In the Plugins class we’ll explore all the various plugins that ship with Finale, along with custom libraries from other developers.
- Lyrics Plugins
- FinaleScript Plugins
- Scoring and ArrangingThe process of adapting a piece of music for a different ensemble, style, or performance context. Plugins
- Miscellaneous Plugins
- ExpressionsMusical instructions in the score including dynamics, tempo, instrumentation, cast names, musical directions and other elements, or in Finale's case, a means to inject other MIDI data and instructions into the playback performance or MIDI stream Plugins
- Measures Plugins
- Patterson Plugins
- TG Tools Plugins
- JW Plugins
- Notea symbol used to represent a specific pitch and duration, BeamA horizontal line connecting multiple eighth or sixteenth notes to show that they are played as a group. and Resta symbol used to indicate a pause or silence in music Editing Plugins
You’ll see two plug-ins in the lyrics menu.
The first is Auto-Slur Melismas, which adds slurs to syllables sung over two or more pitches.
The second is Clear Lyric Positioning, which removes adjustments to lyric baselines, or changesJazz shorthand for Chord Changes; the chord progression in position done with the Syllables tool.
You’ll see we have a lot of Finale scripts installed. Finale ships with many, and we’ve created many more, so many, in fact, that we have a dedicated class for Finale Scriptis Finale's built-in scripting environment allowing multi-step operations to be performed by a single keyboard shortcut.. We find that Finale script it has become essential to our workflow. We authored an article on Finale Script in the Scoring Notes Blog that provides working script for all the functions in our own Finale Script menu.
Scoring and Arranging
You see there are also a lot of Scoring and Arranging plug-ins. The Canonic Utilities are especially interesting for composers, because of the variations they can create on selected entries.
We find the global staff attributes plug-inPlug-ins extend abilities to the existing program and are usually written as separate applications by various engineers. to be extremely useful making bulk changes to staff settings, such as displaying bar numbersSmall numbers, usually at the beginning of a line, indicating exact location within a musical part or score.
Otherwise we don’t find ourselves in this menu much, except for possibly piano reductionThe process of creating a simplified arrangement of a piece of music for a smaller ensemble. or split point, although the smart split point plug-in in TG Tools is much more useful to us.
We find only one plug-in in the Miscellaneous folder, but it can be very useful. It’s the change fonts plug-in.
The only plug-in we find in the expressions menu is auto dynamic placement. We’ve never had any reason to use it. Since improvements in collision avoidance in recent versions of Finale have made it unnecessary, we have set our default dynamic positioning using the Category Designer (Document>category designer).
There’re some interesting plug-ins in the measures menu, but we’ve never had the need to use any of them. For example, when we’re working on an arrangementrefers to the structure and order of musical elements in a composition, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and instrumentation. that needs a CodaA type of musical ending arrived at by skipping from earlier section, indicated by coda marks at both the skip and arrival points SystemA system is one line of connected staves across the page., we enter it as we go using the the endingAdditional music designed to create a sense of finality at the end of an arrangement, piece or track tool.
Robert Patterson has provided a set of “Patterson Lite” plug-ins that ships with Finale. Mr. Patterson has premium plug-ins available as well. We’ve come to rely on his premium staff sets plug-in, which offers an interface much more complete than Finale’s built-in interface. The same is true for his multiA single multi-channel, multi-output instance of a virtual instrument in a digital music mixing environment measureA unit of musical time, defined by a specific number of beats. rests plug-in, which is essential to our workflow. We haven’t had the need for the others yet.
His premium plug-ins appear as their own item in the plug-ins menu list when they’re installed.
Tobias Gleeson has also generously provided a set of plug-ins that ships with Finale. He also has a suite of premium plugins that get their own top menu in Finale once they’re installed. The ones we use most often include easy harmonicsOvertones that are present in a sound, which contribute to its timbre., easy tremolos, and smart split point.
JW Plugins don’t ship with Finale, but we find them to be absolutely essential. They’re available as a free download from his website. They are so powerful and with such extensive capabilities that they deserve a class on their own. The ones we use the most include
- JW change
- JW part layout
- JW fit music
- JW rhythmThe pattern of beats and accentuations in music within a virtual grid governing the timing of events within it copy
- JW tieA curved line connecting two notes of the same pitch, indicating that they are to be played as a single, sustained note. notes
- JW untie notes
–but we’ve had the occasion to need to most of them. They’re a “must-have.”
Note, Beam and Rest Editing
Of all the plug-ins that are in the Note, Beam and Rest menu, there are only a couple that we use often.
These include the Single pitchThe perceived highness or lowness of a sound, determined by the frequency of the sound wave. plug-in, which we use when creating drum partsIndividual pieces of music, each designed to be performed by a single musician or section of an ensemble.. When changing the meter for a section, we’ve found that we need to apply the change to real whole rests plug-in first.
We go into detail about any and all plugins and demoA recording created to preview the content of a show or song. Demos can also become master recordings. their respective operation in our Finale Plugins Class