One of the quirks with Finale’s note spacing is that the very last system of a document will often have disproportionately fewer measures than the rest.
One option is to use the Fit Measures tool in the Utilities menu, but then the note spacing can be inconsistent between systems.
Finale’s Reference Spacing Width feature, found in the Music Spacing > Spacing Widths… section of Document Options, provides a solution. The setting allows you to reflow and rebalance the note spacing of measures quickly. more >> “A Fast Way to Change Music Spacing Reference Width in Finale (With Keyboard Maestro)”
Q: How can I assign a color to an individual barline? If I try, Sibelius tells me these objects can’t be colored.
A: While ordinary barlines can’t be colored, there is an easy way to do this; by first changing it into a special barline. Select the barline you want to color, then, in Sibelius 7 or later, locate the Barlines Group in the Common section of the Notations Tab.
If it is a “normal” barline, when you select Normal, it will remain visibly the same; however, making it a Special Barline will allow you to color it with the shortcut CNTRL-J Windows / CMND-J Mac.
Caution: prior to Sibelius v8.7.2, all Special Barlines split multirests in parts.
A German version of this post („Farbige Taktstriche”) is available here.
Karin Vadon is a classically trained musician, singer-songwriter and music copyist from Vienna, Austria who authors a german-language music notation blog for Sibelius and Dorico users.
One of the features lacking even in the latest version of Sibelius are straight lines which snap-to notes. All of the straight lines, including the gliss lines, attach to the staff, and actually don’t snap to noteheads. The gliss lines and other straight lines do play back in Sibelius, but they are fussy to position correctly between notes.
Bob Zawalich’s excellent and highly recommended “Lines Between Notes” plugin for Sibelius takes a great deal of the work out of positioning lines between notes accurately; indispensable if you write a lot of music with gliss lines, for instance.
The “Lines Between Notes” plugin is an amazing productivity tool, but it’s not a “dynamic” solution. If you apply the plugin in a concert score you’ll most likely have to make a second adjustment in the part if it transposes. If you change the start or ending note pitch after the fact, you’ll have the run the plugin again. A way to create a real, honest-to-goodness straight, note-attached lines would be a useful feature.
more >> “Use Slurs to Create Straight, Note-attached Lines in Sibelius”
Q: Sometimes in Sibelius the bottom staff on a part page is too low; where there are ledger lines, the dynamics or a low pitch go below the page margins. I have tried the obvious reset above and below and dragging and optimize. When I drag the bottom stave it won’t budge, it just affects the stave above it. What is the solution?
A: You can use Option-Shift-Up Arrow (presumably Alt-Shift-Up Arrow on PC) with the staff selected to move it up and then reset space above staff to reset the distances of the staves above.
You can also create a Special Page Break at the end of the previous page and create a new margin definition for the bottom margin for one page only. Select the last barline on previous page and type CMND-SHIFT-P (presumably CNTRL-SHIFT-P on PC):
That’s all there is to it.
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”:
Finale has a great productivity feature which automates the drawing of these lyric extensions called Smart Word Extensions.
more >> “Finale Quick Tip : Smart Word Extensions @ Double Barlines”
Q: Is it possible to make title text appear more “expanded” (as I might do in a Word doc?) My client has a specific font request, but his letter spacing looks wider than the same font on my computer, which is more “tight”: A: This difference is due to letter-spacing, referred to as “Tracking” in typography. Tracking refers to a consistent degree of increase (or sometimes decrease) of space between letters to affect density in a line or block of text. more >> “Adjusting Tracking, aka Letter-Spacing in Finale & Sibelius”
A few days ago, I was asked to visit the students of Seattle’s Pacific NW Film Scoring Program to speak about my role as music copyist, orchestrator and music librarian for feature films and video games.
The students asked some great questions, so I thought I would post a few of them along with my answers here.
more >> “An afternoon with the students of the Pacific NW Film Scoring Program”