Create a score without key signatures for some instruments in Finale

There is a convention in Classical music to display certain parts chromatically, without a key signature, in a piece where the other instruments show the key signature – technically a mix of tonal and atonal staves, for lack of a better term. Timpani, Horn and even Trumpets are sometimes found notated chromatically this way.

Copeland, Stravinsky and Holst are three well known composers that have followed this convention for some of their works.

If you are using Finale 2014 or later, support for Keyless Scores is now built in; you no longer have to change transposition manually.

But how does one create a score which shows key signatures on some staves but not on others in Finale 2012 and earlier?

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Horizontal Split Points : Split a single measure across a system break in Finale

Q: I have a Finale file which has one long measure with about 20 notes in it, and it’s somewhat cramped.  Is there a way to “split” the bar into two systems without adding an extra bar, and without adding a bar line in the middle? Also, if this is in a score with integrated parts, can I do this without altering the score or other parts, etc.?”

A: Split measures are often found in published hymnals, with pickups into the start of a new verse or chorus appearing at the end of a previous system to keep the music symmetrical. Cadenzas are another example, where there may be a large number of notes within a single “bar”.

Finale’s “Allow Horizontal Split Points” feature is designed to split a single measure across a system break.

With the Measure Tool selected, double click on the measure you want to split. When the Measure Attributes dialog opens, check “Allow Horizontal Split Points”:


OK the dialog. This adds a 3rd selection handle below the other two at the measure’s right bar line. Click the new handle, and you’ll see a strip running the length of the bar. Double click where you want the break to occur. You can actually split the bar into more than 2 segments if you want, and you can drag these split points anywhere along the horizontal placement strip:


Now, update the layout, and this measure will appear split across two systems as you’ve defined it.

This technique works great for a hymnal piece, or any music where the score and part share the same layout. The same technique is a little tricky with an integrated score and parts, if you only want the split to appear on one particular part (for instance, a cadenza). It will work as long as you don’t update the layout anywhere except where you want the split. 

However, it is pretty easy to update the layout accidentally, so I would recommend completing the layouts for the score and all parts except for this one part containing the (e.g. cadenza) bar which requires the split. Extract this part *before* you do the split. By dealing with this split point in a separate file, for the one instrument only, you will maintain the integrity of the layout in your score and the other parts.

Now that you understand how to do this manually, try Finale’s Split Measures plugin which automates the beat where the split occurs, the bar line style, and can also move the second part of the split measure to the next system. Found in : Plugins > Measures > Split Measures.



Puntos de división horizontales: Dividir un solo compás a lo largo de un cambio de sistema en Finale

Making Efficient Use of Linked Parts In Finale

It baffles me that there are still a number of commercial Music Copying Houses in LA, New York and elsewhere that are still not taking advantage of the benefits of Finale’s integrated score and parts. These copyists are still using an old method from the mid 1990’s, where a master parts template file is created, and each part is pasted into the template one at a time, then saved off as individual, separate files.

From a housekeeping standpoint alone, the difference between managing 1 master parts file or 30 individual files is a no brainer. Printing is also much slower, as each individual file must be opened up and printed vs. being able to take advantage of the batch printing option in recent versions of Finale. Factor in any sort of last minute edits, particularly those where notes from one staff are to be copied into another, or changes to the form of the piece, and it quickly becomes obvious that a few minutes to learn a technique which integrates all the parts into a single file would be invaluable.

Let’s take a look…

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