts” Staff Style from the list.


If your score is displaying in Concert Pitch, you can stay in the score, and apply your Staff Style to both the score and the part (e.g. select it from the main contextual list).

For either Transposing or Concert Score, it is most important that you hide the ottava lines in the part so there will be no misinterpretation.

Now the part will be displayed as the player wants it, you won’t have the ledger lines in the score, and playback should be just as it always has been.

This same technique can also be applied to transposing instruments, as long as you remember to adjust the Transposition appropriately for the transposition as well as the octave (e.g. you will need to transpose by key signature for transposing instruments in a keyed piece.)

That’s it!


Related : More Advanced Alternate Notation Techniques in Finale